First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia, Honourable Malungo A. Chisangano, MP on Monday 22 August, 2022 met with Senior Professional Staff Member for Africa and Global Health on the United States (U.S) Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), Ms Heather Flynn to deliberate on Democratic Reforms in Zambia.

The talks were held at Parliament Buildings when the Honourable First Deputy Speaker acknowledged the warm bilateral relations that exist between the Republic of Zambia and the United States of America. Hon Chisangano appreciated the US SFRC’s request to the National Assembly of Zambia to deliberate on the Democratic and Economic Reforms in Zambia.

Madam First Deputy Speaker said that Zambia’s position on Democratic and Economic Governance was well articulated in President Hakainde Hichilema’s inaugural speech during the Ceremonial Opening of the First Session of the Thirteen National Assembly, on 10th September, 2021, where the President committed his government to rebuild Zambia’s economy that delivers jobs and betters the livelihoods of the Zambian people. She also said that the current administration has committed itself to undertake economic reforms that would create an environment to foster higher economic growth through private investment and terms of democratic governance.

In addition, Hon Chisangano explained the responsibility Members of Parliament contribute to democratic governance through their oversight role on the policy pronouncements made by the current administration and the oversight function carried out through Parliamentary Committees.

Ms Heather Flynn expressed gratitude to the First Deputy Speaker as well as acknowledged the importance of their meeting and asked Madam Deputy Speaker whether the National Assembly of Zambia engages in democracy partnerships with other countries for the exchange of information on legislative functions to support capacity-building among countries. She also asked if Members of Parliament are treated fairly and accorded an equal opportunity to debate regardless of the political parties they belong to.

In response, the First Deputy Speaker stated that the National Assembly was into democracy exchange partnerships with other Parliaments such as those of Zimbabwe, Ghana and Uganda where Members of Parliament engage in various Parliamentary affairs and share best practices.

Furthermore, The First Deputy Speaker indicated that capacity-building and exchange programmes were important in exposing Members and enhancing their competencies in Parliamentary procedure and debates on the floor of the House as they performed their constitutional functions.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is one of the original ten standing committees of the Senate and is instrumental in developing and influencing United States foreign policy.