MDC-T president, Douglas Mwonzora, has defended the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for setting high candidates fees for the 2023 harmonised elections.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com in Kwekwe at the weekend, Mwonzora said the new fee structure will help in removing pretenders from the ballot paper. He said:
Our ballot paper must be short considering that in 2018 we had 23 presidential candidates, and that’s a challenge. In Kenya, they dealt with this issue by creating coalitions.
In Zimbabwe, some people think that being a candidate is a way to fundraise. Therefore, raising aspirants’ fees is a way of trimming (the number of) candidates.
If you have support enough that you can be a president, party members will be able to fundraise and even raise donations and those monies for parliamentary candidates must be enough.
If not it means you are wasting people’s time. This is, indeed, a good development.
Others have said this will shut out poor candidates, but the money is not coming from individual pockets, its coming from the party.
If you do not have 20 000 supporters and you want to be President for which country?
On Friday, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) gazetted SI 144 of 2022 (1) on candidate nomination fees which will see an aspiring presidential candidate paying US$20 000.
An aspiring member of parliament will pay a candidate fee of US$1 000 while local authority and Senate aspiring candidates will now pay a sum of US$200.
ZEC also pegged at US$10 for an electronic copy of the voters’ roll with data on one polling station voters, US$15 for the ward level voters’ roll, US$50 for the constituency voters’ roll, US$150 for the provincial voters’ roll and US$200 for the national voters’ roll.
The fees are payable in cash or at the prevailing official rate equivalent.