SADC Parliamentary Forum
CONVITE A MANIFESTAÇÕES DE INTERESSE CONSULTORIA SOBRE O DESENVOLVIMENTO E COMPILAÇÃO DE BOLETIM INFORMATIVO RELATIVO À LEI MODELO DA SADC SOBRE A VIOLÊNCIA BASEADA NO GÉNERO01 Out. 2021
- Introdução e antecedentes desta Atribuição Contratual (Contrato)
A Violência Baseada no Género (VBG) tem vindo a tornar-se em séria e difícil situação na Região da África Austral. Trata-se de um fenómeno que se vai espalhando e que se reveste de formas e facetas diferentes. Nas sociedades contemporâneas, hoje qualquer indivíduo pode ser alvo de VBG, quer seja na sua própria residência, no seu emprego, ou em plena rua, fenómeno esse que afecta indivíduos de todas as idades, entre os quais menores e anciãos, manchando sobremaneira as vidas dos mais vulneráveis segmentos da população. Se atendermos ao facto de que este fenómeno da VBG pode influenciar, em potencial, as vidas de 250 milhões de pessoas na Região da SADC e que a pandemia da COVID-19 lhe serve de agente catalisador, deixa de haver dúvidas de que a VBG se tenha tornado num fenómeno social a todos os títulos desenfreado, a requerer as atenções dos Parlamentares dos Estados Membros da SADC.
A este respeito, a Assembleia Plenária — órgão supremo de deliberação de políticas do Fórum Parlamentar da SADC resolveu que a instituição necessitava de agir mediante o desenvolvimento de uma Lei Modelo da SADC sobre a VBG, servindo assim de reforço a Estratégias Regionais sobre a VBG, tais como a “Estratégia e Quadro de Acção Regional de Procura de Soluções para a Violência do Género (2018-2030)”, da mesma forma que certos outros compromissos, como aqueles assumidos através da Declaração de Abuja, designadamente o Objectivo de Desenvolvimento Sustentável n.o 5 sobre a Igualdade do Género e Objectivos relativos à Protecção da Mulher, tal como insere a Agenda 2063 da União Africana (UA) para África.
Devido à relevância da Lei Modelo da SADC sobre a VBG para toda a Região, o Fórum Parlamentar da SADC decidiu dar início a uma série de consultas junto de Partes Interessadas relativamente à VBG nos meses de Agosto, Setembro e Outubro de 2021, requerendo que sejam devidamente documentadas numa perspectiva de meios de comunicação. Nessa conformidade, são também preparados um Compêndio e um Boletim Informativo, a fazerem parte integrante de uma estratégia de múltiplas abordagens visando os Órgãos da Comunicação Social, a fim de se despertar e promover vivo interesse no fenómeno da VBG, através das referidas consultas, bem como de se relevar a respectiva Lei Modelo para a Região da SADC.
O desenvolvimento do Boletim Informativo coaduna-se bem com a Resolução de carácter permanente da Comissão Executiva e da Assembleia Plenária do Fórum Parlamentar da SADC instruindo o Secretariado para que assegure haver visibilidade sustentável da parte do Fórum Parlamentar da SADC, através da implementação de iniciativas incisivas quer publicitárias, quer através de meios da comunicação.
Neste mesmo espírito, o Fórum Parlamentar da SADC decidiu-se pela compilação de um Compêndio de Discursos e de um Boletim Informativo de dezasseis (16) páginas em formato de tablóide, documentado em Inglês, Francês e Português, que reúna os principais temas e a essência das consultas sobre a VBG nos seus textos e ilustrações. As Reuniões Consultivas das Partes Interessadas relativamente à VBG, a serem cobertas no Boletim Informativo, teriam a servir-lhes de base o Calendário formal para Reuniões das Partes Interessadas relativamente à Lei Modelo sobre a VBG — em apêndice desta Atribuição Contratual, ou Contrato, como Anexo I— e também quaisquer.outras Reuniões indicadas para efeitos da supracitada cobertura informativa em Outubro de 2021. Para este desígnio foi contratado um Especialista em matéria de Meios de Comunicação Mediática e de Comunicação (doravante denominado de “Consultor” ou “Cessionário”) encarregado de redigir artigos mediáticos requisitados, de pesquisar imagens, compilar e conceptualizar o Boletim Informativo nos três (3) idiomas oficiais do Fórum Parlamentar da SADC, com base em conteúdo registado das Reuniões Consultivas. A tradução da documentação fica sob a alçada da responsabilidade do Fórum.
2. Objectivos e produtos a serem entregues, segundo as condições deste Contrato
O trabalho do Consultor fica sob a alçada da Secretária-Geral do Fórum Parlamentar da SADC, a quem o Consultor tem de submeter o seu relatório pela via do Funcionário para esse fim designado.
Eis os produtos fundamentais a serem entregues segundo as tarefas a serem cumpridas:
- Desenvolver e organizar a configuração (layout) de um Compêndio de todos os Discursos proferidos durante o Lançamento e todas as Consultas (Observações Iniciais, Discurso de Abertura e Discursos sobre Solidariedade); num total de aproximadamente vinte (20) Reuniões.
- Redigir artigos para meios de comunicação emprestando especial ênfase a cada uma das Consultas havidas, com conteúdo e ilustrações de relevo de Reuniões Consultivas de Partes Interessadas na base de registos gravados fornecidos pelo Fórum Parlamentar da SADC e participação em reuniões por via virtual de acordo com o acima citado Calendário, que respeitem princípios de inclusão e diversidade;
- Fotografar reuniões realizadas por via virtual, utilizando imagens estáticas de reuniões gravadas e solicitando fotografias de Partes Interessadas mediante consultas com o Secretariado do Fórum Parlamentar da SADC;
- A partir das várias decarações proferidas, aproveitar certas passagens que sirvam para o desenvolvimento de um artigo e que este siga o enquadramento contextual do desenvolvimento de uma Lei Modelo do Fórum Parlamentar da SADC;
- Compilar, organizar a configuração (layout) e o design de um Boletim Informativo de dezseis (16) páginas, com o formato de tablóide, que sirva para a cobertura de todo o processo de Reuniões Consultivas de Partes Interessadas, através de alguns dos trechos do seu conteúdo e ilustrações, Boletim Informativo esse que será compilado nos três (3) idiomas oficiais de trabalho do Fórum Parlamentar da SADC, designadamente em Inglês, Francês e Português.
3. Horizonte temporal da atribuição contratual (contrato)
Todos os produtos a serem entregues para efeitos desta Atribuição Contratual (Contrato), incluindo o Boletim Informativo, serão entregues à Secretária-Geral do Fórum Parlamentar da SADC até 14 de Novembro de 2021 para efeitos da sua revisão. As versões finais dos Boletins Informativos em todos os três (3) idiomas de trabalho do Fórum Parlamentar da SADC devem ser submetidas em formato word e pdf até 20 deNovembro de 2021.
Este documento, em conformidade com o supracitado horizonte temporal, deve constituir um contrato válido entre o Fórum Parlamentar da SADC (o Cedente) e o Cessionário (o Consultor), cuja validade deve perdurar até ao primeiro (1.o ) de Dezembro de 2021, altura em que o Cessionário deve submeter a apreciação as versões finais do Boletim Informativo.
a. Educação, Competências e Experiência
- Curso universitário em Meios de Comunicação (Media) e em Comunicação com comprovada experiência em design e implementação de planos mediáticos.
- Experiência na facilitação de envolvimento dos media em organizações regionais.
- Conhecimento aprofundado de questões de ordem socio-económica e de igualdade do género.
- A experiência em organizações regionais é vantagem acrescida para o/a candidato/a.
- Experência em design e layout.
- A comprovada experiência em trabalhos similares serve também de vantagem acrescida.
b. Idiomas e outras aptidões:
- Fluência em Inglês ou Francês, ou em Português, sendo obrigatório reunir excelente competência na língua escrita.
- Aptidão na utilização de computadores, sendo requisito também ter excelente domínio de Microsoft Word e de aplicações comuns da Internet.
c. Valores Fundamentais:
- Profissionalismo: conhecimento e lata compreensão do contexto em que se insere o Fórum Parlamentar da SADC no enquadramento institucional da SADC, na Região da África Austral;
- Planeamento e Organização: atribuição apropriada de tempo e de recursos para completar a sua Atribuição Contratual (contrato) dentro do período de tempo, ou prazo, designado.
- Taxa do Contrato
Ao Cessionário será pago um honorário fixo de US$4,000. O pagamento parcelado será aceite em termos e condições que possam ser mutuamente acordados entre as partes.
Ao Fórum Parlamentar da SADC compete assegurar que os produtos a serem entregues se coadunem com normas aceitáveis segundo os Termos de Referência (TdR) e que os produtos a serem entregues sejam aceites e aprovados pelo Secretariado. O Fórum Parlamentar da SADC reserva-se o direito de suspender o pagamento por serviços prestados se os produtos entregues forem de qualidade inaceitável, a não ser que ao Cessionário possa ser fornecido, tão urgentemente quanto possível e por escrito, um relatório pormenorizado sobre tais insuficiências. Caso o Cessionário, por incumprimento ou incúria, se não prestar a atender de imediato às mencionadas insuficiências, após ter recebido notificação apontando para a necessidade de atender a quaisquer e identificadas insuficiências, o Fórum Parlamentar da SADC reserva-se então o direito de declinar por completo proceder com pagamentos.
