Zanu-PF seeks to raise presidential age limit… says 'immature' Chamisa failing to handle defeat

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party is reportedly seeking to raise the presidential age limit "to ensure only mature people contest for the highest office in the land".

According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, the party said this, as it claimed that the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa, aged 40, "had proved to be highly immature in his handling of defeat".

Zimbabwe's constitution currently allowed people aged 40 and over to stand for the office of the president.

Zanu-PF National Secretary for Security Lovemore Matuke accused Chamisa of being immature by employing childish tactics and actions after losing the race 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.

Parliamentary majority

"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," Matuke was quoted as saying.

Matuke's remarks came just a few weeks after a controversial Zimbabwean MP, Joseph Chinotimba, told a Zanu-PF rally that he would propose amending the constitution to disqualify presidential candidates below the age of 55.

"I want the presidential age limit to change from 40 years to 55 or 60 years," Chinotimba said, according to the private Daily News

The 68-year-old Chinotimba claimed his proposed actions weren't directed at Chamisa, but said it was because some presidential candidates "are not yet mature to lead this nation".

"We want people who know the history of this country, people who are responsible for their actions," he said.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook