Tempers flared at the Zambia Centre for Inter-Party Dialogue (ZCID) regional workshop on the constitution making process in Kasama over the weekend after participants openly differed on the inclusion of age limit for presidency in the new republican constitution.
The members from both the ruling MMD and oppositions political parties exchange unpalatable words after they failed to agree on whether the new constitution should have a clause on age limit for presidency or not.
Some MMD members, who led proponents for the age limit, maintained that there was need for a maximum age limit to be enshrined the new constitution for someone to be republican president.
They suggested that 70 years be the age limit for a presidential candidate to aspire for the highest office in the land saying Zambia needed vibrant person to run the country.
However, the proposal sparked controversy among participants who accused the MMD of targeting an individual in their quest to have an age limit included in the new constitution.
The opponents who included mostly Patriotic Front (PF) members argued that putting an age limit in the constitution would be discriminatory to elderly people who wanted to aspire for presidency.
The PF members, who were emotionally charged, threatened to walk out the ZCID workshop if the meeting failed to reach a consensus on the issue of age limit.
This forced ZCID officials, who included Sharon Phiri and Lillian Pumulo, to put the issue of age limit for presidency to a vote after their efforts to calm the participants over the issue failed.
The vote however went in favour of those against the inclusion of an age limit in the new constitution thereby sending the PF members into wild celebrations.