Zimbabwe, South Africa unite to stop a sham PAP vote

by | Jun 2, 2021 | International, Politics | 0 comments

Hosia Mviringi

In a spirited show of solidarity and unity of purpose, Zimbabwe and South Africa yesterday joined forces to bring to a screeching halt what could have become a sham vote at the Pan-African Parliament.

For the second successive day, the Fourth Ordinary Session of the Fifth Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament was disrupted due to sharp disagreements on the method to be used to elect the House President and Vice Presidents.

“Mr Vipya Harawa, Clerk of the Pan-African Parliament has suspended proceedings of the Fourth Ordinary Session of the Fifth Parliament sine die (indefinitely).
The suspension follows disagreements and disruptions that transpired during the procession of the Plenary on May 31 and on June 01, 2021, as the PAP was looking to elect the President and Vice Presidents of the Bureau,” said the PAP in a statement this evening.

Zimbabwe and South Africa led the advocacy for the rotational principle which is believed to accord each region a fair chance at the helm regarding the numbers on each side.

The request was granted by the AU Chair having considered the genuine grievances by the Southern Caucus.

SADC genuinely believes that the region would stand no chance at the helm of the Continental Legislature if the current system is maintained due to overwhelming numbers on Francophone Africa’s side which straddles across from Central through to West Africa.

The PAP considered the disruptions and sharp disagreements on the way forward and concluded that the current Session could not continue under the prevailing circumstances.

“The Clerk of Parliament regrets the interruptions that have occurred during the ongoing Ordinary Session and the implications in the continuity of Parliamentary business.
Details on the way forward, including the timeframe of the reconvening of an Ordinary Session will be communicated in due course,” said the statement in conclusion.

With over 29 countries on one side, Francophone Africa has enjoyed an unfair advantage over other regions, giving the region a near-monopoly over leadership of the Pan-African Parliament since its inception on March 18, 2004.

Honourable Barbara Rwodzi of Zimbabwe, supported by South African opposition leader Honourable Julius Malema staged heroic protests to stop this vote of shame which could have only validated and perpetuated an unfair advantage by the French-speaking blocks which were going to win anyway due to their overwhelming numbers.

The West, North, Central and Eastern Caucuses seemed to have no qualms with the vote going ahead because they were all in solidarity with Malian politician Haidara Aichata Cisse who was in the race for the Presidency.

These French-speaking blocks seem to have long forged an alliance and a secret agreement to rotate and share positions among themselves.
With numbers on their side, Francophone Africa is well-positioned to maintain a stranglehold on the institution, filling up all contested positions, to the detriment of African Unity and cohesion.

This is a situation that calls for sober-mindedness, reasonableness and being considerate instead of being greedy and selfish, all for the sake of the unity of the motherland.

Regional dominance is potentially dangerous as it could spill into the law-making process which thrives on an internal voting process that can be manipulated by those with numbers on their side.

This prompted the Southern Caucus to lobby the African Union to consider tweaking the procedure to allow the equitable rotational distribution of leadership positions among regions regardless of numbers on their side.