6. Execução da Atribuição Contratual (Contrato)
No cumprimento da execução desta Atribuição Contratual (Contrato) o Cessionário é encorajado a consultarcom regularidade o Especialista do Fórum Parlamentar da SADC de Meios de Comunicação e Comunicação (Media), a fim de garantir que as expectativas contratuais sejam cumpridas. Caso o trabalho encetado seja inadequado, ao Especialista de Meios de Comunicação (Media) e Comunicação cabe a incumbência de prestar feedback consolidado verbal, ou por escrito, quanto ao primeiro projecto de produtos entregues, após o que o Cessionário incorporará esse mesmo feedback e entregará de volta a cópia final por meio de comunicação via electrónica.
7. Rescisão da Atribuição Contratual (Contrato)
Caso o Cessionário dê por terminado a sua Atribuição Contratual (Contrato) antes de ter submetido a apreciação os produtos a serem entregues, em conformidade com os prazos acordados, ou com alternativas, o Fórum dará o Contrato por rescindido, não havendo assim qualquer pagamento a ser feito. As obrigações do Fórum para com o Cessionário deixarão de ser efectivas, exceptuando o pagamento de quaisquer despesas contraídas até à data da rescisão. A rescisão do contrato pode ficar baseada na, sem ser limitada à, falta de trabalho; mudança na descrição atribuída ao cargo; atitude de falta de cooperação e relacionamento insatisfatório com o próprio Fórum, com pessoal homólogo, ou com colegas de trabalho; conflito de interesses; incompetência; negligência; insubordinação; incapacidade ou recusa em trabalhar, e outros actos de improbidade, tais como determinados pelo Fórum.
O Cessionário não deve divulgar ou fazer uso, a qualquer altura, quer seja durante ou subsequentemente à expiração da sua Atribuição Contratual (Contrato), de qualquer tipo de informação confidencial ou de conhecimento obtido ou adquirido ao ter feito parte deste Contrato, a não ser que uma tal informação ou um tal conhecimento seja já do domínio público, sem ter havido para esse efeito qualquer transgressão de sua parte. O Cessionário mais acorda em não dar a conhecer informações relativas ao desempenho das suas tarefas ou serviços prestados a pessoas não autorizadas a recebê-las e a salvaguardar quaisquer dados confidenciais ou classificados que possam ter chegado à sua posse em virtude deste Contrato.
9. Direitos de Autor (Copyright)
Ao Fórum Parlamentar da SADC caberá reter a propriedade e direitos de autor de todos os materiais que lhe sejam entregues, ao abrigo desta Atribuição Contratual (Contrato). Ao Fórum Parlamentar da SADC caberá reservar o direito de reproduzir, editar ou emendar os referidos materiais para uso oficial do Fórum. O Fórum Parlamentar da SADC, não obstante, deve reconhecer as contribuições de carácter intelectual da parte do Cessionário.
Na eventualidade de qualquer disposição destes Termos de Referência ser considerada inválida ou inaplicável, esse grau de invalidade ou de inaplicabilidade deve dizer unicamente respeito a essa particular disposição sem afectar ou render inválida ou inaplicável qualquer outra disposição destes Termos de Referência.
11. Assistência Médica
O Forum NÃO se responsabiliza por quaisquer custos acarretados pelo Cessionário que derivem de despesas de carácter médico durante o período inerente a este contrato. Ao Cessionário deve caber a responsabilidade pessoal da cobertura da sua Assistência Médica pela duração da Atribuição Contratual (Contrato).
12. Gestão da Atribuição Contratual (Contrato) e do Domicílio, e da Correspondência
A gestão da Atribuição Contratual (Contrato) fica a cargo da Secretária-Geral do Fórum Parlamentar da SADC, a Senhora Boemo Sekgoma. Eis o endereço a poder ser utilizado para efeitos de qualquer correspondência:
SADC Parliamentary Forum
SADC Forum House
Tel: +264 61 287 0000
Fax: +264 61 247 569
13. Data de Encerramento para Expressões de Interesse
14 de Outubro de 2021
WINDHOEK-NAMIBIA, Monday 18 October 2021 – The Regional Women’s Parliamentary Caucus will tomorrow, Tuesday 19 October 2021, hold a virtual meeting on empowering women focusing on the elimination of gender inequality and discrimination in the workplace, amongst others.
The theme of the meeting is “Empowering Women in a Sustainable, Industry-Focused Workforce in SADC: A Focus on Social Protection.” Members of the Committee will receive presentations from the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Social Protection Specialist, Kroum Markov, the ILO’s Angola- based Social Protection Technical Officer, Denise Monteiro, and the United Nations Development’s Angola-based Economist, Lorenzo Mancini.
Details of the meeting are as follows:
Date: Tuesday, 19th October 2021
Time: 10:00 to 16:00 Harare/Pretoria Time.
ISSUED BY THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PARLIAMENTARY FORUM
MEDIA ACCESS: Meetings of the SADC-PF are open to the media and journalists who are interested in covering them must register on the following link to be added to a SADC-PF Accredited Media WhatsApp group where information on events of the Forum are regularly shared with the media:
Register to join the meeting here:
The meeting will be broadcast live on DSTV Channel 408 and also streamed live on the SADC-PF social media platforms on the links below:
ISSUED BY THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PARLIAMENTARY FORUM
Declaração Da Secretária-Geral Do Fórum Parlamentar Da SADC No Dia Internacional Da Rapariga 11 De Outubro De 202111 Out. 2021
É com grande prazer que divulgo esta declaração aos augustos Parlamentos e parceiros do Fórum, tendo em vista a celebração do Dia Internacional da Rapariga a 11 de Outubro de 2021.
O Fórum Parlamentar da SADC associa-se plenamente à Resolução 66/170 da Assembleia Geral das Nações Unidas para comemorar este dia com vista a reconhecer os direitos das raparigas e atender aos desafios únicos com que são confrontadas em África e em todo o mundo. Um dos objectivos centrais do Fórum é proporcionar igualdade de oportunidades às raparigas na África Austral, de modo a que progridam no plano da educação, bem como na implementação de todos os outros direitos humanos, tal como acontece com os rapazes, e sem qualquer tipo de discriminação.
A Lei Modelo da SADC sobre o Casamento Infantil e o Modelo de Supervisão Sensível ao Género (GROM) são ilustrações não exaustivas das várias iniciativas tomadas pelo Fórum Parlamentar da SADC para capacitar as raparigas através de iniciativas parlamentares. Com o advento da Comissão de Supervisão das Leis Modelo Parlamentares Regionais (RPMLOC), que é o órgão específico do Fórum para monitorizar a Lei Modelo da SADC sobre o Casamento Infantil, o Fórum está prestes a dar início a um acompanhamento atento através de tabelas de desempenho parlamentar com o objectivo global de melhorar a situação e a qualidade de vida das raparigas em toda a SADC. A este respeito, o Fórum convida os seus parceiros de longa data a continuar a trabalhar com o Fórum com vista a interagir com sucesso com a RPMLOC e a fazer convergir os seus processos em benefício final das raparigas da região.
O Fórum também louva o tema da "Geração Digital". A Nossa Geração" escolhido em 2021 para comemorar este importante dia, uma vez que, de facto, as raparigas têm infinitas potencialidades a explorar a partir das possibilidades digitais que abarcam a terceira década do novo milénio. O mundo digital pode agir como catalisador para servir as nobres aspirações das raparigas. De facto, as raparigas na SADC representam o futuro da região: podem ser profissionais de sucesso, académicas brilhantes, mães carinhosas, inovadoras geniais na indústria, investidoras estratégicas, e muito mais. Seja qual for o caminho que escolherem, o Fórum compromete-se a acompanhá-las na sua jornada rumo à prosperidade.
Feliz Dia Internacional da Rapariga de 2021!
Sra. B. Sekgoma, Secretária-Geral
Fórum Parlamentar da SADC
11 de Outubro de 2021
Déclaration De La Secrétaire Générale Du FP-SADC À L’occasion De La Journée Internationale Des Filles 11 Octobre 202111 Out. 2021
Statement from the Secretary General of the SADC-PF on the International Day Of The Girl Child 11th October 202111 Out. 2021
It is with boundless pleasure that I release this statement to the Forum’s august Member Parliaments and partners in view of celebrating the International Day of Girl Child on this 11th October 2021.
The Forum fully associates itself with the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 66/170 to commemorate this day in view of recognising girls’ rights and addressing the unique challenges that they face in Africa and around the world. One of the core objectives of the SADC-PF is give equal chances and opportunities to girl children in Southern Africa such that they progress in education as well as in the implementation of all other human rights, at par with boys, and without discrimination of any kind.
The SADC Model Law on Child Marriage and the Gender Responsive Oversight Model (GROM) are non-exhaustive illustrations of the several initiatives taken by the SADC-PF to empower girl children through parliamentary initiatives. With the advent of the Regional Parliamentary Model Laws Oversight Committee (RPMLOC), which is the Forum’s dedicated organ for monitoring the SADC Model Law on Child Marriage, the Forum is about to embark on close monitoring through parliamentary scorecards with the overarching objective of improving the situation and quality of life of girl children across SADC. In this respect, the Forum invites its longstanding partners to continue engaging the Forum in view of successfully interacting with the RPMLOC and aligning its processes for the ultimate benefit of girl children of the region.
