‘Nomination fee extremely reasonable…don’t trust those who cannot afford’- Ziyambi

President Mnangagwa speaks to journalists after filing papers at the nomination court

Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ziyambi Ziyambi has described candidates complaining about the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) nomination fees as lacking seriousness and unworthy of the positions they want to be elected for.

Last August, ZEC gazetted nomination fees requiring candidates to pay US$20 000 to contest in the presidential elections while aspiring legislators will part with US$1 000. Aspirants for senate and local authority seats will have to pay US$200.

Lovemore Madhuku

Describing the fees as “extremely reasonable”, Ziyambi - a ZANU PF politburo member - also called on the electorate to snub those who cannot afford.

“I think the fees are extremely reasonable, if you want to be given custody of the affairs of a country and you complain that US$20 000 is prohibitive, you (the electorate) must be scared of voting for somebody like that,” Ziyambi told journalists earlier today.

“You (as a candidate) want to be entrusted with a lot but you do not want to show that you can part with US$20 000, I do not think they are serious contenders for the job.”

However, candidates from various opposition political parties said the nomination fees were exorbitant, forcing most of them to either withdraw or cut the number of seats they are contending for.

NCA party leader Lovemore Madhuku said:

“You will see that because of the nomination fees, our party decided that we will field the presidential candidate then we looked for money for our top 10 performing national assembly members from our previous campaign and several councillors.”

LEAD president Linda Masarira revealed that she was still in a quest to raise the required amount to secure a spot on the ballot paper but vowed to challenge the steep amount at the courts.

“It (the nomination fee) is absurd (and) just a way of discriminating against the poor from participating in elections in the country, violating their constitutional rights and that is a cause for concern which I will continue fighting with like-minded people even after the nomination court process,” said Masarira.

Douglas Mwonzora of the MDC-T also weighed in saying it was difficult to raise the US$20 000 nomination fee although, in addition to his candidature, the party will field a total of 210 Member of Parliament candidates.

Meanwhile, an urgent application to review nomination fees gazetted by ZEC has been dismissed at the High Court where applicants were told to wait for their turn to be heard.

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