I will rebrand  PAP: Charumbira President Mnangagwa congratulates newly-elected Pan African Parliament (PAP) president Chief Fortune Charumbira who paid a courtesy call at State House in Harare yesterday. — Picture: Believe Nyakudjara.

Zvamaida Murwira-Senior Reporter

NEWLY re-elected Pan African Parliament president, Chief Fortune Charumbira, has pledged to unite and rebrand the continental legislative assembly and help end conflict in Africa as he returns to the helm of the organisation following his re-election last week.

Chief Charumbira yesterday met President Mnangagwa at State House in Harare accompanied by the Speaker of Parliament, Advocate Jacob Mudenda, members of the Zimbabwean delegation to PAP and other senior officials from Parliament of Zimbabwe.

Briefing journalists soon after holding a meeting with President Mnangagwa, Chief Charumbira said he was determined to reinvigorate PAP so that it effectively plays its role.

“The first objective is to ensure the unity of the Parliament, we have had periods of acrimony from August 2023 to 25 March 2024 on election day, we have been fractured. I can assure you that I will embark on a programme to unite the 270 MPs at PAP,” he said.

“One major issues of the Agenda 2063 announced by the African Union is the issue of trade on the continent through the African Continental Free Trade Area. PAP will make sure that countries that have not ratified the Protocol on Trade, do ratify and the citizens of Africa are aware of the trade opportunities under the AFCTA,” he said.

Chief Charumbira said the issue of conflicts occasioned by unconstitutional changes of Government, particularly in West Africa, was worrisome.

“The issue of unconstitutional changes of Government is very worrisome, we had moved from a period of coups that we used to see in the 1970s, 80, 90s. We have gone back, as we speak you are aware that we have Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea Conakry, Sudan, and Gabon… they are all under military rule. It is the duty of our PAP working with the citizens of this continent to make sure that we bring democratic governance to all the countries,” he said.

“The issue of food security, we are still vulnerable and this is linked to climate change. We are aware of the issues. Going forward, we had started on a viable trajectory which of course got extinguished when we went for elections and now we are reigniting the energy and enthusiasm and rebranding of PAP as the Parliament that everybody looks up to on the continent.”

Adv Mudenda said they expected that Chief Charumbira will continue to excel as he represents Zimbabwe at PAP.

“Hon Charumbira started on a high note in terms of projecting the continental Parliament, at the same time flying the Zimbabwean flag. He did some criss-crossing in several countries and Parliaments in order to raise the profile of PAP and spruce up its image which had deteriorated extremely in the past,” he said.

“We are happy that he will carry on from where he had left in the first part of his tenure. We expect that he will continue to fly the PAP flag as well as the Zimbabwe flag because we as Zimbabwe sponsored him with the blessings of the President and we hope that he will continue to excel in his leadership and ensure that there is African unity as well as a Parliament of the continent that will represent our aspirations,” he said.

Chief Charumbira got 127 votes from a possible 172 to reclaim the presidency of the continental legislative assembly, a development that is expected to end unrest and some chaotic scenes at the organisation that were being orchestrated by some members of the Bureau.

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