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Hichilema pushing for Miles Sampa to be Pan- African President

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By Special Correspondent

Zambia’s President, Hakainde Hichilema, has teemed up with imperial forces pushing for a contraversial candidate from Zambia to be elected as Pan-African Parliament President.

In June 2022,Hon. Senator. Chief Fortune Charumbira from Zimbabwe was overwhelmingly elected, for a three-year term, as President of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) at the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Ordinary Session of the Fifth Parliament held in Midrand, South Africa.

Charumbira, who was nominated to contest for the presidency of the PAP Bureau by the Southern Africa Caucus, received 161 votes out of 203 votes cast with 31 members abstaining from voting while 11 spoilt papers were recorded. He took over from Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang from Cameroon.

However, new elections have been called to elect a new PAP President during an Extra-Ordinary Session to be held on 7th-9th January, 2023.

This is because of a past PAP rule about MPs holding positions facing elections in their home country that required them to vacate the elected positions.

However, the rule was amended at the African Union Exrra-Ordinary Summit of Heads of State that was held in Lusaka in July 2022 to provide for returning members to retain their positions.

In July 2023,Senator Chief Charumbira emerged unopposed in his home country as the Deputy President of the Zimbabwe National Council of Chiefs in an election conducted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in Harare.

His election automatically made him a Senator by operation of the law, that is, Section 120.1(c) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwean constitutional provision states that the President and Deputy President of the Chief’s Council are automatically members of the Senate of Zimbabwe.

The implication was that Chief Charumbira retained his seat in Parliament as the Chief’s Council.

He also continued as a “Returning Member” of Pan African Parliament.

As a “Returning Member” under the Rules of Procedure of the Pan-African Parliament as amended, there were therefore, no impediments to his continuing his office as President of the continental Parliament having secured his position as a Senator.

Rule 16(15) of PAP’s Rules of Procedure states that, “A member of the Bureau shall remain competent to perform his or her functions if he or she is re-elected or re-designated by his or her National Parliament or other deliberative organ.”

To this effect, this new rule benefited the First Vice President of PAP representing the Northern Region, Hon. Professor Massouda Mohamed Laghdaf (Mrs.), who was successfully re-elected in her home country of Mauritania in May 2023 and re-designated to the Pan-African Parliament by the Mauritanian Parliament, successfully resumed her office as the First Vice President during the Second Ordinary Session of the Sixth Parliament in line with the provisions of the PAP Rules of Procedure.

However, the main funders of Parliament, the European Union, have objected to Charumbira’s return and Zimbabwe holding the influential position.

Zambia’s Miles Sampa, who is also Chairperson of the Audit and Public Accounts (PACA), prepared an audit against the PAP Presidency, a Report that has extensively scandalized Charumbira making his return to the position a futile feat.

The candidate to replace Charumbira will come from the Southern Africa Caucas and President Hakainde Hichilema and Brenthurst Foundation have since lined up Miles Sampa for the position.

Although Miles Sampa has been expelled from his party,the Patriotic Front, which has requested his Matero Constituency seat to be declared vacant, his stay in Parliament is being enabled by President Hichilema who is engaged in schemes to destroy the Opposition Party.

In October 2023, Hichilema organised and funded Sampa’s so-called General Conference that was packed with his members from the ruling United Party for National Development (UPND), which “elected” Sampa as Patriotic Front President.

The Government also facilitated for changes of Office Bearers at Registrar of Societies of the party to replace former President Edgar Lungu as leader of the Patriotic Front party.

The Speaker of Zambia’s Parliament also removed the opposition leadership appointed by the Patriotic Front in Parliament and replaced them with Government stooges from Sampa’s group.

The Patriotic Front has expelled Sampa and has sought court protection and enforcement to stop Sampa masquerading as Patriotic Front President and to effect his expulsion in Parliament and have his seat declared vacant.

The court injunctions and rulings on these matters have not been determined yet.

Zambia’s delegation to the Pan-African Parliament is led by Sampa. Others in the entourage include Kalulushi Member of Parliament Kampamba Mulenga, Mwinilunga Member of Parliament Newton Samakayi, Nyimba Member of Parliament Menyani Zulu and deputy delegation leader, Kafue MP, Miriam Chonya.

Stakeholders advised Hichilema to feature Mwinilunga MP, Newton Samakayi for the position of PAP President, but Hichilema has insited on floating Sampa who Brenthurst Foundation, which is pushing for Sampa’s election, says has higher visibility because of his position as Chairperson of the Audit and Public Accounts Committee.

The Brenthurst Foundation is part of the Oppenheimer Generations, a charity headed by multi-billionaire, Jonathan M. E. Oppenheimer.

The Foundation pushes for liberal, favourable and investor-friendly mining policies in Africa.

The Foundation has been one of they key funders and advisors to President Hichilema and other Opposition political paties in Africa.

The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) was created in 2001 to promote popular participation and representation of African peoples in decision-making, good governance, oversight, accountability and transparency. Its creation was possibly a result of renewed confindence in the ability of parliaments to uphold good political governance and, as the representative structure within the continental governance system.

The European Union is among the major funders of the Pan-African Parliament.

The EU’s partnership with Africa is a key priority. Through the Africa-EU partnership, European Union engages in political and policy dialogues, and define the cooperative relationship with Africa.

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