Changing age limits must be resisted

HARARE - The debate in Zanu PF on plans by some in the ruling party to push for a constitutional amendment that will raise the minimum presidential age limit from the current 40 to between 55 and 60 years is very retrogressive.

Clearly, the suggested constitutional amendment is being mooted primarily to bar MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa who was narrowly beaten by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the recent elections from running for the same post again.

When the idea was first raised by controversial Zanu PF legislator Joseph Chinotimba, many of us thought at the time that the Buhera South legislator was just expressing an uninformed opinion not shared by many in the ruling party.

How wrong we were!

Recently, Zanu PF politburo member Lovemore Matuke shocked many when he confirmed that the ruling party would indeed use its two-thirds majority in the National Assembly to revise upwards the presidential age limit.

Given the fact that, unlike Chinotimba, Matuke is a Zanu PF bigwig who was the ruling party chief whip in the last Parliament, the threat to tweak the presidential age limit should not be taken lightly.

But why should a party that claims to have won the harmonised elections fairly and squarely be this desperate to bar Chamisa from standing again come 2023? Why is Zanu PF and its underlings so determined to block another Chamisa presidential run merely because he exercised his rights by petitioning the Constitutional Court to set aside the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s declaration of Mnangagwa as the winner of the July 30 presidential election?

This clearly exposes their fear of the rising youthful politician and the rut we are stuck in as a country. The Zimbabwean economy is in the doldrums but sadly for ordinary citizens, economic revival appears not to be the priority of the ruling party.

Instead of thinking of ways of utilising their majority in Parliament to breathe life into the economy, Zanu PF is already focusing on the 2023 harmonised elections. And this is barely a month after winning another mandate to govern Zimbabwe.

A Constitution is supposed to be fundamental document underpinned by enduring principles and as such change and modification should be rare.

Given the foregoing, it would be treacherous for Zanu PF to use its majority in the National Assembly to amend willy-nilly a Constitution that was borne out of extensive nationwide consultations.

We should not allow a situation where our Constitution is amended upon a few selfish people’s wishes.

Comments (4)

How retrogressive can ZANU PF be? It creates one national crisis after another. We spent resources and time because of the "poisoned chalice", now the want to poison the Constitution itself. What happened to the 2.2 million jobs they promised?

ADF - 3 September 2018

Change of age limit a very noble idea only matsaga see it as impossible after focusig on a specic person.Age limit must be between 55/or 60.At that age we expect maturity and have seen quite a lot .Ma semi Eliterate akawandisa muzim that why you distroyed you country kuoma musoro musina zvamuno ziwa especially Teachers.Munoti moziwa zvose apa hamuziwi chiro.In politics teachers let me worn you ruziwo rwenyu papolitics its 15% paruziwo rwezvinoitika munyika.Stop politics you no nothing of what it takes .Last time these teachers were attacking the new culuculum ....The new culuculum is the best so far and most teachers see it as bad thing displaying their lack of advancement mumusoro.Last .Now back to politics to be a president of a country does not need the issues you were raing to sell you candidate ,,you were not talking sence during campaigns you showed idiocity which deserve a big punishiment and what you do not know at 55/60 up you are at sympathetic ages than the 40 G That talk and overzirous of things you have never seen.... liars.Talk facts musataurangano dzamusinakumboona

DOFO - 3 September 2018

By insisting that he won 2.6 million fake votes, Chamisa has demonstrated that he is not a democrat. You seem to like the constitution when Chamisa is using it to challenge the election results but are not happy with the Zanu-PF majority when it exercises its constitutional right to amend the constitution. Until he has an appreciation of democracy works, Chamisa should be barred from office.

Buns Tinobvinex - 3 September 2018

If the minimum age is raised to 55 years old,then there should be a maximum age limit as well.No-one should rule the country or contest to be president when he/she is 80 years old.

Balanced mind. - 5 September 2018

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