Thursday, 19 June 2014

Parliament Opens With Changes In The House

By Paul Shalala

The third meeting of the third session of the eleventh National Assembly opened on Tuesday in Lusaka with expectations high from various stakeholders.

A number of changes were noticed on the floor of the house due to various reshuffles and movements cross the floor.

Notable among them were Chongwe Member of Parliament Sylvia Masebo moving from the front to the backbech following her demotion from her ministerial position.

Another lawmaker who left her ministerial seat and set at the backbench is Lukashya member of parliament Efridah Kansembe who was dropped as Home Affairs Deputy Minister.

Mandevu member of parliament Jean Kapata moved from the middle bench to the front following her elevation to the position of Tourism Minister after the dismissal of Ms Masebo.

Mkushi North MP Ingrid Mpande left the backbench and sat in the middle row following her appointment as Community Development Deputy Minister.

Following a mini-reshuffle which saw about four cabinet ministers swapping offices a month ago, Cabinet ministers also swapped seats in parliament.

Eleven seats remain vacant in the house as seven of them were nullified by the courts of law.

These are Mangango, Mulobezi, Petauke Central, Zambezi West, Solwezi Central, Mkushi South, Vubwi, Kasenengwa and Malambo.

On top of that, seats belonging to Steven Masumba of Mufumbwe Constituency and Moses Muteteka of Chisamba constituency will remain vacant as both MPs were convicted by the courts of law and they have since appealed their sentences.

Meanwhile, stakeholders are hopeful that as members of parliament resume their sittings, several issues of national importance will be handled with national interest at heart.

With the hand over of the final draft constitution and the Constitution of Zambia Bill to the Ministry of Justice two months ago, the constitution is expected to feature high on people's expectations.

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