Chihana talks on african parliament

 

Early this month, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), during its sixth ordinary session in South Africa, elected Rumphi Central legislator Enoch Chihana as its vice-president for PAP Southern Africa Caucus. Our Reporter GEORGE SINGINI caught up with the Alliance for Democracy (Aford) parliamentarian to appreciate what the position in the regional caucus entails.

Chihana: I want to be remembered

Q

: Tell us more about the Pan-African Parliament.

A

: PAP is a continental parliament. It consists of all member States of the African Union [AU]. In short, it is the Parliament for the AU. The main objective of PAP is to promote unity, solidarity, cohesion and cooperation among the peoples of Africa. We also work towards African integration.

 

Q

:What will be your role as vice-president of PAP Southern Africa Caucus?

A

: My role is to follow up all protocols signed and adopted by AU and to ensure that they are ratified and domesticated by member States in Southern Africa Development Community [Sadc].

 

Q

: How long will you be in office?

A

: I will be in the office for three years. I hope that by the end of the term, I will have achieved something. I want to be remembered. I want to leave

a legacy and I will work tirelessly to achieve that.

 

Q: How did you fare in the elections?

A

: I went unopposed. My name was proposed by chairperson of the National Council of Provinces in South Africa, Honourable Thandi Modise and seconded by Dr Tapiwa Mashakada, from Zimbabwe.  This shows that the members have confidence in me. It is not easy to go unopposed. If you look at the profile of the one that nominated my name and who seconded it, they are people who are well respected. I feel honoured to have been nominated by honourable Modise and also going unopposed.

 

Q

: What are your plans and how far do you want to take the organisation?

A

: My plan is to make the dream of ‘one Africa, one voice’ a reality through African integration. I believe if Africa can unite, speak with one voice and share a number of resources, the continent will develop. There is need for us to come together and share ideas and skills. When you work together, you succeed. I believe in working as a team because in such a way, you have contributions from various corners.

 

Q

: You will now have to operate as member of Parliament for Rumphi and PAP regional vice-president. At the same time, you have a family and businesses to manage. How will you handle all these tasks?

A

: It is all about time management. If you manage your time well you can handle a number of tasks and achieve your goals. So, I don’t see any problem having several roles. I will manage my time properly. The good thing is that all the positions do the same thing: serving the people. In this case, I will have to serve the people of Rumphi, the people of Malawi and the people of Africa.

 

Q

: What does your ascendancy to the office mean to Malawi?

A

: This is a great achievement. It puts Malawi on the map. As a country, we are part of the decision-making in this institution. So, as a country, we should be proud that we are in the decision-making position and that our presence will be recognised by many countries.

 

Q

: What immediate fruits should Malawians expect from your new role?

A

: This position will help Malawi to have more influence in the Sadc region and beyond. I will use my position to position my Malawi as a serious player, not only an observer in international politics. n

 

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