Unza students
By Elias Munshya wa Munshya

The NCC has passed a resolution that the next republican constitution should require that for a person to be eligible to stand for the position of Republican President he must have attained the minimum academic qualification of a degree.

I wish to argue in this article that this provision makes no practical sense and is a disservice to a pragmatic understanding of what Zambia truly needs in a leader.

First, this requirement out rightly reduces the pool from which Zambians could freely pick their president. With just 2 state universities for decades in Zambia, graduates from these institutions may be qualified, but are just too few to form the primary pool for presidency.

Those educated from outside Zambia are even fewer.

Secondly, this requirement wrongly places academic qualifications as a test of good leadership.

Africa should be careful here that we do not adopt western styled education as the only measure of wisdom. There are some who are saying that the need for a degree is because we need a leader who would be able to speak well at international fora.

I would rather have a president who genuinely cares for Zambians, and signs bills that are helpful to her people than one who can speak all the languages of the civilized world and yet cares less.

Qualities such as caring, honest, hardworking are some qualities we need to see in a leader. While education is important, it does not guarantee those qualities.

Thirdly, this requirement is a raw deal for women. Women are the most academically disadvantaged community in our country.

Even if they make up about 51% of our population a very small percentage of them reach grade nine. The NCC adoption of this clause disadvantages women from ascending to the presidency in Zambia.

Four male presidents have destroyed our country and it may be time for us to look to our womenfolk for the next president; but with this clause in place very few of our women would even be considered to stand for president.

Fourthly, this requirement may be an attempt to try and sideline Sata. This is déjà vu for us. In 1996 Chiluba’s government forced through some clauses in the constitution that were aimed at barring both Kaunda (the parental clause) and Mung’omba (the 20 year domicile clause).

From experience such maneuvers never work. I personally do have serious misgivings about having Sata for a president, but at the same time I think it is not right for the whole NCC with the support of the MMD government to try and deliberately sneak in a clause that would disadvantage his aspiration for the high office—especially if the Zambian people want him to stand.

In the end, it should be up to the Zambian people to decide whether they so feel that Sata should rule.

Fifthly, this provision confuses more than it clarifies. So what are we going to say is a university degree? Which field and which discipline, and from which school? President Banda holds a degree which he acquired at least half a century ago. Should that qualify him for president?

This provision is precursor of confusion. And it will not be long before we hear an appeal lodged in the High Court for interpretation.

Sixthly, the NCC desire for a well educated president should be appreciated, but at whose expense? It is the people of Zambia to choose who among them should rule them.

It is the people of Zambia to choose whether one has a degree or not. If the constitutional principle of our democracy is one man one vote then there should be no restriction why such a man should not even be eligible to stand unless he has a university degree.

If the NCC genuinely feels that only university graduates should rule Zambia, they should then begin by making primary education, secondary education, and college education freely accessible to all.

Without free access to education, we may find that we will need to ask Her Majesty in Britain to send us a President, because from the kind of mismanagement we are having at the hand of both degree holders and non-degree holders, universities in Zambia would fail to graduate anyone.

A little glimpse of the future? All the universities are closed, because the only pool of future presidents were busy rioting and burning cars on Buteko and Addis Ababa Drive, so much for who should be the next president!

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67 COMMENTS

  1. Munshya Wa Ntwanikane, thats exactly what we are saying!:)>-, We have a degree holder for President. Do we call that,’quality’?:o. Like you rightly put it, the degree was obtained centuries ago, and this is why you see that even the thinking is a bit chitenichi, Colokial!!:-w. For a progressive nation, this clause has taken us back to the stone age. When we will ever learn?

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  2. In this case, even a degree in hotel management will be acceptable right? the NCC should try to think outside the box….

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  3. A degree iz a degree and since the NCC haz said nothing about which discipline, then take it that anything goez.

