Debate on the eligibility of Acting President Guy Scott to stand in the forthcoming presidential election has intensified.
Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Governance Advisor Isaac Mwanza has joined the debate arguing that Dr. Scott qualifies to stand as a Republican President based on Article 34 of the current Constitution.
Mr. Mwanza says it is worth noting that the Constitution of Zambia, 1964 entitled all persons who were, by 23rd October 1964, British-protected person to become citizens of Zambia on 24th October in 1964.
Mr. Mwanza contends that the framers of the 1964 Constitution had in mind that Northern Rhodesia, with a population of about 3.5 million people had persons that were not born in Zambia but were under the British Protection.
He cites Section 3 chapter 1 of the constitution which states that every person who, having been born in the former Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia is on 23rd October, 1964, a British protected person, shall become a citizen of Zambia on 24th October, 1964.
He explains that the Scottish parents to Dr. Guy Scott were born in Scotland, which is a protectorate of Northern Rhodesia, hence making them entitled to enjoy the same rights under Section 3 (1) and (2) of the 1964 Constitution of Zambia.
Mr. Mwanza adds that as the Central Committee of the PF meets to decide the mode of selecting its Presidential Candidate, the party should deeply reflect on the decision they are about to make and select a candidate based on their ability to contribute towards the founding ideals of the Party and not based on tribe or the colour of a person’s skin.
Meanwhile, Zambian Voice Executive Director Chilufya Tayali has told QFM News in a separate interview that it is because of such contentious clauses in the constitution that his organization wanted to petition the court over the eligibility of Dr. Scott to even Act as a Republican president.
Mr. Tayali says there is need to respect the current constitution and follow whatever is written in it and not base on selfish interests.
And All People’s Congress (APC) Party President Nason Msoni is of the view that Dr. Scott is even acting as President illegally considering that President Sata left the instruments of power with Mr Edgar Lungu.
Mr. Msoni says there is no need to continue debating the eligibility of Dr. Scott to act as president when the constitution is very clear.