Columbus Mabika Herald Reporter
A delegation from the African Union Commission (AUC), which is on a fact finding visit aimed at resolving the impasse over the election of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) president, yesterday completed a three-day mission in South Africa.
The visit came after proceedings of the fourth ordinary session of the fifth Pan-African Parliament were suspended following disagreements and disruptions on May 31 and June 1 as the PAP was looking to elect the president and vice presidents of its bureau.
Western and southern Africa regions were pulling from different sides over whether or not the presidency should rotate amongst regions.
Members, mostly from the southern regions, said rotation would give countries in their area an opportunity to lead and had nominated Chief Fortune Charumbira of Zimbabwe as their candidate.
In a statement, the AU Information and Communication Directorate said the delegation held consultations with officials of the PAP secretariat representatives of the southern region caucus in Midrand, South Africa.
The team is now expected to meet representatives from the central, eastern, northern and western caucuses of the PAP.
“Deliberations revolved around the implementation of the principle of rotation for the position of president of the PAP; security arrangements during PAP meetings; and the overall mandate of the PAP in line with the upcoming institutional reforms of the AU,” said the team.
“The findings of the ongoing inquiry will form part of a report by the chairperson of the AUC to the Permanent Representatives Committee, ahead of the meeting of the executive council of the AU slated for mid-October, which will provide the way forward for the resumption of the PAP parliamentary activities.”
Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the Chairperson of the AUC and leader of the delegation Mr Ratebaye Tordeka, hailed cooperation from the PAP Secretariat and all relevant stakeholders engaged so far during the fact-finding mission.
He said evidence collected as well as recommendations from all parties are loyally transmitted to the chairperson to enable policy organs to chart a way forward for the PAP.
“The chairperson, in his capacity as the Chief Executive Officer of the Union, suspended all Parliamentary activities of the PAP in the aftermath of the PAP session marred by scenes that were damaging for the image of the entire union,” said Mr Tordeka.
“The importance of the PAP within the AU architecture remains undisputable. The objective is to resolve any stalemate so that the PAP can get back to its full operational capability.”
Clerk of the PAP, Mr Vipya Harawa, described the visit as a positive development given the urgent need for the PAP to resume its suspended session and elect political leadership to steer the institution in the right direction.
“The intervention of the chairperson of the AUC through the deployment of this delegation is a significant step,” said Mr Harawa. “The report of the PAP secretariat to the delegation contained an account of the events that led to the suspension of the session, as well as recommendations for a return to normality at the PAP.
“We emphasised the need for the issue of rotation and modalities for its implementation to be settled by higher bodies of the AU as a condition for the resumption of the session, which will yield expected results. We also called on the delegation to further examine the current mandate and relevance of the PAP so that the institution comes out of this situation with a clear direction on how to better serve the peoples of Africa.”