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  4. mr elias,i agree with your article.the people on the ncc are truly behaving like small boys and girls who have never been to school.how honestly do you put such a clause to bar one person and yet you forget about the future.remember ba shi chulufya may rule only just for two term and thats it.i hope ncc is not finishing taxe payers money as most of the people are finding it hard to get by.

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  5. Today Katele Kalumba says he knows degrees can be obtained within hours on the internet. If that be the case why ON EARTH WORST LEADERSHIP TIME AND TAX PAYES MONEY DISCUSSING A CLAUSE THAT THEY SURELY KNOW IS USELESS AND MEANINGLESS??? Who cant buy a degree.

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  6. Thankyou LT for highing my post. Please follow this link if you want to buy a degree and shame NCC and its foolish MMD and Bwezani tukazi

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  7. Thankyou LT for highlighting my post. Please follow this link if you want to buy a degree and shame NCC and its foolish MMD and Bwezani tukazi

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  8. Hope NCC cadres read this article, most of them are not even first degree holders. they are taking us backwards

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  9. “Africa should be careful here that we do not adopt western styled education as the only measure of wisdom”. Iwe Munshya balamibepa. These people would not agree to even 1/8th of this clause. Atleast not the British. What I like about them is the rich fight for the poor. Imagine Munshya balakasha na development ati ikaleta ichongo, or our village will turn into a city or will be joined to. No wonder we have got UNZA when they call their UNIs by cities/location.:d

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  10. Are MPs in support of this, since 70% of them are not qualified.Do they qualify to be in parliament or accepting that they are incapable to be president.A degree just shows that someone is trainable and not more intelligent than others.You still living in the stone age.

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  11. I feel these people are just after allowances.you see it’s very fun that these people dont read history realy because if they read history i dont know what papers solomon hard for him to be a great leader even Mandela the time he was becoming president of south Africa.I dont know in history which leader who has been recorded to be the best leader so far with titles of PHD or Professor in ths world ever to have been a good leader.So i dont know where these corrupt and hungry for allowances group are getting this follishness from.Do you call what UNZA students do to be qualities of leadership.What a team.They should be ashamed of themselves.Are they trying to produce a constitution for the majority of Zambians or a constitution that wil suit there interests

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  12. May be the west are right inthinking Africa is still a big village with headmen like Mugabe, R shani uko, and the rest as leaders. I mean how does one explain this?

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  13. NCC is evil, every right conscious Zambian should fight it or lest we be accused or judged harshly by posterity that while evil was being committed the right who could have done something stood and just watched and did nothing. NCC cannot have power over the people.

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  14. Terrible information has been given in this article. Firstly, “With just 2 state universities for decades in Zambia, graduates from these institutions may be qualified, but are just too few to form the primary pool for presidency” is wrong as Zambia has had 3 public universities of late. Currently, an addition of Kwame Nkhurumah college and others have been upgraded to university status. This means Zambia has about 13 universities of which any person can go to for a first degree.

    More later.

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    Matt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and these things shall be added unto you.

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  15. This is a good thing.had we put that a long time ago we would not have had the midget for president.A degree regardless of discipline is ok,atleast you need somebody who has seen the inside of the lecture theatre.We risk having the likes of Kadobi aspiring for president:d/:d/:d/:d/

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  16. What are they after.You see you cannot make a policy to hinder an individual because one day it may hinder a potential candidate who can take the contry forward.

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  17. Iwe Maestro no. 19, the author says TWO UNIVERSITIES FOR DECADES!!!. Meaning for dacades we only had 2 universities. Yes a lot of substandard universities have mashroomed lately, a very very sad situation. UNZA and CBU are already below world standard, and imagine the one mashrooming are not even up to half of UNZA & CBU standards. Where are we hearding too?

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  18. The rat I have been smelling is actually dead………. Take your NCC madness to your home. Mwilatushusha ba mukukulu.

