By Byron Mutingwende
Chief Fortune Zephaniah Charumbira seeks to assume the presidency of the Pan Africa Parliament (PAP) so that he would transform that institution to uplift the lives of people on the continent.
“Africa remains poor in terms of development. It is notorious for the high levels of unemployment and poverty. The year 2000 World Bank report has a provocative title that says, Can Africa claim the 21st Century? It is in that report where the Millennium Development Goals were developed in recognition of African challenges.
“If elected as the PAP President, I will help the institution in addressing problems it has in terms of conflicts and governance challenges including corruption on the continent,” Charumbira said during his campaign to the African ambassadors accredited to Zimbabwe at the Monomotapa Legacy Hotel on 23 April 2018.
Article 17 of the Consultative Act of Parliament of the African Union provides for the establishment of the Pan African Parliament whose mandate is to “ensure the full participation of the African Peoples in the development and economic integration of the continent.”
Since inception in 2004, the Pan African Parliament has pursued its mandate albeit with challenges in respect of strategic positioning, its institutional growth and development and its management performance.
Currently, a revised transformative protocol of Pan African Protocol (Malabo Protocol) awaits ratification by member states.
“As President, I will ensure the PAP will be able to pass model laws. In order to be effective, the PAP will have to engage in robust institutional diagnosis and undergo transformation. It is imperative for PAP to have clarity of strategic objectives, outputs, outcomes and impact in relation to its mandate. The organisational and management systems and practices require review and strengthening, and effective leadership,” Chief Charumbira said.
McHenry Venaani, a Namibian Member of Parliament who is the leader of Chief Charumbira’s campaign team rallied Africans to support the Zimbabwean representative since there is enthusiasm from the current political administration to open new horizons for national rejuvenation and increase continental engagement.
“I am proud that Zimbabwe and the Southern African region is presenting a candidate with a stout background of Parliamentary practice, both at home and at the Pan African Parliament and I find it imperative to brief you on the Honourable Chief Charumbira’s professional and political background so that you have a thorough understanding of his quest for the Presidency of PAP,” Venaani said.
Charumbira has worked with and for renowned institutions such as the World Bank, Price Waterhouse Coopers and KPMG in several countries in Southern and Eastern Africa. He has extensive experience as an institutional change, performance improvement and leadership development consultant.
Chief Charumbira has more than 17 years experience as a Member of Parliament in Zimbabwe. He was Deputy Minister of Local Government in 2000, Member of Parliament from 2000 to date and a member of the President of the Senate’s Panel since 2005.
“For more than 10 years Chief Charumbira has been a member of top Parliamentary management boards of both the PAP’s Bureauxes and the Parliament of Zimbabwe Committee on Standing Rules and Orders. He has attended and participated at high-level meetings at the African Union such as the Permanent Committee of Representatives, the Executive Council and the Summit of Heads of States. This, therefore, makes him familiar with AU processes. He has also participated at various for a between PAP and the European Parliament,” Venaani said.
Advocate Jacob Mudenda, the Speaker of the National Assembly urged ambassadors accredited to Harare and members of PAP from the Southern African region to support the candidature of Chief Charumbira as PAP President.
“Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I am confident that Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira will bring about the transformation that the PAP strongly desires and make an epic move towards the steady growth, development and renewal of the PAP.
“His Excellence, Presidnet Mnagagwa, during the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government in Kigali signed the Protocol to the Constitutive Act of the African Union relating to PAP (The Malabo Protocol) and it is incumbent upon Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira, if elected President, to ensure the Protocol receives the required 28 ratifications and translate the commitments in the protocol into action through numerous tenacious efforts, an honourous responsibility that I am confident he will diligently execute for the good of the continent,” Mudenda said.
The PAP Presidency is rotational and now is the right time for a candidate from the Southern African region to take over the reins in line with democratic tenets and in the spirit of inclusivity.