Zambia –The Women for Change (WFC) says the increase in nomination fees as announced by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and the grade 12 certificate requirements have come at the wrong time, despite the country’s need for improved quality of leadership.
The women for change is of the view that the implementation of such requirements should have been gradual or subjected to a referendum for people to have a final say on matters that affect them.
WFC Executive Director Lumba Siyanda has charged that as things stand, many of the women, who form the critical mass will be pushed onto the side-lines of leadership because they have not been given ample timeframe and opportunity to upgrade their qualifications and meet the stated conditions by the ECZ.
She adds that the implementation of the hiked fees in this year’s election and school qualification will further worsen the situation while ultimately it will impact Zambia’s democratic gain as a critical mass of our growing democracy will be left out of leadership due to highly inhibitive qualifications in the upcoming election.
She has further urged the ECZ to revisit with immediate effect the implementation of the revised fees and the grade 12 certificate requirements in this year’s elections and instead begin to implement such in the next elections to allow citizens to commence preparation to meet the outlined conditions in the interest of protecting democracy.