By Wisdom Mumera
Norton legislator Temba Mliswa has called for the setting up of minimum educational qualification for prospective Members of Parliament, adding that the current Parliament is lacking in capacity because of unschooled legislators.
According to Section 125(1)(a) and (b), a person is qualified for election as a Member of the National Assembly if he or she is a registered voter and is at least 21 years of age.
This Section of the Constitution has resulted in self-confessed grade two dropouts using their money or their popularity to win Parliamentary seats although most of them have struggled to participate meaningfully in debates or committee meetings.
Currently, there are over 40 legislators who are yet to make their maiden-speeches since being elected in July 2013 and they are only left with less than five months to finish their term.
Speaking at Sapes Trust meeting which was discussing the 21st Century Political Dynamics: A Call for Generational Mandate, Honourable Mliswa said the current Parliament has a serious deficiency in terms of capacity as some old legislators are able to deal with matters that will be rising in the House.
“We now don’t want people with no capacity getting into Parliament and so we need stipulations laying out requirements such as having a university degree for one to be a Parliamentarian.
“Young people need to be in the corridors of power and they should be the ones leading the rebuilding of the country. The coming in of (Nelson) Chamisa at MDC-T is a positive that attracts other youths and it is not something that we can ignore,” he said.
Mliswa also took the opportunity to challenge President Emmerson Mnangagwa to include young people in his government.
“The President should accommodate youths in his Cabinet and in other government structures and they should rebuild the country. We cannot have the same generation in power, though I support ED he should include the youth,” said Mliswa.
The fitness trainer-cum-politician dismissed allegations by some traditional leaders that young people who did not take part in the liberation struggle would sell the country if they are allowed to get into positions of power.
“The youth should be blended with the old since we cannot have the same generation in power. We are not going to sell-out.
“Instead some people who were actually part of the liberation struggle have sold out,” he said.
According to provisional voter registration statistics released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), young people constitute a big number unlike in previous polls.
Zanu has already set the ball rolling in trying to entice youths by launching its social media campaign #EDhasMyVote on Facebook and Twitter where the young people are reportedly found.