    Dribble them Shi Chilufya

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  19. Ba number 20 you must be a UNZA degree graduate with nothing to show.Do you realy read history my bro.Read you archieve first before you can produce your ignorance on air.what a let down.Where in history have you heard of a professor being president of a country maybe you can update me and how he made the same country successful.What qualification is Cadafi and lets talk of Mugabe with his education and you call that a qualification.Wake up my bro

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  20. Guys, stop crying and go to school and get a degree. We need standards in our country. Forget about the discipline, we need someone educated, someone who understands issue. We dont want people who just talk senseless things.

    When it comes to Sata, if dont feel bad if you think this is meant to stop him from becoming president, the man had free education at his time and never went to school. He is just some lazy dictator. The man had no visions.**==

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  21. I think the problem here is the timing of this degree issue.But those who work in private sector will agree with me that this time around even if you may have someone very experinced with just CABS this person will not be given a job of Finance Manager without a degree or ACCA/CIMA , if any one is trashing this PLEASE JUST APPLY FOR THE POST OF Finance Manager in any big Companies with just CABS and tell me if you can get it AND ON THE hand degree holders tend to get higher jobs even without experience.SO PLEASE START WITH PRIVATE SECTOR to convice them to do away with degrees let us see if you will manage and good lucky ZAMBIA and carders without degrees

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  22. i have just added another qualification online! At this rate i can stand for three terms!:-?

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  23. Where do they offer Degrees in Plumbing? Thats my field, waba no hope for me to stand as Presido pa Zed

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  24. I think as Zambians, we are just fascinated with titles! Here are a few classic examples:
    LPM (MHSRIP): Dr., SC, Defender of the people of Madagascar.
    FTJ: Dr, Master Dribbler, Political scientist, Wife snatcher aka as Thief, Am not guilty
    KK: Dr, Lesa kumulu KK panshi, Wamuyaya
    RB: Protector of the Swazi customs, Farmer, Degree holder from Univ. of San Pedro (somewhere in Rhodesia, Globe Treker, Shi mpundu, Husband?/father to Thandiwe

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  25. # 26. If Sata has no vision, why do people follow him. If you are not bothered by people who follow him, why block him??

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  26. # 26. If Sata has no vision, why do people follow him? If you are not bothered by people who follow him, why block him??

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  27. I’m ahead of NCC – Sata. PATRIOTIC Front (PF) president Michael Sata has said he is way ahead of his opponents who are trying to fix him at the National Constitutional Conference (NCC).

    And Syacheye Madyenkuku has said the MMD and its sympathizers have been caught flat-footed on the degree clause because Sata is unstoppable.Commenting on the revelation that he has a degree, a direct reaction to what some people view as attempts by the NCC to stop him from contesting the 2011 presidency following the adoption of the degree clause for one to be a presidential candidate, Sata yesterday said he had not been sitting idle since the MMD brought up the issue of a degree for one to be eligible for the Republican presidency in 2006.

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  28. “The NCC is being run by the PF rebels. The rebels are telling NCC what to do, and now they are making MMD and Rupiah Banda very foolish. We are far much ahead of them. They started in 2006 and only a foolish person will wait for them,” Sata said. “They started shouting about that degree in 2006, and we are not as dull as they are.”

    Sata said he was aware that people like former president Frederick Chiluba, Luapula PF ‘rebel’ member of parliament Peter Machungwa and Nchelenge independent member of parliament Ben Mwila were trying to fix him in order to save their skins.

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  29. However, he said all those who had committed crimes should be ready to account for them when the PF and UPND pact assumes office next year.

    “Peter Machungwa can’t explain how MMD has forgotten about the K2 billion scam since Golden Mandandi died. And my brother BY ‘Nashala neka’, remember he was given money to repair that building in town?” Sata noted. “Even those at NCC, they are scared because they have been using NCC money for some other things.”

    On the nomination of education minister Dora Siliya as the new MMD spokesperson, Sata said Siliya had been appointed to protect and speak for plunderers

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  30. “So the spokesperson must be a person who protects plunderers. She is the right person to be there. So the spokesperson needs to be one who is dented like Dora. Everything is making our job much easier,” he said.

