Blow for Chamisa

HARARE - ZANU PF is mulling using its super majority in Parliament to effect a raft of constitutional amendments, including raising the minimum age for presidential aspirants from the current 40 years to 55, the Daily News can report.

Widely seen as targeted at MDC Alliance presidential candidate in the just-ended harmonised elections — 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa — who was beaten by a razor-thin margin by Zanu PF candidate and President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa, this planned constitutional amendment will most certainly dent the youthful opposition leader’s presidential aspirations.

In the presidential poll — whose results the MDC Alliance has since challenged in the Constitutional Court — Mnangagwa polled 50,8 percent of the vote while Chamisa won 44,3 percent, according to results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

In the National Assembly, Zanu PF won 145 of the 210 contested seats, while their closest rivals — the MDC Alliance — garnered 63.

The other two — Norton and Kwekwe Central — were won by independent candidates Temba Mliswa and Masango Matambanadzo respectively.

A winning ruling party legislator, Joseph Chinotimba, hinted on this at Zanu PF’s legislative agenda on Monday, during a rally to celebrate his victory in Buhera.

Chinotimba — who retained the National Assembly seat for Buhera South Constituency — said he will introduce a motion in Parliament to change the age limit for one to stand as a presidential candidate.

“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,” he gushed.

“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.”

Since the promulgation of the national charter in 2013, Zanu PF has made it clear that it is unhappy with some of its provisions.

Last year, the Constitution was amended for the first time when the ruling party rescinded provisions on the appointment of the Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice and the Judge President of the High Court.

Unlike in the past when the Judicial Services Commission would make these critical appointments through an interview process, office holders are now being appointed by the president following the constitutional amendments.

More amendments could be in the offing.

For instance, Zanu PF youth league chairperson Pupurai Togarepi — who was recently elected as Gutu South Member of Parliament — has also said his first contribution in Parliament would be seeing to it that all political parties calling for sanctions are punished.

“This Parliament will pass the Patriotic Act. Anyone who calls for economic sanctions to be hanged and their political parties banned. It is going to be my first contribution in Parliament so that it will come to fruition. We know that Tendai Biti went to America to call for sanctions.”

“It’s not good that you want to be a leader but you are calling for sanctions. You are a Zimbabwean, you want Zimbabwean people to suffer. This is not good. People who are calling for sanctions must not look for higher offices in Zimbabwe. Why don’t we go to Parliament so that we prohibit all those who are calling for sanctions?  Zimbabweans are suffering because of these people, we want to stop this.”

Also, Zanu PF youth league political commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu weighed in saying Parliament must urgently enact laws which prohibit unauthorised persons to negotiate with foreign governments.

“After ... Biti’s continuous boasting that he worked to sabotage Zimbabwe economy, & that they will work to do so again, the next Parliament must urgently have on its order of business, a motion to enact a law similar to the USA’s LOGAN ACT. The Logan Act (1 Stat. 613, 18 U.S.C. § 953, enacted January 30, 1799) is a United States federal law that criminalises negotiation by unauthorised persons with foreign governments having a dispute with the United States,” Tsenengamu posted on his Facebook page.

However, Zanu PF legal secretary Paul Mangwana said they prefer engagements as the party.

“We oppose the imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe. America has no business in our internal affairs. We want to reach out to those who are imposing sanctions on us as you know that our president says Zimbabwe is open for business. As a party, we prefer engagement,” Mangwana said.

This comes after United States President Donald Trump last week signed into law a new regime of sanctions against Zimbabwe, bringing to an end hopes for better ties with the Washington administration.

The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act of 2018, which amends the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001, was introduced into Congress on March 22.

Congress overwhelmingly approved the legislation, passing a measure that had outlined the steps the southern African country must fulfil for US-imposed sanctions to be lifted, namely the holding of “free and fair” elections.

But the apparent olive branch was taken away soon after the crackdown on protesters was unfurled while the votes were still being counted, in front of many observers, including US observers, with the policy of rapprochement quickly replaced by hawkish calls in Washington for tougher sanctions on Harare if no halt to the crackdown was implemented.

Trump signed the bill behind closed doors, without the fanfare that has customarily accompanied his signing of executive orders.

Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu said the youths were free to air their own views.

