Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) spokesperson Jasper Mangwana said that the registration and regulation of political parties have a lot of advantages.
Posting on his Twitter page on Sunday afternoon, Mangwana said registration and regulation of political parties and candidates separate the genuine from opportunists and chancers.
He cited the case of Kenya where only four presidential candidates threw their hats in the ring in recent elections, namely William Ruto (UDA), Raila Odinga (AZIMIO), George Wajackoyah (RPK), and David Waihiga (AGANO).
Zimbabwe had 23 presidential candidates in the 2018 presidential elections. Said Mangwana:
In some countries there is registration and regulation of political parties, this process ensures only committed parties and candidates are given the party status after being compliant.
Even when they submit candidates they would have been evaluated that’s why Kenya had 4 candidates only.
Zimbabwe has no law requiring registration by political parties. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commissions Act (2004, 2) defines a party as “an association of persons the primary object of which is to secure the election of one or more of its members to a local authority or parliament or to secure the office of president, or to campaign for a specified result at a referendum”.
On Friday, ZEC said the cost of fielding a presidential candidate was now US$20 000 up from US$1 000, US$1 000 from US$50 and $200 for senators and councillors from US$100.
The move was criticised by opposition political parties as they feel the fees are too high and will result in the disenfranchisement of a significant number of aspiring candidates.