George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
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 MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa, who lost to President Mnangagwa in the July 30 harmonised elections, has proved to be highly immature in his handling of defeat. Chamisa is 40 years old.
Even during campaigns, Mr Chamisa failed to demonstrate maturity, making threats of violence if not declared win- ner.
His supporters swamped the central business district of Harare and unleashed violence in which six people died and property worth thousands of dollars was destroyed while the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission was still announcing the results of the National Assembly in which Zanu-PF was way ahead, and it was clear Mr Chamisa was losing.
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.