Sunday, January 31, 2010

Zambia Wants President to Hold University Degree

Zambia wants president to hold university degree


LUSAKA. Zambia’s new constitution could block anyone without a university degree from running for president, a move that opposition leader Michael Sata said last Friday would violate basic human rights.

The National Constitutional Conference, which is meant to adopt a new charter before next year’s elections, last week adopted a clause that required a presidential candidate to hold a degree.

Sata, leader of the main opposition Patriotic Front, does not have a degree. He said the clause would strip voters of their right to support the candidate of their choice.

“People should participate in the running of their country even without a degree,” Sata told AFP.

“We fought the white oppressors 45 years ago so that the majority can rule this country, but now it look like this government want the minority to rule,” he added.

Government spokesman Ronnie Shikapwahsa insisted that demanding a qualification for people seeking a job was not a violation of human rights.

“If anybody wants a job, the employer asks for a qualification,” he said.

“It’s the Zambian people that are asking for a degree from the holder of the presidency,” Shikapwahsa told AFP.

Sata served in government before forming his own party in 2001. He lost the last polls in 2008 by just 35 000 votes to President Rupiah Banda. —


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