The Forum also commends the theme of the “Digital Generation. Our Generation” chosen in 2021 to commemorate this august day as indeed girl children have endless potentials to tap from the digital possibilities that embrace the third decade of the new millennium. The digital world can act as a catalyst to serve the noble aspirations of girl children. Indeed, girl children in SADC constitute the future of the region: they can be successful professionals, brilliant academics, loving mothers, ingenious innovators in industry, strategic investors, and so much more. Whichever path they will choose, the Forum commits to accompany them in their journey towards prosperity.
Happy International Day of the Girl Child 2021!
Ms B. Sekgoma,Secretary General,
SADC Parliamentary Forum
11th October 2021
Statement by the Secretary General During Stakeholder Consultations For The GBV Model Law – Legal Aid Officials On 8th October 202108 Out. 2021
Distinguished legal aid officials and participants,
It is with singular pleasure and satisfaction that I welcome you to this landmark Consultative Meeting on the SADC GBV Model Law. As you may be aware, this Consultative Meeting is being held after fruitful consultative meetings with all stakeholders in the legal fraternity – Indeed, the Forum has successfully garnered the views from judges and judicial officers, Magistrates, SADC lawyers and jurists, as well as prosecutors, to cite a few.
The fact that the Forum is today consulting with Legal Aid Officials demonstrates the depth of the Consultations engaged. Indeed, it would have been a missed opportunity not to engage Legal Aid officials who are themselves the custodians and guarantors of access to justice.
- Why is the consultation with Legal Aids Officials important?
It is trite that Legal Aid constitutes a gateway for access to justice for those who are at the bottom of the social ladder and cannot afford to pay court and counsel’s fees. This is compounded with the fact that unreported cases of GBV is often from the most vulnerable segment of society, and thus GBV complainants need to apply for legal aid to be able to adequately seize the court system, especially where civil matters are concerned.
In this respect, protection orders, occupancy orders or tenancy orders which are issued by the Court in the context of GBV offending are all involved with the legal aid process. In addition, in the criminal justice system, depending on the SADC Member State jurisdiction, legal aid can also assist GBV complainants who attend a police station without counsel. In short, legal aid comes at the rescue of those who cannot pay for their own legal fees.
In the context of the GBV Model Law, the Forum wanted to ensure that the Model Law contains sufficient legal aid provisions to assist GBV complainants, victims, or other GBV stakeholders, hence this engagement of paramount importance with you today.
- Legal aid and human rights
Having said the above, I would like to give some insight into the linkages between the Forum’s mandate and the provision of legal aid in SADC Member States.
As you may be aware, the Forum has clear objectives to promote a culture of human rights and to ensure gender equality in accordance with its Strategic Plan (2019-2023). While GBV is a clear infringement of several human rights such as the right to health, physical integrity, and the prohibition of torture and inhuman treatment, access to justice is equally another human right. Access to justice refers to prompt access to the court system through affordable avenues and with limited delay to obtain redress.
Thus, while eradicating GBV and implementing human rights, the Forum needs to consider all relevant human rights comprehensively, through a purposive approach.
At the same time, the Forum as an institutional organ of the SADC stands guided by the SADC Regional Strategy for GBV (2018-2030). The Regional Strategy has earmarked the need for a human rights compliant legal framework for GBV that could assist GBV victims in all SADC Member States.
The initiative of the Forum to prepare and implement the SADC GBV Model Law thus marks the convergence of several imperatives and priorities which have ripened over the years both regionally and at the national level. Additionally, the Model Law is a continuation of commitments taken through the Abuja Declaration, Sustainable Development Goal 5 as well as the AU’s Africa Agenda 2063. The Forum is thus threading on the right path of implementation of human rights and addressing its obstacles when it is weaving the issue of legal aid into the GBV discourse and reflecting same in its flagship Model Law.
- What does the Forum expect from Legal Aid Officials
Distinguished Legal Aid Officials and participants,
Before I end, I wish to share a few pointers to guide today’s session. During this session, you are encouraged to interact openly and frankly with the Legal drafter and the facilitator.
You may wish to consider whether and to what extent should legal aid apply in the realm of GBV, and if it does apply which areas of the Model Law need to be revisited to ensure that legal aid is available to GBV complainants.
Furthermore, there is a need to provide for a means test for legal aid which would give a framework for national jurisdictions to consider. Since the SADC Model Law is a benchmarking legal instrument which will remain as a yardstick for SADC Member Parliaments, specific figures in the means test need not be given. Yet, parameters for legal aid may be considered in view of assisting Member Parliaments in the legislative process to devise a means test. For instance, it is now well known that considering income of an individual alone is not sufficient for legal aid, and that both income and assets are to be considered. Yet, there is a need to ascertain how to consider both income and assets and set parameters for same in a way which is human rights friendly and does not unduly prejudice meritorious applications for legal aid. This balancing exercise would thus be an important consideration for legal aid officials as they consider the provisions of the Model Law and devise a means test that could be used as a broad benchmark.
Having given the above essential pointers, I thank you again for your attendance today and wish you all a pleasant session.
Ms B.Sekgoma, Secretary General,
SADC Parliamentary Forum 8th October 2021
Media Release : SADC-PF Committee Concerned Over Slow Implementation of Child Marriage, HIV/AIDS and Elections Model Laws07 Out. 2021
WINDHOEK-NAMIBIA, Sunday 11 April 2021 - The Regional Parliamentary Model Laws Oversight Committee (RPMLOC) during its meeting on Friday, raised concern over the slow and in some instances non-implementation of the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) Model Laws on Child Marriage, HIV/AIDS and Elections.
About six SADC-PF Standing Committees are holding virtual statutory meetings from the 9th until the 16th of April 2021 in preparation for the 49th Plenary Assembly Session to be hosted by the Parliament of Botswana in June, where each Committee will table its report.
The RPMLOC was established in June 2018 ahead of the 45th SADC-PF Plenary Assembly, with the primary objective of monitoring and evaluating the progress of SADC Members States in domesticating and implementing their regional obligations with regards to SADC-PF Model laws and policies. Friday’s meeting was held under the theme: “Augmenting the enhanced execution of regional obligations by national Parliaments."
Speaking at the RPMLOC meeting the Acting Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Bertha Ndebele, said: “To date it can be said that in tracking implementation there has been slow implementation and in some instances non-implementation of regional and international commitments and this is unsettling as it stalls the regional integration agenda.”
The RPMLOC agreed in its meeting today to focus on the following priorities for 2021:
- to acquaint itself with extent to which the Model Laws on Child Marriages has been domesticated in Zimbabwe; and
- to interface with various stakeholders in Zambia to look into the context in which the country has domesticated Model laws.
“The objective is to assess and document Zambia and Zimbabwe’s progress in domesticating the model laws and report to Plenary. We will use the experience to enhance the Committee Members’ knowledge on progress and strategies for the domestication of Model Laws in transboundary contexts such as border towns,” said Hon Ndebele.
SADC-PF Standing Committee Meetings are continuing until 16 April with the next one happening today (Sunday, 11 April) with the Standing Committee on Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment chaired by Hon. Anele Ndebele, from Zimbabwe, scheduled to deliberate on enhancing regional economic integration through infrastructure development, focusing specifically on the case of one-stop border posts.
ISSUED BY THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PARLIAMENTARY FORUM
The meetings will also be broadcast live on DSTV Channel 408 and live streamed on the SADC-PF platforms on the links below:
Enquiries: Modise Kabeli +27 81 715 9969
The SADC Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Model Law Consultative Meeting for Prosecutors from SADC Member States05 Out. 2021
Keynote Address 4th October 2021 Justice Zione Ntaba
Good morning, I bring you greetings from the Warm Heart of Africa, Malawi. A country blessed with beautiful people, rolling hills, thirst quenching rivers and an amazing lake, fondly called the Lake of Stars or the Calendar Lake. We look forward to your visit.
Let me first say, that is it is great to be among a set of people in the legal profession who I enjoy interacting with, being a former prosecutor myself. It is therefore an honour to address you at this SADC Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Model Law Consultative Meeting for Prosecutors from SADC Member States being held virtually. It is important to note that these consultative meetings are happening at a highly appropriate time right now on the African continent as every country is continuing to grapple with gender-based violence and its impact on the population as well as its economic prosperity and development for its people. Therefore, my keynote address is suitably placed in this discussion that Africa needs to have at this point but more so for the SADC countries which have their own unique issues in terms of gender-based violence.
Let me state from the onset that I find the objectives of the consultative meeting, exciting and extremely important as the issues you aim to achieve are very fundamental for gender and women’s right across Africa. It should be indicated at the beginning that there will be a lot of discussion on women and girls in this address. It is evident that even in the 21st Century, research has shown that most sectors continue to move at a glacial pace in terms of bringing women and girls into a position of achieving highest development but more so the enjoyment and promotion of their human rights.
Estimates published by WHO in March, 20211 indicate that globally about 1 in 3 (30%) of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. Further that most of this violence is intimate partner violence. Worldwide, almost one third (27%) of women aged 15-49 years who have been in a relationship report that they have been subjected to some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner. Incidentally that violence against women and girls particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence is a major public health problem and a violation of women's human rights. Therefore, as prosecutors we should be very concerned and be working on ensuring that we reduce these numbers.
