ALTHOUGH laws are not cast in stone and subject to review to suit prevailing times, it would be wrong for Government to immediately begin to consider amendments to the newly amended Constitution before the Presidential and general elections.
Certainly, the Grade 12 certificate qualification as a requirement to be nominated to elective positions should not cloud our minds to start thinking of an amendment at this stage.
The Grade 12 certificate clause which was largely ignored during the period the Draft Constitution was being debated and was unanimously voted for by Parliament during the amendment process has surprisingly raised unqualified controversey.
President Lungu has acknowledged being petitioned by both the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and the opposition political parties to consider taking back the amended Constitution to Parliament for yet another amendment, specifically to expunging the now unpopular Grade 12 certificate clause.
It is difficult to understand that 51 years after Independence, some areas of Zambia would have difficulty in identifying a candidate with a Grade 12 certificate.
If that were the case, then it is a disservice leaving towards leaning towards infrigment of human rights which the present Government and future Governments should strive to correct.
This means governments in the last 51 years have not developed rural to attract and retain properly schooled individuals.
Those who acquire Grade 12 certificates often leave the rural settings to settle in urban areas where they add pressure on the scarce social amenities.
But what we know for a fact is that there are so many Grade 12 certificate holders in all areas of Zambia who could easily stand as councillors, mayors and members of Parliament, including contesting the presidency.
There are former public service workers in rural areas and other private businessmen who consider political elective office as being the preserve of the less educated.
Their demotivation to join civic leadership is the low calibre of many candidates who engage in political debate without researched facts.
The preoccupation of many politicians has been insults at the expense of political ideologies and developmental plans for their ward or constituency often blamed on insufficient formal schooling.
Because of this scenario many educated individuals to recoil into a cocoon and rarely participate in civic or political debates.
But those are the people that the less educated ‘hire’ as secretaries of committees when they want development proposals to be submitted to the council.
We know education does not make an individual wise, but attracting the wise to education would go a long way in ensuring that elective offices had the required manpower.
Our view is that Zambians should test the new laws before any amendments can be considered for review.
Political parties should not be lazy in their quest to attract reasonably qualified candidates who can understand political development.
It is important that political parties become proactive and invite the best brains that they can attract to meet the required nomination qualifications for elective positions.
This will motivate school going children in rural areas to aspire to at least possess a Grade 12 qualification.