Charumbira faces showdown at PAP elections

The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) is set to hold elections at the end of this month with the presidency, currently held by Zimbabwean chief and senator, Fortune Charumbira, up for grabs.

The Southern Africa Caucus nominated Charumbira to run for President of the PAP Bureau in June 2022 and he received 161 votes out of 203 cast, with 31 abstaining and 11 spoilt papers.

In a statement to the members of the PAP, dated February 3, 2024, Clerk of the Parliament, Jan Jalloh, said the elective plenary meeting of the continental parliament will take place on  February 28, 2024.

“The meeting will be held physically in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,” Jalloh said.

 “Members are required to make their own travel and accommodation arrangements in accordance with the provisions of the AU Executive Council decision of February 2008.”

The Clerk of Parliament informed all members to confirm their attendance by February 15, 2024, to facilitate adequate preparations. 

“Details regarding the nomination process of candidates will be shared shortly, including the nomination process,” he said.

Last year in September there were reports that Chief Charumbira was fired as PAP President for embezzling nearly US$1.2 million but that was dismissed as false news.

At the time, the acting president of PAP, Lucia Maria Mendes Gonclaves Dos Passos, dismissed the fake story “with the contempt it deserves” and declared that Chief Charumbira was still the President of PAP until the plenary decided otherwise.

Outspoken Zambian political activist Joseph Kalimbwe took X (formerly Twitter) to boldly declare that Charumbira’s tenure at the regional parliament will end.

“Over one year, we’ve been politically fighting to remove Fortune Charumbira of Zanu PF from the Pan African Parliament Presidency,” he said.

“We said we’ll finish the political fight we began. Today, I can confirm that we’ve defeated him successfully. Election to replace him is here.”

He, however, received some criticism with some claiming that he had been paid to decampaign Charumbira.

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