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Zec fees challenged in court

Local News
ZEC building

OPPOSITION leader Egypt Dzinemunhenzva has approached the High Court challenging the new Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) fees for aspiring election candidates.

On August 23, Dzinemunhenzwa gave Zec a 72-hour ultimatum to reverse the new candidate fees for the 2023 elections or face a lawsuit.

The ultimatum has since expired and Dzinemunhenzva, who is filing the application together with Harare North MP Allan Markham (Citizens Coalition for Change), Tapiwanashe Chiriga and Vongai Zimudzi, has decided to take the matter to court citing Zec and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Ziyambi Ziyambi as respondents.

The applicants are seeking the High Court to nullify the new electoral nomination fees.

They are also seeking the repeal of Statutory Instrument (SI) 144 of 2022.

They want the court to declare the nomination fee hike by Zec as arbitrary, grossly unreasonable, unlawful and in violation of the Electoral Act.

Dzinemunhenzva said his party was formed during the Rhodesian Front government era where black majority rule was unheard of.

“I submit that under the Rhodesian Front government at no time did the electoral system disenfranchise Africans as a matter of law, but the franchise qualifications were such that only a tiny segment of the Africans qualified,” he submitted.

“Further, for one to quality for a parliamentary seat, they had to have high educational qualifications as well as property qualifications. It was obvious that the majority of Africans, including myself, could not meet these requirements.

“Part of the reasons we went to war was to ensure that our political voices were heard through universal mode suffrage commonly known as one man one vote. We won that fight and I do not subscribe to any conduct that reverses this particular gain of the liberation war struggle,” Dzinemunhenzva’s affidavit to the High Court read.

Last month, Zec hiked fees for presidential, parliamentary and council aspirants for the 2023 elections.

Under SI 144 of 2022, one will need to fork out US$20 000 to contest for the presidency, US$1 000 to run for Member of Parliament and US$200 for a council seat or equivalent in local currency.

The hike drew widespread condemnation from politicians and legal practitioners, saying they dissuade contestants from participating in elections.

  •  Follow Desmond on Twitter @DChingarande1

 

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