JOHANNESBURG – Members of the Pan-African Parliament have raised concern over money spent trying to lobby African Union member states to ratify the Malabo Protocol, following the gushing out of money for minuscule success.
In June 2014, the African Union adopted the Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human rights (Malabo Protocol), which extends the jurisdiction of the yet-to-be established African Court of Justice and Human Rights (ACJHR) to crimes under international law and transnational crimes.
While the ACJHR can play a vastly positive role in a continent persistently afflicted by the scourge of conflict and impunity for crimes under international law, concerns and implications were raised from the proposal to expand its jurisdiction, leading to a lackadaisical approach to its ratifications by member states.
Legislators of the PAP sitting in Midrand, Johannesburg recently suggested a change of strategy in ratification missions, arguing there was no progress to show for the money being poured into the exercise. They raise that in the 2020 budget, expenditures set aside for missions aimed at ratifications should decrease as there was little progress in the ratifications.
“We are not seeing value for money in missions going to lobby member states to ratify the Malabo Protocol. I think we should change strategy and stop continuously pouring money where we are not getting results,” said Loide Kasingo of Namibia, after the legislators listened to a presentation on the PAP 2018 budget execution and proposed PAP 2020 budget.
The budget was presented by Mike Temple, Chairperson of the Committee on Finance and Monetary Affairs, during the 2nd ordinary session of the 5th Pan-African Parliament.
Temple put the proposed 2020 budget for Missions and Hospitality at US$1,344,395 being an increase of 7% over the approved budget for 2019.
The mission aimed at the ratification of the revised protocol was expected to reduce and most of the parliamentary work would be implemented through the budget lines under Programmes Budget. The Namibian legislator said the internet service in 2020 would have a separate budget, to avoid a high telephone cost projection, with an increase of 6% proposed in that budgetary category (Communication and IT) from US$201,158 to US$212,697.
The Committee on Finance and Monetary Affairs also requested the house to include members of the Committee on any finance related matter, which they said affected PAP.
“The committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs reiterates its call to this house on the need for it to be involved in the PAP and African Union budgetary process its inception to approval. We reiterate our call to the Bureau to include the members of finance committee in the delegation/s to the AU Summits as well as Financial meetings that have an implication on the PAP,” said Temple, who requested of Committees to submit their programmes for activities timeously, to enable them to be incorporated in the 2021 budget