    Sata revealed that President Banda had secretly given Chiluba back the properties that were confiscated from him on the Copperbelt.

    “All the shops that were confiscated in Parklands have been given to him. He has been lying that he has gone to campaign for Banda, but he is renovating the shops and looking for tenants,” said Sata.

    And Madyenkuku, who is former sports minister and Sinazongwe member of parliament, said he was extremely disappointed that the country had not learnt the dangers of legislating against individuals.

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  31. “Every constitution or any subordinate law must be for the country not for an individual or against an individual. It is very clear then that the intention to include the presidential candidate’s qualification was ill-conceived. It was intended to deter an individual called Michael Sata from becoming eligible to stand as a candidate because of the massive following the man enjoys throughout the country as the figures show in the 2006 and subsequent 2008 presidential by-elections,” Madyenkuku said. “Now that it has been disclosed that Sata has a degree, the MMD and those sympathisers who are some of the delegates who were convinced to support that clause have been caught flat-footed. It means that the whole idea of holding the NCC has been rendered futile, the credibility of most of…

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  32. ….the credibility of most of those resolutions from the NCC now are going to be looked at with a lot of suspicion.”

    Madyenkuku, who served in the MMD national executive committee (NEC) as an elected member from 1995 to 2001 before the late Levy Mwanawasa brought him back in 2007 to 2008, said the wind of change was unstoppable and that anything that would stand in its way would be crushed.

    “Let me tell you that all of us have been destined by God to do certain things in life. And if it was by God’s plan that Michael Sata will one day lead this country, no mortal being will stop that. Only God can stop Sata from becoming president,” Madyenkuku said.

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  33. “To legislate against individuals, we have seen how Chiluba enacted the former president’s Act. Among those things in the former president’s Act is the prohibition of former presidents partaking in politics. But you have seen that that thing has caught up with him Chiluba. Now he is himself now involved in politics, he is the one who enacted the former president’s Act. That is the danger of enacting with an individual in mind.

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  34. On “Fourthly, this requirement may be an attempt to try and sideline Sata“, Sata’s PF and himself have consistently informed the Nation that the brother has a degree (first or second or third or honourary???). So there has been no attempt to sideline any Mr PF selfappointed leader MC Sata. I hope all this nonsense on the said NCC blocking any Zambian will end here.

    Have a blessed day u o. As for Mr MC Sata, the Nation and I will be waiting to see the actual degree and hopefully Grade 7, 9 and 12 certificates or their equivalents.

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    Matt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shal be added unto you.

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  35. “So really if Michael Sata was destined by God to lead this country, no human being can stop him because if it is God’s plan it will always be fulfilled. In South Africa, where Jacob Zuma was being persecuted… and by persecuting Zuma they actually built him and made him much more stronger politically and today Zuma is President of South Africa.”

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  36. He advised members of parliament to reject the clause with the contempt it deserved.
    “… Because some of those MPs might have presidential ambitions, they might even have the ability to do so but will be limiting themselves. It should be the preserve of the Zambian people to know among the presidential candidates who has the credentials that will make a more efficient and effect president. You cannot take away that right and tie it to the Constitution,” said Madyenkuku.

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  37. Advice to # 7-9,

    Professional bodies will examine, evaluate the four year degree with transcripted credit hours equivalent to such a University conferred degree curriculum. If its History degree, transcripts must show the credit hours earned and credited for that degree per standard requirement. They will then recommend to the Judiciary on credential authenticity.

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  38. On former MMD Madyenkuku, why is he suggesting that his PF leader is a degree holder while he is advising MPs to reject the Presidential Candidate degree clause if his boss has all the required qualifications to run for Zambian President under the would-be new NCC and others done Constitution of Zambia?

