Lungu rests Grade 12 clause debate

“I WILL not sign any amendment to the Grade 12 certificate clause even if it means getting out of State House,” President Edgar Lungu has vowed.

And President Lungu has warned that he will not allow political hooliganism by cadres in the Patriotic Front (PF) and that they should not be entertained to conduct demonstrations without notifying the police.

President Lungu said this was because he wanted to lead and govern a civil and disciplined political party.

President Lungu said if the civil society and other interest groups were going to campaign against him for refusing to entertain any amendments to the Grade 12 certificate, he was ready to lose the presidency in the coming general elections.

He was waiting for the Constitutional Court to advise over the Grade 12 certificate clause but he had resolved he would not append his signature to any amendment.

President Lungu said this yesterday at State House when he met members of the Non-Governmental Coordinating Council (NGOCC).

President Lungu said some Zambians had a tendency of demanding a lot of things and when given, they turned back and began to complain.

He said he did not want to be seen as vacillating over critical national issues such as the Constitution and that the Grade 12 certificate clause was there to stay and that those affected would have to wait for the interpretation of the Constitutional Court on the meaning of its equivalent.

“I will not sign or entertain any amendment to the Grade 12 certificate clause even if it means getting out of State House. Zambians demanded for the clause and to turn round and say ‘let us change it again’ that I will not do.

‘‘If the civil society and other interest groups are going to use the clause to campaign against me, so let it be. But I am here and I am not leaving anytime soon because we have done a lot,” he said.

And President Lungu said the Public Order Act was not a vice but that its administration had been a challenge by the police because some of the officers in the service were sympathetic to the opposition political parties.

The President however said he would not allow PF cadres to breach the POA with impunity on account that the PF was in Government. He directed the police to ensure that all political parties followed the procedure of notifying the police each time they wanted to conduct processions.

The Head of State said some political party cadres were ‘‘cantankerous and incorrigible’’ but that it was up to the leaders in political parties to ensure there was discipline in their individual political parties.

President Lungu said often times, the police service had allowed cadres from the ruling party to conduct processions on short notice because they feared to offend the incumbent but stressed that he was not going to allow lawlessness take root in the PF under his watch.

He however advised opposition political parties to follow the law in notifying the police about their intentions to hold political gatherings instead of dictating terms and taking the law into their own hands.

“We do not want to interfere with the operations of the police but sometimes they have allowed cadres of the ruling party because they fear offending the incumbency. And if the incumbent is not forthright and candid, he may have difficulties in dealing with the force that comes with political party cadres.

‘‘So do not blame Edgar Lungu for what happened in the past because he means well. I know there are people in the PF who are hard nuts to crack but we are getting to have them buy into what we agreed during the Indaba,” President Lungu said.

President Lungu said he was certain he was going to win the August 11 election with a 50 percent plus one margin because he was not elected in the January presidential election by chance.

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