David vs Goliath: Zanu PF plans to raise Presidential age limit after young Chamisa nearly embarrassed Mnangagwa

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ZANU-PF has warned it might be forced to consider using its majority in Parliament to effect a constitutional amendment raising the presidential age limit to ensure only mature people contest for the highest office in the land. This comes after President Mnangagwa narrowly beat 40 years old MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa in the disputed July 30 harmonised elections.

Nelson Chamisa’s supporters swamped the central business district of Harare and unleashed violence in which six people died after soldiers opened live fire on them and property worth thousands of dollars was destroyed while the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission was still announcing the results of the National Assembly.

When the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced the presidential election results Mnangagwa narrowly avoided a runoff, winning 50.8 percent of the vote. ZEC later revised downwards Mnangagwa’s winning margin from 50.8 % to 50.67% after Nelson Chamisa approached ConCourt to challenge the results.

The Constitution stipulates that for one to be elected President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, they must be 40 years and above.

Zanu-PF National Secretary for Security Cde Lovemore Matuke said the ruling party was now contemplating raising the age bar.

He accused Mr Chamisa of being immature by employing childish tactics and actions after losing the race to President Mnangagwa.

“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,” said Cde Matuke.

“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.’’

Cde Matuke said Mr Chamisa risked being a national security threat.

“A mature person would have allowed the country to move on,” he said. “Congratulate the winner and say there is always a next time. This country has been bleeding economically for too long and all patriotic Zimbabweans should put their shoulders to the wheel to rebuild this country, which has been battered by sanctions and, surprisingly, there are still people who are immature not to see the need for all that.’’

Cde Matuke said mature political leaders were always magnanimous in both victory and defeat. He said Zimbabwe required leaders who put the country’s interests ahead of their own.

Cde Matuke said Zimbabweans suffered for too long and the opposition should work for the benefit of the nation.

“My message to Chamisa is that whenever he is going to rally his supporters to a demonstration, his wife, children and himself should be at the forefront, not to use other people’s children for his own selfish agenda,’’ said Cde Matuke.

But Chamisa mantains he won the just ended elections and said he was still going to be inaugurated as the country’s leader even after Mnangagwa has taken oath of office.

“We won this election,” he said.

“They (international community) were waiting for the declaration of the Constitutional Court but beyond that, I have not been able to hear their views.

“They know we won this election. They have the information; they have their own reports. This is now in our hands as Zimbabweans and that’s why we are saying we will deliver them an outcome on the basis of who we are.”

He added, “We have the authority. This country belongs to the people. There is going to be a proper inauguration very soon.

“New Zimbabwe is coming, you will see it. The people of Zimbabwe will ultimately take destiny in their own hands. You remember what happened with (former President Robert) Mr Mugabe in November. Did you foresee that?”

Mugabe was removed from power through a military coup November last year.

The shock incident triggered an internal Zanu PF process that saw his deputy, Mnangagwa installed in his place.

Chamisa denied he hoped to get assistance from the military.

“I am not saying you will see the same but there are many unforeseeables in circumstances where the people want their freedom.

“We don’t go and get legitimacy from the army. We don’t ask the army to vote for us.

“Of course we have a problem of the role of the military in our politics so that we roll back the frontiers of their role in politics. They are a people’s military and have to be professional,” he said.

Chamisa said Zimbabwe’s Constitution supports revolutionary change of government.

“The Constitution actually supports revolutions; that’s why it calls for demonstrations that are peaceful.

“We are going to exhaust the Constitution in terms of section 59, that gives us the power to demonstrate legally and peacefully.

“Mr Mnangagwa knows he was defeated. They did what they did but you know they can run but they can’t hide,” said the opposition leader.


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