DR PATRICK Matibin, Ms Catherine Namugala and Patriotic Front (PF) Mfuwe Member of Parliament Mwimba Malama were yesterday unanimously elected
as Speaker of the National Assembly, First Deputy Speaker and Second Deputy respectively for the next five years after going through unopposed.
Returning Officer, who is also Clerk of the National Assembly Ms Doris Mwiinga, declared Dr Matibini, Ms Namugala and Mr Malama as duly elected after
going through unopposed.
Last week, President Edgar Lungu nominated Dr Matibini to continue being the Presiding Officers of the National Assembly as candidate for re-election as Speaker of the National Assembly.
The Head of State also proposed former Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) Mafinga Member of Parliament Catherine Namugala as First Deputy Speaker and PF’s Mfuwe Member of Parliament Mwimba Malama as Second Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly.
And when voting came up on the floor of the House yesterday, Chililabombwe Patriotic Front Member of Parliament and Chief Whip Richard Musukwa proposed the name of Dr Matibini and he was seconded by Serenje MMD Member of Parliament Maxwell Kabanda.
After the re-election of Dr Matibini, Mrs Mwiinga proceeded to conduct the election of the First deputy Speaker.
Kwacha Patriotic Front (PF) Joseph Malanji proposed Catherine Namugala and was seconded by Mkaika MP (MMD) Peter Phiri. Ms Namugala went unopposed attracting more shouts of joy from the PF members.
Mrs Mwiinga declared Ms Namugala duly elected at 10:15 hours. Following the election of Ms Namugala, a former law maker for Mafinga constituency under the MMD ticket, Mrs Mwiinga went further to conduct the election of the Second deputy Speaker in accordance with the new
Kasama Central MP (PF) Kelvin Sampa proposed Mfuwe MP (PF) Mwimba Malama and was seconded by Cheingi MP (FDD) Given Katuta.
Similarly, Mr Malama went unopposed attracted further cheers from PF Members.
Mrs Mwiinga declared Mr Malama duly elected at 10: 20 hours. After being elected, the House was characterised with jubilation and drama when the Rerunning Officers Ms Mwiinga asked Mr Musukwa and Mr Kabanda to go and bring Dr Matibini who was not in the House at the time he was declared Speaker.
Upon arrival in the chambers, Dr Matibini caused laughter and jubilation among parliamentarians when he dramatically attempted to refuse going to take his substantive role in the House but was instead forced as Mr Musukwa and Mr Kabanda dragged him to his seat.
The same applied to Ms Namugala and Mr Malama, as they were being escorted by Members of Parliament to make the grand entry into the House.
The duo dramatically resisted to be taken to their positions in the House.
And delivering her congratulatory message in Parliament yesterday, Vice President Inonge Wina said she had no doubt that Dr Matibini was the most suitable person for the seat.
“The seat that is not only for great prestige and dignity but one that also brings great distinction, integrity and warmth. I am convinced that in you, the National Assembly will have a custodian of the dignity and authority of the House and who will regulate debates and enforce strict observance of the rules which govern ordinary conduct in the House,” she said.
Ms Wina said the office of the Speaker was an essential feature of a democratic Parliament and that it was also an important, ancient and honourable office
deserving great respect.
She said Dr Matibini would continue being a custodian of the rights and privileges of the
Members of Parliament.
“Mr Speaker, your office has immense powers which are not only limited to presiding over proceedings in the House, making rulings on procedures in the House as well as on important national issues and calling on members to speak, but above all these powers include influencing the order of
business in the House.