Political leaders should quit at 70: Makova

HARARE - Stoking fresh controversy, Zimbabwe People First (ZPF)’s Masvingo interim provincial coordinator, retired Colonel Claudius Makova, has said people in politics should not continue in active posts beyond 70 years of age.

Makova said that 65 or 70 should be the age for people to go out of active posts and take up other roles instead.

The age ceiling comments have come at a time when there is intense speculation about imminent changes in the ZPF setup, with the younger generation likely to call the shots and the older generation replaced.

Makova said people above 70 years should be content with performing advisory roles and stop vying for positions in the party’s upcoming national convention slated for October.

Joice Mujuru, 61, is the interim president of ZPF.

Addressing  about 5 000 ZPF supporters at a Gutu South rally at the weekend, Makova said he was helping set up structures in the party and would not contest for a position at the upcoming convention.

“I won’t contest for a position at the convention. People who are above 70 years should stay at home playing with their grandchildren, and be advisors only should they want to dabble into politics. I served for 10 years as an MP and will not contest for a position at the convention.

“I want to leave this to the younger generation”, he said.

Businessman John Dauramanzi, speaking on the same occasion, applauded Makova for his understanding of the dynamics of national leadership and the need for leadership renewal, but insisted that “as the younger generation, we value what those before us have done and as we go forward, we will always get back to them for advice whenever the need arises.”

Mujuru’s party will hold its national convention in October to select its leadership amid growing concerns that there was intense jostling for positions.

Many people who include former Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and former presidential affairs minister Didymus Mutasa are said to be among the many senior party members above 70 who are expected to battle for positions.

Speaking at the same occasion, former Energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire, who is the party’s national mobilisation chairperson, said it was time President Robert Mugabe relinquishes power to the young generation who have the energy and know-how to turn around the country’s economic fortunes.

Mavhaire, who was the first to call for Mugabe to pass on power in 1997, said he served in jail with Mugabe before he left for Mozambique, where the 92-year-old was elected leader on the understanding that he would pass on the baton to someone after serving for a short while.

He said Mugabe was initially rejected as Zanu PF leader by war veterans in Mozambique but was later accepted on condition that he would pass on power to others after running for a short period. He said he reneged on the promise after taking over power.

Commenting on the large number of people who attended the rally, ZPF Gutu district coordinator Norman Maungwa said the attendance was a no confidence vote on Zanu PF and its MP Paul Chimedza.

“People in Gutu South have given a vote of no confidence in Zanu PF and Chimedza. People no longer want to hear anything about him. I was his campaign manager, he has made many blunders,” Maungwa said.

The Gutu South rally was attended by most ZPF Masvingo provincial members who included Jefferson Chitando, Oliver Huruba, Trust Muganji, Panganai Chiduwa, Oliver Chirume, Enerst Mudavanhu, Heya Shoko as well as national members, Retired Lt Col Kudzai Mbudzi, Shylet Uyoyo, Wicliffe Matindike and William Zivenge.

Comments (10)

That is the best thing. Leading a nation needs active people

Slim Cat - 31 May 2016

Desperation at its worst.Gumbo,Mujuru kanazvadzvanya dzokai.nyorai matsamba muregererwe na ngwena.yu now want to join mdc?wth all the hard work mdc did,yu just want to dive in n be in?eh.what hapened to yo masive suport?

viola gwena - 31 May 2016

if that is the case then why should mujuru contest the presidency at 62 only to retire three years down the line? you were in zanu when Mugabe turned 70 twenty-two years ago why didn't you advise him to retire? now that you are out in the cold you want to bicker, bifer and sabre-rattle for nothing. hamuna nyaya mese maZim Pockets First go and die.

josphat mugadzaweta - 31 May 2016

@jasphat- don't get angry , it is a proposal but I think it should have been number of terms instead of age. Some people have proven to be still mentally agile at over 70

J - 31 May 2016

@jasphat- don't get angry , it is a proposal but I think it should have been number of terms instead of age. Some people have proven to be still mentally agile at over 70

J - 31 May 2016

Capping age limits is unreasonable at this point in time.Let us be realistic,the moment one reaches that age he/she would feel that he could go further than 70.Remember in the early eighties when Joshua Nkomo was in the early 60s the current old guard now older than him during that time used to say"Nkomo achembera haende kumusha" Today as I comment,they are still sticking to power like ticks and give varying puerile reasons for remaining in power up to this moment. May be restriction of terms in office especially, that of president would otherwise work.In any case there is no real need to prioritise those issues.

Gen. Spinola - 31 May 2016

Where is the desperation @viola? The party like it or hate it have done well to get over 5,000 people to its meeting in a rural setting. That should be applauded. The issue of should be discussed. I think 75 is more realistic.

Inyika - 31 May 2016

This seems a positive suggestion. Retirement should be standard across all professions at 65, in my view. After that, one can work as a consultant/contractor and not burden younger tax payers as all benefits become payable at that point.

Sagitarr - 1 June 2016

I think 75 is more realistic. Its an excellent idea to have age limits on the head of state.

Patriot - 1 June 2016

I think 75 is more realistic. Its an excellent idea to have age limits on the head of state.

Patriot - 1 June 2016

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.