GOVERNMENT Chief Whip Brian Mundubile says members of parliament will still be paid their allowances despite them having to participate in parliamentary business from their various constituencies to ensure smooth running of the National Assembly’s operations.

And Mundubile has announced that President Edgar Lungu will on February 12 address the House on progress made on National Values and Principles.

Meanwhile, Mundubile says only a total of 30 people will be allowed in the House, including 22 MPs and eight support staff, during the current sitting under the COVID-19 guidelines.

During a virtual press briefing in Lusaka, Tuesday, Mundubile said members of parliament would still be paid their allowances despite them having to participate in parliamentary business from their various constituencies.

“The Standing Orders Committee in their joint meeting with the House Business Committee made a decision that the mindage allowance that is normally sent to MPs, including other allowances like upkeep, will still be sent to the MPS to allow them access facilities. As you may be aware, most parts of the country, most constituencies are in far-flung areas where there are no facilities, meaning that even when we have stopped members of parliament from coming to occupy the motel, they may need to get to some comfortable place where they will be able to access facilities to be able to participate effectively in the business of the House. So, with that, there may be no savings at all, if any the savings will be minimal because allowances will still be paid to allow for members of parliament to have access to facilities,” Mundubile said.

And Mundubile said the President would address the House on Friday, February 12.

“The Second Meeting of the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, which commenced, today (Tuesday), is expected to sit for about six weeks and adjourn on or before Friday, March 5, 2021. During this meeting, the House is expected to transact the following Business: President’s Address To The House – In accordance with Article 86 of the Constitution of Zambia, His Excellency, the President is expected to address the House on Progress made on National Values and Principles on Friday, 12th February, 2021,” he said.

He added that during this sitting, 21 bills were expected to be enacted.

“It is expected that several bills will be considered and passed during this meeting, which is primarily for enactment of legislation. 2 Accordingly, the National Assembly has already received advance copies of the following two Bills: (i) The Data Protection Bill, 2020; and (ii) The Electronic Communications Transactions Bill, 2020. The Ministry of Justice has also indicated that the following 21 bills are expected to be enacted during this Legislative Meeting: (1) The Cannabis Bill, 2021; (2) The Insurance Bill, 2021; (3) The Cyber Security and Cyber Crime Bill, 2021; (4) The Meteorological Bill, 2021; (5) The Legal Aid Bill, 2021; (6) The Correctional Service Bill, 2021; (7) The Child Code Bill, 2021; (8) The Lands Tribunal (Amendment) Bill, 2021; (9) The Land Survey (Amendment) Bill, 2021; (10) The Zambia Institute of Marketing Bill, 2021; (11) The Specified Offices Pensions Benefits Bill, 2021; (12) The Trade Mark Bill, 2021; (13) The Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill, 2021; (14) The Parliamentary Petition Bill, 2021; (15) The Examinations Council of Zambia Bill, 2021; (16) The National Symbols Bill, 2021; (17) The Higher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2021; (18) The Health Professions Association of Zambia Bill, 2021; (19) The Electoral Process (Amendment) Bill, 2021; (20) The Anti-Terrorism and Proliferation (Amendment) Bill 2021; and (21) The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Bill, 2021,” he said.

He further added that a total of 351 questions were available for consideration by the House and will be placed on the order paper beginning Tuesday, January 26, 2021.

Meanwhile, Mundubile revealed that only 22 members of parliament and eight members of support staff will be allowed in the Chamber during a sitting of the House with the rest participating virtually.

“During this Meeting, only 22 members of parliament and eight members of support staff will be allowed in the Chamber during a Sitting of the House, while the rest of the members of parliament will participate virtually, from any suitable place outside parliamentary precincts. Similarly, all committee meetings will be held virtually, and, accordingly, all members of parliament will attend meetings of their committees virtually,” said Mundubile, who also announced that the National Assembly Motel would remain inaccessible to members of parliament until further notice as it was currently being thoroughly disinfected and undergoing a massive overhaul.