CHAPTER 12
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (POWERS AND PRIVILEGES) ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES OF THE ASSEMBLY AND ITS OFFICERS

   3.   Freedom of speech and debate

   4.   Immunity from legal proceedings

   5.   Freedom from arrest

   5A.   Arrest for criminal offence

   6.   Exemption from certain services

   6A.   Certificate of exemption to attend court

   7.   Power to exclude strangers

   8.   Evidence of proceedings in Assembly or committee not to be given without leave

   9.   Civil process not to be served nor members arrested on civil process within precincts of the Assembly Chamber

   9A.   Power of Assembly to inquire into offences

PART III
EVIDENCE

   10.   Power to order attendance of witness

   11.   Attendance to be notified by summons

   11A.   Failure to attend before Assembly or committee

   12.   Witnesses may be examined on oath

   13.   Objection to answer question or produce papers

   14.   Privileges of witnesses

   15.   Certificate issued to witnesses making full disclosure to be a bar to civil or criminal proceedings

   16.   False evidence

   17.   Interference with witnesses

   18.   False documents

   19.   Contempt

   20.   Questions relating to evidence and production of documents before the Assembly or a committee to be determined in accordance with usage of Parliament

PART IV
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

   21.   Penalty where not otherwise provided

   22.   Corrupt or improper practices

   23.   Other offences against members and officers

   24.   Disobedience

   25.   Other offences

   26.   Officers of the Assembly to have powers of police officer

   27.   Sanction of Director of Public Prosecutions for prosecutions

   28.   Disciplinary powers of Assembly

   28A.   Manner of admonition or reprimand

   28B.   Establishment of Commitee on Privileges

   28C.   Procedure for dealing with an offence against Assembly

PART V
MISCELLANEOUS

   29.   (Repealed)

   30.   Admissibility of votes and proceedings printed by or under authority of Assembly

   31.   Protection of persons responsible for publications authorised by the Assembly

   32.   Publication of proceedings without malice

   33.   Powers to be supplementary to powers under the Constitution

   34.   Courts not to exercise jurisdiction in respect of acts of the Assembly, Speaker and officers

   35.   Absence of the Speaker, etc.

AN ACT

to declare and define certain powers, privileges and immunities of the National Assembly and of the members and officers of such Assembly; to secure freedom of speech in the National Assembly; to regulate admittance to the precincts of the National Assembly; to give protection to the persons employed in the publication of the reports and other papers of the National Assembly; and to provide for matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing.

[28th September, 1956]

Act 34 of 1956,

Act 4 of 1957,

Act 68 of 1957,

Act 6 of 1970,

Act 23 of 1976,

Act 13 of 1994,

Act 13 of 2016,

GN 421 of 1962,

GN 497 of 1964,

SI 174 of 1965.

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“Assembly” means the National Assembly;

...

[“Authorised committee” rep by s 2(a) of Act 13 of 2016.]

“Clerk” means the Clerk of the Assembly and includes any person acting as such on the authority of the Speaker;

“committee” means a parliamentary committee established in accordance with Article 80 of the Constitution;

[Subs by s 2(b) of Act 13 of 2016.]

“meeting” means the period between the time when the Assembly first assembles after being summoned and the time at which it is adjourned sine die;

“member” means any member of the Assembly and includes the Speaker;

“officer” means the Clerk or any other officer or person acting within the precincts of the Assembly Chamber under the orders of the Speaker;

“precincts of the Assembly Chamber” means the chamber in which the Assembly sits in session for the transaction of business, together with the offices, rooms, lobbies, galleries, courtyards, gardens and other places provided for the use or accommodation of members, officers or strangers, and any passages connecting such places, and any other places immediately contiguous thereto as may from time to time be designated by the Speaker;

“Standing Orders” means the Standing Orders of the Assembly made in accordance with Article 77 of the Constitution;

[Subs by s 2(b) of Act 13 of 2016.]

“stranger” means any person other than a member or an officer;

“votes and proceedings” means the official daily record of the proceedings in the Assembly.

