Assistant Returning Officer Gloria Phiri entering details of 4th revolution party candidate for Mangango Mukumbuta Kabuyana and his agents Bennie Chitumbu during the falling in of nominations at Mangango primary school
FILE: Assistant Returning Officer Gloria Phiri entering details of 4th revolution party candidate for Mangango Mukumbuta Kabuyana and his agents Bennie Chitumbu during the falling in of nominations at Mangango primary school

The announcement by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) regarding the hike in nomination fees and the grade 12 certificate requirement for various elective positions have come at the wrong time, despite the country’s need for improved quality of leadership.

WfC is of the view that the implementation of such requirements should have been gradual or subjected to a referendum for people to have a final say on matters that affect them.

Further, if the Bill of Rights was adopted through a referendum, access to education would have been guaranteed and would then eliminate the question of some sections of the population lacking a grade 12 certificate.

However, as things stand, many of the women, who form the critical mass will be pushed onto the side-lines of leadership because they have not been given ample timeframe and opportunity to upgrade their qualifications and meet the stated conditions by the ECZ.

It is common knowledge for families to take boys to school in place of girls when resources are few, while family property and wealth is in the hands of men and thus women in most cases are faced with poverty and this subsequently incapacitates them from vying for elective positions.

The fees for a presidential candidate have been revised from K10,000 to K75,000, for MPs from K500 to K10,000, for local government candidates from between K50 and K100 to K15000 and K2000.

Therefore, the implementation of the hiked fees in this year’s election and school qualification will further worsen the situation while ultimately it will impact Zambia’s democratic gain as a critical mass of our growing democracy will be left out of leadership due to highly inhibitive qualifications in the upcoming election.

In short, WfC is in agreement with the quest to improve leadership in the country but feels ample time should be given to the affected populace to prepare to meet the conditions. Further the constitution adoption process should have allowed the people to choose for themselves what they want and do not want as opposed to the manner it was adopted.

In saying the above, we urge the ECZ to revisit with immediate effect the implementation of the revised fees and the grade 12 certificate requirement in this year’s elections. We urge them to implement the said in the next elections to allow citizens to commence preparation to meet the outlined conditions in the interest of protecting democracy.

Lumba Siyanga
Executive Director
Women for Change
5 February 2016

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14 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t see why this issue should be raising the fuss. If you want to be a leader one of the skills is to persuade people to put where their money where the mouth is.

    A presidential Candidate is supposed to pay K75 000 and also there is a clause that each candidate should at least produce 1 000 supporters.

    If you can’t convince 1 000 of your supporters to contribute K 75 each to your quest to become a president , then you don’t deserve to be a leader. and you actually don’t have the support of your people. The Same applies for all positions MPs, councilors etc

    . Grade 12 qualification, get over it and move on , enroll in night school if you have to upgrade your qualifications..it is for your own good.

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    • @MMD Chief Bootlicker:
      You are certainly not an Ar.selicker for a good reason – you have no brains, no common sense and are incapable of reasoning! Where on earth can you get a Grade12 qualification within 4 months? This requirement was only brought into statute books a month ago and in your blackest of Ar.ses that is enough time to get even a PhD.
      What a st.upid Old Ar.sewhore you are!! You need to grow up and be ashamed of your weird thoughts! You have been around for too long spouting your foo.lish ideas – what a ST.UPID Old man.

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    • Actually MPs get a lot of money in allowances. These allowances are determined by the MPs themselves. No one has ever said that times are hard and lets not get an increament. MPs increase their emoluments every parliamentary term and so far always by over 100%. So the fees are just a reflection of how important this job is.

      The other point is that honestly you don’t want to elect a very poor person to go and make decisions over matters that involve a lot of money without them being tempted to dip a finger in that money.

      In any case leadership should be for people who have first achieved something in their private lives either through working or business and as such should be able to raise that money or at least be able to borrow such an amount.

