Presidential candidates should undergo mental and personality tests

By Given Mutinta

Our country is in the process of discussing a new constitution. This exercise is led by a technical group of connoisseurs appointed by government.

The exercise is in response to a plea for a more democratic political dispensation in the country.

One of the issues that should be negotiated is a clause on the requirements for presidential candidates.

In addition to the presidential candidate being a Zambian citizen, with both his parents being Zambians by birth or descent, and other requirements, there is need to include a clause on a presidential candidate being able to pass mental and personality tests.

It is one way of ensuring that the presidency is always held to a higher standard in terms of its importance in national leadership.

Taking into account the vast duties required of a president; being the commander in chief, chief diplomat, chief legislator, chief executive, moral leader, party leader, and manager of wealth, it is only reasonable that he undergoes mental and personality assessments before taking office.

This is to make certain that a candidate is mentally and behaviourally able to properly perform the job and cope with the high demand of the office he is seeking.

Once a presidential candidate has filed in his nomination for the presidential contest to the Returning Officer and Chief Justice, the State through an independent medical and health organization should screen the presidential aspirant. It should be a genteel medical procedure that is non-negotiable.

Then, the State should be able to disqualify a candidate whose health conditions do not equal the demands of the presidency.

As an alternative, the mental and personality vetting can be done at the political party level before a candidate files in his nomination to the Supreme Court.

On the basis of the medical report from an independent medical body, a political party should be able to disqualify a candidate with adversative health conditions and keep the diagnosis confidential.

The mental and personality tests should also be extended to a person seeking a ministerial position.

A candidate should be tested using instruments that reveal the core competencies. In particular, the overall intelligence quotient (IQ) of a candidate should be tested using for example the wechsler adult intelligence scale.

In addition, a candidate should be tested for any pathological mental illnesses such as psychopathy and sociopathy using personality inventory instruments.

The test would help to ensure that a candidate who is not fit to effectively perform their duties by ‘virtue’ of their inanity, pettiness, arrogance, brutality, spite, and other vices is disqualified from the presidential race.

It is clear that anyone with such characteristics would make a dangerous leader. Traits of arrogance, brutality, favouritism, callousness, and others demonstrate how destructive a candidate can be if elected to the esteemed position.


Through mental and personality tests a candidate blinded by negative traits that he is unable to exercise rational judgment in national and worldly matters can be counselled on his inability.

On account of the value of the presidency, an aspirant should also have the mental and neuropsychological tests to ensure that a candidate who suffers from ‘wet brain’ a trait of chronic substance abuse is disqualified.

It is a known fact that substance abuse impairs cognitive functioning, sense of morality, planning, organization, abstraction, and other faculties.

Substance abuse is also one of the causes of exceedingly inflexible mind sets, unwillingness to change for the better and to lie to cover up lack of knowledge on any issues.

However, it is not everyone with mental and personality challenges who should be barred from contesting presidential elections. Only a candidate with conditions such as sociopathy and pathological selfishness should be disqualified. He can be destructive if given a high public positions and can cause unnecessary suffering to many people.

Even an aspirant with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder should be excluded.

This does not mean that such a person is ‘useless’. He can still serve the country in other positions.

There is no doubt that some of the distinguished and most innovative people are those with mental and personality challenges. But for the common good, they should not be considered for the presidency.

This would be a sure way of circumventing leaders who can display their downright insensitivity by embarrassing our country whenever they are in contact with people especially world leaders.

We need mental and personality tests to secure the presidency from reprehensible, dishonourable and disgraceful behaviours.

The solemnity of the presidency should be safeguarded from personality-disordered, and generally depraved presidential candidates.

It is sad when a president has belligerent and offensive manners that wound the citizenry’s national pride.

It is lack of mental and personality tests for presidential runners that it is a worldwide phenomenon to hear many citizens dub their leaders as ‘the worst president ever’ nationally and internationally.

Mental and personality tests can help to thwart candidates who can sink low the office of the president.

Leaders who ‘mock’ public offices make it difficult for people to ‘comprehend’ that men such as Kenneth Kaunda, Rupiya Banda and Levy Mwanawasa held the position with such stateliness, decorum, grandeur, dignity and respect that many countries admired our country.

Based on the knowledge we have on what we want in a president, and the absolute obliviousness and uncouthness of how leaders can be, presidential candidates should have mental and personality tests.

It is a risk to national security and development to have leaders who rupture once in State House and make all the wrong decisions when the right ones are needed most.

The electorate has the right to be given a wide choice of sound presidential candidates to choose from. Just like public leaders’ physical health is a public concern, why not their mental and personality health as well?

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44 Responses to "Presidential candidates should undergo mental and personality tests"

  1. Kalikeka  December 11, 2012 at 06:41

    The first thing that came to mind when the election results came out last year was ” WHAT THE F… where the people of Zambia thinking? How can people elect a person like Sata in to the high office??? For the first few minutes we thought it was just someone’s bad joke…!
    It is no secret that the man is psychotic !!! He rants and raves anything that he wants and is not aware of the inappropriateness of his words/actions !!!
    I am in support of those mental tests !! However, the tests should also apply to the voters !!!

  2. UNZA Dizzy  December 10, 2012 at 20:59

    The only way forward is to vote intellectually and NOT moronically like was the case last general elections.

  3. Heniya  December 10, 2012 at 20:29

    As much as we appreciate your good intentioned advise, Mutinta, especially so in light of the fact that Zambia is currently presided over by a sure candidate of the mental asylum, your advise is non the less missplaced as far as our Ukwa is concerned. You are hitting not just a wall but a reinforced concrete wall. Ukwa is past conventional and western  psychiatric solutions!

    As such the drums have been beaten for two weeks now. The fetishes and concoctions are ready, the dance attire as well, but where is He? We tire! We know, unless Ukwa avails himself, those demons that now trouble him will not rest. Those 10,000 souls he sacrificed will not suffice.  

  4. Kamanga  December 10, 2012 at 20:05

    Real trashy article. Apparently Stalin had a very high IQ, too. In South Africa, the close equivalent to Mutinta’s proposal was the pencil test. If a pencil was nudged through your hair and didn’t fall off,you were TOO NEGRO for school, or in Zambia, touch your right ear using your left hand over the top of your head. Chances are Given Mutinta would never have been able to spell ‘deficit/hyperactivity disorder’ if he’d been taken through those tests as a kid. Horrible social engineering Mutinta is proposing. Where has a ‘medical test’ proven the ethical leanings of any man?
    Please talkabout why we choose the leaders we choose all over Africa. Now there’s a real topic for discussion.

  5. Honest  December 10, 2012 at 18:47

    Also some groups of voters should be removed from thevoter’s roll such as the ignorant and illiterate.

  6. No Name  December 10, 2012 at 18:41

    Good idea writter, but I would suggest that Zambian voters too need to undergo such mental tests. Because how does one explain the way the Zambians voted?

  7. Peter Mwanachingwala  December 10, 2012 at 18:04

    And this should start with your under 5 who seems not to fathom the fact that he lost to PF and he will lose again and again. Idiots will die with your bitterness about Presido Sata.

  8. Mwansa bombwe  December 10, 2012 at 17:59

    A good one.if we can push it into our constitution,it can be best.

  9. nasho  December 10, 2012 at 16:23

    winning election in zambia requiers sam1 hz to do the following
    1. becam a mental patient
    2. go against the bible(thy shall lie)
    3. becam ignorat
    i thik this is where HH was missing it,the man was too honest…..a cool young man wt billions…..4getng that he is dealing 80% uneducated zambians……wat wher dat results……?nw if u take a look at HH’as behaviour nw… i thnk SATA z even beta

    this is a brilliant idea guys 101% bt at a wrong time in the wrong country….mayb it can becam one on of our MDGs

  10. Buju  December 10, 2012 at 15:40

    The test should be used to make the public aware of their leaders health or mental state.

    It can NOT be used to stop people from standing as that would count as discrimination.

