Zanu PF rejects amendment to block Chamisa

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF party has rejected a proposal from its affiliate, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), to raise the age limit for presidential aspirants to 52 years.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

War veterans, with support from the women’s league, wanted Zanu PF to use its two-thirds majority in Parliament to amend the national Constitution in what critics have argued is a move to block 40-year-old opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa from contesting the 2023 presidential poll.

Chamisa came close to upsetting Mnangagwa in a bruising election battle early this year, only to lose the closely fought presidential poll after polling 44,3% against the Zanu PF leader’s 50,8%. The MDC leader, however, disputed the election result and brought a petition before the Constitutional Court in a bid to overturn Mnangagwa’s victory which was, however, thrown out for lack of evidence.

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo yesterday said the ruling party had not received any official communication from war veterans on the issue. Resolutions passed at the end of the ruling party’s 17th annual conference held in Esigodini, Matabeleland South, last week did not include the contentious proposal.

“As far as I am aware, we have not received any communication regarding the proposed amendment to the Constitution. If it was discussed at the conference, it may have been at the committees’ stage, but it was never brought to the final list for adoption,” Khaya Moyo said.

Insiders said the proposal had found resistance from the youth league, in particular.

classifieds.co.zw Ads

“Except for some within the leadership, the entire youth league was opposed to the amendment. It makes very little sense and flies in the face of our new found call to open up the democratic space. It’s like replaying the old record from which the President (Mnangagwa) is trying to walk away,” said a source.

Zanu PF secretary for youth Pupurai Togarepi could not be reached for comment after he was involved in an accident on his way to the conference, while his deputy, Lewis Matutu’s mobile phone went unanswered.

War veterans leader Victor Matemadanda, who has been the most vocal proponent of the resolution, was unwilling to discuss the issue yesterday.

“I am travelling. Can I talk to you later in the day,” he said.

When NewsDay told Matemadanda that the party’s spokesperson had essentially professed ignorance of the proposal, the war veterans secretary-general, who doubles as Deputy Minister for Defence, suggested there could have been an error.

“If he said that, then I would have to discuss with him first before I come back to you,” he said.

Khaya Moyo added that thematic committees bring “numerous resolutions” and most are rejected.

“We have many thematic committees at conference that bring as many as 20 resolutions each. The party cannot adopt everything that is brought before it. It’s impossible,” he said.

Douglas Mahiya, the ZNLWVA spokesperson, however, was more pragmatic and accepted the party’s decision to reject the proposal.

“There was a list of resolutions passed and adopted by conference at the end. It (proposal for age limit) was not there, because the party has a prerogative to fine tune issues as they are brought before it. Zanu PF produces political material to suit a particular environment, and what was communicated to everyone, is what the party adopted,” Mahiya said.

Asked what feedback the war veterans leadership would give to its membership regarding the proposed amendment, Mahiya said: “We will tell them that we put the proposal before the party, it was processed along with other issues and what has been communicated is the outcome of such discussions.”

He said it was up to the membership of the former fighters to seek other ways of presenting their argument.

“It is up to them. But we will not, as an association, seek to present a counter narrative to that of the party,” Mahiya said.

Khaya Moyo said the Zanu PF politburo and central committee were also yet to discuss the issue.

“The proposal has also not been brought before the party’s organs such as the politburo and central committee. But we are a democratic party and people can continue to discuss these issues until such time they have exhausted all channels,” he said.

After the war veterans, the women’s league as well as a number of provincial structures of Zanu PF jumped onto the bandwagon and supported the proposal. However, the party’s Mashonaland Central structure was the first to publicly reject it, following a provincial conference last week.

9 Comments

  1. Machinja taurai tinzwe,ndimi munomboti Ed is a replica of Mugabe hoyo azviramba if it was during the former govt it would have been a unanimous and undebatable issue

    1. @Ponziano
      One swallow does not make a summer. The fact that it was even considered in this day and age still shows where Zanu Pf belongs; the dark ages.

  2. ZANU PF you are cowards you want to raise the presidential age limit because of one person? Why are you afraid of the youths you are also killing the future of your party youths with this move. The late General Tongogara commanded ZANLA whilst he was Chamisa’s age and most of you led the liberation struggle whilst you were youths. This time especially Matemadanda, you have shown us that you are fools concentrating on trivial issues whilst the economy is dying daily.

  3. kugarakunzwana wagona kutaura apa lets fix the economy first.

  4. Let’s call for the lifting of sanctions first so that the economy can work.

  5. President Mnangagwa and the new dispensation have opened up the democratic space. the President has also been clear in suggesting that the future is for the youths, thats why even the Cabinet now has several youthful people in it. commendable move by President Mnangagwa in not adopting the Presidential age limit call.

  6. By refusing to adopt the resolution to raise the age limit of Presidential elections from 40 to 52 as was suggest by the War Veterans and Women’s League, ED Mnnangagwa has made it clear that he is not for play political cowardice, but rather committed to let democracy prevail. Kudos Mr President.

  7. It will not make sense to place that in the constitution. It means even the youths in Zanu PF cannot contest to be President. If they place such a law it affects every party. It means there will be more Mugabes to come who will rule until they are 90 Years old. Sometimes we need developmental Politics not critic Politics without solution. Zimbabwe can only be governable once each political party appreciate and tolerate the existence of each party and improve Politics and well being of citizen.We dont want degrading politics like Zim. South Africa has 4 Presidents Since 1996. We have two since 1980 its a sign that shows that not even a president came from ZAPU & ZANU Ndonga the other parties which were there during the liberation struggle yet one party claims to fought the war alone. ZANU PF should not be greedy but should appreciate that generation is changing including those who fought the war some wont be around in 2025.

  8. what about the minimum age limit as well as the maximum. if a minimum is set, the a maximum ought to be set. for example if 52 is the minimum then what if we say 75 is the maximum.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *