No more cadres for diplomats, parliament to ratify their appointments

The national constitution convention has amended the executive functions of the president to allow the head of state appoint career diplomats or persons who have relevant professional qualification to serve in foreign missions.

The convention has further provided in the same article that all the appointments of ambassadors, high commissioners and consuls be ratified by parliament to ensure that only qualified persons are appointed.

This is contained in clause 2 (b) of Article 90 of the first draft constitution.

In debating the clause, Keembe Member of Parliament (MP) Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha noted that the amendment does not take away powers from the president to appoint diplomats but merely seeks to ensure that only qualified persons are appointed to represent Zambia in foreign countries.

Lt. Gen. Shikapwasha, who once served as Foreign Affairs Minister during the MMD regime, explained that he faced problems with some diplomats who could not perform because they were not qualified to serve in foreign missions as they had no professionl qualification in any field.

But Kasempa MMD MP, Kabinga Pande, who also once served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, opposed the clause contending that the president should be allowed to appoint anyone he thinks can represent the country better instead of career diplomats.

His argument was supported by Deputy Minister of Labour Ronald Chitotela who noted that the amendments were wrongly placed as the president has the powers to appoint civil servants hence the amendment should apply to the civil service if the clause is adopted.

The house unanimously adopted the clause by acclamation vote, meaning that all appointment of diplomats will only be for professional persons who will be ratified by parliament.

Meanwhile, the convention has yet again failed to reach a consensus on some clauses of article 97 that provide for the qualification and disqualification for nomination for election as president and referred the matter to a secret ballot tomorrow.

Divisions arose when the thematic group proposed that they include the age of presidential aspirants which attracted mixed reactions.

After debating, the house conducted an acclamation vote which resulted in a stalemate but the chairperson of the convention declared the delegates that opposed amendments as winners.

This was petitioned by more than 80 delegates who stood to show their disagreement forcing the chairperson to refer the motion to a secret ballot tomorrow.

The amendments suggested that the presidential candidate should not to be over the age of 80 years for them to be eligible to contest the presidential election.

And the convention has since rejected proposals to amend a clause of article 97 that would provide that a presidential aspirant should hold a university degree or its equivalent as minimum academic qualification.

This was after a heated debate as delegates supporting the amendments contended that all presidential aspirants should hold a university degree so that they can be analytical and articulate on global issues.

Those opposing the proposal argued that the clause was discriminatory to many Zambians who have not had a privilege of passing through the university but have the skill and ability to run the country better.

But some delegates noted that leadership requires wisdom and not knowledge adding that the poverty levels in the country have made it impossible for many intelligent Zambians to acquire a university degree qualification.

And Kalomo UPND MP Request Muntanga noted that people without degrees have proved to be good leaders world over unlike professors and others with doctorates.

Mr. Muntanga argued that some degree holders have acquired their qualification through questionable means making them worse than those without degrees hence the need to leave the qualification open for all Zambian with Grade 12 qualification.

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60 Responses to "No more cadres for diplomats, parliament to ratify their appointments"

  1. paradox   April 18, 2013 at 11:13

    I fill there are jobs that require degree holders and not at at all.I fill that for technocrats its necessary that they have degrees.politicians on the other hand ni fill the can give satisfactory service even though they dont have degrees.The office of the president is surrounded by a lot of advisors who are degree holders so even if the president doesnt have a degree i feel he or she can still deliver.All what requires of policianc is the love of the country (patriotism) period.If he loves the country he will not practise corruption,tribalism etc.

  2. gimma   April 17, 2013 at 15:22

    Welcome move. We have cadres at Botswana Embassy who doesnt even know why they are there. its very embarassing, can Mr. President please do something about Botswana High Commission? We understand the old gran dealing with Immigration issues is Winter Kabimba’s mother in law and people have really suffered there because the old gran cant even read properly. There is another lady called Ms Funda who cant even write proper english. This is tax payer’s money being wasted

    • differ   April 19, 2013 at 09:49

      i beg to differ gimma…. your comments about Ms Funda are farfetched from the truth and must be delusional because if you got your facts right you would know that she’s got a lot of experience,is well educated and comes from a family of highly educated people who probably knew how to write proper english before some of you even knew that there is a language called English. Get your facts straight

      • gimma   April 19, 2013 at 14:25

        @differ… I cant continue urguing with u because u sound like you are related to Ms. Funda or she is your girlfriend. I know were this lady comes from more than you do. I hv been to the embassy several time thats why I decided to write. I know she was Lusaka Deputy Mayor and a Mayor doesnt need any qualification as long as you are a cadre. Go to botswana and see for yourself. The previous team was far much better than what we are seeing now. We had qualified people like the Musanya’s, chibanda’s with experience. Not those bakaponya’s who are just driving around in expensive cars.Is this wat the President meant when he came to Botswana ati nakula ingisha ba Grade 2 naba mumishi inchito to represent mother zambia? People of Zambia lets unit and say no to this rubbish. and about the old lady (kabimba’s mother in-law) please send her back to her farm. Its very embarasing, we have intelligent young men and women who can save mother zambia better.

