Members of the Pan African Parliament have condemned the increasing attacks on them and demanded for greater security for MPs.
The Members also demanded for the relocation of the PAP headquarters from South Africa to a country where Members’ security can be guaranteed if the host country cannot give assurances of their safety.
The debate by Members came after a Senegalese Member of the continent’s legislative body Aissatou Sow Diawara was shot at and critically injured on July 28, while enroute to her hotel from Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
In the same vehicle were three PAP Members from Namibia who were robbed of their belongings. They later returned to Namibia.
“We are not escorted by police and there is no protection provided to us in our hotels. Are you, waiting until one of our Members losses their life in order for measures to protect us to be implemented?
We would like to review the headquarters agreement and negotiate another headquarters,” said Haidara Aichata, one of Mali PAP MPs.
Idris Yousif (from Sudan) said there was need for political will in order to address the security of MPs.
“The last time we were told ‘measures will be taken’. We need to accept that we are living in a situation of insecurity and we cannot continue our work in those conditions,” he said.
There have been reported attacks on the MPs in August 2015, October 2015, March 2016, May 2016 and most recently in July 2016.
McHenry Venaani, (Namibia) wondered why there was no apology forthcoming from the South African government.
“Why are we not hearing an official apology from South Africa on this matter? South Africa must host PAP with all conditions that come with it,” he said to applause from Members.
Fortune Charumbira (Zimbabwe) told the Assembly that President Jacob Zuma’s government had withdrawn certain privileges that Members had and that is why they were now susceptible to attacks.
He said the host country agreement had lapsed and that there was no obligation on the host government to provide elaborate services to Members.
The PAP President, Roger Nkodo Dang, reassured Members that the security of the MPs had been stepped up but could not divulge details.
He urged Members to take their security seriously saying, “Security is an individual matter first before being a collective matter.”