Reform AU, organs-Chief Charumbira

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Reform AU, organs-Chief Charumbira 
Chief Fortune Charumbira

George Maponga in Masvingo

Pan African Parliament (PAP) president Chief Fortune Charumbira has called for reform of the AU and its organs, including the continental legislative body.

The reforms, say Chief Charumbira, will help answer concerns of an increasingly sceptical African citizenry that has doubts about the efficacy of these organs to take the continent to the next level.

Speaking at the just-ended retreat on institutional reforms of the AU and its organs and preparations for the second decade of Agenda 2063 held in Kigali, Rwanda , the PAP president said it is important to make sure African citizens retain value in the AU and its various organs and agencies.

Most of the highlights made by Chief Charumbira were a product of inputs made by a reinvigorated and revived PAP which made submissions on the reforms to pivot them to meet the aspirations of African peoples.

The recent Kigali gathering on institutional reform, comprised AU stakeholders including members of the continental body’s Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC), AU organs and the regional economic communities.

”This reform process (of the AU and its organs including PAP) is long overdue especially in the face of a skeptical African citizenry who have begun to question the value of the AU and its various organs and agencies,” said Chief Charumbira.

He invoked the spirit of the founding fathers of the AU (then OAU) who first mooted the idea of founding a continental legislature made up of elected representatives.

“The founding fathers realized that without a continental Parliament, the quest for representative democracy, popular participation and continental integration would remain nothing more than a pipedream,” Chief Charumbira said.

He emphasised the need for PAP to have its teeth sharpened for more legislative bite to answer African problems.

Chief Charumbira threw his weight behind the recommendations of the Reform Unit highlighting aspects that required attention for the successful implementation of the reform process particularly with regards to PAP and its role on the AU architecture.

Among the recommendations on PAP were issues to do with the status of the PAP Bureau and MPs, PAP budgetary oversight function, oversight and joint programming, the issue of non-referral to PAP of matters by policy organs and lack of financial control by the PAP Bureau, among

He also touched on the issue of decentralisation to engender efficiency within the AU and its organs and agencies.

He lamented the centralization of business processes and systems at the AU which he said had the unintended effect of creating even more inefficiency.

Citing tasks like recruitment, Chief Charumbira urged the AU Commission to decentralise it and allow organs and agencies to hire workers directly and stem inefficiency and ensure timely service delivery.

A final report from the retreat will undergo review by the responsible organ of the AU before being presented for consideration by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

The Kigali Retreat was convened to review the mandates of AU organs, permanent representational offices, specialized technical agencies and liaison offices of the AU and to also strengthen the working methods of the AU Peace and Security Council and its role in conflict prevention and crisis management