THE Constitutional Court has summoned the Zambia Qualifications Authority and the Examination Council of Zambia to appear before it and explain what constitutes a grade 12 certificate or its equivalent.
This was after Lundazi Central member of parliament Lawrence Nyirenda told the court that he did not know that a grade 12 certificate was constituted by five subjects.
In this matter, losing candidate for Lundazi Constituency Lieutenant Colonel Bizwayo Nkunika wants the Constitutional Court to declare the Lundazi parliamentary seat vacant and order the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to hold elections within 90 days.
Lt Col Nkunika claims that Nyirenda does not have the minimum academic qualifications as prescribed under Article 70 (1) (d) of the Constitution of Zambia because he does not hold a minimum grade 12 certificate.
During cross-examination by Nkunika’s lawyer Chifumu Banda, Nyirenda said that he was not aware whether the documents he presented during filing in of nominations, which were a General Certificate of Education with one pass in English, a ZNS certificate, a certificate in computers and certificate in theology training by extension, were not equivalent to a grade 12 certificate.
Banda asked Nyirenda whether he was aware that a grade 12 certificate should contain passes in 5 or more subjects and also whether he was aware that the documents he presented at the time of nominations were not equivalent.
In his response, Nyirenda explained that he does not know what really constitutes a grade 12 certificate or its equivalent because it was not written anywhere.
He argued that the fact that his qualifications where accepted when filing nominations meant that he qualified to contest the elections and subsequently be election to parliament.
Nyirenda’s explanation forced the court to summon witnesses from ZAQA and ECZ to explain what constitutes a grade 12 certificate and adjourned the matter to July 8.