Con Court rules against exorbitant nomination fees

Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court has ruled against the exorbitant 2023 election candidates’ nomination fees gazetted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZE), ordering Parliament to re-examine the Statutory Instrument (SI) 145 that set the nomination fees.

The ConCourt directed that the candidate nomination fees be determined at the next meeting of Parliament on June 16, 2023.

This comes after the Nationalists Alliance Party (NAP) leader, Divine Mhambi Hove, challenged the excessive election nomination fees in Parliament.

Hove claimed the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC) neglected to investigate SI 144 of 2022 on the Electoral (Nomination of Candidates) (Amendment) Regulations, 2022 (No.1) gazetted by ZEC in August last year, which increased presidential nomination costs from US$1 000 to US$20 000.

Nomination fees for National Assembly, Proportional Representation and Provincial Councils were also raised from $50 to $1 000.

Read:, where Hove, represented by Professor Lovemore Madhuku attorneys, argued the ConCourt has the authority to evaluate whether Parliament had failed to fulfill a constitutional mandate.

In an interview with the media, after the case was heard on Friday, Prof Madhuku stated the ConCourt agreed with their contention that Parliament failed to meet its constitutional duties under Section 152 (3) of the Constitution, which requires it to examine every SI published in the gazette.

“My client, Mr Hove was a candidate in 2018 and is a member of the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) who was challenging the exorbitant, outrageous and unreasonable nomination fees. We came to the full court under the constitution which allows citizens to bring before the constitution court, a situation where under the constitution, Parliament must look at every SI to see whether or not it is consistent with the constitution,” he said.

“So we discovered that Parliament had not looked at the SI on nomination fees. They only had one meeting as the PLC, then thereafter decided that they would wait for some High Court action.”


Prof Madhuku said they approached the ConCourt to find Parliament to be in breach of the constitution.

“So what the Constitutional Court has said is more or less, a very serious judgement vindicating the constitution. They have said Parliament is in breach by not having done its obligation then they have ordered Parliament to look and observe its obligations by June 16 next week , before the sitting of nomination courts on June 21, 2021,” he said.

The constitutional lawyer also described the ConCourt ruling as  a victory for his client because the party wanted the election nomination fees to be seen as contrary to the constitution.

“No reasonable Parliament would pass them. As far as we are concerned the order that Parliament must fulfill its obligation it’s as good as saying the fees would be thrown out,” Prof Madhuku said. 

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