CiZC opposes Chief Charumbira’s candidature for Pan African Parliament Presidency

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC), a coordinating body for civic society organizations in Zimbabwe hereby announces its reservations on the  candidature of Zimbabwe’s President of the Chiefs Council, Fortune Charumbira, for the presidency of the Pan African Parliament (PAP).

Fortune Charumbira

Our position against Charumbira’s candidature is not in any way personal but re-emphasizes our commitment to the rule of law and democracy.

The PAP, among its founding values, seeks to cultivate human rights, good governance, transparency and accountability in member states and CiZC would like to reiterate that the culture of respect for human rights and the constitution will be at stake if  a person implicated in disregard of the very same virtues is to assume top leadership of the institution.

Charumbira stands accused of violating the constitution of  Zimbabwe by openly declaring on numerous occasions, his allegiance to the ruling party, Zanu (PF) in direct violation of Section 281 (2) of the Zimbabwean constitution which stipulates that traditional leaders must not participate in partisan politics or further the interests of any political party or cause.

Despite numerous outcries from pro-democracy groups, Charumbira has gone further to mobilize chiefs around the country to support Zanu (PF) and those that defy his order are often victimized in one way or the other.

His continued violation of the country’s constitution – by mobilizing chiefs to support the ruling Zanu PF party against the dictates of the Zimbabwean constitution- stands as one of the major obstacles to credible elections in Zimbabwe and entrusting him with the leadership of the PAP would set a bad precedence.

Chiefs aligned to the ruling party, Zanu (PF) have been among the instigators of violence in Zimbabwe, especially during election times and Charumbira’s actions makes him complicit in the persecution of opposition activists in the countryside.

In doing so, he is therefore implicated in the trail of violence, abuses and heinous acts that characterized successive elections that kept the ruling party in power.

CiZC would like to draw the attention of the PAP membership to the fact that Charumbira has a pending court case, where he stands accused of violating the constitution.  This makes  him a high reputational risk for the organization.

CiZC’s firm position is that Chief Charumbira cannot be entrusted with upholding PAP principles which he himself has failed to uphold in his homeland.

It is from this vintage point of view that CiZC wishes to call upon all democracy loving and law abiding peoples of Africa, within and without her borders to realize that the election bid of Charumbira is a danger of the principles and values of the PAP and stand ready to defend the strategic institution from capture by elements who are bent at destroying progressive institutions for selfish ends.

CiZC therefore calls for unity of purpose in defending the integrity and reputation of the esteemed institution. In our view, the values and principles of constitutionalism and rule of law are on test.

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