KABUSHI PF member of parliament Bowman Lusambo speaking English should never be used as a measure of intelligence.

And Lusambo says only visionless people can insult President Edgar Lungu.

Lusambo was speaking on when he officiated at the Ndola District COVID-19 Inter-School Debate Contest held at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, which he sponsored.

Lusambo said it was regrettable that a lot of young people had not gone to the University of Zambia because of not having good English results.

“In this room, I have not seen a white person. All of us here are black Zambians. But the District Education Board, we have observed that you are making our children use the Queen’s language. But the Queen’s language has an origin. For us, we want our people to express themselves freely. I have seen that if someone makes a simple mistake as pronouncing ‘the’ as ‘ze’, then he will be mocked all over social media. Can you laugh at someone who makes a mistake in Tonga or in Lozi?” Lusambo asked.

He appealed to education authorities to allow children to learn local languages until Grade 12 and to remove English as a condition of admission to UNZA.

“So we want to appeal, this is my honest appeal to the DEBS, the provincial government education officer, up to the minister himself of general education and higher education. We know that it’s government policy to study and teach other languages in our country from grade 1 to grade 7 but we want this to extend up to grade 12 because we cannot rely on the Queen’s language. Me I’m Lamba and I can express myself very well in Lamba and we have a lot of young men and women out there in the community with proper knowledge, with proper ideas but they can’t express themselves well because they can’t communicate to other people and the barrier of the Queen’s language,” Lusambo said.

“We want to develop this country and the reason why we are not developing this country is because we have put benchmarks on ourselves. We have seen learners coming from schools, grade 12s, with good results, distinction in sciences, but just because in the Queen’s language someone gets 8 or 7, they deprive that intelligent young woman or boy from entering the University of Zambia because of Queen’s language. Queen’s language is not, you can’t someone that you’re not intelligent because of Queen’s language, you can’t. We want our boys and girls to enter University of Zambia whether with 8 in English, because that is not our language.”

Lusambo said many advanced nations had embraced the use of their own languages.

“Language is part of our culture. By promoting the use of local languages, we are helping preserve who we are as a people,” he said.

“What we have today is the Queen’s language, it’s not our language. After many years of Independence, we should be proud of examining our learner in Kaonde, Lunda, Lamba, Tonga, Lozi, Bemba and any of these local languages”.

Lusambo praised President Edgar Lungu for ordering the reopening of examination classes saying the move was a wise one as it had ensured that learners in exam classes prepare adequately for their exams.

“When His Excellency announced the move, many visionless people including those from the political sector criticized the move but as we speak, all schools went through the full term without recording any COVID-19 cases.”

Meanwhile, Lusambo said only visionless people could attack President Lungu.

“We have a lot of visionless people. And the only people that can attack, insult President Lungu are visionless,” said Lusambo.

Masala High School emerged winners of the contest and walked away with K8,000 cash, a trophy, certificates, learning materials and T-shirts. Kansenshi High School came second and they received K6,000 and a trophy.

Meanwhile, Ndola District Education Standards Officer Chewe Chanda said the District had not recorded any COVID-19 cases among examination classes.