Candidate nomination fees are unsustainable: CCC

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) says it needs over US$200 000 to field  candidates through out the country in the upcoming elections.

ZEC gazetted SI 144 of 2022 on the Electoral (Nomination of Candidates) (Amendment) Regulations, 2022 (No.1) in August last year, increasing presidential nomination fees from US$1 000 to US$20 000.

The nomination fees for National Assembly and Senate candidates also increased from US$50 to US$1 000.

In a press conference Friday, CCC deputy secretary for elections,Ellen Shiriyedenga said the money needed by the party to field candidates across the country is unsustainable.

“Last year ZEC gazetted nomination fees for candidates that aspire to be in Parliament or even the Presidential fee. When we did our calculations as the citizens movement we realised that we need around  US$244 000 which is a quarter of a million  dollar just to field candidates through out the country.”

“So that is pretty unsustainable  and looking at a country like Zimbabwe which is suppose to be a multiparty democracy, if we are a party which at the end of the day we are not able to field a candidate through out the country  then we seize to be a multiparty democracy,” said Shiriyedenga.

She said the candidate nomination fees are an infringement of political rights.

“If we have a candidate for example you go to our constitution, it says each and every eligible citizen has the right to vote or has the right to voted for, so surely  if I want  to be a presidential candidate but  then I cannot afford the $20 000 being demanded  by ZEC then clearly  that is an infringement of my political  right to be voted  for,” she said.

Shiriyedenga urged ZEC to review the candidate nomination fees.

“So, this is our call to ZEC to say please review those fees and those fees also, it’s difficult to justify them , how do you justify an aspiring member of Parliament paying 1000 to be a candidate, so that is a cause of concern.”

She added, “We are engaging ZEC to that regard to say let there be engagement in terms of the multiparty stakeholders meetings to see how best those fees can be reviewed  so that all eligible persons that feel they want to be eligible candidates are not left out.

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