    Mr Madyenkuku, it may be difficult for you to join the party of the moment — might UPND — but it surely is easy for you and your fellow PF people to just show Mr Sata MC’s so-called degree COPY in the print and electronic media to make your sympathisers stop asking questions. The actual purported degree for Sata will silence all those with doubts that the brother has it.

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    Matt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added…

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  39. Advice to # 7-9,

    I have just received copy of the NCC constitution due for parliament.The new constitution being enacted by this seating Parliament is very clear on the constitutionally admissible degree the the retaining officer who is the Chief Justice will take. It says the degree should be from a four year recognized University and not Matero or honorary but transcripted.Forensic experts will look at Sata’s degree and evaluate his four degree transcript credits hours.

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  40. I just hope Sata will not start running from one town/market to another looking for a degree. if he doesn’t have a proper degree i advice him to just accept the situation just like KK accepted when he was dribbled by Sata, Nawakwi and Chiluba when they changed the constitution on the citizen clause in parliament to fix him.

    If Sata is going to present a Matero degree, he will lose his integrity if at all he has.

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  41. Mr SATA is not the Messiah for Zambia,even if he is barred there are some other Zambians(in and outside PF)who are capable of providing Leadership to this great nation of ours.SATA is not ZAMBIA,he is a brave and good leader but i feel he has played his part…its time he retired and take the role of an advisor.Why should elections be centred on Sata who is just a loud mouth.if he has a degree fine if he doesn’t have hard luck and consider retiring old man

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  42. By the way, not everyone needs to be a president. We don’t all have to aspire to be in state house. If being a medical doctor or lawyer you need a degree, what more being chief executive of the country. Today, I visited Micheal Sata’s 2006 /2008 campaign websiteto see if his propangadists have updated it to include his (newly acquired) university degree that Wynter Kabimba claims the chief kaponya has. There is nothing. Question is: If Sata had the degree, wouldn’t have been easier to put the matter to rest by mentioning it on his CV on his website?

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  43. Can someone please help me to know where I can get the updated clauses that have been adopted by the NCC especially the one on presidential qualifications. It appears that the NCC website is idle and has not been updated in a long long time.

    Thank you in advance.

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    Matt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.

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  44. The last time I checked on the CV for Mr PF unelected leader MC Sata on his web page, michaelsata . co . zm /, the available CV does not include the brother’s so-called first degree to allow him stand as presidential candidate in the upcoming elections under a would-be NCC constitution amended that is eminent.

    Therefore, I am humbly asking PF to just upload a copy of Mr MC Sata’s first degree as well as his Grade 12 certificate or its equivalent on the Sata’s PF web page so that all print and electronic media can get it from there for diffusing it to the general public who may nor have Internet access.

    Have a blessed day you all.

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    Matt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.

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  45. Bill Gates no degree…Michael Dell invented dell computers no degree…Sir John Major one of the recent best prime minister of Britain after Margaret Thatcher no degree…Richard Branson one of the most prominent businessman in Britain no degree… and the president of Brazil doing a fantastic job no degree….list is long. A degree does not qualify a person to be good leader it is only a tool.Of one is not pragmatic by nature it can be useless. Fear of God , Wisdom , leadership skills and inspiring character, good record on past success, genuinly caring about people, hardworking etc . Let people choose their own leaders it is their vote. They have a brain to differentiate the potential of a leader. This clause is an insult to all non- degree holders. A clause on old age makes more sense

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  46. Bill Gates no degree…Michael Dell invented dell computers no degree…Sir John Major one of the recent best prime minister of Britain after Margaret Thatcher no degree…Richard Branson one of the most prominent businessman in Britain no degree… and the president of Brazil doing a fantastic job no degree….list is long. A degree does not qualify a person to be good leader it is only a tool.If one is not pragmatic by nature it can be useless. Fear of God , Wisdom , leadership skills and inspiring character, good record on past success, genuinly caring about people, hardworking etc . Let people choose their own leaders it is their vote. They have a brain to differentiate the potential of a leader. This clause is an insult to all non- degree holders. A clause on old age makes more sense

