Higher education minister Dr Michael Kaingu (r) shares a light moment with former health minister and also former member of the central committee Allina Nyikosa (l) during the 51st Zambia ‘s Independence celebrations at Solwezi stadium in Solwezi on Saturday as North-Western province freedom fighters chairman Bwanga Wisamba (m ) looks on
Higher education minister Dr Michael Kaingu (r) shares
a light moment with former health minister and also former member of
the central committee Allina Nyikosa (l) during the 51st Zambia ‘s
Independence celebrations at Solwezi stadium in Solwezi on Saturday as
North-Western province freedom fighters chairman Bwanga Wisamba (m )
looks on

DAVID Chanda, the president of the deregistered Democratic Front (DF), has come to the defence of Higher Education minister Michael Kaingu over the now contentious Grade 12 certificate qualification for people aspiring to contest elective positions in the August general elections.

He said Dr Kaingu, who has been advocating that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) allow aspiring candidates with diplomas and degrees to contest even if they did not meet the constitutional provision of a Grade 12 certificate, should be supported.

Mr Chanda said the purpose of introducing the Grade 12 certificate clause was to get rid of the mischief of people who could fail to debate and comprehend issues in Parliament.

He said in an interview that people with diplomas, degrees and other higher academic qualifications were more comprehensive in debates than a mere Grade 12 certificate holder.

Mr Chanda said in the constitutional golden rule, there were two interpretations which included the literal constitutional interpretation and the purposive interpretation rule.

He explained that in literal rule constitutional interpretation, the golden rule in relation to the Grade 12 certificate clause meant that apart from other qualifications such as diplomas and degrees, a Grade 12 certificate was always a must.

Mr Chanda said it was misleading to argue that one must always have a Grade 12 certificate for him or her to pursue or obtain a diploma or a degree, stating that when interpreting the Constitution, it was wrong for anyone to use literal rule.

He said as Zambians were waiting for the Constitutional Court to give an interpretation to the Grade 12 certificate clause, there was need to understand that the legal brains would have to engage purpose rule which inquies into the purpose of the law being introduced.

“The golden rule in the interpretation of the Constitution is governed by two rules which are the literal rule and purposive rule. Regarding Article 72 of the Constitution that is about the Grade 12 certificate clause, it is important to interpret the Constitution using the purposive rule because the literal rule would be misleading.

‘‘The purpose of the Grade 12 certificate clause was meant to get rid of the mischievousness of the people who failed to debate and comprehend issues in Parliament. But it is true that a person with a degree can better debate and be more comprehensive in debate than a mere Grade 12 certificate holder and this is where I agree with Dr Kaingu,” Mr Chanda said.

Quoting the legal guidance of Lord Symons Maunsell vs Olins (1975), Mr Chanda said the first task of the Constitutional Court was to put itself in the shoes of the draftsman to consider what knowledge and statutory objective he had in formulating such a law.

“Being thus, the court proceeds to ascertain the purpose or to interpret and seek to look for the purpose of the legislation before interpreting the words. The tone of debate in the public sittings during the constitution-making process was to get rid of people who could not debate.

I therefore agree with Dr Kaingu but we are going to wait for the Constitutional Court to interpret the clause,” Mr Chanda said.

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38 COMMENTS

  1. Imagine the Education Minister championing candidates with degrees and diplomas but without G12 certificate…what a shame speaks volumes..even when his dull boss has stated that he will not sign it. This is what happens when you poach MPs they don’t respect you in private.

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    • Michael Kaingu is actually a good example of why candidates should have a Grade 12 Certificate.The man lacks eloquence in his speech and reasoning but claims he is a PHD holder.Remember even the illiterate dictator claimed he had a degree from some third rate University,but if you followed his performance I would vouch that I know 3rd rate Kapasos in this country who are better.

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  2. Absolutely correct!
    Since when did Colleges and Universities get it wrong in admitting adults to higher education based on their abilities and life experiences to intelligently engege with higher education academic programmes? I am talking about institutions with international respect for their qualities and success.

    It is only in Zambia where Grade twelve is the defining academic achievement, the zenith; and that, to the extent that no other considerations of possibilities exist in academic advancement.

    Making the Grade twelve certificate a minimum qualification is fine, providing it does not mean those who have higher qualifications without the Grade twelve certificate are excluded.

    The interpretation that we seem to be pushing in Zambian political democracy is an insult…

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    • Please go and apply for a college or university in the USA or Canada without a 12th grade certificate or equivalent. Please hush, they will ask for that piece of paper.

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  3. Iwe @GUNDIXY, serious employers want a track record of your qualifications up to your highest one just in case you jinxed your way somewhere. We do not want any doubts in this fraud-riddled world otherwise another Masumba will find his way into a sensitive position with a fake diploma…

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    • Are you implying that American universities (such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc.) are not serious employers? Assistant professors, Associate professors, and Full professors at American universities do not include high diplomas on their resumes. I do not include my Form V certificate, not even my Nkrumah diploma on my resume, but higher qualifications.

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    • I 100% AGREE WITH YOU. This man should be used for an experiment in a lab and not work as a leader. He has some serious mental problems. Just see how he tries to make sense out of his numerous mistakes including failing his role as a parent. my foot

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  4. ….therefore all the parties must suspend the applications until this clause is settled…what sort of breed of MPs do we have in Parley kanshi..??…the problem is that half are usually fast asleep when issues are being discussed

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  5. I can say a
    big ‘NO’,
    “but he is a (Dr) when you find out he doest hve, thats why he has kept protecting those who dont have coz even him i can asure you he does’t hve G12”.
    Let him stand on PF as (Mwandi MP) will carry a day
    coz Zambia ‘NI KACHEMA FE’.

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  6. THIS CONFUSION can ONLY be found IN ZED. It actually shows how poorly educated Zaqmbians are that they even fail to understand what a minimum qualification means. How can a degree holder fail to meet the constitutional provision of a Grade 12 certificate?
    Everywhere else on the planet people know that a degree is a higher qualification than a Grade 12 certificate. If you have a degree you already must have a Grade 12 certificate or its equivalent unless you went to a fly by night university. That kind of university is illegal so there is no taking that debate further

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  7. A colleague, actually doubted Dr. Kaingu’s qualification(s), I did not understand why, but after reading this article, I seem to understand the why part. I cannot begin to understand how a well articulated education system would allow someone to go and obtain a higher qualification without the bedrock/prerequisite qualification. If this is the norm in our country God help us. And this is the man you put as the custodian of our education system? and we doubt why our higher institutions of learning fail to make the grades for basic accreditation. We need to serious as a nation if we are going to go far as a great nation.

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  8. A colleague who was associate profssor, was asked to produce the basic education certificate (G12) in order to be confirmed at certain foreign University, because that is the bedrock on which you build your academic credentials. Those who are aware of the South African qualification Authority (SAQA), you cannot be employed without your qualifications being evaluated by SAQA. Irrespective of how many degress you may have they will require your G12 (Zambia- offered by Examination council of Zambia) or equivalent. In other countries they have similar bodies offering the same level or equivalent certificates. This certificate is the bridge between secondary and higher (career) education. Now the case of Zambia, the law says you must have G12 there is no other interpretation as insinuated by…

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    • I work for SAQA. Theres no requirement that a degree holder should bring their Grade 12 certificate. We evaluate your claimed highest qualification. It’s not all countries in the world that have 12 years of basic schooling

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    • Former Civil servant is very right. I’m employed by a South African based holding company and I was never asked for my Grade 12 but they demanded my Masters and first degree as these were the stated qualifications in the advertisement I responded to

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  9. The underestimated president Lungu. His government, with Vice president Nawakwi shall be wonderful on August the 12th

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    • It’s all ado about nothing really. The constitution DOES allow higher qualified to take part. Maybe next time we write our Constitution in our own language with dialect copies!

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  10. Law is law. It’s like being denied dual citizenship when u qualify and it’s also in the constitution. Most of those degrees are forged. Why behave as if u are stranded of pipo when so many have G12 certificates to stand for elections.

