Pan-African leader accused of funds 'misuse' Oct 31, 2009 10:04 PM | By Charles Molele Proceedings at the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) turned nasty this week when an audit report compiled by the body's ad-hoc committee accused its founding president of misusing thousands of rands. IRREGULARITIES: Former Pan-African Parliament head Gertrude Mongella 'I trust in God and history will absolve me' - former PAP president Mongella The report claims that, in December last year, Gertrude Mongella of Tanzania, who was president of the PAP from its beginning in 2004 until March this year, asked the clerk of parliament for a transport allowance for her household furniture amounting to $17000. Mongella told the clerk that the South African government had provided her with a new residence and she needed to transport her furniture from Tanzania to South Africa. However, said the ad-hoc committee, the president's residence was fully furnished and it did not need additional furniture as she claimed. In May, Mongella is also said to have written a letter to the acting clerk of the parliament requesting money to cover transport costs for her to move her personal belongings to her house in Dar es Salaam after the end of her term in office. She was granted R150000. The report, which has caused consternation among members of the PAP, revealed gross irregularities in the management of the PAP's administrative, financial, institutional and political structures during Mongella's five-year term. It paints a bleak picture of how Mongella allegedly mismanaged the PAP - an organ of the African Union - and how she undermined former AU chairman Alpha Oumar Konare, leading to a gradual deterioration of relations and the isolation of the PAP from the AU and its other organs. According to the ad-hoc committee's chairman, Chief Fortune Charumbira, more than R650000 withdrawn from the PAP's trust fund account could not be accounted for by auditors. Speaking to the Sunday Times this week, Mongella, who was present at this week's PAP sitting, said that the report violated her human rights because members of the ad-hoc committee had breached standard procedure by not interviewing her before tabling the report in the house. "I trust in God, and history will absolve me," she said on Friday. Among some of the findings were that "unauthorised budget lines" had resulted in the assembly of the African Union cutting PAP's 2009 budget. The report also accused Mongella of fostering a personality cult that "translates into the tendency to display a lack of respect for members of parliament". The report said that nepotism was rife at the PAP and some staff members were recruited and promoted without the correct procedures being followed. Despite controversy about the validity of much of the information contained in the report, PAP president Moussa Idriss Ndele adopted it. Ndele said the report would ensure that past mistakes were not repeated. The Midrand, Gauteng-based parliament is sitting for two weeks to debate issues related to the transformation of the PAP from an advisory to a legislative body. "The report was not meant to blemish anyone's reputation but to assess the work of the PAP in the last five years," Ndele told a sitting of the PAP this week.