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  47. Bill Gates no degree…Michael Dell invented dell computers no degree…Sir John Major one of the recent best prime minister of Britain after Margaret Thatcher no degree…Richard Branson one of the most prominent businessman in Britain no degree… and the president of Brazil doing a fantastic job no degree….list is long. A degree does not qualify a person to be good leader it is only a tool.If one is not pragmatic by nature it can be useless. Fear of God , Wisdom , leadership skills and inspiring character, good record on past success, genuinly caring about people, hardworking etc . Let people choose their own leaders it is their vote. They have a brain to differentiate the potential of a leader. This clause is an insult to all non- degree holders. A clause on old age makes more sense

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  48. Ba Sata, so Chiluba has been repairing his shops which were given back to him? It is this kind of hallucination which has led to this degree clause, people unconsciously are looking for ways to restore sanity in the nation. If it means getting rid of lunatics like Sata so let it be.

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  49. Ba Sata, so Chiluba has been repairing his shops which were given back to him? It is this kind of hallucination which has led to this degree clause, people unconsciously are looking for ways to restore sanity in the nation. If it means barring lunatics like Sata so let it be.

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  50. We can always change that clause once we get rid of lunatics and allow the nation to concentrate on more serious issues!

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  51. 54, ours is a peculiar situation that cannot be compared to the sanity that Bill Gates and Sir Richard Branson grew up in.

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  52. #59 I noticed you mentioned Chiluba in your posting #57. Please Zambia is not all about Chiluba. There is enough Chiluba cool aid drinkers in MMD and it is irritating. This topic has nothing to do with him.

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  53. Ministry of Education is a very time consuming job. If education was so important to MMD… how can they now divert Dora Siliya attention as MMD spokesperson. This is the problem with MMD, the same recycled politicians fingers in the pudding.

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  54. what of one with a military background,they don’t carry no degree.they protect and serve the nation,would apply to the clause…

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  55. 53: reseach propery about people who do not have degree. Mr. Richard Branson of united kingdom has a degree in electronics from university college London. This is the problem we have in zambia. why do u lie? SATA is disqualified, there is no hiding from the truth. This is the reason pact will not work,. why not allowing some one with degree to contest..!!! SATA will keep on making noise until the election time. HH must lead the pact,, that was there arrangements,,,either of them cam lead,, so what is the problem. you are behaving as if sata is already a president…Let HH lead, if not that is the end of pact…!!!!

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  56. They do not need honary degrees from anywhere…but regonised degree. if you do not understand about this ask someone from the your nearst learning institution, they will explain to you. even winter kabimba who is a lawyer can diguise this facts. SATA does not have a degree which is required to stand as zambian president,,sata is well known man through acts,, if he had, he would have produced it long ago. do you dought if your relatives have gone to study long programme like degree programme. Let alone forging which is capable of doing,, SATA is disqualified from standing as a zambian president…!!!

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  57. Anywhere in the world,, there certain qualifications required for one to have when applying for any job including that of the president. you can not just go to any organisation when looking for jobs expecting to get it without qualification. president needs to understand dynamics of the economies around the world not jusct igarattees from Lusaka bus terminal and said he can be a good president. Go to hell.

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  58. MICHAEL CHILUFYA SATA IS THE NEXT REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT. JUST DEAL WITH IT IF YOU DON’T LIKE HIM. EVEN NCC IS DATE-STAMPING IT. HE HAS BEEN DESTINED TO CLEAN THE S.H.I.T POOHED BY PREVIOUS LEADERS. YOU CAN’T ARGUE WITH GOD. GOD HAS SEEN THE LEADER IN SATA. HE LOVES THE PEOPLE GENUINELY, HE’S A HARD WORKER AND RECORDS CAN SHOW. HE IS NOT LIKE BUFI BWAKUNYA.

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