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    • Just think of it, office orderly job requires a grade 12 certificate. Working at a till in shoprite requires grade 12 certificate. I don’t know why this women for change does not complain about all these requirements for jobs.
      Now imagine somebody you have given authority to handle law matters and CDF funds. Why should you get a failure to rule over you? Go and get the papers or else you will not be MP. Time to rewrite baba

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  2. Another CAVE-MAN or is it woman! What is it you don’t understand as being the constitution??
    It is final, LIVE with it!! Till it’s next amended!!

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  3. This is a ridiculous so when is the right time? Edward Shamwana (MHSRIP) was forced out for suggesting a minimum of grade 7! If you are 40 without grade 12 certificate, but want to rule people then what have you been waiting? Improve your qualifications! This law will stop chancers from destroying our country. Imagine the incident where Councillors went to monkey fountain zoo in Ndola to poach impalas?! Or the Councillors who demanded residential plots next to Indeni refinery because they had actually spotted a piece of land? Or the ones that sold leisure parks. The lack of knowledgeable councillors explains why we have arcades, manda hill, east park mall, Radisson blu hotel in a radius of 3km on a very busy road without proper traffic management.

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  4. I feel the issue of Grade 12 certificate is not negotiable. we have for a long time been educating people and a lot have gone up to grade 12. for me if we keep on pushing this issue forward we will continue lagging behind as a nation. for fees, let them consider revisiting if that will make the right candidates apply.

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  5. Zambia’s education standards are confusing.It is unfair to say grade 12 certificates are the only legal documents for leadership.The standard 5 and form 2 of yester years are more intelligent than the grade 12’s of today.Further more a school certificate is not a mark of wisdom.
    In 1991 we had a group of University Graduates lead by the Late Fred Chiluba what was the result in terms of governance ? It was a disaster.Kaunda’s team had people with humble education and some without it but they performed better than the so called educated.
    Allow people to use local languages in parliament and this can be interpreted in the alien English language.Countries outside Zambia have developed because of native languages pride.Abolish those useless ideals of school certificates in terms of…

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  6. I don’t know how people fail to understand that we leave in a capitalist country and not a socialist one. What wrong timing? Should we continue to be lead by grade ones who just say hear, hear in parliament then realise a week later that they voted for a law that discriminates against them. And why should I be forced to call a grade 7 honourable just because he won ka election while he calls me boi with my many degrees? We can’t all be equal if someone has no G12 lets work to ensuring as many people as possible gain that paper. I am amazed even respected NGO’s believe you don’t need an education to make laws and govern this country. Its ridiculous. Only a maid and a house boy are hired with no papers. A security guard needs G12 as well.

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  7. Zambian’s what’s your problems , always you seem to u-turn , on issues you , yourselves initially, demanded , or vote for .

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  8. That is why there should have been a referendum over all the contentious issues. If the people decide over such an important document as the Constitution, you can’t argue. But you CAN argue when all that has happened are a few amendments bulldozed by those whom they would mostly benefit. Personally, due to the haphazard Zambian educational system and lack of opportunities for many, I don’t subscribe to the grade 12 demand. In our circumstances, we should use other aptitude ways of assessing ability, competence and experience. Who is now going to be bestowed with the task of looking at all the myriad of qualifications to determine whether they are equivalent to, or better than grade 12?

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  9. What the hell is this fuss about Grade 12 cert? In fact, even the voter should possess that sort of paper also. I can’t believe parliament and council chambers still harbored homo sapiens who were no better than our ancestral cave men. Come on, let’s get on with the pre-requisites of modern administration or be an igwe. It’s about time we had leaders who can write reports and read minutes. Lelo Lelo, mwe mafontini!

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  10. If you do not meet the requirements to be a political leader ,please try some thing else. lets talk of priority issues that will benefit majority Zambians and not just a clique of few individuals.
    Surely if you get disqualified to contest a political office why not improve you credential’s for authorization. in any case it is not even a life threatening situation which should waste our energies to keep on talking about it . People spoke and the MPS supported the idea as well through majority vote . And so it goes with the fees let them be. Get loans from banks or acquaintances. It is time we learnt to be responsible over our own actions. My apologies if I have sounded hard.

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  11. If you don’t have a G12 education go and find another job. You do not need to be a minster or councillor. People without G12 are the ones who want to stay in government power forever because they cannot qualify for anything outside including basic jobs.

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