The Pan African Parliament (PAP) held its elective session in Midrand South Africa to elect a new bureau to superintend over the affairs of the institution on the 29th of June 2022.
The elections were an all-round resounding success for Africa, it was indeed a showcase of unity across the continent, the winner whilst at first glance seems to be Hon. Chief Fortune Zephaniah Charumbira, who ascended to the zenith of the organisation after being voted President, an in-depth analysis will reveal that the biggest winner is Africa and its people. The underpinning principle that engulfed the Pan African Parliament was ubuntu/hunhu, which enabled different Members of Parliament to put aside their differences for the sake of the continent.
This time around, there was a realisation that unity and development are inextricable values.
Juxtaposition this year’s plebiscite, which was an exhibition of unity of purpose and strengthening of democracy as espoused by our founding fathers, Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Robert Mugabe etc.
In May last year (2021), Africa did herself a major disservice at a global scale, by creating a major embarrassing spectacle of unimaginable proportions which played right into the hands of those who continually seek to perpetuate narratives of a backward society trapped in the stone ages and this excoriated the whole institution.
The kicking, shoving, screaming and accompanying chaotic scenes that characterised the election then, did not do the continent any favour, yet it must be highlighted that Parliaments by their nature are vociferous mixing pots of a cacophony of contesting ideologies, this is a global phenomenon.
Yet, there is always a silver lining in any cloud, peace, tranquillity and maturity prevailed on the back of hard lessons that had been learnt from the skirmishes and disturbances of last year.
It was a sight to behold, there were no losers, there were only winners who accepted their fate with grace and dignity. Honourable Yeremia Chihana from Malawi who had insisted on his candidature was disqualified, and rightfully so, because the nominations to stand for Presidency were never about individuals, but of regional caucuses.
It was indeed marvel when he accepted his fate, returning to the caucus that he had deserted on the eve of the election, and his fellow Comrades accepted him with warm embraces.
This is what democracy should be all about, it is never about self-aggrandisement, it is about serving the people from whom the mandate of the MPs is derived.
The precociousness with which the other eligible candidate for the Presidency stepped down for the Southern Region caucus must be commended.
The AU had made it clear that within the auspices of the rotation principle, a notion that all African Heads of states had endorsed, only Southern and Northern Caucuses were eligible for the Presidential race.
To this extent, to ameliorate against unnecessary acrimony, the Northern Caucus coalesced around the Southern caucus, and agreed to take the next obvious opportunity that will leave them as sole entitled candidates for the Presidency, which is now more than guaranteed.
This is definitely the epitome of a United Africa, one which can set aside all differences, perceived or real, the possibility of a United States of Africa is not a pipeline dream after all, One Africa One Voice, as the PAP adage goes.
To this extent, all parties that were involved in the election process must be commended unreservedly.
Beautiful images of voting in an orderly manner were beamed across the globe this time around, validating the point that a United Africa can achieve more.
The voting patterns themselves are quite significant, in fact, there was an understandable apprehension and consternation as to why a vote was necessary when there was only one eligible candidate in the form of Honourable Senator Chief Charumbira.
Yet, with the benefit of hindsight, the voting patterns vindicated the underpinning inkling, in which a candidate needed the mandate of 50 percent plus one vote to cross the threshold.
Chief Charumbira garnered 161 votes, 31 abstained and 11 were spoilt. Quintessentially, Africa voted as a single unit of mass that believed firmly not only in the sole candidate, but also in itself as the oldest civilisation around.
A feeling of none but ourselves feeling permeated the PAP centre in Gallagher, and Unity radiated among the MPs in Midrand, Republic of South Africa.
The feeling of excitement and expectation across Africa is palpable, Chief Charumbira has got the backing of the whole continent as largely endorsed by the plebiscite, he is bound to succeed because of the unity of purpose exhibited on a cold chilly July night.
A night that will forever be etched in the annals of history, as a night where Africa turned a corner in its democratisation processes, there were no losers, mother Africa prevailed as she wont to.