By Nation Reporter
THE UPND has petitioned the Constitutional Court to give meaning to the Grade 12 certificate requirement for candidates in the August general election when there is allegedly no legal provision under the Education Act.
UPND secretary general Stephen Katuta said the Education Act no. 23 2011 of the laws of Zambia does not support the Grade 12 certificate as a qualification for any purpose in terms of education in Zambia.
This is in a matter where Mr Katuta has sued the Attorney General in his capacity as legal representative of the Ministry of Education (which houses the Examination Council of Zambia) and the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).
“That I had occasion to search the Education Act No. 23 of 2011 of the Laws of Zambia and have not been able to find any section which deals with Grade 12 as a qualification for any purpose in terms of education in Zambia.
“The court should interpret Grade 12 education qualification in relation to other qualifications such as school certificate, joint examination for school certificate and GCE; GCE ‘O’ levels, Cambridge Examination Board leaving Certificate, London Examination Board leaving certificate metric and other international qualifications,” he said.
Mr Katuta said the court must also give meaning to the wording in the Constitution which stated that “Grade 12 is minimum qualification to qualify as a candidate for the Presidential candidate”.
He said there have been concerns on the interpretation of the Grade 12 certificate qualification as contained in Article 70(1) of the Constitution of Zambia (amendment) no. 2 of 2016.
Mr Katuta charged that many people including the Electoral Commission have interpreted the Grade 12 certificate requirement as the only qualification required to enable someone to stand for general elections in 2016, from president to councilor.
He has also challenged the verification process which required candidates to travel to Lusaka to have their Grade 12 certificates confirmed.
Mr Katuta charged that it was an expensive venture for the candidates outside Lusaka to travel all the way to the capital city, when the process could have been decentralized to district offices around the country.
He has since requested the court to give meaning to grade 12 certificate as minimum qualification for anybody wanting to stand in the August 11, 2016 general elections and such future elections.