[S 2 am by Act 68 of 1957 ; S.I. 174 of 1965 ; 23 of 1976.]

PART II
PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES OF THE ASSEMBLY AND ITS OFFICERS

[Am by s 3 of Act 13 of 2016.]

3.   Freedom of speech and debate

There shall be freedom of speech and debate in the Assembly. Such freedom of speech and debate shall not be liable to be questioned in any court or place outside the Assembly.

4.   Immunity from legal proceedings

No civil or criminal proceedings may be instituted against any member for words spoken before, or written in a report to, the Assembly or to a committee thereof or by reason of any matter or thing brought by him therein by petition, Bill, resolution, motion or otherwise.

5.   Freedom from arrest

For the duration of a meeting members shall enjoy freedom from arrest for any civil debt except a debt the contraction of which constitutes a criminal offence.

5A.   Arrest for criminal offence

Where a member is arrested for a criminal offence, the arresting officer shall inform the speaker of the arrest within 48 hours of the arrest.

[S 5A ins by s 4 of Act 13 of 2016.]

6.   Exemption from certain services

   (1) No member or officer shall be required to serve as an assessor at any proceedings in any court or other place.

   (2) Save by the leave of the Assembly first obtained, no member or officer shall be required, while attending the Assembly, to attend as a witness in any civil proceedings in any court or in any proceedings before any commission appointed under the Inquiries Act, unless that court or commission holds its sittings at the seat of the Assembly.

6A.   Certificate of exemption to attend court

   (1) Despite any other written law, where a member or officer is required while the Assembly is conducting its business to attend—

   (a)    as a witness before a court, tribunal or a commission established under the Inquiries Act, in any civil or criminal proceedings; or

   (b)    as a defendant in any civil proceedings,

the Speaker, First Deputy Speaker, Second Deputy Speaker or a person designated by the Speaker, shall issue a certificate exempting the member or officer the member or officer from attending the Courts, Tribunal or Commission and stating that the member or officer is, or would be, attending to the business of the Assembly on the dates and times indicated in the certificate.

   (2) A certificate issued under sub-section (1) is sufficient proof that the member or officer is attending to business of the Assembly.

[S 6A ins by s 5 of Act 13 of 2016.]

7.   Power to exclude strangers

   (1) No stranger shall be entitled, as of right, to enter or remain within the precincts of the Assembly Chamber and the Speaker or any officer authorised in that behalf by the Speaker may at any time order any stranger to withdraw therefrom.

   (2) The Speaker may issue such orders as he may in his discretion deem necessary or desirable for the regulation of the admittance of strangers to, and the conduct of strangers within, the precincts of the Assembly Chamber.

   (3) The exhibition in a conspicuous position in the precincts of the Assembly Chamber of a copy, duly authenticated by the Clerk, of any orders made by the Speaker under this section shall be deemed to be sufficient notice to all persons affected thereby.

8.   Evidence of proceedings in Assembly or committee not to be given without leave

A member, officer or person employed to take or transcribe minutes of evidence before the Assembly or a committee shall not give evidence elsewhere about the contents of the minutes or the contents of a document laid before the Assembly or a committee, about any proceedings or examination held before the Assembly or a committee, without the special leave of the Speaker.

[S 8 subs by s 6 of Act 10 of 2016.]

9.   Civil process not to be served nor members arrested on civil process within precincts of the Assembly Chamber

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, no process issued by any court of Zambia or outside Zambia in the exercise of its civil jurisdiction shall be served or executed within the precincts of the Assembly Chamber while the Assembly is sitting, or through the Speaker or any officer of the Assembly, nor shall any member be arrested on civil process, save by the leave of the Speaker first obtained, while he is within the precincts of the Assembly and while the Assembly is sitting.

9A.   Power of Assembly to inquire into offences

Subject to the Constitution, the Assembly has the power and jurisdiction necessary to inquire into, an act or omission, matter or thing, amounting to contempt of Parliament contrary to section 19, or a contravention of the Standing Orders and rules of parliamentary practice and procedure.

