Former energy minister Mavhaire speaks on presidential age limit

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MASVINGO— Former minister of energy and ZANU PF bigwig Dzikamai Mavhaire has lashed out at war veterans’ secretary general Victor Matemadanda over his proposal to push the ruling party into amending the constitution to raise the minimum presidential age limit from 40 to 52 saying it is utter nonsense.

Mavhaire, who broke ranks with Zanu PF at the height of factional fights between Gamatox and Weevils in 2014 and joined opposition politics with Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) under former Vice President Joice Mujuru, said many people contributed towards the liberation struggle in one way or the other.

“Matemadanda must quit whatever he is smoking and come back to his sober senses. War veterans do not have title deeds to this country because there are a lot of people who participated in the liberation struggle.

“The fact that you trained as a soldier does not give you exclusive rights over other people who helped the freedom fighters during the struggle. Matemadanda should know that Zimbabwe is bigger than him and should not just make such reckless utterances,” said Mavhaire who has since joined the Nelson Chamisa led MDC Alliance.

Mavhaire said Zimbabwe is not an island and should conform to international standards for it to be progressive.

“The reason why the economy is in this mess is because Zanu PF uses bush tactics which scare away investors. No one wants to invest with us because of the methods which are retrogressive. How can you want to amend the constitution to block Chamisa?

“We have a lot of young Presidents world over who have done remarkably well regardless of them being young.

“France has a very young leader who presides over a very big economy and former United States of America President Barack Obama did well despite his age. Zanu PF has to realise that age is not an issue, it’s all about mentality. We should rather let these young people take a lead while the old guard gives advice,” said Mavhaire.

Mavhaire said that war veterans think they are high and mighty because they plotted a coup which usurped power from former President Robert Mugabe.

“I am a war veteran and the first person to say Mugabe must go in 1998 and these people turned against me. Had they listened to me back then we would not have arrived where we are today.

“These war veterans are the same people who cause a lot of chaos in the country working in cahoots with soldiers to terrorise our people. Where is the democracy we fought for?

“Matemadanda and his crew must know that we are not foolish and they should mend their ways because this time we will take a stand,” said Mavhaire.

The move to raise the minimum presidential age limit has refused to sell even within Zanu PF circles with the youth league shooting the proposal while Mashonaland Central has also turned down the proposal.