    For example, its clear that Ukwa has some kind of mental disorder but it would have been better for people to know what it is exactly before elections in order to help with their decisions on who to vote for.

  11. COONDE  December 10, 2012 at 15:29


  12. chola  December 10, 2012 at 15:10

    Looking at our political ‘population’, if the idea is implemented, Zambia or indeed most countries will be leaderless for a very long time!Is the author of this article an anarchist? Not any one of us is perfect, at least so the Bible tells us and I believe.

  13. derrick factors  December 10, 2012 at 13:40

    Fellow country men take this proposition very serious. In recent studies there has been a realization of a behavior pattern described by definition as ANTI SOCIAL BEHAVIOR. In the leadership of our current government this traits are overwhelmingly evident. God forbid, if this situation is not reversed come 2016 general elections and the results doesn’t favor them, they have the potential to plunge this country in flames. Let’s be Patriotic and reverse this trend.

  14. Ruth Hams  December 10, 2012 at 13:10

    Good article but African Government of day would use these tests against opposition leaders

  15. The Savvy Bull  December 10, 2012 at 12:58

    Hahahahaha….we all know the fela that wouldnt pass such a test.

  16. Mubanga  December 10, 2012 at 12:50

    Looking at what is happening pa Zed, for sure I would go for the idea of such tests. We are fade up of experimenting on leadership!

  17. Bigboss  December 10, 2012 at 12:31

    Stupid article by stupid persons with stupid thoughts

    • Kamanga  December 10, 2012 at 19:45

      Agreed! The author’s ideas need some tinkering! Zero rigour!

  18. Truth Seeker  December 10, 2012 at 12:10

    Any student with 1st year psychology can attest to the fact that we may have a serious case of Paranoia with bipolar.
    A case is the alleged presence of 600 Barotse rebels, a trip by defense minister and army found None!!
    And you say this article is shit? If those tantrums in Livingstone,Chinsali,Leopard Hill Road and sayings that Zambian soldiers can’t fire are normal to you then I don’t know!!

  19. Mwense  December 10, 2012 at 11:31

    Yes Lets check those who have asmah, malaria, HIV, cold, cough, diarhorea, breath problems, menopause, etc. and that should go for not only president but every sensitive job like cleaners, farmers, teachers etc. After all it can be argued that any sickness can affect one’s performance.

  20. Sibeso  December 10, 2012 at 11:27

    A thorough medical examination is very important. this happens in the developed country. it is quite common practice and we have to learn from it. we should not be ignorant of these critical steps for the office of the president. we are tried of hosting presidential patients at state house.

  21. Y Y Y  December 10, 2012 at 11:17

    chachine mwe

  22. muyunda  December 10, 2012 at 11:06

    Ladies and gentlemen i only hope you will be suggesting that all persons undergo HIV tests before being employed and that will mean very few will be given jobs.Currently if such a move was to be undertaken some pipo will be dis advantaged despite having spent time and money going to school.Who will compose the independent team to carry such tasks without malice?In the olden days leprosy patients were kept far away (just an example)but are we to discriminate our brothers and sisters in such situations?Bring constructive ideas for we are all Gods children.Mad pipo are taken to Chalimbana . For those wanting to be national leadres let them campaign effectively and convice the would be voters.

  23. THE SAINT  December 10, 2012 at 11:02

    And MEDICAL tests as well.
    They must be declared fit by three Physicians. So far there have only been two healthy Presidents in Zambia.

    • womasuka  December 10, 2012 at 18:15

      which ones sir

  24. dr jet  December 10, 2012 at 10:59

    It would be a good idea for Chishimba KAmbwili

  25. Hippo  December 10, 2012 at 10:55

    The article raises a very important issue. If footballers, drivers, prospective employees e.t.c undergo medical exams to assess their capacity to perform, what about a very important office like the presidency. The current president, justice minister and defense minister are all mentally unfit for their offices. Their IQs are way below that of persons with average intelligence.

