Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Sadc candidate to the Pan African Parliament presidency and Chiefs Council president Fortune Charumbira and his campaign team visited three embassies today in South Africa as he winds up his campaign trail to land the top post of the continental body in an election set for next Wednesday.
Chief Charumbira is Sadc’s sole candidate for the PAP elections and is tipped to land the post after the African Union upheld contention by legislators from the Southern African region to allow it to field a candidate as part of the principle of rotation enshrined in the PAP constitutive Act.
Embassies that were visited today are Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and Saharawi who all threw their weight behind the candidature of Chief Charumbira who is currently the acting President of the continental body.
His delegation included Zanu PF Chief whip Cde Pupurai Togarepi and campaign manager, Mr Mchenry Venaani.
Speakers of Sadc Parliament have also rallied behind Chief Charumbira in a virtual meeting held early this week.
This comes as legislators across the continent have also started trooping in Midrand, South Africa in preparation for the elections.
In an interview from South Africa, Mr Venaani, said they remain confident that Chief Charumbira will land the post after the AU unanimously agreed to abide by the principle of rotation.
Mr Venaani said it was critical that unnecessary political bickering and fights overshadow the need to be united as a continent so that objectives were realised.
“As a campaign manager of the Sadc, we are confident that we will win and that it is time for rotation. We have to unite as Africans around a leader who will be able to demonstrate the highest credentials of democracy and ethics by making sure he assumes office. We are urging all Africans from the North, West, South and Central Africa, all the language barriers, Arabic, Swahili, Francophone all of us we must unite to make sure that as Parliamentarians of Africa we walk towards the leadership that will bring in an interlocutor and make sure we get into the business of creating a model legislative body,” said Mr Venaani.
“We are urging all of our people to unite under the leadership of Chief Charumbira of Zimbabwe who has the credentials and political pedigree and dexterity to be able to bring reforms that are needed in the PAP, and unite this institution to carry the way forward. We are saying this time around let’s be united and create a leadership that is capable, clean from corruption and transparent at bringing the necessary reforms.”
The decision to support the candidature of Chief Charumbira came after the African Union upheld contention by Sadc that it was time for Southern African countries to assume the presidency of PAP after Western and Northern countries sought to push to have the principle disregarded so that they could be allowed to continue fielding their candidates.
Initial efforts to hold the elections were aborted last year in May after the Southern Africa caucus insisted that the election of the president of the institution should rotate among the five regions of the African Union namely, North, West, East, Central and Southern Africa.