By Byron Mutingwende
The President of the Pan African Parliament (PAP), Honourable Roger Nkodo Dang has hailed Zimbabwe’s peaceful transition and described it as the first of its kind and most peaceful on the continent.
Dang made the remarks at a briefing with the media at a local Hotel in Harare upon arrival in Zimbabwe where he is set to meet President Mnangagwa and pay courtesy calls on other high-profile government officials.
“I am leading a big delegation from the Pan African Parliament. PAP is one of the organs of the African Union headquartered in South Africa. Each member country seconds 5 MPs to PAP. We have come here to understand what is happening in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe had a peaceful transition, the first of its kind in Africa,” Honourable Dang said.
Zimbabwe is part of the African Union so one of the reasons why the high-powered delegation is in the country is to congratulate the new President and lobby for the ratification of the Malabo Protocol that seeks to give full legislative power to PAP.
“For the Malabo Protocol to become operational, 28 member countries should ratify it. So far only 15 countries have signed it and of these only eight countries have ratified it. It’s important for the countries to ratify the Malabo Protocol because it will capacitate PAP to make model laws that can be adopted by African countries. PAP seeks to promote, democracy and economic development on the continent,” Honourable Dang said.
The regional grouping says it is committed to ensuring free and fair elections in its member countries and promote social and economic development.
“Africa is very rich in natural resources but poor. We have been in existence for 12 years and are making efforts to oversee elections on the continent. One of the challenges we have is that as MPs we don’t sign protocols but have to convince heads of state of our member countries to ratify the protocols. We have 275 MPs from different countries and political parties hence it’s not easy to move in the same direction when it comes to adopting policies,” Honourable Dang added.
Ambassador Arikana Chihombori Quao, the Permanent Representative of the African Union Mission to the United States of America is part of the PAP delegation to Africa.
“As the AU Ambassador to the US, issues of the African development are pivotal to my mandate as I work to strengthen the continent’s relationship with the US,” Ambassador Quao said.
Hon Dr Tapiwa Mashakada(Hatfield) who chairs the PAP Committee on Trade, Customs and Immigration Matters said ratification of the Malabo Protocol would strengthen democracy and good governance on the continent and was optimistic Zimbabwe would follow suit by ratifying it since it is one of the founding members of PAP.