Zambia’s parliament swears in new lawmakers
New vice president among notables as House prepares for resumption of business
Newly elected members of Zambia’s parliament took the oath of office Wednesday, signaling the commencement of legislative sessions after last month’s general elections.
Mutale Nalumango, Zambia’s second female vice president, was among the first group of lawmakers to be sworn in.
Also prominent was the daughter of former President Edgar Lungu, Tasila Lungu, who won a seat in Chawama township, her father’s former constituency in the capital Lusaka.
Members representing both the ruling United Party for National Development (UPND), opposition Patriotic Front (PF) and independents took the oath before the clerk of the National Assembly, Cecilia Mbewe.
Nalumango, 66, a former deputy speaker of parliament, now takes up the role of leader of government business in the House, with Mbewe adding that the oath process was constitutional and in line with parliamentary standing orders.
Parliament is expected to convene for its first day of business in Lusaka on Friday to elect a new speaker, first deputy and second deputy speaker for the first session of the 13th National Assembly.
The session is expected to be ceremonially opened by Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema on Sept. 10.
Despite Hichilema’s party having the lion’s share of lawmakers with more than 80 of 155 seats, it has gone on to file more than 70 petitions in court for seats lost.
The PF accounts for a little more than 60 of the seats, with the rest held by independents.
But Jack Mwiimbu, a UPND legal committee chairman, allayed speculation that the petitions were aimed at returning the southern African nation to a one-party regime.
He said via phone in Lusaka that his party had no control over members who wished to petition the polls as it was a constitutional right.
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