Madam Nelly Mutti, Member of Parliament (MP) and Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia has won the 2023 Commonwealth Parliamentarian of the Year Award.
The award, which took place at the 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Accra, was in recognition of Madam Mutti’s parliamentary service and her commitment to transparency in parliamentary processes.
It also acknowledges Madam Mutti’s contributions to upholding the rule of law and her dedication to ensuring the citizens of Zambia have quick and easy access to information.
Madam Mutti is also a strong supporter of the work of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in Zambia, in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Africa Region and in the wider CPA membership.
Speaker Mutti is the current and first ever female Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia.
Elected in September 2021, she is the Principal Presiding Officer responsible for fair and impartial maintenance of order and decorum in the House.
In addition, she is the Chairperson of the Standing Orders Committee, which examines and considers matters pertaining to parliamentary procedure, customs and traditions of the House; as well as recommendations regarding salaries, allowances, pensions or gratuities of Officers and Members of the National Assembly.
She also chairs the House Business Committee, whose duties include consideration of all matters related to the business of the House and approval of the Parliamentary Calendar.
In addition, she is currently serving as the President of the Zambia Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the CPA Zambia Branch President.
Other award winners at the 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Accra, include Madam Helen Ntombi Lentheng Mekgwe, MPL, Speaker of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in South Africa.
She was awarded the 2023 Parliamentary Equality and Diversity Award in recognition of her parliamentary service and her commitment to gender mainstreaming and the promotion of women’s empowerment, the work of the Multi-Party Women’s Caucus in Gauteng, and the sector Parliaments (including youth, LGBTQIA+, elderly citizens and women).
Madam Myrna Driedger, MLA, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba in Canada was awarded the 2023 Parliamentarian Life-time Achievement Award in recognition of her parliamentary service and her commitment and contributions to the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) network, particularly in the CPA Canada Region, as well as her work encouraging young women and girls to become active in politics and her 25 years of promoting the education of youth around the work of Parliament.
Madam Tanya August-Hanson, MLC, Member of the Isle of Man Legislative Council was awarded the 2023 New Parliamentarian Award in recognition of her contributions to promoting parliamentary democracy and engagement amongst young people, her role as an ambassador for the CPA.
It was also in recognition of her pioneering of the concept of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) between Parliamentarians and the Government.
Mr Stephen Twigg, the CPA Secretary-General, said the Commonwealth Parliamentarian of the Year Awards aligns to their strategic objective of promoting the values of the Commonwealth, parliamentary democracy and sustainable development to a wide audience.
He said through these annual awards, the CPA would recognise and highlight the invaluable contributions that Parliamentarians were making to their local communities and both nationally and internationally within the Commonwealth.
As part of the CPA’s mission to strengthen parliamentary democracy through the promotion of good governance and sharing best practice, the awards were launched last year to recognise and highlight inspirational and active Parliamentarians for excelling in their field.
Awards are open to nominees who are current parliamentarians across the Commonwealth.
The CPA’s unique membership includes almost 180 national, state, provincial and territorial Legislatures.
The next awards will be open for nominations in 2024.