Self-exiled former Foreign Affairs Minister Walter Mzembi has said Statutory Instrument (SI) 144 of 2022 (1) has disenfranchised the poor.
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.
The fees are payable in cash or at the prevailing official rate equivalent. Part of the regulations read:
It is hereby notified that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, in terms of section 192 of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13) has, with the approval of the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs made the following regulations: These regulations may be cited as the electoral (nomination of candidates) (Amendment) Regulations, 2022 (1).
Posting on Twitter, Mzembi said ZEC is using money as a prequalification for citizens to vote or for aspiring candidates to be nominated as was the case during the Rhodesia era. Said Mzembi:
SI 144 of 2022 express boomerang to Rhodesia. The poor have been disenfranchised!
Ama 2000s going by monikers ED Believed this and that should read 1961 and 1970 electoral laws outlined here to understand WHY Money and Means should not be a prequalification for voting or being voted.
This is where we came from, don’t take us back @ZECzim.
Under the 1970 Rhodesian Constitution, European, Asian and mixed citizens had to be earning an annual income of 1,800 dollars or more for the past two years or immovable property worth 3,600 dollars or more, among other things to be eligible to vote.
Black Rhodesians were supposed to earn an annual income of 600 dollars or more for the two past years or immovable property worth 1,200 dollars or more, to be eligible to register as voters.
Meanwhile, 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.