Distinguished prosecutors, I have gone through the draft SADC Model Law and wish to applaud the SADC Parliamentary Forum for having taken on this task which is critical and
pivotal in the justice sector. Most of us hail from countries that have Constitutions that emphasize human rights including mine where under section 19, it provides for the inviolability of human dignity. It prohibits torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment. Gender based violence bears the marks of torture, and is also, under various circumstances, cruel, inhumane and degrading. The invasion of the body in sexual offences contrary to the victim’s wishes often leaves the victim traumatized, both physically and psychologically violated. It is a fact that consequences of gender-based violence means unproductive citizens and this equates to a lack of development for the citizen, nation and continent as a whole.
It is therefore imperative that as SADC we move and embrace new ways of handling gender- based violence. The words of Gubbay JA in Banana v State2 are very poignant and speak to the need to adjust especially in dealing with issues in the gender-based violence context. He stated that in present day society, there was no rational reason to apply the archaic cautionary rule in cases of a sexual nature. This followed changes in neighbouring jurisdictions like South Africa and Namibia. Gubbay JA quoted with approval the Namibian judgment, S v D & Anor3 in which the following was said: "in the end only one test applies, namely, was the accused's guilt proved beyond reasonable doubt, and the test must be the same whether the crime is theft or rape" Gubbay JA went on to quote, again with approval, the South African judgment in S v Jackson4, in which the following was said: "In my view, the cautionary rule in sexual assault cases is based on an irrational and outdated perception. It unjustly stereotypes complainants in sexual assault cases (overwhelmingly women) as particularly unreliable. In our system of law, the burden is on the State to prove the guilt of an accused beyond reasonable doubt - no more and no less.”
I am, therefore, particularly pleased that this meeting affords us an opportunity to share knowledge and experiences on this very important topic and in the process build a body of knowledge that can be used to perfect the draft model law. However, it will be remiss of me, if I do not pick out a few areas in the model law which in my opinion need further examination especially taking into consideration, the role of prosecutors in the criminal justice space.
Recently, the Covid pandemic has resulted in many of our countries registering alarming incidences of gender-based violence. The model law has included a very critical area which several the SADC jurisdictions has very little legislation on, that is, the concept of femicide. WHO states that globally as many as 38% of all murders of women are committed by intimate partners. The model law only highlights femicide under the definition part but fails to expand it in terms of the legislation or offer enough insight to the various countries on how to adopt and adapt the model law.
The model law fails to provide parameters for prosecution institutions in dealing with femicide including prioritization of prosecuting such cases, charging aspects to mention a few.
It should be noted that femicide especially in honor killings or domestic situations needs to have a different focus in terms of prosecution policies in our various countries and the model law needs to ensure such is properly highlighted.
Let me take this opportunity to also buttress a critical issue which needs to be fully embraced and noted in the model law. This is in terms of implementation of the law itself especially as it relates to prosecution which goes beyond the training envisaged in section 72 of the draft model law as it relates to the concept of re-victimization. The law needs to address re- victimization to be one beyond access to justice but to one envisaged as an extension of the medical ‘first do no harm’ principle. Further that such should be addressed across the gender- based violence continuum of a victim. Whilst in terms of prosecution, this should include the parameters (policies or otherwise) to be addressed and ensured – pre, during and post prosecution.
Carmichele v Minister of Safety and Security and another5 buttresses the importance of prosecution doing their duty. The High Court and the Constitutional Court held that the common law of delict required development to reflect the constitutional duty on the State especially, the police and the prosecution, to protect the public in general, and women, against the invasion of their fundamental and guaranteed rights by the culprits of violent crime. The Court held the Minister liable, in a case of rape, for negligence because the State did not take measures to protect the victim including the prosecutor who had failed to inform the presiding officer that the accused had previously physically assaulted the victim so that he was not afforded bail.
Similarly, Mexico's Supreme Court issued a historic order where the Court analyzed the conduct of each public servant involved in a murder case and revealed how the absence of a gender-sensitive approach had led to human rights violations of the victim, Mariana Lima, the deceased as well as her mother. The court also issued legal protection for Irinea Buendía, the deceased’s mother. Eventually, Julio César Hernández Ballinas, the husband was arrested since the order required México state authorities to reopen the case but also to conduct the investigation "from the perspective" of femicide, or the murder of a woman by a man for reasons related to her gender6.
It can be said that Courts have played and continue to play their part in protecting women’s rights. They have consistently highlighted that women and girls continue to face numerous inequalities but also vulnerabilities to their wellbeing and safety. On the African continent, this is worsened due to the patriarchal nature of our society. It is my belief that most courts are moving towards gender responsive judging as well as service delivery, therefore it is critical that prosecutors also inherently adopt policies, systems and processes that are gender responsive as they can affect the delivery of justice if they do not.
Lastly, it is recognized that our courts have made significant strides in the jurisprudence involving women and girls in terms of gender-based violence, however there is some gap when it comes to men and boys who are faced with gender-based violence. Therefore, the issues of gender responsiveness are critical. Consequently, the model law needs to also address aspects of this in terms of how the system is viewing incidences of violence perpetrated against men and boys. Internationally despite the context being highlighted is conflict times related, the significance cannot be underplayed. In the case of The Prosecutor v Bosco Ntaganda7 which concerned the Forces Patriotiques pour la libération du Congo (FPLC), an armed group comprised of people from the Hema ethnic group, which was a party to the 2002-2003 DRC conflict. It was recorded that at the pre-trial and trial stage, the Defence sought to have the charges of sexual violence against FPLC child soldiers excluded on the basis that the alleged conduct could not be a war crime because the putative victims and perpetrators belonged to the same military force. However, the Appeals Chamber rejected that argument, and confirmed that the rape and sexual enslavement of child soldiers by their commanders can indeed constitute war crimes under the Rome Statute. The Trial Chamber held that the OTP proved several of the allegations of rape and sexual slavery against child soldiers beyond reasonable doubt, and that Ntaganda bears individual criminal responsibility for those crimes. It also convicted Ntaganda for acts of rape and sexual slavery committed by FPLC troops against non-Hema civilians (both male and female). Furthermore, in addition to those sexual violence crimes, Ntaganda was convicted of conscripting and enlisting child soldiers, using them to participate actively in hostilities, attacking the civilian population, murder and attempted murder, persecution on ‘ethnic’ grounds, forcible transfer, and displacement, attacking protected objects, pillage, and destruction of property. Therefore, he was held responsible for these crimes as a direct perpetrator and indirect co-perpetrator under Article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute. Accordingly, there is need for prosecutors in the SADC region to note that there is mounting evidence that gender-based violence committed against men and boys needs to be receiving increased attention.
Access to justice remains a key pillar towards the eradication of violence against women and girls. It contributes to break the circle of violence, provide adequate reparation to victims, and transform the circumstances that make women and girls vulnerable to violence. Enhancing the efforts of prosecutors as part of key justice responders in protecting the rights of women and girls is essential and the model law must do so.
It is important to highlight that we must continue to be determined in terms of promotion and protection of the rule of law with a special emphasis on advancing human rights of everyone but more so women and girls who continue to be vulnerable, despite a lot of efforts. Justice dispensation is a collective determination and effort of every person in the sector. Justice must be transformative and must have a Human Rights face. It is therefore imperative that prosecutors across SADC should be strategic and harnesses all its resources.
We nonetheless commend our legislators for taking such a huge and bold step. It gives us Judiciaries as well as prosecutors, a good basis for expanding the laws on gender-based violence in our various jurisdictions. It offers prosecutors opportunities to go beyond the criminal justice space including advising victims on other possible actions available like taking the civil route in addition to the criminal justice route to redress human rights violations. The need to protect women and girls as well as men and boys from unwanted violence cannot be overemphasized when we talk of gender equality including women’s rights. We must be present.
In conclusion, let me leave you with the words of the Dalai Lama who said peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free. We must remain ready; we must be vigilant but more so ready to reduce the inequalities but also to prosecute with vigour gender-based violence cases in our countries.
I wish you a wonderful consultative meeting and as well wish you well as you continue to help eradicate gender-based violence across the SADC region.
Statement by the Secretary General During Stakeholder Consultations for the GBV Model Law – Prosecutors on 4th October 202104 Out. 2021
Distinguished prosecutors and participants, Salutations
Guest of Honour, Honourable Justice Zione Jane Veronica Ntaba, Judge of the High Court, Malawi Justice Prof. Oagile Key Dingake, former judge of High Court of Botswana, the Industrial Court of Botswana, the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the Supreme and National Courts of Papua New Guinea.
Marco Moreira De Sa Assuncao Teixeira, UNODC Acting Regional Representative
Linda Naidoo, National Project Officer for Gender based Violence, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for Southern Africa
Distinguished Prosecutors from SADC Member States. Ladies and Gentlemen
It is with an immense sense of gratitude that I welcome you to this meeting under the auspices of the SADC Parliamentary Forum. As you may be aware, the SADC-PF has been conducting a series of stakeholder consultations for its flagship SADC GBV Model Law. While consultations have been successfully held with SADC lawyers and jurists as well as judicial officers and Line Ministries, it was necessary to engage in consultations to understand and delve further into the prosecutor’s perspective to Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Today, we welcome you not only in your capacity as lawyers or police officials who act as prosecutors, but also as representatives of prosecuting agencies across SADC. In this respect, in my capacity as Secretary General of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, I wish to start by paying tribute to the august constitutional function of the Office of Directors of Public Prosecutions (DPPs) across the whole SADC region. All around the world, the DPP’s Office stands as a steadfast guardian against arbitrary arrests, unlawful imprisonment and detention by representatives of the Executive, and DPP’s offices thus constitute a pillar of the democratic framework of each SADC nation. It is well-known that the independence of the Office of the DPP lies at the very heart of any healthy democracy.
