Monday, April 15, 2024

President Lungu’s stance on Grade 12 clause welcomed


PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu shakes hands with Namwala residents upon arrival at Showground in Namwala district
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu shakes hands with Namwala residents upon arrival at Showground in Namwala district

POLITICAL pundits in the country have welcomed President Edgar Lungu’s pronouncement that the constitutional clause demanding political office bearers to possess a Grade 12 school certificate, will not be amended.

Zambian Voice executive director Chilufya Tayali said in an interview yesterday that the Head of State carries the mandate to protect the Constitution, thus his pronouncement is welcome.

President Lungu said in Southern Province at the weekend that the law on the Grade 12 requirement for candidates contesting ward, parliamentary and presidential elections, was in effect and he would not sign any amendment to the contrary.

Mr Tayali said his organisation was happy with the President’s stance, because the world was rapidly migrating to a state where individuals required certain competencies to enhance their survival.

“The contents of the new Constitution are not individual wishes, but those of a wider majority of people. Hence, we welcome the pronouncement by President Lungu that the clause on the Grade 12 requirement is final because that was what the people of Zambia decided,” he said.

The Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) executive director Boniface Cheembe said subjecting the Constitution to amendments would be a tedious process.

“I know some councillors who sit in the council and can’t read or understand. They just get allowances, so this subject is being buried here in Namwala. Even if Parliament makes changes, I, President Edgar Lungu, won’t sign it.”

Mr Cheembe said in an interview that amending the Grade 12 clause could not be done alone without Parliament also visiting other issues that had raised public concern.

“We have taken note of the Presidential pronouncement with a view that amending the Grade 12 clause will be like undoing everything that has already been put in place.

If this clause needs to be amended, then Parliament should also look at other clauses which the public feel they are not comfortable with,” Mr Cheembe said.

He said SACCORD was in support of the new Constitution and its implementation should continue in line with the aspirations of the people.

Over the weekend President Lungu said that the requirement for Grade 12 school certificate in the new constitution for members of Parliament and councillors is final and even if Parliament was to amend the provision, he would not sign it.

“I know of some MPs who didn’t have certificates in 2006, but now they do,” the President said.

“Let me put to rest this issue here in Namwala. The Grade 12 requirement is final. It is not discriminatory. Just like there are qualifications for the President, it’s also a qualification for councillors and MPs,” he said.

President Lungu said those saying that many Zambians do not have Grade 12 certificates will be surprised at the many people who will be coming forward aspiring to stand in the August 11 elections.

He says those that do not have the Grade 12 school certificate should aspire to get one as it is never too late.

“I know of some MPs who didn’t have certificates in 2006, but now they do,” the President said.

“I know some councillors who sit in the council and can’t read or understand. They just get allowances, so this subject is being buried here in Namwala. Even if Parliament makes changes, I, President Edgar Lungu, won’t sign it.”

He said going forward, what the government will do is to ensure the provision and improvement of education facilities so that as many Zambians as possible obtain education.


  1. Lungu is feeling the heat.
    Viva UPND & HH!
    Visionless Lungu & his PF bandits in 3 months will disappear into oblivion.

    Viva HH.
    The Skeleton Key

    • come on PF! you sound like a broken record with your G12 clause, everyone in the opposition has G12 certificates, its only in PF where you have a lot of ifikopo!!!

    • Inappropriate use of broken record Ndobo. So you lack grammar skills. Someone used it correctly here previously. Stick to what your know best.

    • Grade 12 wont make any difference in Zambia. We have doctors professors and university graduates in our country who can’t think. Are you telling me all the problems we have are a result of those that couldn’t make it to grade 12?Show me an educated Zambian who has solved any problem in Zambia, Nil. Prof Chirwa tried to give us solutions , instead all the other “professors” rose against him and then stole the Euro Bond money. No need for grade 12. Zambians can’t even design their own round-about, they have to ask the Chinese. On the issue of violence I still ask the question, who was behind the cadre violence on Kabimba, Sampa, Guy Scot, HH, Nevers Mumba, etc. Your guess is as good as mine.

