THE National Assembly today elected Lusaka Lawyer Nelly Mutti as Speaker, making her the first female to hold the position in Zambia’s history.
And President Hakainde Hichilema has told Mutti to ensure that laws which are made by the National Assembly don’t infringe on the rights of citizens.
This morning, Mutti, was elected unopposed, to take over from Dr Patrick Matibini who held the Speaker position since 2011.
The National Assembly also elected former Gwembe UPND member of parliament Attractor Chisangano as First Deputy Speaker. She too was unopposed.
Meanwhile, Luangeni Independent member of parliament Frank Moyo, also unopposed, was elected Second Deputy Speaker.
And speaking during the Approbation ceremony held at State House today, President Hichilema said the appointment of a woman as a Speaker was a great achievement.
“It is in order to express on behalf of the country how happy we are that for the first time in the history of this country, we have a female Madam Speaker. I think that is a huge achievement for the country. We are all delighted about that and we wish you the best in executing your duties to the nation. Deputy Speaker is also female so we wish you all the best as well,” President Hichilema said.
“These two form the history adding on what we have said already. Usually, it has been Speaker male for many years, the Deputy is male, the other deputy is male. But a few years ago, at least we had the Speaker, male, the Deputy was female. Today we have a Speaker, First Deputy Speaker are all females. Great day for our country, for our women. We want to also express our good wishes to the second deputy Speaker, please we are happy to have this combination.”
He urged Speaker Mutti and Deputy Speaker Chisangano to come up with laws that would protect the interest of citizens.
“The important thing is that no matter how independent we are, we work as a collective to serve the people of Zambia, to make laws for the people, maybe not to attempt in future to make laws against the people. We have seen this in the past, I want to be specific, Zambians know that sometimes that House has been used to make laws to block citizens from enjoying their rights. We do not expect this team to that. Remember, we occupy these offices for the people, laws we make must make lives of our people easier so that they can advance themselves in society. Protect citizens against all times, if laws are against the people, I think this House should have the liberty to amend those laws,” said President Hichilema.