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Reduce Presidential Age Limit, Youths

Youths drawn from across the political divide are mulling a petition to Parliament to look into the presidential age limit which they say is too high and limits chances of the country having a youthful president.

Currently, the country’s constitution stipulates that for one to stand as a presidential candidate, he or she must be 40 years and above.

However, the narrative will be challenged by youths under the National Association of Youth Organisation (NAYO), who said there is an urgent need to petition the Parliament of Zimbabwe and approach other governance structures namely the Senate, Presidium and local authorities over youth eligibility for public office.

“The constitution sets the age limit for the senatorial and presidium at 40, so we are saying that through the petitioning process, we want to revise this number to come to 30 and ensure that the youths, as defined by the constitution of Zimbabwe, can stand for senatorial and presidential positions,” said McDonald Munyoro, NAYO Programs Manager.

Youth are the most formidable demographic and they constituted 43.5% of the registered electorate in 2018.

“We are looking at the age of 30 which is also in tandem with what young people have been able to progressively push for in Nigeria where a person who is 30 years can now stand for elections for president.

“That will also allow youths that are within the bracket of 30 to 35 to also gain access to public offices such as the presidium and the Senate which are currently at 40 years,” added Munyoro.

NAYO called upon the Ministry of Youth to implement policies and adopt laws, supported by the necessary administrative and technical infrastructure to enhance the economic development, empowerment, and emancipation of the youth.

Some of the youths who attended the one day conference urged the government to implement policies and adopt laws supported by the necessary administrative and technical infrastructure to enhance the economic development, empowerment and emancipation of the youth.

“We call upon the Ministry of Youth to engage in broad-based consultation with the youth towards the implementation of a National Youth Program that will economically empower youth that is non-partisan as provided for under Section 20 of the Zimbabwe Constitution (Act 2013). The 25% quota for youth in economic issues must be enforced to drive real youth empowerment,” read part of a communiqué.

 

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