PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu’s name and political standing will be badly damaged if he is going to succumb to the demands by some political parties and members of public to have the amended Constitution taken back to Parliament for yet another amendment for the sole purpose of removing the Grade 12 certificate clause, MMD president Nevers Mumba has warned.
He said should President Lungu succumb to the demands by some PF members and other people to have the Grade 12 certificate clause removed from the amended Constitution, the danger was that other groups and individuals would be armed to organize themselves and demand that clauses they did not like be removed.
Dr Mumba said President Lungu had assented to the amended Constitution and that it would be wrong for Government or anybody to attempt to manipulate the Constitution after it had become law. The Grade 12 certificate clause requires that all those aspiring to contest elective political positions including councillors should have a Grade 12 certificate or its equivalent.
He warned that President Lungu and the PF Government would easily lose the confidence of the people if the Constitution was manipulated as they would be considered to be flip-flopping and lacking consistency.
President Lungu while on the Copperbelt and Southern Provinces recently said some people were petitioning him to consider taking back to Parliament the amended Constitution for yet another amendment meant to remove the Grade 12 certificate clause but declared that he had assented to the law and was not going to send the document back to Parliament.Dr Mumba observed that the amended Constitution could easily fall apart if a selected group of people were going to succeed in compelling President Lungu to send back the document to Parliament for yet another amendment.
“Now that the amended Constitution has been signed into law by President Lungu, nobody should attempt to manipulate the Constitution because that would not augur well for the PF Government. If the Constitution was manipulated with the removal of Grade 12 certificate clause, the PF government would be looked at as flip-flopping and President Lungu’s name would be badly damaged,” Dr Mumba warned.
Dr Mumba said there was no Constitution in the world that was perfect and that people appealing to President Lungu to consider removing the Grade 12 certificate clause did not mean well.
He wondered which Zambians would be consulted in advocating the removal of the Grade 12 certificate clause because the requirement was as a result of extensive and exhaustive consultations from as far back as 2003.
Dr Mumba recalled that when he was vice-president, there were consultations and meetings from district, provincial and national levels, which consultations he said culminated into the National Constitution Conference (NCC) which was to be defeated by the combined force of the UPND and the PF.
“The Grade 12 certificate clause would not have survived all the consultation levels if it was not the desire of the majority of Zambians,” Dr Mumba said.