Grade 12 school clause is a progressive piece of legislation-Mabenga

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MMD National Chairman Michael Mabenga addresses journalists at his office in Lusaka
Michael Mabenga

FORMER Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) national chairperson Michael Mabenga has advised members of Parliament (MPs) and councillors who do not have Grade 12 certificates to respect the new law in the amended constitution by working towards acquiring the requisite qualification if they are to contest future elections.

Mr Mabenga said in an interview yesterday that the Grade 12 clause in the new constitution is a progressive piece of legislation which should be respected by all Zambians.

He said it is not too late for MPs, councillors and individuals aspiring to contest future elections to go back to school for them to meet the minimum requirement to contest the local government and parliamentary elections.

He said the Grade 12 school certificate requirement is not discriminatory as claimed by some people but a progressive law that will add value to national governance.

He wondered why some people are against the new legislation when the submission came from Zambians themselves and was adequately debated in Parliament before being assented into law by President Lungu.

“The Grade 12 school certificate requirement for one to stand as a councillor and MP is law which should be respected by all. I would like to urge MPs and councillors who don’t have Grade 12 certificates to go back to school.

“I earned my doctorate of philosophy degree in literacy studies and development when I was serving as a minister. MPs and councillors without Grade 12 school certificates should have done that by now,” Mr Mabenga said.

He said it is imperative for politicians to prioritise education by taking advantage of their God-given opportunities of serving in higher political offices to upgrade their qualifications to move in tandem with modern education trends for them to ably represent the people and contribute effectively in Parliament.

“It took President Lungu three weeks to sign the Constitution Amendment Bill into law but no one came forward to condemn the Grade 12 school certificate requirement during that period. There is no need to open dialogue on the Grade 12 clause. It has already been assented to into law by the President,” he said.

President Lungu has stated that the constitutional requirement for Grade 12 school certificate for MPs and councillors is final and that even if Parliament was to amend the provision, he would not sign it.

Asked if he has any intentions of contesting this year’s elections, Mr Mabenga said he does not harbour such ambitions but will instead support a political party of his choice.

On political alliances, he said they could work if people going into such arrangements remained sincere to each other.

The former MMD national chairperson called for a level political playing field ahead of the August 11 general elections.

He said electoral laws should be applied to the satisfaction of all players.

He said political violence should not be entertained for Zambia to continue enjoying the peace it has enjoyed since independence.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Grade 12 should apply to voters as well.

    Then we might get a decent INTELLIGENT President and Government that actually works and can deliver development without borrowing the Nation into bankruptcy while they are busy stealing our childrens future!

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    • He said the Grade 12 school certificate requirement is not discriminatory as claimed by some people but a progressive law that will add value to national governance.

      Mabenga, the truth is that this clause is discriminatory, may a good one too. Just like we should find a way to discriminate against failed parties like MMD and PF in future constitutions. We should have minimum benchmarks if a party tastes power and fairs badly as PF is doing, just raising debt at every opportunity.

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  2. It is irresponsible to ask elected councillors and parliamentarians without Grade 12 certificate to keep away this time. The fantasy around education is misplaced. What the country needs is increased budgetary allocation towards education and health. It is victimizing the innocent and dedicated community leaders. Talk about education budget. Talk about agricultural policy. Talk about economic diversification. Talk about tourism policy. Talk about the National Airline. Talk about health for all.

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  3. @Dr. Makasa you call yourself? What were you researching on when you should have made that submission from 2014? You are the same minds that insult councils for not delivering and today you are calling the clause irresponsible? How are the none grade 12s understand those policies you are out lining?

    Are you sure you are a Doctor you? You must be a grade 7 party cadre.

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  4. We can’t keep on talking about the same thing over & over. LT look for newsworth staff. ‘m off to night school, oh what’s the time teacher?

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  5. Amafontini yengi sana, like BMG so yaletina ukusoma. The cock has crawled and the lazy man is trembling. We have to be governed by learned people who can articulate affairs Well.

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  6. It’s not discriminatory Mr Zedpeople. If u don’t qualify for a job as an engineer when they need a degree and u have a diploma surely u won’t say it’s discriminatory. It’s so surprising that a grade 12 certificate is what u are making noise about. They are so many people having this certificate bc u don’t need distinctions to have it. Give us a break. U are embarrassing yourself.

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