THE row surrounding the United Party for National Development (UPND) vice-president for administration Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba’s academic qualification rages on.
One may wonder as to why there has been so much attention given to Hakainde Hichilema’s running mate’s academic qualifications. Is he the only one who is a running mate in this contest? Certainly not!
Being a running mate for such a big opposition political which is potentially set to form government, it is inevitable for Mr Mwamba to dispel all such suspicions which may paint a very negative picture about his qualification and suitability to occupy the second highest position in the land.
We think that these suspicions are accentuated by his continued silence over the matter. It is absolutely not necessary to remain mute over such allegations of ill-gotten qualifications. It is simply a question of stating the school(s) one could have attended to prove the accusers wrong. However, this appears to be a daunting task to do.
But as it is always said, there can be no smoke without fire. It is the inconsistencies regarding the controversial academic qualification that raises eyebrows.
It is not surprising to note that Mr Mwamba seems to keep quiet on this matter. A reflection on the secrecy surrounding his nomination as running mate seems to follow the modus operandi of the UPND top leadership.
Could it be that the UPND leader feared this sort of scrutiny of his running mate’s academic credentials had he publicly announced a few days, weeks or months prior to filing of nominations?
It was just last week that we had one human rights activist questioning Mr Mwamba’s qualification and called on the authorities to investigate the alleged forged General Certificate of Education from University of Cambridge Examination Syndicate bearing his names.
Much as the controversy surrounding the alleged qualification is not an issue, it is still baffling to fathom how Mr Mwamba managed to obtain an advanced diploma from London if he has not been able to publicly divulge his Grade 12 certificate or Form V as it were.
The story has taken a new twist now in which the Public Parliamentary Handbook of the Tenth and Eleventh National Assembly of Zambia seem to have contradictory entries of qualification.
One may argue that Form V is the equivalent of the Grade 12 Certificate, but the examining bodies that award the said credentials is what probably slightly distinguishes the two. Logically it could be understood if the Form V qualification was indicated in the 2008 Public Parliamentary Handbook as opposed to the latter. Does this mean Mr Mwamba could have lied to Parliament?
We think that there is need for Mr Mwamba to come out clearly on these allegations surrounding his qualification and not mere statements that he would shock his challengers by producing the requisite credentials.
The need to clearly state his position on the issues would not only settle the dust but also work for the good of the party’s good standing in the eyes of the electorate.