      • Zedian   April 19, 2013 at 15:34

        I agree with you @gimma. I have also been to Botswana High Commission from Mochudi. It took the old lady more than an hr to certify my documents. My friend traveld all the way from Ftown (500km away from Gaborone) and experienced same thing. The officers there cudnt even give me proper explaination. I understand the Deputy High Commission was a teacher from the village and the man is confused! He is seen all over town with tswana young girls during working hours. Do we even have a High Commissioner there because we dont know him. Its true this people came to buy cars not to save the nation, I hv seen this cars and I just cudnt beliv it. Its very sad to see how our money is being wasted.

  3. JOHN BANDA   April 17, 2013 at 14:53

    These guys cant give proper advise to Austrians travelling to Zambia.
    I have to write an invitation letter to have consultants come to Zambia becuase the Zambian embassy in Austria couldn’t give proper advise when contacted.
    Can you please bring these guys back home and put professional
    This has been long overdue.

  4. Kr   April 17, 2013 at 10:41

    The idea of a degree holder president or equivalent is a brilliant idea cos some one who understand things on a certain level will not need an interpreter to simplify things for him/her even if he/she is alone among other learned presidents he will feel free to participate and contribute in every topic that affects humanity globally cos he/she is someone who has covered all these topics at school before being elected as president, yes wisdom combined with education can make a perfect leader. We want our would be presidents feel free and participate in national discussions that affects all Zambians and the people living in Zambia. Let the president hold press conferences and allow the people freely ask him on issues that people are not happy or happy with his/her governance even once or twice a year let him/her also answer all questions without intimidation fear or fever.

    • NewZambia   April 17, 2013 at 17:31


  5. Blackwater   April 17, 2013 at 09:40

    I don’t understand why people in this country hate education. The moment you mention a degree everybody is up in arms fighting against an educated society’. I don’t dispute the fact that we may have a few uneducated but wise chaps but complex modern challenges require and enlightened and educated mind.

    Wisdom is the application of knowledge and it is the knowledge that you should have been taught and not just listened in the streets of katondo. The mediocre we see around has a lot to do with mediocre leaders we have around this country. The moment we start appreciating education will be the beginning of big things for this country.

    • John Cena   April 17, 2013 at 12:36

      True. The world has changed. We need well versed, educated and professional minds in order to appreciate intricacies of the modern world. This ‘the computer age’… e-banking, e-commerce, e-money transfer, e-governance e.t.c. Can someone who went to school in the 1950’s (with very basic qualifications) cope? Let’s be fair to our beloved senior citizens. Let them rest. They played their part and we thank them. Let young minds come up with the modus operandi of how they can propel development for generations to come!!

  6. yatu   April 17, 2013 at 09:26

    what about reatives?

  7. Blackwater   April 17, 2013 at 09:25

    Those of you supporting sending cadres as diplomats should now think twice. You have a chance to study for a degree and I am sure by the time I become president in 6 years you will stand a chance of being picked. Don’t waste your time dancing at the airport thinking you will have a chance. Time will not wait for you.

  8. Think Tank   April 17, 2013 at 09:06

    Amazing how people do not value education. Just look around you and try to marvel what education has brought. This due to thinking academically. In the modern times wisdom alone is not enough. This belongs in the old testament.
    Modern thinking has become sophisticated. dropping zeroes from our kwacha will not make it stronger than a pula, going by economics way of thinking.

  9. form four   April 17, 2013 at 08:32

    Escape from Sobibor ….staring renowned actor George Ex diplomat Mpombo………..coming sson to a cinema near you.

  10. Our beloved Country   April 17, 2013 at 07:31

    l support the clauses. But it should not be a university degree alone even an Advanced Diploma with relevnt experience. For the age l would propose he/she shud not be more than 75 years when they leave office.They are progressive clauses but l do not trust the incumbent govt to adopt them.

  11. Oppressed   April 17, 2013 at 06:54

    Let us hope summer will not apply all autum tricks to include articles that favour pamafools

  12. peteje   April 17, 2013 at 06:43

    I think we are need degrees but consider our backgrounds. Most of us come from very poor families which can not afford universety fees but we are full of big brains even better than munkombwe

    • kage cow   April 17, 2013 at 13:06

      Try distance or e-learning. people just have to change their mind set when it comes to education. its not like the 70 or 80’s when we only had two universities.

  13. The Eyes of an Eagle up in the sky.   April 17, 2013 at 06:09

    There’s one DC who uses Degree certificate for his late brother.This DC is very noisy and vocal.Quite typical of a kaponya.Recently he had some friction with medical personel.The rest you will add!

