It is illogical, impractical and unnecessarily exclusionary to expect that an individual with a tertiary qualification, but less than 5 O’levels, not to stand for parliamentary election, says Rights Activist Laura Miti.
And UPND Monze lawmaker and Chairman for Legal Affairs Jack Mwiimbu, said it was shocking ECZ is now demanding a Grade 12 Certificate and rejecting a higher academic qualification.
“Someone can pass grade12 but not achieve the certificate then study further all the way to PHD,” said Laura Miti.
She wondered how such a person can not qualify to sit in Parliament.
And Mr Mwiimbu said he certainly does not think the Constitutional Court made a decision that a higher qualification must not be accepted as intimated by the (Electoral) Commission.
“There are many persons including magistrates and judges who have better qualification than Grade 12 qualification which enabled them to pursue education of the highest quality in the world,” said Mwiimbu.
He questioned why a law could be made to disqualify such persons with high academic excellence from participating in the making of the very laws they would be interpreting.
Mr Mwiimbu said Parliament had no intention of making a law that would discriminate those who hold higher qualification but do not have a Grade 12 Certificate or something which is equivalent to it.
“Our intention was clear. We need to enhance the quality of debate and not set the Grade 12 qualification as the primary qualification and final qualification,” said Mwiimbu.
Mr Mwiimbu said he was sure the Court never addressed the issue of the filing of a higher academic qualification in the absence of the required minimum qualification as that would have led to. decision that is not only illogical but absurd.
“Once the Court applies the mind to what is being said about its Judgment, they are more likely to clarify the issue of the higher qualification was not addressed,” said Mwiimbu.
According to sources at Parliament, former Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane and 53 others do not have GCEs and qualifications that meet the standard that is equivalent to Grade 12 School Certificate.