    • In the pre-independence era the constitution excluded a lot of Africans from becoming Northern Rhodesians by having the following clause:
      (a) earned a minimum of £200 per year, or had property to the value of £240;
      (c) were of or above the age of 21 years, and were not criminal or insane
      The beauty of this clause is that it does not prescribe the education one must attain but ensures that one must be proficient in English. If GBM can communicate and understand English why exclude him from becoming a councillor, an MP or a president. We should have had a similar clause. It is interesting to note that nationalists like KK fought against this clause

  2. Succumbing to pressure to alter certain clauses of the constitution is creating a leeway of mutilating the constitution and a shame to the cause of the whole process in the first place. Moreover with the current digital era, there is no room for illiterates in governance.

  3. Very good. I look forward to this requirement being adjusted steadily upwards over the coming decades. We cannot allow mediocrity to persist any longer.

  4. We thank President Lungu.U’ll win August 2016 elections.We can’t vote for a tribal party full of violence.We are very careful this time around.It’s nega nega formula in luapula,northern,muchinga n eastern.Tulebamona.We are telling our pipo how some pipo vote for their own.mulecimona uno mwaka.Pantu naifwe twalibeba bantu besu ifyo muvota.let’s go lungu we can’t be destructed by ba Miles sampa even Mu Matero.What we want now is resting HH for good therefore voting for ba Sampa will give HH a chance.G12 clause is very important.I know that HH won’t have pipo to stand on UPND ticket in Luapula,muchinaga and northern with G12 certificate.He would have managed to have candidates without G12 certificates.

  5. One of the of the very few issues we see eye to eye Kadansa. You have shamed thickneck Chimbwili who’s been burning taxpayer cash travelling around the country over this non issue. Like you have said going forward citizens should demand ease accessibility & affordability to education for all. We should make the bill of rights very clear on this.

  6. Whats the fuss about the requirement of a G12 Certificate, really?

    A well meaning Zambian should deduce from this clause that only quality or at least fairly informed
    individual should be eligible to assume political office. Needless to mention that majority of current crop of our politician across the board is mediocre.

    Lets start from here fellow citizens, There is only one Zambia!

  7. ECL on this one you are right and stand your ground. I once went to Mungwi District in Northern Province and the DC there could not speak a single english word. Such stupidity should end now. Well done ECL


    • You are truly a load of sh!t! This is a necessary claause for the people to get effective representation. You can be as disgruntled as you wish but it will stand.


  10. LT are you suggesting the rapist Tayali is also a political pundit?
    Next time look up the meaning of that word before you carelessly use it.

  11. It is never ended. It always started again and again. The question is whether moving away from the Minimum Education Clause is unconstitutional or not. Some fellow compatriots are not happy with the new requirement. It may be advisable to take the matter to the Constitutional Court. The desire to exclude less privileged could be an exercise is self-aggrandizement in a country where universal literacy is not yet realized. It seems that suspending the clause until universal education is attained is a plausible argument. It is a grey area that may require some form of due process and procedure to determine the way forward. It is a matter of human rights, duties and privileges.

  12. …next amendment must include in addition to G12, a basic computer literacy….for any one vying for any civic portfolio…soon we should go paperless council meetings or parliamentary sitting…all should be equipped with tablets to refer to minutes, receive minutes, notices etc……
    …constitution making is a process which involve several stake holders and finalised by law makers the Parly…instead of the president issuing an warranted statements as chief executive he has no powers to alter anything on constitution, the best he can do is to lobby his MPs to toll his line, to reject the amendment by voting against the change…if the Parly vote to change the clause, ECL has no choice but to sign…he is a Lawyer he must know this better than us….

  13. @19 Dr Makasa Kasonde,
    Clearly, it is Edgar Lungu’s poor choice of words that makes the whole thing come across as “..desire to exclude less privileged could be an exercise is self-aggrandizement…” Calling for minimum competence qualification to serve people better is a good call. What will not do is categorizing education as an obstacle, as some Chief was trying to say.

    So in short, its a good call from Lungu on this one. Education is a catalyst for development in a Country. BUT he should mind his language. There are many ways of being assertive without being confrontational. As a Lawyer, he should know better.

