Parliament resumes sitting Tuesday, June 17

Dr Patrick Matibini
Dr Patrick Matibini

As the Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly resumes sitting on Tuesday, June17 the main focus of business will be the adoption of reports of various parliamentary Committees.


Parliament adjourned sine die on March 11, this year and sat for 17 days after concluding its business.


National Assembly Parliamentary Media Liaison Officer, Matthew Mukelabai, said this in a press statement released to ZANIS in Lusaka today.


Mr Mukelabai further said the House would also consider enacting the Zambia Charter of Logistics and Transport Bill.


In the previous sitting, the National Assembly considered a total of 211 questions for oral and written, ten ministerial statements that indicated government’s clear position on various matters of national interest and three annual reports from both government and quasi government institutions.


The House also passed three bills, namely the Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Bill, the Service Commission (Amendment) Bill and the Business Regulatory Bill.


A private member’s motion was moved urging Government to provide a road-map for enactment of the new Constitution but failed to pass through in Parliament.


The motion, moved by United Party for National Development (UPND) Mazabuka Central Member of Parliament (MP), Garry Nkombo, was passed to a vote but it saw the ruling bench winning by 69 votes against 42 from the opposition.


The motion s urged Government to expedite the process of enacting a new Constitution considering that the work of the technical committee has been completed and is ready for submission.


Home Affairs Minister, who is also nominated MP, Ngosa Simbyakula, called for consensus to ensure Zambians had a long-lasting Constitution.


The House adjourned sine die after suspending Standing Orders 20 and 21(1), and Standing Order 101 that enable it to complete business on the order paper.


The last Session was marred with premature adjournments following the unruly behaviour by the opposition MPs and forced Speaker of the National Assembly, Patrick Matibini, to prematurely adjourn proceedings of the House on two occasions during that session.


Dr Matibini described the opposition MPs’ action to disrupt proceedings in the House as unruly and disorderly.


Because of disorderly behaviour, Dr Matibini threatened to invoke Standing Order number 70 which could have seen the parliamentarians being led out of the House by the Sergeant-at-Arms.


Zambia Police Officers were deployed around Parliament grounds to monitor the situation.


Parliament also unanimously ratified two Supreme Court Judges and five High Court Judges which President Michael Sata appointed to serve as Puisne Judges.


Those appointed are justices Evans Mweembani Hamaundu and Albert Mark Wood as Supreme Court Judges while Justices Betty Mwaka Majula Mung’omba, Mrs Chilombo Maka-Phiri, Mr Mwila Chitabo, SC, Mr William Smith Mweemba and Mr Charles Chanda are High Court Judges.


Meanwhile, as the House resumes the Third meeting of the Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, it will be without Robert Taundi Chiseke, the former MMD Mangango MP.


This follows the Supreme Court decision to uphold the High Court ruling and nullified the Mangango seat that was held by Mr Taundi.


The Zambian Parliament consists of 150 duly elected MPs and eight nominated ones.


This brings the total number of seats lost in election petitions since the 2011 general elections to eight by the former ruling party, the MMD.


This would result in a by-election and Mr Chiseke automatically loses his ministerial position of deputy minister for Commerce and Industry.