Constitutional Age Limits Not Tailored For Mugabe – Tsvangirai

Tsvangirai was addressing journalists during his monthly Prime Minister’s press conference at government’s Munhumutapa building on Monday afternoon.

“I don’t think we make constitutions influenced by individual age or individual status,” Tsvangirai said. “I don’t see why there was panic about these clauses being made for a particular individual. Constitutions are not written for an individual. They are written for posterity and national principle. In this case age limit was not targeting President Mugabe… It was targeted at the future.”

This follows accusations by Mugabe during his often long annual interviews by the state broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) to coincide with his birthday that the MDC was instituting a silent coup against him by pushing for a clause in the constitution to disallow anyone over 70 years to stand for presidency and limiting the presidential term to two years.

He said the parties to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) had agreed the clauses would not apply retrospectively on President Mugabe.

The MDC leader vowed he will fight to block Mugabe from calling for fresh elections in the absence of key reforms agreed during the signing of the coalition government.

“We will insist on these conditions, we will fight for those conditions and we will urge SADC to insist on its own conditions on Zimbabwe,” Tsvangirai said.

He was adamant he shall also have a say in the determination of a date for the next polls.

“The next election is not about cheap rhetoric, misleading people and firing cheap broadsides at the region and the facilitator simply because one wants to placate hardliners in their political parties,” he said.

“The next election is about respecting the regional effort and putting in place mechanisms to ensure that we have credible polls that will usher in a legitimate government.”

Tsvangirai said the continued threats to hold elections by Mugabe were disrupting the country’s efforts to lure foreign investors.