“As the youth league, they have their own ideas and programmes but that doesn’t necessarily reflect the position of the party,” he said.

There are fears that Zanu PF will use its majority in Parliament to literally change the Constitution, change cardinal acts and hold sway over appointment of government officials, leaders of independent State organs.

Minorities in Parliament will have little sway over the decisions given that the super majority being enjoyed gives the party unchallenged plenary lawmaking authority regardless of the quality of their electoral majority.

Comments (18)

ZANU PF is crazy. All they think about is power retention. They know nothing about economics.

Danny Aluwole - 16 August 2018

It is only in Africa and in Zim where such foolish ideas are greeted with ululations and applause. Chinotimba wants the age of anyone aspiring to be a president to be pegged at 55years yet in countries that are developed leaders who are young have been elected. For instance France elected Macron at the age of 39, while Obama went into office aged less than 50years. To balance the scales l propose that there be age limit to the presidency, that anyone above 70 years must not contest to be president, howz that? I am not amazed because if Togarepi at 50 years claims to be a youth, then definitely they view someone age 60 to be middle aged. All the effort by Zanu pf are misdirected-focus your efforts on creating jobsand growing the economy.

Gheo - 16 August 2018

Mr. Chinotimba, with due respect for you. Itai semunhu mukuru anogona kucheuka woona muhwezva wekaari kubva. Matauriro anyu anokuitayi a good beneficiary of corruption. Mugabe took over this country when he was 56 years old iri huchi nemukaka. Va Nyere vakamudza kuti please look after this Jewel of Africa, what did he do? He destroyed the whole country and now you want to to tell us kuti aged people can give us better results. Musataure zvisinabasa kudaro. Dai manga murikutaura kutaura kuti now we no longer want a constitution that is there to promote the wishes of the politicians but for the people. Go to the people and ask them what they want and you will it for yourself just like these elections. Your biggest problem you guys is you refuse to accept the truth and that will make you chase your shadow all the time. Accept the truth and you will win the people. Munoda kuramba muchibopa mombe yaneta ichirara mumuforo then mbava dzoba, its a shame.Who told you that a best leader is a 55 or 60 year old person. Regai varungu vachitiseka because unotoona some of those people we think are learned enough to understand issue vachitokupa support over such pfungwa. Ian Smith once said NEVER IN A THOUSAND YEARS WILL A BLACK MAN RULE THIS COUNTRY, but it dawned on him one day, and that is the fate some of you guys are going to meet. I am a Zanu PF member but I do not agree with you and many ways that we are running nayo musangano, you people are killing the party. The same way you were doing it with Mugabe. You Cde Chinotimba you were in the same league na Mandi Chimene, you are 40 and not advising people correctly. Isu tinoziva kuti kana mumusaha mava nevana vakura, vana baba they become advisors, not kuramba muchingoti ndini chete. this is very bad. You must pray hard yourself as well because you can go on the way side.

mating - 16 August 2018

Important issues like changing the minimum age limit for presidential candidates are constitutional issues. A referendum is more appropriate if voting has to be the solution because of the perceived motive when there is an election challenge in the courts. Let us go to the people once again and get their respective mandate. Why make such a decision on the behalf of the majority. Whose interests are being protected here, the YOUTH starting life or those about to RETIRE??. Let us not be short sighted.

ADF - 16 August 2018

Chinotimba is not a war veteran. He is a fraud.Ask him which battles he fought and who were his comrades. Chinotimba is a liar. In any case by 2023 the whole Junta will be dead.

Guranyanga - 16 August 2018

I have Chinotimba though I know is not war vet. I got his name during 2000 to 2004

Mapuwei Chiutsi - 17 August 2018

A bunch of lunatics, who have no clear thought, on how to properly lead and govern.

sipendu - 17 August 2018

Daily News, is this the new low you have sunk, honestly? Have you all been bought and reduced to this?

todozvireva - 17 August 2018

i think Chinoz is right, munhu anoda kutungamira nyika anofanirwa kunge ari munhu akadzikama kwete anongovukura tinoyendeserwa nyika takatarisa nevacheche avo plz,

gosh - 17 August 2018

My message to Chinotimba is this Why don't you advocate for minimum qualifications for one to become a member of parliament. Let's jus say a degree. I think it'd more appropriate rather than this utter rubbish you are suggesting Let's fo away with Gerontocracy in our Government

