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The excitement created by the requirement of the minimum of a grade 12 certificate to contest the August 11, 2016 Parliamentary elections betrays all reason. That many MPs don’t even hold grade 12 certificates explains our current economic and political mess—I mean the real mess. If we require security guards, cab drivers, bamalukula and bakaboyi to be grade 12 certificate holders, why should it be the minimum qualification for MPs?

Patriotic Front deputy spokesman Frank Bwalya told the nation that former PF MP and cabinet Minister GBM does not even hold a grade 12 certificate. I don’t understand the PF logic in undressing GBM that way. If GBM does not even hold a grade 12 certificate, how did he make it into the PF Cabinet? Bwalya should be ashamed of his own Party’s lack of seriousness in managing national affairs. GBM is now UPND vice President and if by divine intervention HH becomes Zambian President in August 2016, GBM will surely be included in the next Cabinet.

That said, the ignorance among politicians needs confronting. Don’t get me wrong—I am not against our politicians or promoting elitism in the nation. Nonetheless, the ignorance that parades our parliamentary and cabinet buildings is behind our economic and political problems. We have a cadre driven government – the situation that has led to what I have termed, “a cadre political syndrome.” As GBM, Vera Chiluba, Chishimba Kambwili and now Frank Bwalya show, shouting party slogans “the loudest” qualifies one to a cabinet position – offices meant to formulate and direct national policies. The same can be said about countless cabinet ministers, deputy ministers, permanent secretaries, and those who parade our embassies across the globe. Unless cabinet ministers are nominated by the president, and then confirmed by informed lawmakers, under the cadre political syndrome, unwavering loyalty to the “Big Man” secures one’s job—just as Frank Bwalya or disgraced and self-confessed bad leader Wynter Kabimba.

By Kapya John Kaoma
Visiting Researcher
Center for Global Christianity and Mission
Boston University School of Theology

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24 COMMENTS

  1. I totally agree with this article…I also urge Kapya to look in the mirror and research about Christianity and its relation to Africa. Its pure ignorance on his part as an African to talk about the subject of ignorance when he himself works for Center for Global Christianity and Mission..how ironic is that?

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    • So embarrassing. How can a high school certificate become so much of a issue? Isn`t government supposed to be debating where, and how many top-class research and innovation institutes should be built? Sad!!!!!

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  2. The PF is a grouping of people that do not know whether the are moving forward of backwards. Their leader Edgar told us on several occasions that he had no vision and true to his word, look how he has destroyed the economy in just over a year. The last last 14 months have ben the worst since 1991.

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    • Lazy Lungu’s credentials need to be examined with a fine toothed comb…imagine the first he said after he swore in the constitutional judges is “direct” them to interpret this clause…something he said he wouldn’t sign if sent back to Parliament…surely there are more important issues in the constitution then need clear understanding not many people me included are versed with 50+1.

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    • QUOTE OF THE DAY
      “Around the world we know that the more prosperous and equal a country, the less praying goes on.

      Most Swedes think religion is an adorable relic of a bygone era. They tell their children all about it, then pop the Bible back next to the stories about Thor and Odin on the shelf marked “mythology”.

      But visit a region with widespread poverty and desperation, and you’ll see the churches, mosques, temples are packed out. Desperate people will try anything.”

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  3. IN THE FIRST INSTANCE WAS IT NECESSARY TO EVEN PUT THAT CLOSE IN THE CONSTITUTION? THE CONSTITUTION IS A VERY IMPORTANT DOCUMENT WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO CONTAIN ONLY VERY IMPORTANT MATTERS. I FIND THE GRADE 12 REQUIREMENT TO BE OF LITTLE CONSEQUENCE. IT ONLY GOES TO SHOW THE LACK OF SERIOUS IN OUR NATION AND AMONG OUR LEADERS. HOW MANY CONSTITUTIONS HAVE THIS TRIVIAL REQUIREMENT? I HAVE NOT YET COME ACCROSS ONE MYSELF. WE WASTE A LOT OF VALUABLE TIME ARGUING OVER A NONE ISSUE AT THE EXPENSE OF VERY IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTAL ISSUES AFFECTING OUR NATION SUCH AS UNEMPLOYMENT, POWER DEFICIT, FOOD SECURITY….