  14. President Lungu, I get inspired every time I hear you make positive pronouncements on the Constitution. It is like a dream come true. God inspired you to facilitate for this progressive law & now to hear you defend it is really touching. It is clear you have the interest of the Zambian people in your heart. The constitution is the 1st line of defence for the people. The one we have is even inspired by God in declaration & values as a Christian nation. If one hears a politician belittle this constitution or lacks understanding of how it protects the interests of the ordinary people, just know that they have selfish reasons for aspiring to lead this country. President Lungu, may I wish you Godspeed & favour as you continue fighting for & implementing this new constitution & fighting for the…

  15. Contd. President Lungu, dont get discouraged by haters who cannot still see the rare statesmanship qualities that many have started to appreciate about you, but I know God will come through for you. God Bless Zambia

  16. As I commented two weeks ago that a Constitution should not be something that should be changed at will, and that I did not see any genuine reason to remove the G12 Clause, since G12 Certificate is basically a basic requirement for any job in Zambia. If a Security Guard is required to produce a G12 certificate, I hardly can imagine why an MP for that matter should not be required to have one.

    Therefore, I congratulate HE ECL for his stance on this issue. Let there not be any noises about this topic anymore, its a dead and buried topic. Full stop.

    • Surely, how could the G12 certificate clause be discriminatory in politics and be not in many other fields. It goes to show that, by this clause, many politicians of the belly have come to the end of their rope. Akalilo kapwa. Let those who qualify compete. This country is not short of G12 certificate holders. Let’s improve the quality of politics. And for those who will be affected, please go back to school or if you never entered a classroom, try SHIBUKENI for a start!

  17. Actually it should be pushed to minimum Masters Degree, from counselor to president. Tired of empty noise makers shouting loudest. I am sure every ward should have an MA holder by now, if not then the past have failed the nation.

  18. Grade 12 piece of paper should not be an issue. Nowadays there some grade 12 certificate holders who do not even know how to write application letters or spell certain words in english,how do you expect these to perform if given a chance to lead or implement whats is required to be done? there are people out there who have excellent leadership skills and are able to achieve results in what they do..but are not grade 12 certificate holders why look down up such people. This means as country you are discriminating against such people.Leadership is all about excellent wisdom not holders of grade 12 piece of paper.Even King solomon never asked God about attaining high education.But he lead the nation of israel and his people with prosperity.

  19. @Mwebo During King Solomon’s time there were no cars, trains or bridges built to manage the economy. There were no big mines to get copper out of the ground or negotiate international contracts. You want G12 to do all of this now? Totally stupid. We at least need people who know how to get copper out of our own ground so that society can benefit. Modern leadership is much bigger than the King Solomon days and requires understanding world affairs in terms of technology and administration. It is not a religious appointment or crazy prophet job. I hope you do not send your children to school because it is not important for you.

  20. On this I support the President, the mediocrity exhibited in the full Council Meetings is enough to know that the Councillors do not understand the reports presented to them for their consideration. Only a few and the same people debate. For example here at Monze District Council most of the Councillors contribution is I propose and I second even on matters they have little knowledge. Its hell to work with this UPND irritarates. What more if they come in power. God forbid.

  21. Patriotic Front a well thought name which has not lived to the expectations of the majority peace loving Zambians. What a shame that we are where we are now in this mess today everything having degenerated into cauios all for selfish gain and motives by the so called ruling class we allowed to prevail over the governance of our country. All the fundamentals of a patriot have been ignored and binned.
    fellow country men we need to stop and think hard on which way we want our country to proceed with the kind of politics at play because left unchecked will destroy the peace that we have all enjoyed.This violence that is being natured by which ever force whether government or opposition shall become fully fledged The evidence of who the pepertraitors lies in the communities that we all…

  22. @22 Cactus makes interesting remarks. Dialogue is in progress. Therefore, it would help to postpone the implementation. The percentage of compatriots without O levels is significant. Come to think of it, even sweet independence was in certain cases attained under the able leadership of patriots of modest education. technocrats are different from politicians/ activists fighting for more space.

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