Since the Vision of the SADC-PF is to act as the Flag- Bearer of Democratisation and Socio-Economic Development for the region, it goes without saying that Offices of the DPP in SADC are valued and esteemed partners to the Forum. We hope to continue to collaborate with Offices of the DPP beyond the adoption of the GBV Model Law and we trust you will act as bridges to consolidate our partnership framework.
- Why is the Forum addressing GBV through a Model Law?
I wish to highlight that the need to address GBV is rectilinear to the Strategic Plan of the Forum. Indeed, according to the Strategic Plan (2019-2023), the Forum is to ensure gender equality and promote a culture of human rights that encompasses the right to physical integrity, the right to health as well as the right to life.
As prosecutors of SADC Member States, I am confident you will concur that human rights cannot thrive in an environment which is beleaguered by GBV. Furthermore, the ambit of GBV literally knows no bounds, with GBV affecting the destitute as well as wealthy individuals, being common at home or in workplaces, in urban or in rural areas alike. In this dominion, the Forum was inclined to consider the SADC Regional Strategy on GBV (2018-2030) and act on its recommendation to have a human rights compliant legal framework to address GBV.
By setting a normative framework through a GBV Model Law, the Forum is thus bringing SADC Member Parliaments several steps closer to the enactment of a robust GBV law that befits international best practices while also bearing in mind the SADC context. Soft law developed in this respect can thus act as a legal catalyst to facilitate the development of binding laws in each SADC country. A SADC Model Law can thus become a trend setter, and act as a template or a baseline for additional research or adaptation to the domestic context. With the SADC Model Law on HIV and Child Marriage, the Forum has already witnessed an upsurge in legal amendments brought to existing laws due to the convenient facility provided by the SADC Model Laws as benchmarking legal instruments. While the SADC Model Law is intended to be a booster at the domestic level, prosecutors present today are invited to continue to request for legal reform for GBV laws to be modernised and aligned with the Model Law and other current human rights instruments.
- Why is the engagement with prosecutors important?
Having said this, I wish to emphasize that prosecutors have a central role to play in the fight against GBV. Increasingly, GBV is being treated not only as a domestic issue which occurs within the confines of the household, or a civil law issue, but as an issue which can have criminal law implications. In that regard, prosecutors are important to consider GBV complaints, assess the evidence, filter false complaints from meritorious ones, and proceed in accordance with the law in place to advise for further prosecution and trial. Prosecutors fill the Charge sheets and decide which charge is more appropriate to the offence committed or advise for further enquiries to be conducted by the investigating authorities. Moreover, Prosecutors are involved in sensitisation campaigns against violence in society, inclusive of GBV. Prosecutors are thus prominent stakeholders in the fight against GBV as well as for sensitisation initiatives to prevent GBV.
- Areas in the Model Law that can interest Prosecutors
Distinguished Prosecutors and participants,
Your engagement today will be centred on the GBV Model Law, in particular on the offences which may be relevant for GBV. It is often said that a law is not a law unless it can be enforced in some binding manner by offence provisions or penalties.
In this respect, you may wish to consider the GBV Model Law from an offence perspective and determine if there are sufficient provisions to deter offending and also punish adequately repeated GBV offending. While the Model Law aims to provide the outline of the GBV offence framework, it will of course be up to the Member State to decide on the length of the proposed sentence and the type of sentence, whether custodial or non-custodial. Still, we would appreciate the wise input of prosecutors in this respect on issues such as proportionality of sentencing and preservation of the chain of custody, to set the GBV Model Law on the right track of implementation.
In addition, prosecutors should consider their respective country situations and advise when criminal law provisions are most relevant for application to domestic GBV situations. Key questions that may be addressed are “ Could GBV be adequately punished by a fine only?” – “When will be the custodial threshold be passed for GBV? That is when does GBV become serious enough to merit imprisonment?”- “ How does Member States reinforce the confidentiality of GBV reporting?” – “Should the divulging of confidential information relating to GBV reporting itself be considered as an offence?” – “Is prosecution always the right approach concerning GBV?”
These are just a flavour of the questions that participants may dwell upon for further engagement with the Legal drafter and facilitators of today’s session.
In addition, Prosecutors are also invited to give their views generally as lawyers on the purview of the Model Law and its responsiveness to the GBV context for the SADC region.
Having made the above remarks, I wish to thank you again for your attendance today, and I wish you all a pleasant session.
Ms Boemo Sekgoma, Secretary General,
SADC Parliamentary Forum 4th October 2021
Minutes of the SADC PF Standing Committee on Democratisation, Governance and Human Rights Virtual Meeting held on 26th October 202013 Abr. 2021
- Jerónima Agostinho, Chairperson Mozambique
- Darren Bergman, Vice Chairperson South Africa
- Josefina P. Diakité Angola
- Leepeetswe Lesedi Botswana
- Mabulala Maseko Eswatini
- Angele Solange Madagascar
- Deus Gumba Malawi
- Hon Hon Ashley Ittoo Mauritius
- Chushi Caroline Kasanda Zambia
- Dought Ndiweni Zimbabwe
ABSENT WITH APOLOGY
Hon. Balamage Nkolo Boniface DRC
Hon. Maimane. P. Maphathe Lesotho
- Titus Gwemende, Oxfam International Southern Africa Regional Lead-Natural Resources
- Ipyana Musopole, Anti-Corruption Enforcement Officer, Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs, SADC Secretariat
- Mr Tymon Katlholo, Director-General - Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), Botswana
- Pusetso Morapedi, Executive Director Botswana Centre for Public Integrity (Southern Africa Anti-Corruption Network)
- Mr Glenn Farred, Executive Director SADC Council of NGOs
- Mark Heywood Editor of Maverick Citizen, a section of the Daily Maverick newspaper
- Justice Oagile Key Dingake, former Judge of the High Court and Industrial Court in Botswana, Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the Supreme and National Courts of Papua New Guinea
- Mr Stanley Nyamanhindi, CEO SADC Lawyers Association
- Dr Adane Ghebremeskel GIZ and Austrian Development Agency (ADA)
Boemo Sekgoma, Acting Secretary General SADC PF Secretariat
Sheuneni Kurasha, Committee Secretary SADC PF Secretariat
Samueline Kauvee SADC PF Secretariat
Paulina Kangiatjivi SADC PF Secretariat
Agnes Lilungwe SADC PF Secretariat
Ronald Windwaai SADC PF Secretariat
Veronica Ribeiro, staff Angola
Rangarirai Machemedze Rapporteur
The meeting was called to order at 09:45 hours.
- Credentials of Delegates and Apologies.
- Adoption of Agenda.
- Welcome Remarks by the Chairperson.
- Consideration of Minutes from the previous Meeting held Virtually on 7th and 8th July 2020 and Matters Arising.
- Presentation and deliberation on Corruption Trends and Framework for Curbing Corruption and Strengthening Accountability
- Presentation and deliberation on Towards a Collaborative Approach in preventing, detecting, punishing, and eradicating corruption in the Public and Private Sectors in the SADC Region
- Consideration and Adoption of a Regional Policy Brief on Curbing Corruption and Strengthening Accountability in SADC
CREDENTIALS OF DELEGATES AND APOLOGIES
Quorum for the meeting was confirmed for the meeting to proceed with 10 of the Members present. It was also reported that three parliament were yet to be constituted after of recent general elections, namely Namibia, Seychelles and Tanzania.
ADOPTION OF AGENDA
The agenda was adopted without any amendment on a motion by Zimbabwe, seconded by Zambia.
WELCOME REMARKS BY THE CHAIRPERSON
The Chairperson welcomed everybody to the Standing Committee session which, she said, was taking place ahead of the 48th Plenary Assembly Session. She observed that since this was the first meeting after Hon. Darren Bergman and herself were elected as the Vice Chairperson and Chairperson of the Standing Committee respectively, it was only proper for her to express their collective appreciation for the confidence and trust that Honourable Members had bestowed on them to lead the committee. She promised to drive the mandate of the Standing Committee forward over the next two years.
She noted the need to collectively interrogate the issue of corruption as this was one of the greatest threats to democracy undermining economic development, eroding the trust in state institutions as well as violating social justice.
She reminded the committee that the meeting must be viewed within the context of one of the functions of the Standing Committee pursuant to Rule 42(d)(iv) of the SADC PF Rules of Procedure, which is “To promote the principles of human rights, transparent and accountable governance, peace and security through collective responsibility within the SADC Region.”
The function, she observed, dovetailed into Strategic Objectives 1 and 2 of SADC PF as stipulated in its Strategic Plan (2019 to 2023), namely:
- “To promote cooperation, diplomacy and dialogue on issues of regional interest in view of advancing democratisation and socio-economic development for SADC Member States;” and
- “To align, harmonise and create operational and institutional linkages between SADC PF Standing Committees and Programmes, and SADC Organs and Sectors, in view of promoting integration of the region.
