A strengthened Pan African Parliament will provide checks on governments and national leaders for the good of the ordinary people in Africa, the first Vice President, Hon. Stephen Masele has said.
Masele, who was meeting a delegation of visiting Ugandan Members of Parliament, said that PAP would also be able to carry out oversight on the African Union and its organs.
“It was a big commitment by the Heads of State to set up the Pan African Parliament, our challenge is now to move it forward,” he said.
The meeting was held at the Pan African Parliament in Midrand on Tuesday, 14 May 2019. The MPs are in South Africa to benchmark the continental parliament.
Masele, who hails from Tanzania, said that PAP needed to have its full powers as provided in the Malabo Protocol such that it can be able to force national governments to do what is right in regard to the interests of the people.
The PAP Bureau is undertaking campaigns to have governments of the African Union Member States sign, ratify and deposit the instruments for the amendment of the Protocol establishing PAP. Only 12 of the required 28 signatures have been secured.
The Ugandan delegation comprises selected members on the House committees on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, and Government Assurances.
Masele however pointed out that decisions taken basing on regional and language blocks rather not facts were affecting the operations of the institution. PAP has English, French, Arabic, Swahili and Spanish as its official languages.
“We have a leadership challenge; some reports show some irregularities and because we are split, we may not make good decisions for the continent. We are obliged to make sure that everything is done in line with the AU financial regulations,” he said.
The Leader of the Ugandan delegation, Hon. Kenneth Ongalo Obote said he hoped the institution would resolve its current challenges and emerge stronger.
He promised that the delegation would compile and present its report for discussion by the Parliament of Uganda.
“When we consider our report, government will make a commitment, which will become a government assurance,” he said adding that “Uganda is always at the forefront on many struggles on the African continent and will also take up this issue of ratification of the protocol intended to strengthen this institution.”