Zimbabwe’s Zanu-PF youth league has reportedly taken issue with plans to increase the presidential age limit to 55 years, vowing to resist the move and calling it a “selfish and evil plot”.
Zimbabwe’s constitution currently allows people aged 40 and older to stand for presidential office.
However, according to the state-owned Herald newspaper, the ruling party sought to raise the presidential age limit “to ensure only mature people contest for the highest office in the land”.
Zanu-PF lawmakers claimed that the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance, Nelson Chamisa, aged 40, “proved to be highly immature in his handling of defeat”.
Zanu-PF National Secretary for Security, Lovemore Matuke, accused Chamisa of childish tactics and actions after he lost to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In the July 30 poll, the ruling Zanu-PF party won a more than two-thirds majority in the 210-seat parliament, giving it sweeping powers to amend the constitution.
But, the privately-owned New Zimbabwe has quoted the Zanu-PF youth league political commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu, saying they would engage with the ruling party leadership about the proposed amendments.
Tsenengamu has described the proposed amendments as a punishment against “innocent generations”, saying that it was alien to “Zanu-PF and it won’t see the light of the day.”
He said people did not vote according to age, but for a “progressive leader”. The proposed amendment was likely to hurt the party in the future when it has a younger leader who would not be able to contest for presidency, he said.