Zimbabwe’s and SADC representative at the recently ended Pan African Parliamentary election, Chief’s President Fortune Charumbira, was unanimously elected President of PAP, as he was argued the only eligible candidate in view of the rotational principles.
Speaking during his inauguration speech at the just ended PAP Summit, Charumbira appreciated all regional caucasus for their contribution to his assumption of office.
“You have spoken with one voice and I, working collaboratively with all of you, will not relent in our collective desire, as eloquently expressed in this election, to bring back the Pan African Parliament to its proper position as a continental legislative body.” Charumbira said.
Furthermore, “To my brothers and sisters in the Southern Regional Caucus, this victory is for you. For several years, you stood by me and consistently affirmed my nomination as your candidate. You withstood several attacks, sacrificed so much in terms of time, talent and resources to see that equity and fairness are restored at the Pan African Parliament. I won’t harbor any mistaken illusion that the struggle that preceded my election as President was about me.” The Zimbabwean Chief’s president said.
“To my brothers and sisters at the Northern Regional Caucus, I am deeply indebted to you for yielding your ambition to my candidacy and allowing me to emerge as President. By this singular act, you have demonstrated that no individual ambition should ever be placed above the stability of our dear parliament. I thank you for standing with all of us as we fought to ensure that the African Union principle on geographical rotation is implemented.” Charumbira also highlighted.
“I will be remiss if I do not thank in a very special way, our colleagues from the Western, Eastern and Central Caucus for your determination to elevate our institution beyond the colonial divisions of language and religion. Your vote today has demonstrated that no amount of superficial divisions of language and religion can ever overshadow our collective aspirations for a united parliament.” Charumbira remarked.
Charumbira called for improved inter-country African advantaging as this enhanced implementation of the AfCFTA and address on corruption among other ills bedeviling the continent.
“Furthermore, unfriendly Visa regimes affect inter-country, intra-regional and inter-regional trade, integration and cooperation. They not only inhibit the free movement of people and goods, but also retard economic growth contrary to the set objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Area. As if those were not enough, Africa is also faced with the emerging threats posed by corruption and illicit financial flows as well as the trans-boundary effects of these vices which increase the cost of doing business in the continent. Poverty, internal displacement, resource conflicts, gender inequalities, unemployment and hunger also continue to stalk the continent, thereby increasing vulnerability.”
Also of note, ”The African continent is faced with a myriad of systemic challenges that continue to undermine her human and economic development. These include political instability in some countries which is adversely affecting regional cohesion, international peace and security as well as infrastructural development, hence the thrust to Silence the Guns in Africa. Others are the negative effects of climate change which has resulted in droughts, floods and other extreme weather conditions; and the ravaging effects of the Covid-19 pandemic which has disrupted health systems.” Charumbira also highlighted.
The Pan African Parliament is Africa’s caucus of the African Union that seeks to strengthen the continent’s efforts on indigenous knowledge systems and parliamentary system support.