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  11. Just last week there was an advert in the local newspapers calling for prospecting students to apply for university entrance based on mock examination results. They are not serious, how can you admit students based on mock exams and what if they do not manage to get the grade 12 certificate what next?

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  12. The minimum requirement is the grade 12 certificate here period. If you have no grade 12 certificate and you were born in Zambia then you should have A-Level certificate. The bottom line is if you dont have these two then how did you get admission into university or college? You were given a conditional acceptance on account that before graduation you should have met your minimum requirement (in this case Cambridge A-Level or ECZ grade 12 certificate). Lets not even belabour here debating this issue. If you have no grade 12 certificate you need to apply and sit for exams then you can stand for whatever position in 2021. Infact by 2021 all those aspiring to be Members of Parliament should have Bachelors degree as a minimum requirement. This will not only promote literacy levels in the…

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  13. This will not only promote literacy levels in the country but also improve the quality of Political debates and decision making capabilities of those in leadership. It will promote education in the country and this is necessary for long term development as it develops the much needed Human Capital. Human Capital is one of the proximate causes of development and a criterial for investment decision making.

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  14. The notice by The Examinations Council Of Zambia in the Daily Mail of 18&19 March 2016 is clear and must be respected. It recognises the minimum qualification and its equivalent. If one has extra qualification, so be it but it must be based on the minimum qualifications as clarified by ECZ (Examinations Council) and as recognised by the Honourable MPs before the HE signed this document into law. Dr Kaingu and his cohorts are sour grapes, The constitution is absolutely clear on the matter,
    Senior Citizen

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  15. Do we have colleges and Universities which enroll someone without Grade 12 certificate. It was to say those with at least a English and Form 3 certificate. this so Form 3 three of those days are far much better than some current grade 12s. But to allow Diplomas and Degrees with out a form 3 or grade is supporting crookedness education. A GRADE SEVEN WITH DEGREE HOW?

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  16. Do we have colleges and Universities which enroll someone without Grade 12 certificate. It was better to say those with at least a pass in English or Form 3 certificate. this so some Form 3 of those days are far much better than some current grade 12s. But to allow Diplomas and Degrees with out a form 3 or grade 12 certificate is supporting crookedness in education. A GRADE SEVEN WITH DEGREE HOW?

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  17. The only paper I have is a Certificate in Traditional African Herbal Medicine issued to me by the Traditional Herbal Practioners of Zambia after a two day workshop. I stopped school in Grade 6. Do I qualify to stand as MP?. Please help me ASAP.

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  18. Grade 12 certificate determines your IQ,period… In the first place what can make you fail to acquire a grade 12 certificate if you have the brains to acquire a diploma,degree or phd? And for those who failed to make it at first attempt,there is GCE showing that their IDs are lower than those who made it at first attempt,period. Why is Kaingu debating this outside parliament when he was privileged to debate in parliament? The chairperson of ECZ who is aslo a judge has already interpreted the clause… IF U DONT HAVE A GRADE 12 JUST REGISTER FOE GCE KAINGU

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  19. Comment:your a strong supporter of the g12 clause but looking at your grammar it looks like you never passed english. you can barely spell “also”, i suggest you rewrite your g12 especially english to set an example.

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  20. Michael Kaingu is on LinkedIn claiming to have a PhD. Please do a research and tell us your thoughts. In order for someone to do that means they have one right? Google his name on LinkedIn. Maybe the man can prove to us Zambian’s that he has one.

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  21. How pathetic that there is a debate on this. Is this a clear indication that proper education and the capacity to comprehend has eluded a lot of Zambians? Should any right thinking person continue to argue that one who lacks a grade 12 certificate is inferior, education wise, in spite of having obtained (from a recognised or accredited institution) a genuine degree? What is a grade 12 qualification if you have a degree from Havard? There are many ways to skin a cat. What is this obsession with grade 12?

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  22. Mr Kaingu has not been to any university. His background is selling sportswear, when his contemporaries were studying. On LinkedIn he starts with putting a PhD in front of his name, yet no indication is made whether he got his PhD or whether he has any other degree. Strangely his skills are all endorsed by his children Iris and Muchu. It says much about the man and his children. He is a fake who seems to have cheated his way up the system.

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