By McDonald Chipenzi
Political parties have opened up lodgement of applications for nominations to prospective candidates for all elective positions namely Councilors, Chairperson, MP and President.
The requirement for lodgement is the G12 academic qualification or its equivalent like F5 certificate as per constitution requirement.
The guidance from the court has been clear and that, trade and craft test certificates, diplomas and degrees of varying levels are not equivalent to G12 certificate or GCE in terms of amount, value etal.
Therefore, a G12 certificate means is six subjects passed of which one is English and one with at least a credit or better while GCE is five subjects passed including English; out of which, at least one subject with credit or better which must apply to its equivalent.
What is the implication to rural candidates esp if urban candidates also still face the challenge of meeting the grade combinations?
This will be a mammoth task to political parties to find contestants to run for, especially, office of Councilor and chairperson which demands that the contestants be domiciled in the ward or district being contested respectively.
For the positions of MP and President, things may be easier and smooth sailing as there is a greater and wider pool of qualifieds.
With applications for nominations with political parties already started and deadlines set, it is hoped that political parties have done their homework with regards candidate identification and recruitment to avoid last minute panic and having sangwaapo candidates as was in 2016.
Ironically, 2016 was even better than 2021 Which demands on G12 or its equivalent and subject combinations is more clearer and stricter.
The court guidance has come at right time and hopefully political parties will adjust the deadlines for call for applications for nominations, if not, unopposed candidates due to limited number of qualified will be many ahead of the August 12 General Election.