Leader of the Namibian delegation to the Pan African Parliament (PAP) and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Loide Kasingo has clarified events that led to the abrupt end of the fourth ordinary session of the 5th Pan African Parliament.
Kasingo led a group of three lawmakers from the National Assembly to represent the Namibian parliament at PAP from 21 May in South Africa.
However, the session could not be concluded due to a succession battle between African regional blocks making up the legislative body.
According to the deputy speaker, despite the principle of geographical rotation that was agreed upon by the African Union, the northern and southern regions have been deprived of leadership since the body’s inception.
“The principle of geographical rotation is a well-established principle within the union. The principle has been consistently applied with legal obligatory effect within the entire union. This was the bone of contention in the recent session of PAP, held in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. For the last 17 years of the existence of PAP, the four years of presidency were held by the Eastern, Central and twice by the western regions. The northern and southern regions never got an opportunity to lead the governance of the institution,” bemoaned Kasingo.
Kasingo further noted that opposition to the demands of rotation by western and some of the other regions degenerated into chaos, thus warranting the suspension of the electoral process and the session.
“The southern region took the stance to demand the application of the principle of geographical rotation. If not considered, no elections will take place. That demand was opposed by the Western and some of the regions, resulting in the eruption of chaos that could not be controlled by the Ad hoc Committee responsible for the
election processes,” Kasingo.
Other Members who accompanied Kasingo included McHenry Venaani, leader of the official opposition; Hamunyera Hambyuka and
Enseline Beukes, who is also part of the Members of Parliament appointed to represent the Namibian Parliament, could not attend.
PAP, established in 2004, is the legislative body of the African Union, with oversight, advisory and consultative duties.