CARITAS Zambia says it subscribes to the age ceiling of 75 for presidential candidates, saying that there is nothing special about politicians.
The just-ended national convention agreed that under the new constitution, anyone above the age of 75 should not be allowed to run for Republican president.
In an interview yesterday, Caritas Zambia executive director Samuel Mulafulafu said the decision to have the age ceiling of 75 should not be questioned because it was widely subscribed.
"This is not something that people should be talking about because it was widely subscribed that we should put limit to the age for someone to vie for presidency in this country. I do not see anything wrong with that because we have that for every career; civil servants, for teachers, judges and others. There is nothing special about politicians. Every career has its prime age and that is the reason we should have an age limit for one to pursue a particular career," Mulafulafu said.
He said he did not see any reason why politician should be exempted from having an age limit.
Mulafulafu said having an age limit of 75 for presidential candidates would enable the country to have presidents that were much stronger to deal with the demands of the office of the head of state.
He said there was need for people who had been in politics for a long time to leave politics and only offer advice to younger politicians.
"The office of the head of state is so demanding. That in itself will need a very energetic person and we want our much older politicians to be in the back stage offering advice to the politicians. Caritas subscribes to that position and we have no problem with that," he said.'
And Mulafulafu said there was need for the government to work hard towards the Zambian constitution.
And Zambians for Empowerment and Development spokesperson Jericho Sikwiilala said his party supports the decision by the just-ended national convention to have an age limit of 75 for presidential candidates.
But UPND spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa says the issue of age limit was not an important in determining the output of a president, adding that it was up to the electorate to decide.
"There is no justification, there is no rationale. For us as a party we have seen nothing wrong with having no age limit. There is a minimum age for someone to contest as president and of course that is because someone must attain a certain age to make rational decision. After that, the question of age is neither here nor there. We don't think it is a major factor," Mweetwa said.
He said there was no need of the age limit to be constitutional.
"When you look at advanced democracies, for instance, (the) electorate themselves by the way of their conduct determine who should stand and even before people stand they will look at their academic credentials. They will know that if I stand these electorate will not tolerate me, they look at various issues they consider," he said.