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  4. @ Kapya John Kaoma:
    You certainly sound learned but definitely NOT Educated. It is so surprising to find a researcher expressing off the street unsubstantiated and misguided conclusions.
    Kapya, I would have expected some sort of evidence that Education is a prime requisite for good leadership which is what you want to believe!! BUT you are no different from other PF cadres Frank Bwalya or Kambwili – your misguided opinion with no evidence!!
    Let me educate you a little, you id.iot. John Major, a former UK Prime minister who succeeded Margaret Thatcher did not have any formal qualification in country which boasts of Cambridge and Oxford Universities.
    In Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, a Form2 Graduate, served the Zambian Nation to the acclaim of International achievements. With his Form2…

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    • ……With his Form2 Kaunda formulated policies that built UNZA, UTH, CBU, Schools and liberated Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, etc.
      Even you as a fake a researcher, (which you are) compare that to the Educated RB who was busy pursuing Oil deals with Nigerians (with son Henry Banda opening dubious accounts in Singapore for stealing state funds). Compare KK to Lungu who is pre-occupied with increasing his Salary at the time of austerity to the extent of taking away meagre meal allowances for University students. Do you still Lungu is a better leader than KK despite Lungu having a degree and KK Form2?
      Mr Kaoma, you dont make sense and at the very least you are irretrievably stu.pid!! Uko.
      Mr Kaoma, you dont make sense and at the very least you are irretrievably stu.pid!!…

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  5. Technocrats are tertiary educated personnel who manage the government while politicians decide policy. Politicians who fail to laid down policies usually end up at courts after their terms. So even non certified grade 12s can rule the nation as long as they work within their government confines. Currently we know those that shall be court attendants while other will just have no government income but FREE.

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    • @Chilyata, while your argument makes sense, you should aim to look at the bigger picture..parliamentarians dont read, partly because they didnt get far in class, and partly parliament has become a joking assembly for ruling parties to mock opposition parties. The very issue of G12 certificate is creating a problem because people cant read, both the ignrorant and the so called educated (functional illiterates) as this issue would not have arisen at this point in time, as an after thought

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  6. The clause in the Constituion should challenge those in the Ministry of education to ensure that kids go up to grade 12. The idea of having parliamentarians that don’t have a basic qualification will come to an end. Its time the country had law makers that will be competent and be able to do their work to a required standard. Its time to take Zambia into the 21st century

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  7. …the essence of this article is not clear….what exactly is the author trying to bring out here…??

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  8. Often I read a headline on LT and expect a gem of an article below it. Often I’m disappointed. What is the gist of the above article? Is it for educated politicians or against?
    Sentences like the following confuse me: if we require security guards, cab drivers, bamalukula and bakaboyi to be grade 12 certificate holders, why should it be the minimum qualification for MPs?
    Ba john kapya are you saying we shouldn’t have the grade 12 minimum qualification for MPS? In some parts you seem to in others you visit the motion then escape. Is that what visiting researchers do?

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  9. LT. There are a lot of newsworthy things happening in the country, why would you waste our time with such an article?

    Ba Kapaya. Who actually invited you to be a visiting researcher? What you have written is total drivel!

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  10. That guy or those people who write everything in caps locks ( capital letter) do you know it hurts the eyes to read your comments ? You ll find more people skipping your comment to read the next one .improve please

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  11. During President Chiluba 1st term reign we had the best brains running government. Did they do any better?

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  12. True that there was a mismatch between requisite qualifications for political office, compared to that of even lesser occupations. However, the political and economic challenges being faced are a result of not only that, but also lack of morality.

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  13. How Many Pages Has The New Constitution ? If Some People Cant Finish Reading N/pepars With Few Pages Who Can Finish And Under Stand Volumes Of Volumes In That Thing Wheare Do They Find That Time To Read I Read The Whole Bible First Time I Did Not Understand It The Second Year I Got A Few Ideas Third Year Was Beter For My Understanding What Am Saying P F Rushed The Constitution They Should Have Gone Thru It Many Times Even Geting Lecturas To Teach Dull Mps In Classrooms

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  14. Pf got the blame for removing some clauses which never happened, what more if this specific clause was removed what would have been said by now. Ecl did well by passing everything upnd and mmd put into the draft and he went further to encourage everyone to study study the draft before signing. Imagine even after it was handed to him he took 3 weeks before he could sign it into law. Today !diots have the audacity to challenge him for signing what they wanted to be included in the constitution. I wonder why we have so much negative brains in Zambia.

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  15. You know, I am one of the people who after reading the grade 12 qualifications start wondering, so the level of our minister is at pur with a security guard? People we sent to parliament are useless. I hate to see this.

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  16. Actually I ve seen the political ploy. If it is ruled that only a grade 12 or its equivalent is the minimum for MPs GBM can come and say his Grade 9 plus the experience of running a successful business is equivalent to grade 12. Who will argue?

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