THE SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, HON NELLY MUTTI AND THE IMPERATIVE FOR IMPARTIALITY IN PRESIDING OVER PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS.
By Chanoda Ngwira
In any democratic society, the role of the Speaker of the National Assembly is of utmost importance. Hon Nelly Mutti, the current Speaker in Zambia, holds a pivotal position as she presides over the affairs of the National Assembly. However, recent events have raised questions about her impartiality, particularly in relation to the treatment of Members of Parliament from the ruling UPND party and the opposition, especially PF and some Independents. This biased stance not only erodes democracy but also poses a threat to the Republican Constitution and the harmonious functioning of Parliament.
The cornerstone of parliamentary democracy lies in the ability of the Speaker to ensure fair and unbiased proceedings. The Speaker’s role is to be the guardian of parliamentary rules and regulations, impartially applying them to all Members of Parliament, irrespective of their political affiliation. By maintaining a neutral stance, the Speaker fosters an environment where healthy debate thrives, allowing differing viewpoints to be heard and weighed objectively.
Unfortunately, several incidents have raised concerns about the impartiality of Hon Nelly Mutti. Reports suggest that she has been giving preferential treatment to UPND MPs and the Executive while displaying a more heavy-handed approach towards opposition MPs. Such actions, are deeply troubling as they compromise the integrity of her office and undermine the principles of democracy.
Partisanship in the house of legislature can be detrimental to the democratic process. As the Speaker, Hon Nelly Mutti must recognize the far-reaching consequences of her actions. By showing favoritism towards one party, she masks the freedom of expression and legitimate concerns of the opposition, effectively stifling their voices. This erosion of democratic values undermines the very foundations of a just and inclusive society.
Moreover, the role of the Speaker extends beyond the confines of the National Assembly. The Speaker is responsible for upholding the tenets of the Republican Constitution, a document designed to ensure the effective functioning of the nation. A partisan approach not only undermines the Speaker’s responsibility but also jeopardizes the stability and order of parliamentary proceedings.
It is essential for the Speaker to remember that her position bears enormous responsibility. A failure to exercise impartiality may lead to serious trouble and confusion in Parliament, and if left unchecked, this can ultimately lead to anarchy. The Speaker must consider the potential consequences of her actions and the wider implications on the nation.
In conclusion, the presence of a neutral and impartial Speaker is critical for the effective functioning of a democratic society. The recent issues regarding Hon Nelly Mutti’s partisan approach towards treating politicians from different parties must be urgently addressed. The erosion of democracy caused by such actions is a call for concern and requires immediate attention. The Speaker must embrace impartiality and ensure fairness in proceedings to uphold the democratic values and protect the Republican Constitution, thereby facilitating a harmonious environment in the National Assembly. Only then can the true spirit of democracy prevail.