HARARE – Opposition leader Egypt Dzinemunhenzwa has given the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the government a 72-hour ultimatum to withdraw their “exorbitant” nomination fees or face prosecution.
Potential presidential candidates for the 2023 elections must pay $20,000 each to pass the mandatory court nomination process, according to an official gazette published on Friday last week.
Prospective MPs pay $1,000 per person, while those wishing to be voted in Senate and local elections pay $100 per person.
The unilateral filing drew sharp criticism from opposition and civil society groups, who accuse the Zanu PF-led agency of a sinister plot to prevent opponents from voting in national elections.
Dzinemunhenzva, head of the African National Party Liberation Force organization and standing candidate in previous presidential elections, threw down the gauntlet and called for the charges to be dropped.
In the formal notice, the lawyers claim that Dzinemunhenzva commonly referred to as ED managed to vote in the country’s back-to-back elections with a party membership fee of just 25 cents a year.
Read the letter in part, “We advise that, our clients who have always participated in the electoral processes of this country consider the increase in nomination fees aforementioned as being grossly unreasonable …”
“In light of the above, we have been instructed to demand, as we hereby do, that within 72 hours of receiving this letter, you withdraw the regulations and/or review the nomination fees downward, after consultations with stakeholders who include our clients, failing which we are under instructions to approach the courts for recourse.”
The charges were widely criticized by the country’s opposition, which includes the CCC and Lovemore Madhuku’s NCA while MDC Alliance leader Douglas Mwonzora is the only candidate to welcome the fees.
- ZimLive/ additional report by RosGwen24 News