On corruption, the Chairperson expressed dismay at evidence through research which shows a surge in corruption in both public and private sectors in the SADC region. For instance, she observed that the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which scores and ranks countries globally on a rating scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being highly corrupt and 100 being highly clean, suggests that corruption is becoming an increasingly widespread phenomenon in the SADC region.
She noted that only four countries of the SADC region are in the top 20 in Africa. These are Seychelles (66), Botswana (61), Mauritius (52) and Namibia (52). The rest of the Member States scored below 50. This, she said was an indication of the magnitude of the work which was ahead of the Committee in terms of curbing corruption and strengthening accountability.
She reminded everyone that the theme for the meeting, “Enhancing the Role of Parliament in Curbing Corruption and Strengthening Accountability Through Building Institutional Collaboration with National and Regional Anti-Corruption State and Non-State Actors,”-was timely as it provided Parliamentarians and stakeholders the opportunity to engage and come up with collective solutions to the problem of corruption.
She implored members of parliament to be responsive to citizens demands for accountable governance since they were elected representatives of the people. This, she noted, was the expectation of the people and Members of Parliament should not betray this legitimate expectation and should ensure action was taken in curbing corruption and strengthening accountability by setting the relevant legal framework and exercising oversight on the Executive arms of Governments.
The Honourable Chair commended SADC for developing the SADC Protocol Against Corruption which was adopted in August 2001 in Malawi to assist Member States to prevent, detect, punish and eradicate corruption and to cooperate on related matters. She noted SADC Member States were committed to fighting corruption as was evidenced by their signatories to African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.
SADC Member State, she noted, had made steady progress in undertaking various anti-corruption initiatives in the form of laws, policies and institutions since the adoption of the SADC Protocol Against Corruption in 2001. In this regard, many of the Member States created state agencies whose mandate was to fight corruption, among other interventions. However, despite these efforts, the level corruption in the region remains high, she observed.
There was therefore a need for a collaborative approach by national and regional anti-corruption state and non-state actors, hence the meeting whose objectives were to:
- Create a systematic and formalised regional platform for enhancing the role of Parliament in curbing corruption and strengthening accountability through building institutional collaboration with national and regional anti-corruption state and non-state actors;
- Raise awareness on the SADC Protocol Against Corruption and promote its ratification, domestication and implementation by Member States;
- Develop a Regional Policy Brief to inform national and regional policy makers and stakeholders in the SADC region on strategies for preventing, detecting, punishing and eradicating corruption in the public and private sector, including accelerated domestication and implementation of the SADC Protocol Against Corruption; and
- Develop knowledge tools for use by Parliaments and national and regional anti-corruption state and non-state actors in combating corruption and strengthening accountability in the SADC region.
She concluded her remarks by thanking the various experts for their support and technical expertise. She also expressed the committee’s sincere appreciation to GIZ and Austrian Development Agency for the financial support towards the hosting of the meeting and wished everybody fruitful deliberations.
Point of Order-Congratulations to the New President of Seychelles
After the Chairperson’s welcome remarks, Hon. Kasanda from Zambia raised a point of order. The Honourable Member requested the meeting to officially congratulate H.E. Wavel Ramkalawan, a former Member of the DGHR Committee on winning the Presidential Elections in the just ended elections in Seychelles. She said she was happy that SADC PF and indeed the Committee, had produced a President. Hon. Kasanda opined that H.E. Ramkalawan was a humble and inclusive person whose intellect was admirable. Seychelles was blessed to have such a president as he was a great leader already.
After this intervention, the Honourable Vice Chairperson took over the chairing of the meeting after the Chair developed technical hitches with internet connection. The Vice Chair congratulated the previous Chair and the deputy since this was the first meeting after the elections.
The Vice Chair also congratulated the new President of Seychelles. Angola seconded the point raised by Zambia and also congratulated the new President of Seychelles and wished him well in his new role. Angola also congratulated the Chair and Vice Chairperson of the Committee for their election. The Honourable Members expressed their commitment to support them and noted the remarks of the Chair and requested if these could be circulated. He noted that corruption was a cancer that needed to be addressed to ensure the development of the SADC countries and improve the living standards of people.
The Vice Chair thanked everyone for their interventions and concurred with the point of order raised. He noted that Africa was looking for a good news story associated with peaceful democratic transition. He noted it would be great to put up a Facebook post congratulating also the opposition in Seychelles. He noted that the works of the model Law on Elections developed under the guidance of the committee was now bearing fruits and was happy that Seychelles was leading what should be an exemplary process.
The resolution was passed to congratulate the new president of Seychelles.
CONSIDERATION OF MINUTES FROM THE PREVIOUS MEETING HELD VIRTUALLY ON 7TH AND 8TH JULY 2020 AND MATTERS ARISING
The Chairperson of the meeting was reconnected and thanked Zambia for the point of Order and the support by the Vice Chairperson in chairing the meeting. The minutes were adopted with no amendments, on a motion by Angola, seconded by Zimbabwe.
MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES FROM THE PREVIOUS MEETING HELD VIRTUALLY ON 7TH AND 8TH JULY 2020
In considering matters arising from the Minutes, the Committee noted there were no matters arising.
PRESENTATION AND DELIBERATION ON CORRUPTION TRENDS AND FRAMEWORK FOR CURBING CORRUPTION AND STRENGTHENING ACCOUNTABILITY
Mr. Titus Gwemende from Oxfam International presented on Corruption in the region and the role of Parliament and noted that corruption assumed different dimensions including:
- ‘Petty theft (acts of stealing, misuse of public funds, or extortion among street-level bureaucrats).
- Grand theft (embezzlement or misappropriation of large sums of public monies by political elites who control state finances e.g Sani Abacha, the military dictator of Nigeria, siphoned an estimated US$4 billion from the central bank into his overseas accounts).
- Speed money (petty bribes that businesses or citizens pay to bureaucrats to get around hurdles or speed things up e.g A typical supermarket must obtain a daunting list of 40 permits, forcing retailers to bribe many officers in order to get these permits faster, which cuts into their thin profit margins).
- Access money (encompasses high-stakes rewards extended by business actors to powerful officials, not just for speed, but to access exclusive, valuable privileges including contracts)
He equated the different corruption dimensions to drugs noting that all corruption was bad – but petty theft and grand theft were like toxic drugs [or drinking bleach, a term suggested by Jordan Schneider]; speed money is like painkillers; access money is like anabolic steroids – they can even help one grow rapidly but come with serious side effects that accumulate over time. He observed that access money functions as an incentive system for politicians and capitalists to work together, especially when massive infrastructure, involving huge sunk costs, is required for an emerging economy to take off. Access money overpays capitalists to do this, through cheap loans, subsidies, state backing, and in return you get feverish growth that lifts people out of poverty like China.
The presentation highlighted corruption trends in the region and touched on the different areas where it was most discernible. In terms of inequality, the presentation noted rising inequality as a major factor leading to growing corruption risks, as they see it as contributing to unequal access to power and influence for private gain. In the long term, he noted, experts highlight that inequality may become deeply ingrained in government systems and further erode the rule of law. Rising wealth inequality is also seen by many experts as a root cause for low levels of trust in governments.
Another major driver and determinant of corruption was reported as technology, which will continue to transform the world including corruption and its many forms. By 2022, the presentation noted that 60% of the world’s GDP is forecast to be digitised. As a result, many in the anti-corruption community are excited by the new opportunities technology offers. But on a second look, they acknowledge that new technologies like Cryptocurrencies and Artificial Intelligence provide new routes to engage in corrupt behaviour. The vast amount of personal data stored online can be abused if exposed to the wrong people, and illicit financial flows are expected to grow, facilitated by ICT networks.
A growing trend in the region was also highlighted aptly called “State capture”, which involves “a situation where powerful individuals, institutions, companies or groups within or outside a country use corruption to influence a nation’s policies, legal environment and economy to benefit their own private interests” He noted that such capture of state institutions by private persons to influence state policies and decisions for their own private benefits has become a significant concern in Africa (Lodge 2018: 23). Its main consequence is that interests of a specific group are prioritised over public interests in the operation of the state.
In like manner, government reliance on extensive patronage networks was also seen as a common feature in some African countries. These patronage networks are part of informal power structures which determine who gets access to public resources. The patronage practices include the three Cs, namely co-optation, control and camouflage, he observed.
Another challenge noted as a challenge to political integrity was the generally opaque funding of political parties. The presentation quoted a report by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, which observed that there is insufficient regulation of political funding and election campaigns in many African countries, making it easier for corrupt activities associated with political financing to continue unchecked. As a result, uundisclosed political funding puts political parties and actors at risk of capture as secret funders will require a “payback” once their funded candidates get into power.
Finally, Mr. Gwemende told the meeting that land was heavily susceptible to corruption. According to a study by Transparency International, one in every two people encounters corruption during land administration processes in Africa, compared to one in five persons for the rest of the world. The presentation observed that private investors were engaging in corrupt deals to access land and to bypass consultations with the affected communities.
