The former Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community and former Member of Parliament for Kabarole District, Beatrice Kiraso, has been edged out of the race for the Clerk to the Pan African Parliament. The position was advertised in September 2016.
While presenting before the plenary for debate the appointment process for the Clerk and Deputy Clerk of the Pan African Parliament, the First Vice President of the PAP, Hon. Eduardo Joaquim Mulembwe, informed the House that the successful candidates were Vipya Harawa (Malawi) for Clerk, while the post of Deputy Clerk was taken by Gali Massa Harou (Chad).
The endorsement by the plenary of the successful candidates was not without chaos with sections of the legislators claiming foul play. Members started questioning the criteria used for selection of successful candidates, and why the third best candidate was given the job for Clerk.
“If you want anarchy, we can create anarchy,” PAP President Roger Nkodo told the rowdy House. He then proceeded to quote Rule 50 of the Rules of Procedure where it states that the Presiding Officer shall be responsible for conducting debate and that his decisions cannot be appealed. After reading the Rules, he put the matter to a vote. The report was adopted amid disagreements from MPs. The House could not conduct any business and was adjourned.
According to Hon. Rachel Shebesh (Kenya), while the Bureau gave reasons as to why it did not give the job for Clerk to the best candidate from Sierra Leone, it gave no reasons as to why it could not give the job to the second best candidate, from Uganda, but instead went ahead to give to the third best from Malawi.
It was such unclear procedures that raised the angst in the eastern region Members.
“In Africa, everything is about regional balance and inclusivity. We cannot be a region that is being silenced simply because another one can marshal support from other regions. That kind of politics in the PAP is cheap,” Hon. Shebesh said adding “As the Eastern region, we are disappointed because this lady is highly qualified.”
The Bureau, which comprises the PAP President and four Vice-Presidents, is charged with the administration and management of the Assembly.
“You don’t shift selection criteria when you are confronted with a candidate. You define that criteria in the advertisement. So to suggest that Hon. Beatrice Kiraso was a former Member of Parliament and therefore could not be selected yet she was second best is unacceptable,” Prof. Ogenga-Latigo said.
The aggrieved legislators have vowed to challenge the decision of the House in the courts of the law.