THE clause demanding candidates aspiring for political office to possess a Grade 12 school certificate in the new Constitution, will not be taken to Parliament for amendment, Vice-President Inonge Wina has said.
Meanwhile, Ms Wina has said the country is financially prepared to host the August 11, general elections simultaneously with the Referendum on the Bill of Rights.
The Vice-President has also disclosed that the Government is spending on average, US$25 million per month on importing electricity from Mozambique.
Ms Wina said all the clauses in the new Constitution, which was signed by President Edgar Lungu in Lusaka last month, contained the aspirations of the Zambian people as such; any amendment would be against the wishes of the people.
She said this in Parliament yesterday during the Vice-President’s question time while responding to Sinda MMD Member of Parliament (MP) Levy Ngoma who asked if the Grade 12 clause was up for amendment.
“Mr Speaker; the people of Zambia requested for that clause to be included in the Constitution and the President Mr Lungu, assented to that Constitution on the basis of what the people of Zambia wanted.
“So the issue of bringing a motion to Parliament; I do not think from this side (the executive), we will do that,” Ms Wina said.
She said the country was financially prepared to hold the August 11 polls alongside the Referendum on the Bill of Rights.
Responding to a question from Ikeleng’i MMD MP Elijah Muchima on the country’s preparedness for the polls, Ms Wina said funding for the two events was allocated in the National Budget.
“Mr Speaker; holding elections every five years is a mandate that the Constitution of Zambia has given to Government and we are ready to hold the elections as Government.
“Yes, we have also engaged cooperating partners to support Zambia in this very serious endeavour, after all; we have to participate in elections because Zambia’s democratic credentials will be judged on how free and fair the elections will be held,” Ms Wina said.
The Vice-President also told the House that the Government was spending an average of $25 million monthly on electricity imports from Mozambique.
This, Ms Wina said, was to keep the country’s economy wheels on track in the wake of the energy deficit perpetuated by drought.
She was responding to Katuba United Party for National Development (UPND) MP Jonas Shakafuswa who wanted an outline of how the country was coping with the negative effects of the El-Nino weather pattern.