[S 9A ins by s 7 of Act 13 of 2016.]

PART III
EVIDENCE

10.   Power to order attendance of witness

Subject to the provisions of sections 13, 14 and 20, the Assembly or a committee may order a person to—

   (a)    attend before the Assembly or the committee and to give evidence or to produce a paper, book, record or document in the possession or under the control of that person; or

   (b)    appear before the Assembly or the committee to submit information or report on a matter under the consideration of the Assembly or the committee.

[S 10 subs by s 8 of Act 13 of 2016.]

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11.   Attendance to be notified by summons

   (1) Any order to attend to give evidence or to produce documents before the Assembly or may be notified to the person required to attend or to produce documents by a summons under the hand of the Clerk issued by the direction of the Speaker.

[S 11(1) am by s 9(a) of Act 13 of 2016.]

   (2) A summons issued under subsection (1) shall specify—

   (a)    the time and place of hearing; and

   (b)    the documents required to be produced and by the person summoned.

[S 11(2) subs by s 9(b) of Act 13 of 2016.]

   (3) A summons issued under subsection (1) shall be served on the person named in the summons by—

   (a)    delivering a copy to the person; or

   (b)    leaving a copy with an adult person at the usual or last known place of abode in Zambia.

[S 11(3) ins by s 9(b) of Act 13 0f 2016.]

   (4) The Assembly shall pay or tender to the person summoned, such sum for the person’s expenses as may be specified by Standing Order.

[S 11(4) ins by s 9(b) of Act 13 of 2016].

   (5) A summons under this section may be served by an officer or by a police officer.

[S 11 am by Act 23 of 1976; s 11(3) renumbered as s 11(5) by s 9(c) of Act 13 of 2016.]

11A.   Failure to attend before Assembly or committee

(1) A person summoned by the Assembly or a committee under section 11 and who fails, without reasonable cause, to attend before the Assembly or the committee at the time and place specified in the summons commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding ten thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or to both.

[S 11A ins by s 10 of Act 13 of 2016.]

12.   Witnesses may be examined on oath

   (1) The Assembly or the committee may require that a fact, matter or thing relating to the subject of inquiry before the Assembly or that committee is verified or otherwise ascertained by the oral examination of a witness, and may cause that witness to be examined on oath.

[S 12(1) subs by s 11 of Act 13 of 2016.]

   (2) An oath required to be taken under the provisions of this section may be administered by the Clerk or by any other person appointed by the Assembly for that purpose, or, in the case of a witness before a committee, by the chairman of the committee or by the member presiding in the absence of the chairman, or by the clerk to the committee.

13.   Objection to answer question or produce papers

   (1) Where any person ordered to attend to give evidence or to produce any paper, book, record or document before the Assembly refuses to answer any question that may be put to him or to produce any such paper, book, record or document on the ground that the same is of a private nature and does not affect the subject of inquiry, the Speaker may excuse the answering of such question or the production of such paper, book, record or document, or may order the answering or production thereof.

   (2) Where any person ordered to attend to give evidence or to produce any paper, book, record or document before a committee refuses to answer any question that may be put to him or to produce any such paper, book, record or document on the ground that the same is of a private nature and does not affect the subject of inquiry, the chairman of the committee may report such refusal to the Speaker with the reasons therefor; and the Speaker may thereupon excuse the answering of such question or the production of such paper, book, record or document, or may order the answering or production thereof.

[S 13(2) am by s 12 of Act 13 of 2016.]

14.   Privileges of witnesses

   (1) Every person summoned to attend to give evidence or to produce any paper, book, record or document before the Assembly or a committee shall be entitled, in respect of such evidence or the disclosure of any communication or the production of any such paper, book, record or document, to the same rights and privileges as before a court of law.

[S 14(1) am by s 13(a) of Act 13 of 2016.]

   (2) Except with the consent of the President, no person shall—

   (a)   produce before the Assembly or a committee any paper, book, record or document; or

   (b)   give before the Assembly or a committee evidence;

relating to the correspondence of any naval, military or air force matter, nor shall secondary evidence be received by or produced before the Assembly or a committee of the contents of any such paper, book, record or document.