  26. Kumaiko  December 10, 2012 at 10:31

    Are submitions still allowed at this stage? If such tests were to be included in the current draft, that will be great. That is what we call pregressive thinking. Good food for thought.

  27. Lolly Brown  December 10, 2012 at 10:25

    Just wondering!!!

  28. iNkhosi Mzilikazi DiniZulu  December 10, 2012 at 10:24

    All those who have had the mis/fortune of meeting Sata will attest to his volatile state of mind. At the SADC conferences in Angola and Mozambique, the man clearly behaved like a mad man! In Muchinga only recently, he was supposed to flag start the commencement of road construction works but he landed, shouted at executives of the construction company saying he was expecting to see a complete road, not contruction equipment. For all thoise blessed with the sense of sight and ability to interprate facts before their eyes, president Michael Mulenga Chilufya Sata is afflicted with bipolar affective disorder and this is a very serious psychiatric disorder for a head of state. A screening process like the one Mutinta suggests would have fished him out and thus protected us from exposure to all these stinking masalamusi a chiwewe.

  29. PMM  December 10, 2012 at 09:48


  30. Suggestor  December 10, 2012 at 09:03

    I wonder if sata and mugabe would pass such tests?

  31. Sara  December 10, 2012 at 08:28

    I think that is a fabulous idea! Why has no one else thought of it before. It should be implemented immediately, because this country cannot afford another nightmare like dull people in the state house!

  32. Shabba Ranks  December 10, 2012 at 07:56

    Ukwa would fail these tests. His score would be a total of 1.5%

  33. Uncle Zambia  December 10, 2012 at 07:51

    SHIT. This article is SHIT

    • Skeletone  December 10, 2012 at 10:28

      Uncle Zambia,
      Then tell us the other way. Just even 500 words rather than talk with your rebuke.
      Whats so hard to understand the logic in this article?
      Explain to all the bloggers here so that we can fully comprehend your analysis on credentials of nominating a sober president.
      Will be waiting from you sir!

      • womasuka  December 10, 2012 at 18:13

        waiting too

  34. taliban  December 10, 2012 at 07:13

    true..they have top undergo such tests..we are fed up of having mentally ill leaders..!

  35. Senior Acting Assistant To The Assistant  December 10, 2012 at 06:51

    In fact test should be carried every year just like they do for silicosis in the mines…

  36. Mphangwe  December 10, 2012 at 06:06

    This is an excellent idea arising from the experiences of the current southern African Presidency that has buffled many world leaders, and southern African leaders in particular. One African President is actually frightened to meet other African leaders for fear of exposing his insanity at such meetings. Some African countries have strong laws that prohibit the inportation of the MIND-ALTERING DRUGS such that the Hotels are fitted with electronic gadgets to detect such drugs.

  37. Mp  December 10, 2012 at 06:04

    I totally agree. In fact we need mandatory disclosure of medical status of Presidential Candidates, including toxicology. This will help secure the future of our children and grandchildren, because then they may not be looking up to our leaders and be picking bad habits from them like we are seeing it today in top public officers.

  38. jackson  December 10, 2012 at 05:50

    I think so.

  39. Ukwa boys  December 10, 2012 at 05:44

    Kufunta Uko mad leaders drunks,immoral leaders like June syphililes leaders all can’t and shouldn’t be allowed near government kaponyas even the king of kaponyas should not be allowed shame something like that has happened shame that the majority are dull and simple minded and would vote for a tree minded chap because no normal educated person would vote for an uneducated person what are they going to offer there experience as thieves?

  40. Ukwa boys  December 10, 2012 at 05:40

    That’s a great suggestion my appeal HIV syphililes scrotum disease prostate cancer throat cancer all these should be checked even one that can’t keep it up should not be allowed as there ll be taking umutototo hence confusing them and heart failers my goodness all these sound like we discribing someone we know kekekekekeke if you are that I’ll really why would want to to be president? Simple answer you d have to be mad and so power hungry that even your health doesn’t matter,and you d have to evil because you don’t are the damage you ll do to the economy even after you are dead how your grand children will suffer because the property will be grabbed from you

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