By Blessings Chidakwa
Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda says there was need to amend the country’s Constitution and set the minimum qualification for one to become a legislator at five Ordinary Level passes.
Mudenda, an advocate, was speaking in Gweru recently where he said the country should emulate Zambia whose aspiring councillors and MPs need at least a Grade 12 certificate, equivalent to Zimbabwe’s O’ Level to qualify.
In Zimbabwe currently, one only needs to be a Zimbabwean who is 18 and above and also be a registered voter in order to qualify for the legislature.
“Vanotatarika (they struggle) and if the trend carries on, we might have to amend the Constitution and make it mandatory that for one to contest as a councillor or MP, one must have a minimum of an Ordinary Level certificate,” Mudenda said.
“You know if a professor is in charge of a portfolio committee, his academic or professional background makes it easy for us in Parliament.”
He also urged academics to express interest in politics so that the country has capable individuals to make laws.
“Intellectuals, professors we are going into 2018 and we want you in Parliament so that you make an intellectual difference. Our Constitution is bambazonke; it’s a problem in terms of comprehension of Parliament business. 2018 is coming so come and join us and inject new blood into our Parliament business,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s parliament currently has some MPs who can hardly express themselves in the English language, let alone comprehend complex issues to do with laws and how the country is governed.
MPs such as Zanu PF representative for Buhera South, Joseph Chinotimba and Hurungwe West MP, Sarah Mahoka, who once claimed to be a Grade 2 drop out, are some who have been ridiculed for lack of basic education. Radio VOP