CHINHOYI — The Zanu PF politburo has moved in to quell disquiet within the party ahead of crucial provincial polls, stipulating 30 years as the age limit for candidates vying for posts in the youth league.
This follows an outcry by party youths who accused the party of allowing over-aged members to lead them.
On Tuesday, national youth affairs secretary Absolom Sikhosana wrote to all provincial youth chairpersons advising them that the party had set the age limit for youths at between 15 and 30 years.
Part of the letter reads: “Article 23 section 187 of the party’s Constitution stipulates that age limit for the youth is 15-30 years. There has been, however, an accepted understanding that internationally and even in the African Union Charter, youth are those aged between 15-35 years.”
Sikhosana added: “What this literally means is that no one should occupy office in youth structures in a manner that he attains 35 years before the expiry of such term of office.
“Following prolonged debates and various permutations the politburo of the 7th of November 2013, directed that candidates in the youth structures should be those who are 30 years and below so that they complete their term before crossing the 35 age limit.”
Already, the directive has claimed the scalp of newly elected Midlands youth chairperson Edmore Samambwa who, at 35 years, was ruled as too old to lead the youth league.
Samambwa was immediately replaced by his rival Tanaka Manyasa whom he had defeated in the polls.
The directive means that only two out of the seven candidates gunning for the chairperson’s post in Mashonaland West province remain eligible.
These are Chinhoyi University of Technology former students’ leader Prosper Gavanga and Zimbabwe Economic Empowerment Council national youth representative Tawanda Chagwadikira.
The incumbent Bywell Mbiri has been automatically ruled out because of the age limit.