Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia, Rt. Hon. Mr Justice Dr Patrick Matibini, SC., BA, FCIArb, MP has launched the first edition of the Members of the Northern Rhodesia Legislative Council, and the National Assembly of Zambia, 1924 – 2021 Handbook.  The handbook was launched on Tuesday, 12th April, 2021 at Parliament Buildings.

Speaking during the launch, Speaker Matibini said the National Assembly of Zambia (NAZ) has a long and rich history which is traceable to 1924 and therefore, the institution had embarked on a task to compile a more comprehensive compendium of record of all Members covering both the pre- and post- independence eras.

He said that, he was confident that Handbook would serve as a valuable tool for research and educational purposes, for generations to come.  He added that, the publication would also serve as a quick reference resource for stakeholders who wished to fact-check some information about MPs and the Institution.

The Speaker also expressed his gratitude to the stakeholders that provided vital information during the compilation of the compendium, who included, His Excellency, Mr Rupiah B Banda, Fourth Republican President; Hon Enock Kavindele, former Republican Vice President; Hon Vernon J Mwaanga, former Cabinet Minister; Hon Mwamutenta R Musakabantu, former Cabinet Minister; Hon Kennedy M Shepande, former Deputy Minister; and Hon Matiya Ngalande, former MP. Others included Dr Simon Miti, Secretary to the Cabinet and Mr George Kateka, a former member of staff of the National Assembly of Zambia.  He added that the Office of the First Republican President; Cabinet Office; the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ); the Zambia Daily Mail; Times of Zambia; Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS); National Archives; the Parliament of Zimbabwe; and the United National Independence Party (UNIP) were also instrumental in the compilation of the necessary information.

The Clerk of the National Assembly of Zambia, Mrs Cecilia Nsenduluka Mbewe said the launch of the publication represented a tremendous achievement in documenting the history of Parliament.

She added that the process was long and tedious, involving among others, pulling ideas together, extensive research and tracking key informants, some of whom held Government portfolios, in an effort to validate and ensure that the information contained in the handbook was as factual as possible.  Mrs Mbewe further said, the document has a national character in that, the information used to put it together was sourced from all parts of the country.

She however stated that the compilation of the document faced some challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the public health guidelines put in place to stop its spread which in many cases made it impossible to have interactions and consultations with potential informants.

And giving the vote of thanks, Mongu Central, Member of Parliament, Dr Mwilola Imakando said the launch of the Handbook was gratifying and would be very useful for the serving and future Members of Parliament.

The handbook which is available on the National Assembly of Zambia website (www.parliament.gov.zm) contains brief profiles of Members of the LEGICO and NAZ, both elected and nominated; year of establishment of some of the constituencies, and their evolution over the years; government portfolios held by Members of the LEGICO and NAZ during their tenure; political parties under which Members served; presiding Officers; and an Appendix containing information on sessions from 1964 to 2021, including by-elections.