AFROPAC's visit at the Pan-African Parliament

Hon. Chief Charumbira, Chairman of CAPA; PAP’s newest of 11 permanent committees, gave an engaging lecture to some 20 public service commission Clerks from across the continent. The special learning session took place during the PAP’s 4th Ordinary Session in Midrand.


Senator Edward B. Dagoseh, Chairman of AFROPAC, expressed his eagerness to work with PAP on governance issues in the future, observing that the two bodies shared critical overlaps in accountability through legislative



 “Africa is entering the age of transparency,” said Hon Charumbira. “Citizens are asking where the money is going. It is your responsibilities, as clerks, to show them”.


He flagged the importance of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) and said it is crucial for auditing to be conducted in the context of a performance

management framework.


Compliance was not enough, he said. “There is a perception by laymen that auditing begins and ends with money. However, a well-structured public accounts approach will include a performance audit linked to the money audit”.


Amid service delivery protests in South Africa, Hon Charumbira emphasized that reporting on money matters are evidently no longer sufficient to keep citizens happy. Money may have been accounted for and a department may be fraud-free, but was the money effectively used?


“It is not what we do that counts. It’s what gets done,” he said – a key message that aptly summarised the session’s main ideas.


Hon Charumbira gave Clerks useful pointers on how to compile audit reports. Keep the language simple, and make it readable, he advised. Although in the old school of education, people were taught to use “jawbreakers to sound intelligent,” he said MPs are far more likely to understand reports that are not riddled with financial jargon, and that have been clearly unpacked.


He also advised clerks not to use sensational and dramatised language, to avoid greyhound chases and to remain independent while playing an advisory role.


“The sign of a good clerk is someone who do not gossip in the corridor, but who remains objective and cherish integrity and confidentiality,” said Hon Charumbira. “Remember to praise loudly and criticise lowly”.


Following Hon Charumbira lecture, Advocate Galal Nassir, Head of Committees, familiarised the Clerks with the work of PAP, urging them to speed up the ratification process of PAP’s legislative powers in their National Parliaments.


The Clerks were in South Africa to attend a three-day training session on Strategic Communication and Networking, organised by AFROPAC’s development partner, GIZ.


Ms. Kristina Mueller-Kuckelberg, Technical Adviser of Legal Oversight at GIZ in South Africa, said the PAP shared many common grounds with AFROPAC and that the session was a “fantastic completion” of the capacity building workshop with AFROPAC members.


Senator Dagoseh commended the CAPA committee Chair for his words of wisdom and thanked him for an insightful session.


The forum expressed an interest to meet more regularly as well as a need for sustained training.