   (3) Except upon the direction of the President, a person shall not refuse to—

   (a)   produce before the Assembly or a committee a paper, book, record or document; or

   (b)   give evidence before the Assembly or a committee,

relating to the correspondence of a civil department or to a matter affecting the public service.

[S 14(3) subs by s 13(b) of Act 13 of 2016.]

   (4) Secondary evidence shall not be received by or produced before the Assembly or a committee of the contents of a paper, book, record or document which the President has directed shall not be produced.

[S 14 am by Act 6 of 1970; s 14(4) ins by s 13(b) of Act 13 of 2016.]

15.   Certificate issued to witnesses making full disclosure to be a bar to civil or criminal proceedings

   (1) Every witness before the Assembly or a committee who shall answer fully and faithfully any questions put to him by the Assembly or such committee to its satisfaction shall be entitled to receive a certificate stating that such witness was upon his examination so required to answer and did answer any such question.

[S15(1) am by s 14 of Act 13 of 2016.]

   (2) Every certificate under sub-section (1) shall, in the case of a witness before the Assembly, be under the hand of the Speaker, and in the case of a witness before a committee, be under the hand of the chairman thereof.

   (3) On production of such certificate to any court of law, such court shall stay any proceedings, civil or criminal, except for a charge under section 104 or 125 of the Penal Code, against such witness for any act or thing done by him before the time and revealed by the evidence of such witness, and may, in its discretion, award to such witness the expenses to which he may have been put.

16.   False evidence

Any person who before the Assembly or committee intentionally gives a false answer to any question material to the subject of inquiry which may be put to him during the course of any examination shall be guilty of an offence against section 104 of the Penal Code.

[S 16 am by s 15 of Act 13 of 2016.]

17.   Interference with witnesses

Any person who—

   (a)   tampers with, deters, threatens, molests, beguiles or in any way unduly influences any witness in regard to any evidence to be given by him before the Assembly or any committee; or

   (b)   threatens, molests or in any way punishes, damnifies or injures or attempts to punish, damnify or injure any person for having given evidence before the Assembly or any committee or on account of any evidence which he has given before the Assembly or any committee;

shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty thousand penalty units or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding 12 months, or to both.

[S 17 am by Act 13 of 1994; s 16 of Act 13 of 2016.]

18.   False documents

Any person who presents to the Assembly or to any committee any false, untrue, fabricated or falsified document with intent to deceive the Assembly or committee shall, where such presentation does not constitute an offence under section 16, be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding ten thousand penalty units or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding six months, or to both.

[S 18 am by Act 13 of 1994; s 17 of Act 13 of 2016.]

19.   Contempt

Any person shall be guilty of an offence who—

   (a)   having been called upon to give evidence before the Assembly or a committee thereof refuses to be sworn or make an affirmation; or

[S 19(a) am by s 18 of Act 13 of 2016.]

   (b)   being a witness misconducts himself; or

   (c)   causes an obstruction or disturbance within the precincts of the Assembly Chamber during a sitting of the Assembly or of a committee thereof; or

   (d)   shows disrespect in speech or manner towards the Speaker; or

   (e)   commits any other act of intentional disrespect to or with reference to the proceedings of the Assembly or of a committee of the Assembly or to any person presiding at such proceedings.

20.   Questions relating to evidence and production of documents before the Assembly or a committee to be determined in accordance with usage of Parliament

Where at any time any question arises in the Assembly or in a committee regarding—

   (a)   the right or power of the Assembly or committee to hear, admit or receive oral evidence; or

   (b)   the right or power of the Assembly or committee to peruse or examine any paper, book, record or document or to summon, direct or call upon any person to produce any paper, book, record or document before the Assembly or committee; or

   (c)   the right or privilege of any person (including a member of the Assembly or committee) to refuse to produce any paper, book, record or document or to lay any paper, book, record or document before the Assembly or committee;

that question shall, subject to the preceding provisions of this Act, and except in so far as express provision is made in those provisions for the determination of that question, be determined in accordance with the usage and practice of other Commonwealth Parliaments.

