War Vets Gun For Chamisa, Seek To Block Him By Raising Presidential Age Limit To 52

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) have called for the Constitution to be amended so that the Presidential Age Limit can be lifted from the current 40 years to 52 years of age.

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In a move that is aimed at blocking opposition leader from contesting in the next two elections, the war veterans cynically claimed that the move is necessary to ensure that only mature people can contest for the presidency. This was revealed by ZNLWVA secretary general Victor Matemadanda at a press conference today.

The war veterans join a list of officials from the ruling Zanu-PF party who have called for the Presidential age limit to be raised. In August, Buhera South legislator and Zanu-PF politician Joseph Chinotimba promised to introduced a motion in Parliament which will increase the age limits for presidential candidates. Said Chinotimba then,

I want the presidential age limit to change from 40 years to 55 or 60 years. I am going to introduce this motion in Parliament. This is because some of the presidential candidates are very young; they are not yet mature to lead this nation.

We want people who know the history of this country, people who are responsible for their actions. I am not going to do this for Chamisa but I think it’s very important for our country.

Chinotimba’s sentiments were echoed a few days later by Zanu-PF National Secretary for Security Lovemore Matuke who said, We are seriously considering to use our parliamentary majority to effect a constitutional amendment raising the age limit for election to the Office of the President because we are now worried about what immature people like Chamisa are doing.

They are holding the country to ransom and we feel it is to some extent because of immaturity and childishness. When a person goes for an election, they must be prepared for all the outcomes – win, lose or a stalemate. It is a sign of immaturity for a person to expect only to win in an election and as a result, we feel there is need to have a serious relook at the presidential age limit.

However, the proposition has so been able to find backers even within the ruling Zanu-PF party. Chamisa found an unlikely ally in Zanu-PF youth league national political commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu who vowed to resist all efforts to amend the Constitution to increase the lower age limit for presidential candidates from 40. Writing on Facebook, Tsenengamu said

Will be engaging the leadership on the alleged proposal to raise the presidential age. Why punish innocent generations It’s alien to ZANU-PF and it won’t see the light of the day.
This we will resist. It can’t ….As youth, we voted for President ED Mnangagwa despite the fact that he is way above 40. We didn’t vote for age but for a preferred progressive leader. We will still vote for him in 2023 so why waste time on an amendment which is not necessary.

At one point this will work against us as a party. Imagine a situation even in the very distant future where there will be a popular candidate below the proposed age limit and maybe with the party then not having two-thirds majority in parly to bring it back to 40 years.

In short, all l am saying is there is no need for that. I am sure this is an individual’s opinion and not the official party position. I don’t see President Mnangagwa being part to this.

Chamisa is yet to respond to the latest proposition.

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