AARON MWEWA, Lusaka
THE celebrated 13th Zambian Parliament adjourned on December 23, 2021, at 10:12 hours. In holy matrimony, the 13th anniversary represents intricate beauty and requires special care, just like a relationship after 13 years. Fittingly, the Thirteenth National Assembly of Zambia on Friday, September 3, 2021, made history when the House elected Nelly Butete Kashumba Mutti as Speaker, making her the first woman to hold that position. Other presiding officers of the National Assembly who were elected were First Deputy Speaker Attractor Malungo Chisangano and Second Deputy Speaker Moses Moyo, an independent Member of Parliament for Luangeni constituency. The Men’s Parliamentary Network on Gender described the election of the first female Speaker as symbolic and a step in the right direction. Speaking during the approbation ceremony at State House, President Hakainde Hichilema promised that he would allow the speakers to work independently in facilitating the making of laws, which would protect the interests of the Zambian people. The head of State expressed delight that for the first time in the history of the country, a female Speaker had been elected, which is one of the biggest achievements for the country. Speaking to journalists right after being sworn in, Mrs Mutti promised that the laws which would be formulated by Parliament would uplift the living standards of the people. The 13th Parliament came into being after the momentous August 2021 general election, which ushered into power the new dawn government of the United Party for National Development and its alliance partners. The UPND emerged victorious after President Hakainde Hichilema polled 59.02 percent of the votes against his closest rival, Edgar Lungu of the Patriotic Front (PF), who polled 38.71 percent. The new President was sworn in on August 24, 2021 and, subsequently, opened the 1st session of the 13th National Assembly on Friday, September 10, 2021. Zambia’s “New Dawn” could be likened to the “New Deal” period in the history of the United States of America, which refers to a series of domestic programmes (lasting roughly from 1933 to 1939) which were implemented during the administration of President Franklin D Roosevelt to combat the effects of the Great Depression on the US economy. In a lucid and incisive speech, which lasted for three hours and 15 minutes when he opened Parliament on September 10, 2021, President Hichilema explained to the Members of Parliament and citizenry the support he would need in creating a united, prosperous and equitable Zambia while restoring economic growth and safeguarding livelihoods. “We need the support of every citizen to achieve our development agenda. Our administration will, therefore, create an environment in which every citizen will have the opportunity to participate and benefit from the economic activities of our country,” President Hichilema pledged. He told Parliament that his new government would implement policies to reduce the fiscal deficit, restore economic growth and review mining policies. He went on to state that it would also review agricultural policies, revise electricity prices and reform the state power firm, Zesco.
“We will implement policies to address the fiscal deficit while ensuring CLICK TO READ MORE
AARON MWEWA, Lusaka