    • The undertaker!   April 17, 2013 at 12:01

      Mwana,report the chap to the can remain anonymous if you choose!

  14. Iwe   April 17, 2013 at 05:55

    Even the educated civil servants who are in embassies are also appointed on partisan lines. I am not sure if this law shall really bring the much needed sanity in these embassies. No one goes there to serve, it is a time put more money in the pockets.

  15. Teacher S   April 17, 2013 at 05:48

    But 80 years is just too much, it should have 60 yrs. Unless u want Munkombwe 2 also contest

  16. Never in my Era   April 17, 2013 at 05:39

    Even the position of District Commissioners , who have become Disease Centres (DCs)should be for carrer civil servants and not these kaponyas.

  17. Kanio Kokwa Wynter   April 17, 2013 at 04:02

    It is surprising that Zambians have no regard for education. Do not be political about education. We need educated citizenry for development to come. You can see the confusions, mistakes appointments going on in this PF circus. The majority are not educated to desirable levels.

    • patriot   April 17, 2013 at 05:40

      I do not think it is really about education, those in Embassies should simply behave like diplomats and serve the people. Can someone show me what the educated people have achieved in these embassies? even some educated people in these embassies of ours tend to behave like riff ruffs. when you have a problem, there are very few people in a Zambian embassy that would be willing to help you, they would rather see you go down. its all about jealousy!! what kind of a country are we?

      • Moonga   April 17, 2013 at 08:51

        Patriot, education is important, and should not be ignored. Education indicates an ability to understand, analyse, synthesise, articulate issues and problems and finding solutions to those problems.Please do not give excuses. The required level of education prescribed is not excessive. We could give excuses if the required level was that of Masters degree, then we would raise a red flag. A bachelors degree or equivalent is ok, since it just demonstatrates ones ability to undestand and interpret complex ideas and issues. A requirement for any leader in this modern world.Peace

        • Patriot   April 18, 2013 at 03:35

          I am educated myself, I am sure more educated than you. However, there are a lot of people in Zambia with papers but do not behave as educated people. Let us not mislead ourselves by thinking that filling our embassies with educated people will resolve the issues out there. It depends on one’s ability to serve. We already have some educated people in embassies, show me what they have achieved apart from being jealous of fellow Zambians in diaspora

          • critic   April 18, 2013 at 06:08

            I agree with the patriot, the criteria for selection should not only be about education but also their commitment to work, patriotism, etc. Moonga you sound like someone who was recalled from an embassy and replaced by a cadre. In as much as I sympathize with you and understand your point on education, you also need to demonstrate your achievements as an educated person.

  18. Excane   April 17, 2013 at 01:42

    Hope delegates are above their party inclinations

  19. wezi   April 16, 2013 at 23:47

    Good point Gen….

  20. Shimwitwa   April 16, 2013 at 22:00

    That’s good! We don’t need people Mwakalombe who do not have a single qualification other than Grade 12 serving as Senior Diplomats due to corruption!! Well done NCC!!!

  21. Wangawanga   April 16, 2013 at 21:23

    Good, diplomatic service has gone to the dogs, old and overly finished men, children of ministers regardless of their mental status and relatives of plot 1, disgusting to imagine how our beloved country is misrepresented; zero qualifications for tourism, political, economic, PRO attaches, shame. Go CRC Go, this country is or all of us!

  22. Joe Johnson   April 16, 2013 at 21:13

    Carry on delegates.

  23. New Yoker   April 16, 2013 at 21:12

    I hop these progressive clauses will not be rejected by the president since this whole exercise has no legal frame work.

  24. Concern   April 16, 2013 at 21:11


  25. Concern   April 16, 2013 at 21:08

    Yes, a degree holder can be good, but not just now when education is only for the rich.
    Big brains cant go to the University because its unaffordable.
    How can a Country like Zambia have only 2 Universities.

    • Eurobond   April 17, 2013 at 06:54

      there is also a mushrooming of universities in Cairo road with questionable credentials. the rich can easily go and buy their degrees there

    • No you are a liar   April 17, 2013 at 07:55

      The government offers 100% bursary for intelligent and merit persons who prove they are socially incapable of paying university fees.I have had friends who came from the poorest of the poor, they where brave enough to solicit for sponsorship .Eventually some of them even acquired Phds,Stop being lazy and look for sponsorship-.The catholic church can help, barclays bank e.t.c.Be brave and approach this organizations instead of sitting back and whining!

    • Joseph   April 17, 2013 at 11:37

      I do not agree my friend. There is no substitute to education. Regardless of number of Universities, we need graduates to run our country. Two Universities are not enough but yes, two of them have produced a lot to run our small economy !!

