Political parties are failing to speak out against the expensive election nomination fees required by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), as they are selecting their candidates based on who can afford to pay that money, according to the Nationalists Alliance group (NAP), an opposition outfit.
NAP leader, Divine Mhambi-Hove filed a Constitutional Court challenge against the nomination fees in April and won the case but a five-member parliamentary committee dominated by Zanu PF officials assigned to review the fees recently approved the nomination fees.
The opposition party has since called on other political parties to boycott the elections as a way of protesting the hefty fees.
In an interview with journalists, Mhambi-Hove expressed disappointment that other political parties were not speaking out against the exorbitant costs, which require candidates to spend US$1 000 to run for MP, Senate, or provincial council, and US$20 000 to compete for president during the Nomination Court on June 21, 2023.
“They are quiet about this, probably because they have external funding or because they have told their candidates to fund their own campaigns. Some are pursuing selfish motives. They believe the fewer they are, the better their chances and look at us as vote splitters, so for them, it is an indirect advantage. That’s why they are quiet,” he said, claiming a few political parties wanted to dominate the political field.
“They don’t believe in democracy. They are just quiet and power-hungry. As long as there are two candidates on the ballot paper and some of us are out of it, they are ok. So they are not going to pursue the issue of nomination fees with the same spirit that we have. To them, it’s their advantage but we know soon after the elections they will be crying.”
Mhambi-Hove further claimed leaders of political parties were “selfish” because they desired power at any cost, even though some of their members could not afford the nomination fees.
“Some of their candidates, I can tell you right now, were calling me time and again, asking how far with our court case, saying they were given instructions that they must find money to pay their nomination fees and that has become a selection tool for some of them because remember some parties are not having primary elections,” said NAP leader.
“So the condition is for you to be a candidate, you must be able to raise US$1 000 so the people are crying from within their hearts. Unfortunately, they can’t complain because there are a few leaders who are pursuing selfish motives as an outcome for these elections.”