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High nomination fees deter 2023 political participants



THE 2023 general election saw a sharp fall in the number of political parties who fielded candidates in the presidential, parliamentary and local authority elections, with a further drop in women candidates attributed to high nomination fees, an analysis has shown.


Zec has been under fire over the exorbitant fees, which civic society and activists say have been put to inhibit opposition participation in the election.

An analysis of the Nomination Court results by elections think tank Electoral Resource Center (ERC) has shown that 38 parties had their nomination papers approved, down from 55, while 19 parties fielded parliamentary candidates down from 55.

The court which sat on June 21 also approved 10 presidential candidates, down from 23, a fall which has largely been attributed to the increase in nomination fees through Statutory Instrument 144 of 2022.

Nomination fees for Presidential candidates were increased from US$1 000 to US$20 000.

Nomination fees for parliamentary candidates were also hiked from US$50 to US$1 000, while nomination at local authority level was free.

The grossly unreasonable fees would see a party fork out US$238 000 to field a full slate of candidates in a general election. Zec also pegged voters’ roll access fees at US$10 for each polling station; US$15 for the ward level voters’ roll; US$50 for the constituency voters’ roll; US$150 for the provincial voters’ roll; US$200 for the national voters’ roll; US$1 per page for the physical copy, raising outcry.

Read the ERC analysis: “The 2023 Nomination Court sitting saw 19 political parties successfully file nominations for the National Assembly election. A total of 636 people were successfully nominated for the National Assembly election. 568 (89.3%) are representing political parties while 68 (10.7%) are nominated as Independents.

 “38 political parties submitted candidates for the Local Authority election and 19 political parties submitted candidates for the Presidential and National Assembly Harmonised Elections. Notably; ZCPD and National People’s Congress (NPC) submitted Presidential Candidates, Trust Chikohora and Wilbert Mubaiwa respectively, but failed to field any National Assembly candidates.”

“United Zimbabwe Alliance (UZA) submitted 27 National Assembly candidates and failed to file papers for their Presidential candidate, Elizabeth Valerio. “A total of 636 people were successfully nominated for the National Assembly election. 568 (89.3%) are representing political parties while 68 (10.7%) are nominated as Independents.”

The number of women candidates has also dropped from 14.4% in 2018, to 11.0% for the 2023 elections, which has been attributed to the high nomination fee hikes.

Out of the major political parties, opposition UZA performed best in gender inclusion with 29% of their nominated candidates being women, while Zanu PF had 11% and nine percent for main opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC).

In local authorities, 38 political parties successfully filed nominations for the local authority election with a total of 4,999 candidates successfully nominated for election to the 1970 wards.

 “14.9% of the nominated candidates in the Local Authority elections are women candidates. Zanu PF is the only political party to successfully nominate candidates in all 1970 wards (100%), while CCC successfully submitted candidates for 1865 wards (94.7%) and failed to field candidates in 105 wards. “90 Local Authority seats were uncontested with Zanu PF winning all 90 as the only party to submit nominations.

 “CCC, Zimbabwe Coalition for Peace and Development (ZCPD) and Zanu PF submitted double candidatures. CCC submitted double candidates in 23 wards, however, they have distanced themselves from 19 of the 23 candidates who presented themselves as CCC representatives. Zanu PF noted double candidates in four wards while ZCPD noted double candidates in one ward,” reads the report.

 Zanu PF and CCC also successfully filed women’s quota party lists in all ten (10) provinces, while MDC-T successfully filed in Manicaland and Matabeleland North only.

 Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) successfully filed one women’s quota party list in Matabeleland North province.

On the youth quota CCC, MDC-T and Zanu PF successfully filled party lists in all ten (10) provinces. MDC-T successfully filed one youth quota party list in Matabeleland North province.

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