  26. PK   April 16, 2013 at 20:56

    It is too early to celebrate these progressive articles, can this govt be trusted to give the Zambian people such a document, especially without a legal frame, we need to tread cautiously, its more of an issue of we will cross the bridge when we get there.

  27. Sata unya mbalala ishibisi   April 16, 2013 at 20:52

    If you fear to go to schjool, please gpo for night school at least you can pass undercover of the night and produce a degree the following morning , SATA DID. WHY CAN’T YOU DID IT ALSO.

    • Mosquito   April 17, 2013 at 07:44

      @ sata unya imbalala… are a fool that is why you are failing to even construct words in English, walikokola ku mushi sana. This is not a platform where you exhibit your folly, contribute positively.

  28. Bad eggs multiplying   April 16, 2013 at 20:26

    Lack of proper papers is hinderance to national development. Its better a president to have a degree. social vulnerability is not easy to be understood by someone who has a grade 12 because its not a two dimension issues. You can not tackle poverty without looking at vulnerability and the root causes. A grade 12 cannot understand this or a person who went to Lilayi. 80 years is to much. its better 60 years and below for presidential candidates.

    • David   April 16, 2013 at 22:18

      Mr. Kenneth Kaunda was 40 when he became President in 1964 and his 1st decade was “constructive” while in his last 17yrs he concentrated on preserving his Presidency. The USA has Obama, a little over 50yrs old overseeing a GDP of $17 trn. We have a 76yr old overseeing a GDP of $19bn. Put a cap on the upper age limit like we have on the lower age limit. It’s not amusing calling Mr. Daniel Munkombwe out of retirement, when are the younger ones who have chosen careers in politics or the civil service going to utilize their skills for the good of the country? We need a decent and properly regulated political profession, not one where the basic entry qualification is machete wielding resulting in “mufumbwe”, “mapatizya”, “livingstone” or “mpongwe” style mayhem! CONVENTION PLEASE DO A PROPER JOB!

      • Joseph   April 17, 2013 at 11:40

        Need I say more? Spot on brother !!

  29. ivi Vintu   April 16, 2013 at 20:26

    Atleast aspiring Presidential candidates must have a reconginzable tetiary education (something acceptable by Unza, CBU & TEVETA in general)with a significant experience in either employment, business or entrepreneurship. No honorary degrees with no formal academic involvement! No Online degrees! Also that presidential nomination applications must be made 6months before proposed election month to allow ECZ adequate time to conduct background checks on the data lodged. We dont want to start discovering criminal records after someone is sworn in! Compulsory COMPREHENSIVE MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS must be a MANDATORY REQUIREMENT of the nomination prequalification. We dont want State House to be turned into a HOSPICE for all sorts of undisclosed ailments!

    • CB Dweller   April 17, 2013 at 11:49

      So those who have CIMA, CIPS, ACCA, etc which are not recognised at CBU, UNZA or TEVETA cannot become president?
      What will compulsory comprehensive medical examinations do? I think many employers do this before employing anyone, but don’t those employees get sick? Most of these companies even have their own hospitals and clinics despite doing comprehensive medical examinations.

  30. Ngilingindo   April 16, 2013 at 19:56

    we need a degree for a president not just anything with four legs..!

    • The Oracle   April 16, 2013 at 20:24

      FYI sata has a degree

      • Katwa   April 16, 2013 at 20:59

        When did you become a spokesperson???? Sata is not yours alone probably you are not the most benefiting person in this govt but you speak like you are now super. Useful idiot.

      • Manmute   April 16, 2013 at 21:48

        Are you in Zambia my brother …..Zambia has more than ten recognized Universities

  31. Simbwindibwi   April 16, 2013 at 19:53

    Ask yourself why the most powerful countries utilise degree holders eg US, Britain, Germany, China it’s because they know that critical mind is what you need to super inform national or global matters. Those without degrees can still assume traditional leadership roles. Let the educated who drive the world also help us not rhetoric we are hearing. It’s like counsellors with grade 7 qualification and u expect the country to develop, it’s impossible.

    • Universal suffrage   April 17, 2013 at 06:05

      Amen…………some people don’t want to go to school but want to lead people that are more knowledgeable. Abash

    • Moonga   April 17, 2013 at 09:08

      very well said, my educated comrade

  32. Black September   April 16, 2013 at 18:56

    what about social well fare for us not in employed but have the qualifications ..

    • chichi   April 16, 2013 at 19:16

      yes. we should be paid for not being in employment. tht way governments will be forced to create jobs by enabling the enviroment

      • Gundown   April 16, 2013 at 19:42

        Go and create jobs for yourselves.

        • Blackwater   April 17, 2013 at 09:28

          Not everyone can create a job for themselves. It takes brave men and women to venture into the deep.

  33. Black September   April 16, 2013 at 18:56

    what about social well fare for us in employed but have the qualifications ..

    • Gundown   April 16, 2013 at 19:44

      That will encourage laziness.