In light of the above trends, Mr. Gwemende implored parliamentarians to:
- ensure that state institutions – including parliaments themselves – are so transparent and accountable as to be able to withstand corruption or permit its rapid exposure;
- instil in parliaments' own ranks the notion that parliamentarians have a duty not only to obey the letter of the law, but to set an example of incorruptibility to society as a whole by implementing and enforcing their own codes of conduct;
- create clear and fair legislation, including efficient public supervision, as regards the funding of political parties and election campaigns. The proper declaration of sources of income and of potential conflicts of interest is particularly important;
He concluded the presentation by emphasising the need to question the economic and production system that was being followed by Member States as this determined corruption. There was a need to harness people’s agency in the region and in Africa in order to fight corruption Addressing inequality and adopting national and regional instruments that fight corruption was one sure way of claiming victory against the menace.
In his presentation on Regional Framework on Curbing Corruption and Strengthening Accountability: Unpacking the SADC Protocol Against Corruption (2001), Mr Ipyana Musopole from the SADC Secretariat highlighted that the SADC Protocol against Corruption was adopted in 2001 and came into force in July 2005. The protocol, he noted, provides the framework to fight against corruption in the SADC region and currently there are 13 Member States that are party to the Protocol (with exception of Madagascar, Seychelles and Comoros).
He highlighted the objectives of the protocol as:
- to promote and strengthen the development, by each of the State Parties, of mechanisms needed to prevent, detect, punish and eradicate corruption in the public and private sector,
- to promote, facilitate and regulate cooperation among the State Parties to ensure the effectiveness of measures and actions to prevent, detect, punish and eradicate corruption in the public and private sectors.
- to foster the development and harmonization of policies and domestic legislation of the State Parties relating to the prevention, detection, punishment and eradication of corruption in the public and private sectors.
The presentation gave a summary of the structure of the protocol and highlighted provisions of the following articles:
- Article 3: Acts of corruption
- Article 4: Preventative measures
- Article 8: Confiscation and seizure
- Article 9: Extradition and
- Article 10: Judicial cooperation and legal assistance focus on Cooperation between state parties in the area of Extradition, judicial cooperation and provision of legal assistance.
On the role of parliament vis a viz the protocol, Mr. Musopole observed that Domestication-passing domestic legislation or implementing other actions that conforms to agreements which the country is state party to was one of the major functions of parliaments. He noted that the onus to take the first step to domesticate may be on the executive arm who sign these agreements, however, in some jurisdictions, parliament is involved in ratification which then paves the way for domestication process. The executive introduces legislation or propose amendments to existing legislation to conform to what they have signed up to. For Parliaments, he noted, the role in this case was to scrutinize and support the legislation or proposed amendments meant to facilitate domestication by ensuring they fully conform to what the agreements requires. (some provisions require incremental steps over a period of time so domestication may be spread over time and not achieved by one legislation).
It was observed that Parliaments have the oversight function over the executive which is mostly discharged through its portfolio/standing committees that play a wide range of functions which include reviewing the legislation that is introduced into parliament before it is adopted by the full parliament, exercising oversight functions over the executive. He emphasised that the oversight function can also serve as a mechanism to verify the executive compliance with regional and international agreements which it has signed up to or assessing progress on the domestication process.
In addition, the presentation also articulated the role of parliament in ensuring domestic debate over what should be given priority or requires urgency in terms of domestication because there is so much to be domesticated. Examples were given that countries are normally party to a plethora of agreements even on just corruption (African Union Protocol, UNCAC etc.) hence prioritisation was of essence especially by parliaments.
The presentation concluded by advising parliamentarians to take keen interest in capacity building activities that were meant to raise their consciousness on the issues and agreements and their implications in terms of what obligations their own Governments have to meet under the agreements to enable them to facilitate the domestication process. He noted that they also need to have access to information on what assessment review mechanisms reports have made on their countries about their progress, so that they can play a role in facilitating their Governments to accelerate the domestication process.
In discussion to the above presentations, the committee resolved as follows:
- Appreciated the presentation by the two presenters from Oxfam and SADC Secretariat and noted the need for collaborative effort to fight corruption in the region by all stakeholders, both State and non-state actors;
- Concerned about the high levels of corruption particularly in state institutions including the law enforcement agencies and concurred that corruption was a living menace which was impeding development in the region;
- Reiterated the need to campaign against sanctions imposed on some countries in the region as these were providing the grounds for corruption to thrive;
- Resolved to continue the fight against inequality and the need to level the playing field across different sectors of the economy to ensure equal opportunities for all, which paves the way to fight corruption;
- Underlined the importance of regional integration and cooperation in the fight against corruption particularly in implementing the provisions of the protocol as well as the national laws on corruption.
Presentation and deliberation on Towards a Collaborative Approach in preventing, detecting, punishing, and eradicating corruption in the Public and Private Sectors in the SADC Region
The Committee welcomed Commissioner John Makamure, spokesperson of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, who, in his presentation on the theme of the meeting observed that the major obstacle to poverty alleviation in many countries in Africa was poor governance, which includes not simply corruption, but also poor performance of government officials in their management of public resources. The poor management of public resources, he observed, translates directly into poor public service delivery implementation, and thus undermining poverty alleviation policies.
The meeting was informed of the need for good governance, which he said has the following major characteristics. It is participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law. He went further to explain that good governance assures that corruption is minimized, the views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making. It is also responsive to the present and future needs of society.
In light of the above, Commissioner Makamure noted that countries in the region have adopted a policy of zero tolerance to corruption. This means fighting both grant and petty corruption. While this is the way to go, he observed that grant corruption must be fiercely fought. This was because it involves abuse of high level power that benefits the few at the expense of the many, and causes serious and widespread harm to individuals and society.
Whilst the presentation highlighted the devastating effects of corruption on the economic, social and political fabric of a society, Commissioner Makamure noted the existence of many stakeholders that hold the key to fighting it namely:
- Anti-corruption agency
- Independent commissions
- Prosecuting Authority
- Revenue authorities
- Central Bank
- Auditor General
The meeting was informed that Anti-corruption agencies could only effectively execute their constitutional mandate with increased collaboration with all key stakeholders including business, labour, churches, civil society and NGOs in various shapes and sizes, educational institutions etc. This was further strengthened by the recognition of various stakeholders in the key instruments that prove the framework to fight corruption i.e. the UN Convention Against Corruption, the AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and the SADC Protocol Against Corruption. All of these underscores the critical role of a collaborative approach in the fight against corruption. He observed that greater external collaboration was key especially in the recovery of assets.
In pursuit of his argument, Commissioner Makamure explained the collaboration the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission was having with various partners and signed MoUs with the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Auditor General, Parliament of Zimbabwe, Financial Intelligence Unit, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, National Prosecuting Authority, Immigration Department and Transparency International Zimbabwe, Immigration Department, among others. Hence cooperation among stakeholders was noted to be very critical in the fight against corruption and these engagements have gone a long way in assisting the Commission fulfil its mandate.
He also informed the meeting of the Collaboration and coordination that has been strengthened through the development of a National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) which was officially launched by His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa on 11 July 2020. In this regard he noted that most SADC countries have a NACS and went on to highlight some of the objectives of NACS and the intervention strategies contained in the Zimbabwe NACS to fight corruption.
He concluded his presentation by noting that NACS must meet the specific needs of a country and take into account local realities. As there is no one-size-fit-all remedy for corruption, NACS need to be based on rigorous data, a sound understanding of the country-specific social, legal and institutional environment as well as a realistic assessment of the corruption-related problems, he noted. Furthermore, he observed that a good strategy must address underlying causes and not just the symptoms of the problem.
The Committee received a presentation from Mr. Glenn Farred from the SADC Council of NGOs, who in his contribution to the theme noted that the SADC region had made strides in promulgating the SADC Protocol Against Corruption. In this regard he noted that many SADC Member States had made stride to fight corruption given the leal framework in place. However, he noted that the ability to sustain the fight was hampered by the historical legacies that the countries in the region continue to suffer from even in this day and age.
He opined that the particular history of colonialism in different countries & the nature of the bureaucracy inherited in the post-independent states made it difficult for reforms to be instituted smoothly. Therefore, this legacy resulted in the ugly situation of entrenchment of corruption through:
- The politicisation of anti-graft and anti-corruption actions to settle scores, gain advantage or discredit opponents which impacts public confidence in measures and institutions (Botswana; Tanzania; RSA; Angola) – selective and politically motivated actions do little to remove the systemic problems
- Shutting down media and civil society organisations, imprisonment, harassment and legal and extra-judicial means to muzzle anti-corruption information/organisations. Use of international conventions and instruments such as Anti-Money Laundering and Financing Terrorism measures to target media and civil society activists – transforming whistle-blowing into a “terrorist” act
- The horrendous incidents of corruption which we are witnessing now as COVID-19 resources are widely looted (reports suggest all MS’s have been found to have incidents of Covid related corruption)
He concluded his presentation by suggesting someway forward including that SADC-CNGO strongly supports Civil Society Accountability - a comprehensive framework for independent civil society with appropriate legislation; self-regulation; transparency and enforcement mechanism’s (Code of Conduct & Ethics; Annual Audits; Legal protections).
In this framework, he articulated The SADC WE WANT Campaign, which has called for:
- A Regional Court of Justice & Human Rights;
- A Regional Parliament;
- A Regional Authority (revision of the SADC Treaty to reconstitute the current Secretariat to become an effective policy making and coordinating body);
- Free Movement of People in SADC & AU
He observed that SADC-CNGO proposes a Liaison Unit and Engagement Framework be established by Regional CSOs & SADC-PF to facilitate contributions to the work of the SADC-PF enabling structured linkages between the parliamentarians and civil society formations (technical support, outreach and public education, research and knowledge production, participation and advocacy).
