Speaker of the National Assembly, Rt. Honourable Nelly B K Mutti, MP says there is need to revive training and capacity building among Zambian Parliamentarians to ensure they are abreast with best practices and procedures for the smooth running of the House.

Speaking in New Delhi, India yesterday during a bilateral meeting with the Speaker of the Lok Sabha (Lower House) of India's bicameral Parliament, Shri Om Birla, Ms. Mutti said Zambia only has a 60 percent retention of parliamentarians every after five years, a development she says means that there are always new MPs every term.

She said training is therefore important for new parliamentarians and that there is need for Zambia to take advantage of the offer by India to train and orient MPs now that the COVID situation has decreased.

“We want this training to our Members of Parliament because as you all may be aware, every five years, we have new MPs since it is not every old Member of Parliament who returns. We have new members who need to know what Parliament is all about.

“We are here to learn best practices and also to interact with Members of Parliament to see how we can enhance our cooperation with India because the practices and procedures are the same. Through this orientation, we wish to revive the capacity building training that was extended to our Members of Parliament before COVID disrupted our plans,” Ms. Mutti said.

And Ms. Mutti said Zambia has made positive strides towards inclusion of women into decision making positions but that what remains is the legal framework that will help actualise such aspirations such as the implementation of proportionate representation of women in Parliament.

“We are trying to enhance the inclusion of women in decision making. Our Parliament has demonstrated so much by nominating me as the first female Speaker of the National Assembly. Our Vice President is a woman just like our second deputy Speaker. So, we have the political will towards the inclusion of women in the House and this will result in having more women in decision making positions in the country.

“All we need is to strengthen our legislation to ensure that we amend our laws so that we provide a proportional representation which would allow more women to participate. Once we have more women as Members of Parliament, the President will have a bigger group to choose from,” she said.

She said as a measure to enhance ties with parliamentarians from India, Zambia has formed the Zambia-India Parliamentary Friendship Group chaired by Mitete Member of Parliament, Hon. Misheck Mutelo M.P.

And Shri Birla praised Zambia for electing the first female Speaker of the National Assembly adding that with her rich experience as a legal luminary, he has no doubt that Ms. Mutti will succeed in her portfolio.

He said the fact that Ms. Mutti has not only excelled in her field as a lawyer but also served in various capacities at national and international level, is testimony of her credentials and capability.

Madam Speaker is in India on a working visit and is accompanied by Government Deputy Chief Whip and Vice Chairperson of the Committee on Reform and Modernisation Hon. Princess Kasune, M.P and Acting Clerk of the National Assembly Roy Ngulube, among others