Veritas faults increase In Zimbabwe’s nomination fees.
Legislative and Election watchdog, Veritas, is reporting that in August 2022 the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC], with the approval of the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, increased the fees candidates have to pay in order to be nominated for election as President, election to Parliament and provincial councils. This change was published under legal notice SI 144/2022.
The increases were enormous in a sense that the presidential nomination fee went up from US$1,000 to US$20,000. The nomination fee for a constituency legislator jumped from US$50 to US$1,000, and party-list nomination fees doubled, from US$100 to US$200.
By implication, a party will have to find US$238,000 to field a full slate of candidates in the 2023 general election. This is a possible tall order for an opposition political party that does not benefit from public funding.
Veritas called out these increments as invalid in its Election Watch editions 1/2022 and 2/2022. The grounds for flagging them as invalid on several grounds, among them was that they were enacted for an improper purpose.
The secret known is that the increment was intended to prevent or discourage people from standing for electoral positions and also discourage opposition parties that had not benefited from state financing from putting up candidates.
Veritas further argued that they were unconstitutional, in that they were inimical to multi-party democracy and inhibited the fundamental rights of citizens to stand for elections, which is guaranteed by section 67 of the Constitution.