Ms Pusetso Morapedi from Botswana Centre for Public Integrity and also representing the Southern Africa Anti-corruption network (SAACoN) as well as the Southern African Civic Education Coalition (SACEC) underscored the need for civic education in fighting corruption. She observed that the existence of protocols and other instruments was not a guarantee that corruption would be eradicated unless and until civic education was inculcated in the citizenry through various approaches including incorporating provisions of some instruments in school curricula.
She informed the meeting that her organisation was working closely with SADC NGO through the establishment of a regional anticorruption taskforce whose mandate, among others was to bring together various stakeholders in the fight against corruption.
Mark Heywood, the Editor of the Maverick in his contributions from the Media perspective noted that corruption is a global problem, taking many forms and that it was not a victimless crime as it leads to human rights violations, deepening inequality and weakens the capacity of the State e gave examples of the cost of corruption in South Africa where he noted that is estimated to cost hundreds of billions of Rand per annum. He lamented that the objective of “State capture” was to facilitate corruption. During Covid-19 journalists have played a crucial role in exposing corruption in PPE procurement, for example.
Mark also reiterated that Corruption was a threat to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He posed a fundamental question: who benefits from corruption? He noted that Corruption was not only a problem afflicting governments and the public service, but it was also deeply embedded in the conduct of private business and gave an example that:
2018, UN Secretary General: “Citing estimates by the World Economic Forum, he said the global cost of corruption is at least $2.6 trillion, or 5 per cent of the global gross domestic product (GDP), adding that, according to the World Bank, businesses and individuals pay more than $1 trillion in bribes every year.”
He informed the meeting that tackling corruption required visible political leadership and, in this regard, Parliament has a key role to play in terms of ensuring:
He reiterated that the battle against corruption cannot be won by Parliament alone. We need a social compact against corruption. Journalists and the media are a key stakeholder in that compact. Hence civil society had a critical role to play in ensuring Monitoring and reporting; Eyes and ears in communities; Protectors of resources; Able to organise and educate around corruption; Able to change the culture that turns a blind eye to corruption; Working in partnership with government.
He noted particularly the importance of the media in the fight against corruption through:
- investigating and publicising corruption;
- Educating and empowering communities about the legal framework around corruption.
- Ensuring accountability.
- Monitoring and supporting the prosecuting authorities.
- A memory that doesn’t forget.
- Revealing the consequences of corruption
He concluded his presentation by posing a question:
How can Parliament support the media and by doing so support the fight against corruption?
Justice Oagile Key Dingake, former Judge of the High Court and Industrial Court in Botswana, Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone, and the Supreme and National Courts of Papua New Guinea made a presentation on the role of the Judiciary in fighting corruption in the SADC region.
Justice Dinkake lamented that corruption was robbing the SADC region and the entire African continent of its future. He noted that the social costs of corruption were incalculable and incontestable. Speaking from the perspective of the judiciary Justice Dingake observed that the judiciary was the last line of defence against any encroachment on rights and freedoms under law. In this regard, he noted the importance of the independence and impartiality of the judiciary saying it was more likely to be effective in fighting corruption than the one that is not.
He reiterated that fighting corruption was fundamentally a political project as the politicians in the executive and legislature must take the lead and the people should trust that they mean what they say when they promise zero tolerance on corruption.
The presentation highlighted the need to seriously pose the question: Are our respective national political leaders leading the war against corruption credible? Do they have the moral standing to win the confidence of our people? Are they perceived to be corrupt?
He noted if they are, winning the war would be a Herculean task. However, the meeting was informed that the unspoken tragedy in Africa that keeps corruption alive was that the proceeds of crime and illicit money were the raw material for election campaigns and election buying, with the result that criminal cartels are now buying governments-in-waiting in advance. This phenomenon, he noted, turns the ruling elites into enemies of their own people, because they are bought in advance to pursue the interests of their sponsors when in power.
The presentation observed the importance of advocating for regulation of finance campaigning which the independent anti-corruption bodies and civil society must focus on. He implored the SADC PF to initiate a conversation about this issue to resuscitate democracy in the region.
There was emphasis that the proceeds of crime and the illicit money funding political parties will destroy any semblance of democracy existing in the region. He noted that they subvert the will of the people and make the expression of that will inarticulate.
Emphasis was made that the judiciary on its own, no matter how independent it may be, will not succeed in breaking the back of corruption until the political question was addressed, that is, – the democratic deficit that makes corruption thrive.
The role of the judiciary was discussed in detail and Justice Dingake pointed out that a judiciary that is independent and impartial is the bedrock of a democracy and the rule of law. He noted, these values were essential in earning and retaining the confidence of the people.
Thus, he observed, the building blocks of a judiciary that can effectively fight corruption start with the procedure in the appointment of judges. This was important because the selection of judges may have an adverse bearing on a judiciary that can credibly and effectively fight corruption.
He lamented the growing phenomenon of cadre deployment – a situation in which the appointment of judges is made purely on political considerations and not merit, which undermines the fight against corruption and the rule of law. Appointments of judges based on political considerations are in themselves a form of judicial capture and should be strongly discouraged.
In term of the enabling legal framework, Justice Dingake pointed out that most countries do not have such. Enabling laws that may contribute to an effective anti-corruption legal framework may comprise those that:
- Criminalise corrupt activities;
- Enhance transparency in public procurement;
- Require public officials to regularly declare assets and liabilities;
- Identify and prevent conflict of interests;
- Protect whistle-blowers;
- Enable tracing, seizure, freezing and forfeiture of all illicit earnings from corruption;
- Improve access to information (allowing citizens to obtain information from the state);
- Define basic principles for decision-making in public administration (objectivity, impartiality, fairness, proportionality, legality, and the right to appeal); and
- Have a legal framework that enables public interest litigation.
He concluded his presentation by noting the importance of MPs to pay attention to passing laws that can aid in fighting corruption. We need laws that protect whistle-blowers, laws on freedom of information, laws on declaration of assets and liabilities, laws on conflict of interests, and laws on public interest litigation – where people other than those directly involved (concerned members of the public) can file a suit on behalf of the public.
Stanley Nyamanhindi from the SADC Lawyers Association informed the meeting that tackling corruption was one of the major activities they were engaged in through:
- Direct formal engagement with SADC, and state party leadership to influence restoration of the SADC Tribunal or adoption of an alternative regional human rights apex tribunal with jurisdiction for individual cases that would also include corruption issues;
- The agreement with state party leadership to enter into Memoranda of understanding in regard to creation of economic justice infrastructure in the mould of a SADC Seat for Commercial arbitration and Investment Dispute Resolution. The agreement also includes partnership in implementing the pro bono network by enabling government legal aid and court structures to access the SADC Regional Pro Bono network for additional lawyers to assist in matters where government is overwhelmed, including on corruption cases.
- Practical Strategies to strengthen human rights and rule of law observance at domestic, regional and international level - The convention of parallel platforms and processes for both state and non-state actors to firmly build the foundational pillars of the human rights and rule of law infrastructure in SADC. Namely Public Interest Law Network. This is constituted of a pro bono network that includes public interest litigation, free legal representation and assistance with transactional legal work aimed at enhancing observation of human rights for vulnerable groups. A key approach is the engagement of big business and investment transactions with the view to ensuring they remain alive to the rights of grass roots communities and thus help in curbing corruption.
The Committee deliberated on the six presentations and resolved as follows:
Commended the presenters for bringing out different dimensions of corruption and the suggested way forward to addressing it;
- Welcomed the recommendations for Parliaments to be conscientized and capacitated on national and regional agreements, protocols and instruments that promote democratic governance and their implications in terms of what obligations their Governments have to meet under those instruments;
- Reiterated the importance of Civic education in strengthening evidence-based approach to combating corruption and the role of Parliamentarians in ensuring adherence to shared norms and principles through civic education of communities;
- Concerned about the slow pace on the ratification and/ or domestication and/ or implementation of national, regional and other international agreements/instruments which Member States are parties to including the SADC protocol Against Corruption and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, African Court on Human and Peoples Rights, Protocol on Mutual legal assistance etc;
- Appreciated the role of parliaments to ensure the establishment of independent institutions that support democratic governance and their funding including the independence of the judiciary
- Welcomed the recommendation on the establishment of a Liaison Unit and Engagement Framework for Regional CSOs & parliaments to facilitate contributions to the work of the SADC-PF, enabling structured linkages between the parliamentarians and civil society formations (technical support, outreach and public education, research and knowledge production, participation and advocacy);
- Reiterated the importance of a Ministerial Committee (or some other forum) at SADC level to oversee the implementation of the Protocol Against Corruption with regards to the harmonization of legislation and mechanisms for facilitating cross-border cooperation in investigating and prosecuting cases of corruption;
- Concerned with the attack perpetrated on the Media throughout the SADC especially for its role in investigating and exposing corruption including during the Covid-19 pandemic;
- Reiterated that parliaments tackles corruption through its oversight role in fulfilling civil and political rights by protecting (as provided for in the different charters and instruments):
- Freedom of expression;
- Access to information;
- Freedom of assembly;
- Freedom of association;
- Accountability and efficient institutions of state
In her closing remarks, the Chairperson thanked the Members for their participation and robust contributions during deliberations.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 16h20 sine die.