[S 20 am by Act 23 of 1976.]

PART IV
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

21.   Penalty where not otherwise provided

For every offence under this Act for which no other penalty is specially provided, the offender shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred penalty units or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding three months, or to both.

[S 21 am by Act 13 of 1994.]

22.   Corrupt or improper practices

   (1) Any person who offers to any member or officer or to any person who is an employer, a partner or in the service of any member, either directly or indirectly, any bribe, fee, compensation, gift or reward in order to influence such member or officer in his conduct as such member or officer or for or in respect of the promotion of or opposition to any Bill, resolution, matter, rule or thing submitted to, or intended to be submitted to, the Assembly shall be guilty of an offence.

   (2) Any member or officer or any person who is an employer, a partner or in the service of any member who demands, accepts or receives, directly or indirectly, any bribe, fee, compensation, gift or reward the offering of which is or would be an offence under this section shall likewise be guilty of an offence.

   (3) Any person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding ten thousand penalty units or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding three years, or to both.

   (4) In any proceedings against any person for an offence under this section, the court may, if it finds the offence proved—

   (a)   order that the value or the amount of any bribe, fee, compensation, gift or reward offered or accepted or received in contravention of this section shall be forfeited; or

[S 22(4)(a) am by s 19 of Act 13 of 2016.]

   (b)   order that the amount or the value of any bribe, fee, compensation, gift or reward accepted or received in contravention of this section shall be repaid by the person accepting or receiving the same, or by the person on whose behalf the same was accepted or received, to the person from whom it was accepted or received, or to the person on whose behalf such latter person was acting.

[S 22 am by Act 13 of 1994.]

23.   Other offences against members and officers

Any person shall be guilty of an offence who—

   (a)   threatens, assaults, obstructs or insults any member or officer going to or from the precincts of the Assembly Chamber; or

[S 23(a) am by s 20(a) of Act 13 of 2016.]

   (b)   endeavours to compel, either directly or indirectly, any member by threat, force, insult or menace to declare himself in favour of, or against, any Bill, resolution, matter, rule or thing submitted to, or intended to be submitted to, the Assembly; or

[S 23(b) am by s 20(b) of Act 13 of 2016.]

   (c)   assaults, interferes with, resists or obstructs any officer while in the execution of his duty as such officer or fails or refuses to comply with an instruction by an officer; or

[S 23(c) am by s 20(c) of Act 13 of 2016.]

   (d)   sends to any member any threatening letter, or challenges any member to a fight, on account of his conduct as such member;

   (e)    assaults, insults or threatens a member or deprives a member of a benefit on account of the member’s conduct in the Assembly or a committee.

[S 23(e) ins by s 20(d) of Act 13 of 2016.]

24.   Disobedience

Any person commits an offence who willfully and without lawful cause fails to comply with, or contravenes, any order made under section 7 or 10, or who willfully fails to obey any other order of the Assembly whereby the Assembly is obstructed in the performance of its functions:

Provided that no offence is committed under this section unless the Speaker or an officer has drawn to the attention of the person concerned the fact that such failure or contravention is contrary to such order, and the person thereafter continues in such failure or contravention as aforesaid.

25.   Other offences

Any person who—

   (a)   publishes, save by the general or special leave of the Assembly, a report of any proceedings of the Assembly or any committee when such proceedings have not been held in public; or

   (b)   publishes any false or scandalous libel on the Assembly or any report which willfully misrepresents in any way any proceedings of the Assembly or any committee; or

   (c)   publishes, save by the general or special leave of the Assembly, any paper, report or other document prepared expressly for submission to the Assembly before the same has been laid on the Table of the Assembly; or

   (d)   prints or causes to be printed a copy of any Act now or hereafter in force, or a copy of any report, paper or votes and proceedings of the Assembly as purporting to have been printed by the Government Printer, or by or under the authority of the Assembly, or of the Speaker, and the same is not so printed; or

   (e)   tenders in evidence any such copy as purporting to be so printed knowing that the same was not so printed; or

   (f)   creates or joins in any disturbance which interrupts or is likely to interrupt the proceedings of the Assembly while it is sitting; or

   (g)   publishes or prints any libels on any member concerning his character or conduct as a member and with regard to actions performed or words uttered by him in the course of the transaction of the business of the Assembly;

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand penalty units or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding 12 months, or to both.

