As the leader(s) of one arm of government, the Speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate are so crucial considering the two Houses cannot transact any business without a Speaker. Therefore the first business of every new Parliament is the election of the two Speakers. Serving as the Presiding Officers of the Houses, oftentimes the Speakers’ roles puts them at crossroads as to how to handle matters in both a fair and decisive manner, such that at times elements of temperament and personality have come into play.

In the 12 parliaments since independence when the bicameral system of parliament was established by the 1962 Lancaster Constitution, Parliament has had a total of 10 speakers; seven in the National Assembly and three in the Senate. 

After the 1963 Constitution established a Senate which consisted of 41 senators elected for a six year term, Timothy Chokwe served as its first Speaker. However, in 1966, through a bill tabled in the lower house (House of Representatives), the Senate and the National Assembly reverted to a unicameral legislature. Years later, in 2010, the promulgation of a new Constitution re-established the Senate, with the comeback Senate coming into effect in 2013.

 

Speakers of the Senate

 

 
 
Speakers of the National Assembly