CPA Press Release

In an interview on Parliamentary Conversations in the Commonwealth, a podcast by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Rt. Hon. Nelly Mutti, Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia, outlined her priorities for building the capacity of the National Assembly to carry out its core democratic functions. 


Speaker Mutti, elected as the first female Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia in September 2021, said she hopes to establish the 156 constituency offices of the National Assembly as a ‘nerve centre’, through which the concerns of constituents can be conducted ‘up to the Chamber.’ Enhancing the presence of constituency offices, she said, would help communities to ‘realise and take benefit’ of the functions of the National Assembly.  


Her other key priorities include building the capacity of parliamentary staff in the National Assembly as ‘key enablers’ of the work of Parliament and bringing Parliament ‘closer to the people.’ This could be achieved, she said, through making coverage of parliamentary business accessible nationwide and offering more avenues for the public to give feedback to Members of the National Assembly. 


Speaker Mutti also discussed her transition from working as a lawyer to becoming Speaker and the need to give women equal opportunities to contribute to parliamentary debates, saying, ‘It is important to encourage women to debate in a free environment where they can express their views without fear of being bullied by anyone.’

The podcast formed part of a mini-series launched by the CPA to mark International Day of Parliamentarianism, established by the United Nations in 2018. Parliamentary Conversations in the Commonwealth, a CPA podcast, gives a voice to parliamentarians, civil society experts and activists across the Commonwealth to discuss common democratic challenges and share their ideas on what can be done to solve them.


The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) is an international community of 180 Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. Founded in 1911, the CPA brings together Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and implement the enduring values of the Commonwealth. It offers a vast opportunity for Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff to collaborate on issues of mutual interest and to share good practice.