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Pan African Parliament of ‘hooligans’ faces collapse due to lack of money to host Midrand meetings

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  • The Pan African Parliament is known as an “institution of hooligans”, its leader said, and it now faces collapse.
  • Constant suspensions and stoppages have resulted in underfunding.
  • There isn’t enough money for the next big plenary session which is due to be held in Midrand.

The Pan African Parliament (PAP), which is headquartered in Midrand, is in danger of collapsing, its president, Fortune Charumbira of Zimbabwe, warned this week.

The assembly has been mired in internal disputes, which have disrupted funding.

Speaking at the official opening of the third session of the 6th parliament of the PAP, Charumbira asked for unity “to rebrand and repair” its image.

The PAP was dormant from August 2023 to March, while Charumbira’s leadership was questioned as he faced embezzlement charges.

Following a military takeover in Gabon, François Ango Ndoutoume, the PAP’s fourth vice-president at the time, was suspended.

On 25 March, the parliament held an elective session where Charumbira was retained as its president, and his first vice-president, Professor Massouda Mohamed Laghdaf from Mauritania, also retained his position.

Ndoutoume was replaced by Djidda Mamar Mahamat of Chad as the 4th vice-president.

Charumbira said the PAP had become known as “an institution of hooligans” and that it was the legislators’ responsibility to change that.

He said:

The PAP, as an institution, suffers from collateral damage every time there is a conflict within and among its membership.

He lamented “constant suspensions and stoppages” associated with fights within the organisation, and associated budget cuts.

According to PAP protocol, there are two committee sittings per year – one in March and another in August. There are also two plenary sessions per year slated for May and October or November.

According to the PAP’s budget, a committee meeting requires up to R14.5 million, so it requires some R30 million per year. In 2024, it raised less than R10 million.

The two plenary sessions are budgeted at a combined R50 million, and for those it has about R17 million, so it will not be able to host one.

Charumbira warned that if funding was not availed, the parliament might not be able to convene in October or November.

He called on PAP stakeholders to appeal for funding from respective governments.