What about qualifications for MPs, asks Hamiyanda

United Party for National Development (UPND) Chairman for Labour Abercorn Hamiyanda has accused the National Constitution Conference (NCC) delegates of biasness in the manner they are handling some clauses.

Mr. Hamiyanda says it is surprising that the delegates voted in favour of three controversial clauses on minimum academic qualifications for the president, vice president and councilors while they have remained mute on the qualifications of members of parliament.
He said the delegates went ahead to adopt a clause which demands that a person vying to contest as a councilor must have a minimum qualification of at least grade 12 school certificate, a thing he described as un fair especially to those who had no opportunity to go to school due to poverty.

Mr. Hamiyanda was speaking in an interview with the Zambia News and Information Services in Lusaka today.

He urged the delegates to spell out the qualifications for those wishing to contest as members of parliament if Zambians are to appreciate their work.

Mr. Hamiyanda called on the delegates to be objective in their deliberations to ensure that the country gets a constitution that would stand a test of time.
He said it is important for the delegates to the NCC to realize that the constitution they are trying to come up with is an important national document which would benefit the Zambian citizenry at large.

But when contacted for a comment NCC Spokesperson Mwangala Zaloumis said it is important for people criticizing the NCC to be factual.
She it was not true that the conference has deliberately ignored deliberations on the qualification for people wishing to contest as MPs because a clause on the matter has already been adopted.
She according to the clause any person wishing to contest as MP is supposed to have a minimum qualification of at least a grade 12 school certificate.

Ms. Zaloumis said it would be helpful for people who have not been following the deliberations of the conference to consult her office before issuing any public statements.

Recently, the National Constitution Conference adopted three controversial clauses which demand that any person vying to stand as a presidential candidate must have at least a first degree, whilst an appointee to the position of vice president should also have a minimum academic qualification of at least a first degree.
On any person wishing to contest the position of ward councilor, the NCC adopted a minimum academic qualification of at least grade 12 school certificate.


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