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Concourt summons ECZ, ZAQA to define Grade 12 certificate

By CHINTU MALAMBO
THE Constitutional Court has summoned the Zambia Qualifications Authority (ZAQA) and the Examination Council of Zambia (ECZ) to appear before it and give evidence as to what constitutes a Grade 12 certificate or its equivalent.
This follows the evidence presented before the full bench of the Constitutional Court judges headed by president, Judge Hilda Chibomba.
This is in a matter where Colonel Bizhwayo Nkunika, the former Zambian High Commissioner to London and losing independent candidate in the Lundazi Central parliamentary elections, petitioned the election of Mr Lawrence Nyirenda for allegedly not holding a full Grade 12 certificate.
He claimed that Mr Nyirenda was not supposed to take part in the parliamentary elections because he allegedly does not have a Grade 12 full certificate or an equivalent as required by law.
Col Nkunika dragged to court Mr Nyirenda as the first respondent and cited the Electoral Commission of Zambia as the second respondent.
The court has summoned the witnesses from ZQA and ECZ after Mr Nyirenda said that he was not aware whether the documents he presented during filing in of nominations, which are a GCE certificate with one pass, a ZNS certificate, a certificate in computers and certificate in theology training by extension, are not equivalent to a Grade 1 certificate.
This was after Col Nkunika’s lawyer, Mr Chifumu Banda questioned Mr. Nyirenda during cross examination whether he was aware that a Grade 12 certificate should contain passes in five or more subjects and also whether he was aware that the documents he presented at the time of nominations are not equivalent.
But Mr Nyirenda explained that he is not aware what really qualifies a Grade 12 certificate or its equivalent because it is not written anywhere.
He argued that the fact that his qualifications were accepted meant that he qualified to contest and subsequently be in parliament.
This prompted the court to summon the witnesses from ZAQA and ECZ and the matter was adjourned to July 8 this year for receiving of evidence.

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