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Grade 12 requirement spot-on – Chembe

SACCORD executive director Boniface Cheembe.

NOMSA NKANA, Lusaka
SOUTHERN African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) executive director Boniface Chembe has welcomed the new law that requires members of Parliament (MP) to have a minimum education qualification of Grade 12 certificate.
Clause 162 of the amended Constitution states that a person qualifies to be elected as a councillor or MP if that person is not less than 19 years of age and has obtained, as minimum academic qualification, a Grade 12 certificate or its equivalent.
In an interview, Mr Chembe said SACCORD believes that having a Grade 12 certificate as a minimum qualification for MPs is an acceptable standard for a developing country.
Mr Chembe said this is because the requirement will enable the legislature to execute its duties with some level of expertise.
“We believe that the Grade 12 requirement is fine and as we continue to progress, the country will move from legislature who have Grade 12 to higher qualifications like degrees as minimum requirement,” he said.
And Mr Chembe said while the Grade 12 certificate requirement is welcome, it is unfortunate that some members of the legislature may be disqualified.
He said these are consequences a country may have to face if it desires meritocracy to prevail.
He said if it is established that most MPs are without the new requirement, then the executive could consider scrapping the new law, adding that Grade seven or nine could be better thresholds.
Last week, President Lungu assented to the Constitution where clause 162 of the now amended Constitution states that a person qualifies to be elected as a councillor or MP if that person is not less than 19 years of age and has obtained, as minimum academic qualification, a Grade 12 certificate or its equivalent.






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