[S 25 am by Act 4 of 1957 ; S.I. 174 of 1965 ; Act 23 of 1976; 13 of 1994.]

26.   Officers of the Assembly to have powers of police officer

Every officer of the Assembly shall, for the purposes of this Act and of the application of the provisions of the criminal law, have all the powers and enjoy all the privileges of a police officer.

27.   Sanction of Director of Public Prosecutions for prosecutions

No prosecution shall be instituted for an offence under this Act except by the Director of Public Prosecutions upon information given to him in writing by the Speaker.

[S 27 am by S.I. 174 of 1965.]

28.   Disciplinary powers of Assembly

   (1) Where a member is found to have committed a contempt of the Assembly, whether specified in section 19 or otherwise, the Speaker, the Committee on Privileges or a select committee appointed under subsection (6) may impose any one or more of the following penalties—

   (a)    a formal warning;

   (b)    an admonition;

   (c)    a reprimand; and

   (d)    an order directing the member to apologise to the Assembly, in a manner determined by the Assembly.

   (2) Where a member is found to have committed contempt of the Assembly of a serious nature and none of the other penalties are sufficient for the contempt committed by the member, the Speaker shall, on the resolution of the Assembly, suspend the member from the Assembly for a period not exceeding 30 days.

   (3) A member who is suspended from the Assembly shall, during the period of suspension and for the purposes of this Act—

   (a)    not enter the precincts of the Assembly;

   (b)    not participate in an activity of the Assembly or a committee; and

   (c)    not be paid the salary or allowance the member is entitled to for the member’s service as a member.

   (4) If a person, not being a member, is found to have committed contempt, whether specified in section 19 or otherwise, the Speaker shall order the person to appear before the Assembly and the Speaker shall, upon attendance, admonish or reprimand the person at the Bar of the Assembly.

   (5) The Speaker may refer a case of breach of privilege or contempt of the Assembly to the committee on privileges to examine the case and make appropriate recommendations to the Assembly.

   (6) Where the alleged breach of privilege or contempt of the Assembly is committed by members of the Committee on Privileges, the Speaker shall appoint a select committee to examine the matter and report accordingly to the Assembly.

[S 28 subs by s 21 of Act 13 of 2016.]

28A.   Manner of admonition or reprimand

   (1) Where a member is to be admonished in accordance with section 28(1), the Assembly or a committee shall direct the member to stand in the member’s seat and the Speaker shall proceed to admonish the member.

   (2) Where a member is to be reprimanded, in accordance with section 28(1), the Speaker shall reprimand the member at the bar of the Assembly.

[S 28A ins by s 22 of Act 13 of 2016.]

28B.   Establishment of Committee on Privileges

   (1) There is established a committee on privileges, which shall assist the Speaker in determining all matters of privileges and immunities of the Assembly and members.

   (2) The composition, functions, powers and procedure of the committee shall be prescribed in the Standing Orders.

[S 28B ins by s 22 of Act 13 of 2016.]

28C.   Procedure for dealing with an offence against Assembly

   (1) Proceedings for an offence against the Assembly may be instituted by the Assembly ordering the person alleged to have committed the offence to answer a charge or appear before the Assembly or the committee on privileges to answer the charge, on a date and time specified in the order.

   (2) The order summoning a person to answer a charge or appear before the Assembly or a committee shall be signed by the Clerk, and personally served on the person summoned.

   (3) The person summoned shall be given particulars, in writing, of the matter constituting the alleged offence.

   (4) The person summoned shall answer the charge or appear before the Assembly or a committee, personally and may be represented by a legal practitioner.

