MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora has described Zanu PF and war veterans’ proposal to change the presidential age limit as a sideshow meant to divert public attention from government’s failed economic policies.
Speaking during AMH Conversations series in Harare yesterday, Mwonzora said Zanu PF’s intention was to block Mnangagwa’s strongest opponent MDC leader Nelson Chamisa from participating in the 2023 elections.
“This is a diversion and a lot of Zimbabweans are going to be engaged in this fruitless debate. There are a lot more pressing matters right now. War veterans recently pushed for a constitutional amendment to set the presidential age limit at 52 instead of the current 40 years.
“We have to deal with the economy, poverty and misery. Our people are wallowing in poverty. There is unemployment and there is no [foreign direct investment] FDI and domestic investment. We want cash in the banks, a currency of our own and access to resources without discrimination and massive corruption. These things should be the ones occupying the government. When this government is faced with a difficult situation, it creates a diversion,” Mwonzora said.
He urged Zimbabweans across the political divide to continue piling pressure on government to deliver on its promises and rescue the free-falling economy.
“There is a silver lining and I see an opportunity for all people across the political divide to speak with one voice. Mr Mnangagwa must fix the economy. These are instances where human rights are being violated across the political divide,” he said.
Human rights activist Abigail Mupambi said the proposed amendment was a direct attack on the referendum and that Zanu PF’s two-thirds majority does fully represent the interests of all Zimbabweans.
“As a generation, irrespective of which party you are coming from, it is time we unite and set our own narrative. We have a new Constitution where the people spoke and said they want 40, and when we haven’t experimented with the 40, we are going for an amendment. It’s an insult to our generation,” Mupambi said.
AMH Conversations is livestreamed every Monday and Thursday on NewsDay Facebook page and Heart and Soul Radio Station from 12 noon to 1pm. AMH are publishers of NewsDay, The Standard and Zimbabwe Independent.