Arterxerxes Daniel Jerison - 17 August 2018

My message to Chinotimba is this Why don't you advocate for minimum qualifications for one to become a member of parliament. Let's jus say a degree. I think it'd more appropriate rather than this utter rubbish you are suggesting Let's fo away with Gerontocracy in our Government

Arterxerxes Daniel Jerison - 17 August 2018

Some people just shout and bark behind social media to denigrate and criticise Hon.Chinotimba but he is an MP and has power to introduce this motion in Parliament and there is nothing you can do about it. On the issue of sanctions this bill to criminalise people who call for sanctions is overdue.We will support it 200% because we have suffered for too long because of snitches and sellouts in our midst.The time has come to be bold enough to stand the American bullying tactics infact we are fed up. Ther are a lot of Western countries who ready to work with us regardless of what America thinks.This time hang the sellouts and their followers for inviting suffering in our country.Aluta Continua.

eddos - 17 August 2018

Brainless people think of oppressing Zimbabweans through ammending constitution. This shows how idiotic some people are. Instead of talking about the burning economy

LINDA NDLOVU UZ - 17 August 2018

has anyone considered life expectance in zimbabwe?

annx - 17 August 2018

The constitutional amendments suggested by Hon Chinotimba and Hon Togarepi are not only necessary but also overdue. We have never seen US citizens coming here to advocate for sanctions against the USA but yet our own T. Biti, N. Chamisa & D. Mavhinga have done that. N. Chamisa has shown that one is not yet ripe to be a Zim President at 40 years by inciting the youth to commit acts of violence which resulted in the deaths of seven people while scores of people were seriously injured.

B. Maricho - 17 August 2018

Maricho and all like minded zanu pf zombies,please spare us the agony of listening to trash.You are so naive and narrow minded to suggest that Chamisa caused violence.It is ZEC who delayed to announce the results and kept people on tenterhooks and the Zanu pf government for odering soldiers armed with AK rifles to shoot indiscriminately at unarmed protesters who were exercising their right to protest as enshrined in the Zimbabwean constitution.To shoulder the blame on Chamisa or any MDC Alliance principal is the madness of the highest order.When Mugabe and his henchmen ordered the murder,abduction and torture of opposition party members,were they any younger?Just to take you back to the Holy Book,Jesus died at the age of 33 years yet he had done a lot of work that no man had done.What does that tell you zanu pf apologists.What pains me most is that zanu pf has the most number of people living in abject poverty yet they keep on chanting those useless zanu pf slogans.Hitler once said that if you pluck out a chicken's feathers when it is alive,sooner or later it will come to you for protection ,forgetting that you are the same person who has caused the chicken's misery.Thats how these zanu pf idiots behave.They keep on supporting the zanu pf mafia yet it is the same mafia that has relegated them to stinking poverty,and the mafia keep on promising them new things in every election even if it is so crystal clear that they are being lied to.Shame on these goons!

Luke Munya Mabika - 17 August 2018

saka nyika ino zvayava demhe ma 40yrs here kana ndimi ma 60 and above kumwe kupenga so kana musina zvekundotaura ku parliament nyararai muteerere vanazvo ibwa dzevanhu ma zanu pf mauraya nyika kusanyara kwenyu

zacharia mdzvairo - 21 August 2018

Muchafarira n'anga inobata mai. I guess the intention to change the presidential minimum age is to bar Chamisa. So what happens if suddenly ZANU presents a candidate of the prohibited age limit? Iye Chamisa nanyanyotadzei chakonzeresa pfungwa yakaora kudai? Are the 2 million + voter all crazy ? Only Chinotimba and Pupurai Togarepi are correct? And ZANU PF youths like this? What a shame! I am still struggling to susbstantiate the allegation that Chamisa and Biti called for sanctions. So does this mean that America and European leaders are so gullible to the extent of disregarding what ZANU PF ruling leaders are saying and instead choose to believe Biti and Chamisa? Chinotimba and Togarepi, please take care and avoid being used. ZANU PF does not have much time in power. Protect your individual legacies by being on the side of the people. The leaders that you purport to boot lick may soon be side swiped just like what happened to you know who?

Enock Basera - 23 August 2018

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