By Daniel Chigundu
MDC-T vice president Obert Gutu says he supports the move to review the qualifications and conditions needed for one to contest for the office of the President in Zimbabwe.
Government is reportedly trying to increase the number of people who will nominate a candidate to contest in the Presidential election as well as the nomination fees in a bid to ward-off “clowns”.
Since the 2018 general elections, there have been calls by stakeholders imploring the government to consider putting more stringent requirements for the country’s top post to allow only serious people to contest.
In supporting the idea, Gutu said “the decision to introduce more stringent requirements for Zimbabwean Presidential aspirants is more than welcome.
“Zimbabwe needs serious Presidential candidates with a proven track record in politics. Politics should be a vocation, not a profession,” he said.
Zimbabweans, in general, were not happy with the calibre of people who registered to contest for the Presidential elections in 2018 as some of them failed to even come up with their manifestos or to campaign.
Some of the people who contested in the 2018 general elections but did not put seriousness in their campaigns include Brian Taurai Mteki (independent), Tendai Munyanduri (New Patriotic Front), Melbah Dzapasi (#1980 Chinhu Chedu), Violet Mariyacha (United Democratic Movement) among many others.
The issue of changing qualifications for the post of President is not a new one since the coming in of the new dispensation as war veterans and some Zanu PF youths had earlier this year proposed that the age limited be pushed to 55 from the current 40 years.
However, their call was met with negative sentiments as it was seen to be targeted at MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa (41) ahead of the 2023 elections.
Democratic Party (DP) president Urayai Zembe told Studio 7 that it is undemocratic for the government to put laws that would prevent other people from contesting for the post of President.
“Democracy requires that this type of process be people led, as it is the people who have the power to choose. The opportunity should be opened to everyone and then the people will choose their preferred candidate.
“It does not matter how many people enter the race, the people of Zimbabwe will always choose their preferred leader,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gutu has also revealed that his party can easily comply with the proposed requirements even though there is a general belief that it has no numbers in terms of supporters-