By Ndumiso Mlilo
Chiefs Council president, Chief Fortune Charumbira has been elected Pan-African Parliament (PAP) vice president representing the Southern Africa.
The Zanu PF official was elected during the 1st Ordinary Session of the 5th Parliament which was held in Kigali, Rwanda.
Southern Africa failed to nominate a candidate to the position during the election of the 5th bureau of the continental Parliament in South Africa in May 2018 for unknown reasons.
Fresh elections were called during the 1st Ordinary Session of the 5th Parliament to fill the vacancy and Charumbira landed the post.
He was sworn in and pledged to formulate policies that will advance the mandate of PAP.
Addressing PAP Charumbira said, “My focus will be on working hand in hand with the other Bureau members to come up with ways to make a difference in the lives of our people as per the mission of this institution.
“I am grateful to the members of the PAP for the confidence shown in me through what has been a free, fair and transparent process. I hope to count on everyone as we aim to surmount the difficult task of making the PAP relevant to the people.”
Charumbira joins a top brass team comprising of Roger Nkodo Dang of Cameroon (Central Africa), Stephen Julius Masele of Tanzania (East Africa), Haïdara Aichata Cissé of Mali (West Africa) and Bouras Djamal of Algeria (North Africa) respectively President, first, second third vice-presidents.
Some differences on regional grounds are always apparent in some PAP and AU meetings and elections.
PAP president, Roger Nkodo Dang called on members to put their differences aside and work for the objectives of the institution.
“The election of Hon. Chirumbira signals the end of the election process. The bureau is now complete and it is time to get on with the work as a united front. The election is behind so let’s honour our commitment to the continent,” he said.
Charumbira has served as a as a PAP member for 14 years. He is also a chairperson of the Committee on Audit and Public Accounts (CAPA).
With its headquarters in South Africa, PAP is one of the nine organs of the AU with the mandate to promote economic and social integration through making laws.
It plays an oversight role in the AU among other duties.