Zambian politicians discuss functions of the National Assembly at Commonwealth seminar
Members of the National Assembly of Zambia took part in a four-day Post-Election Seminar hosted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) from 25 to 28 July 2022.
The seminar, which was due to be held after the most recent Zambian General Election in August 2021 but was postponed due to COVID-19, featured sessions on women’s representation in Parliament, the budget approval process and the central tenets of parliamentary practice, procedure and ethics.
Zambian Parliamentarians from across the House were joined by parliamentary leaders and experts from Malawi, Namibia and South Africa, including Hon. Nontembeko Nothemba Boyce, MPL, Speaker of the KwaZulu Natal Legislature; Hon. Joyce Chitsulo, MP, Chairperson of the Malawi Public Appointments Committee; Hon. C. T. Frolick, MP, Chairman of Committees, Oversight and ICT, Parliament of South Africa; Adv. Johannes Namiseb, Secretary of the National Council of Namibia; and Boemo M Sekgoma, Secretary-General of the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF). Regional organisations including the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) and the Sustainable Development Goals Centre for Africa also contributed to the CPA seminar.
Opening the seminar, Rt Hon. Nelly B. K. Mutti, Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia, noted that the 2021 General Election saw a 61% turnover of Members in the National Assembly. With so many new Members, she said, it was:
“imperative that the National Assembly of Zambia takes deliberate steps to ensure capacity is built for all Members of Parliament in order for them to take a more active role in enhancing democracy.”
In a virtual address, the CPA Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg, added:
“These seminars provide a great opportunity for Parliamentarians to come together, to plan ahead, and to learn from each other. I hope that you have a successful series of discussions and conversations over the coming days.”
Reflecting on the seminar, newly elected MP Hon. Joel Chibuye, an Independent Member of the National Assembly for Roan constituency, said that it had been a “very interesting, very refreshing seminar.” He encouraged other Members of Parliament across the Commonwealth to take the opportunity to participate in future seminars, adding that, “They are very educative, very informative, and will help to build on any knowledge gaps that you have.”
The CPA promotes knowledge of the constitutional, legislative, economic, social and cultural aspects of parliamentary democracy. The National Assembly of Zambia has been a Branch of the CPA since 1964 and previously hosted a CPA programme in 2019, when Zambian Parliamentarians studied the role of Parliament in the scrutiny of international treaties and agreements.
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance.
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