   (5) If the person summoned fails, without reasonable cause, to answer to the charge or appear before the Assembly or the committee on privileges, the Assembly or the committee may proceed to determine the matter.

[S 28C ins by s 22 of Act 13 of 2016.]

PART V
MISCELLANEOUS

29.   […]

[S 29 rep by Act 23 of 1976.]

30.   Admissibility of votes and proceedings printed by or under authority of Assembly

Upon any inquiry touching the privileges, immunities and powers of the Assembly or of a member, a copy of the votes and proceedings, Standing Orders or other document of the Assembly printed or purporting to be printed by the Assembly or under the authority of the Assembly, or a copy of the votes and proceedings, Standing Orders or other document of the Assembly duly authenticated under the hand of the Clerk, shall be admitted as primafacie evidence of the contents thereof in all courts and places without any further proof being given.

[S 30 subs by s 23 of Act 13 of 2016.]

31.   Protection of persons responsible for publications authorised by the Assembly

Any person, being a defendant in any civil or criminal proceedings instituted for or on account or in respect of the publication by such person or by his servant, by order or under the authority of the Assembly of any reports, papers, minutes, votes or proceedings, may, on giving to the plaintiff or prosecutor, as the case may be, 24 hours' written notice of his intention, bring before the court in which such civil or criminal proceedings are being held a certificate under the hand of the Speaker stating that the reports, papers, minutes, votes or proceedings in respect whereof such civil or criminal proceedings have been instituted were published by such person or by his servant by order or under the authority of the Assembly together with an affidavit verifying such certificate, and such court shall thereupon immediately stay such civil or criminal proceedings and the same and every process issued therein shall be deemed to be finally determined.

32.   Publication of proceedings without malice

In any civil or criminal proceedings instituted for publishing any extract from or abstract of any report, paper, votes and proceedings, referred to in section 25, if the court be satisfied that such extract or abstract was published bona fide and without malice, it shall enter judgment or verdict, as the case may be, for the defendant or accused.

[S 32 am by Act 23 of 1976.]

33.   Powers to be supplementary to powers under the Constitution

The powers of the Assembly and of the Speaker under this Act shall be supplementary to any powers conferred by the Constitution or Standing Orders.

[S 33 am by G.N. 421 of 1962 ; S.I. 174 of 1965.]

34.   Courts not to exercise jurisdiction in respect of acts of the Assembly, Speaker and officers

Neither the Assembly, the Speaker nor any officer shall be subject to the jurisdiction of any court in respect of the exercise of any power conferred on or vested in the Assembly, the Speaker or such officer by or under the Constitution, the Standing Orders and this Act.

[S 34 am by Act 23 of 1976.]

35.   Absence of the Speaker, etc.

   (1) For the purposes of this section “absent”, in relation to the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker, means—

   (a)   that the office of Speaker or the office of Deputy Speaker is vacant; or

   (b)   that the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker is incapable of, or is from any cause prevented from, performing the duties of the office of Speaker; or

   (c)   that the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker is absent from Lusaka.

   (2) For the duration of any period during which the Speaker is absent, the powers and privileges vested in the Speaker by this Act shall be vested in the Deputy Speaker.

   (3) For the duration of any period during which both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker are absent—

   (a)   the powers and privileges vested in the Speaker by the provisions, other than sections 15 and 31, of this Act shall—

      (i)   in so far as they relate to any matter arising at a sitting of the Assembly for the transaction of business, be vested in such member of the Assembly as may be elected by the Assembly by virtue of the provisions of the Constitution to preside at the sitting of the Assembly when such matter arises; and

      (ii)   in so far as they relate to any other matter, be vested in such member of the Assembly as may be appointed for this purpose by the Assembly; and

   (b)   the powers vested in the Speaker by sections15 and 31 shall be vested in the Clerk.

[S 35 am by Act 68 of 1957 ; G.N. 421 of 1962 ; S.I. 174 of 1965 ; Act 23 of 1976.]

{/mprestriction}

 
 

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