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AU sets dates for PAP Bureau elections

AU sets dates for PAP Bureau elections

Story by Ian Zvoma, News Editor

Chief Fortune Charumbira is poised for a return to the Pan-African Parliament as the President of the institution after the African Union (AU) announced dates for elections to fill vacancies in the PAP Bureau.

In a correspondence dated 21 February 2024, AU Commission chairperson, His Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat noted that the AU Executive Council has come up with a binding resolution after a thorough review of the Fact-Finding Report on the situation at the PAP.

The AU Commission chairperson said a PAP Plenary Session will be convened at the Pan-African Parliament headquarters in Midrand, South Africa, before the end of next month to fill the vacancies in the PAP Bureau which includes the Presidency.

He further noted that the third PAP Vice-President, Honourable Lucia Maria Mendes Goncalves Dos Passos should immediately assume the role of Acting President, while the Clerk of the Secretariat of the PAP, Ms. Lindiwe Khumalo, has been reinstated after being unceremoniously dismissed with other staff members.

The latest development puts an end to a dark chapter at the PAP where second Vice President. Dr Ashebir Gayo of Ethiopia had seized power in the absence of incumbent President Chief Charumbira during Zimbabwe’s general elections held in August last year.

According to information made available to ZBC News, Dr Gayo stands accused of trying to impose his will at the PAP to block Chief Charumbira’s return.

Chief Charumbira, who enjoys massive support among the PAP MPs after spearheading the rejuvenation of the institution before Dr. Gayo’s failed coup, is expected to be reaffirmed as the institution’s President in the March elections.

The PAP was set up to ensure the full participation of African people in the economic development and integration of the continent through members of parliament who are designated by legislatures of member states.

Chief Charumbira is among the five legislators representing Zimbabwe at the PAP.

He was elected as the President of the PAP in June 2022 after being seconded to contest for the top position by his Southern Africa Caucus.

The Presidency of PAP is held on the principle of rotation according to regional Caucuses, hence Chief Charumbira is poised for a return to the position as the Southern Africa Caucus’s term is yet to elapse.

Chief Charumbira is a Senator through his position as Deputy President of the Zimbabwe Chiefs Council.

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