Nomination fees challenge not urgent: Court

High Court of Zimbabwe

HIGH Court judge Justice Munamato Mutevedzi has ruled as not urgent an application filed by two opposition candidates seeking a downward review of the nomination fees for candidates seeking to contest in the August 23 elections.

Mutevedzi made the ruling on Monday ahead of the nomination courts’ sitting today to accept candidates’ papers.

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator Allan Rusty Markham, 2018 presidential aspirant Egypt Dzinemunezva, and student leader Tapiwa Chiriga lodged a complaint with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) last year following the gazetting of Statutory Instrument 144 of 2022 by government.

The three gave Zec a 72-hour ultimatum to withdraw the statutory instrument containing the new nomination fees but no action was taken,  forcing them to take the legal route.

“High Court judge Justice Munamato Mutevedzi on Monday ruled that the application seeking an urgent determination of a challenge on exorbitant nomination fees for 2023 general elections is not urgent and that the matter should be set down for hearing on a normal and ordinary court roll,” the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said in a statement.

Zec last year hiked the nomination fees, which would see presidential candidates parting with US$20 000, legislators (US$1 000) and US$100 for councillors and senators so as to be considered for nomination.

In 2018, presidential candidates only paid US$1 000.

The three insist that the nomination fees are exorbitant and should be withdrawn.

They also submitted that the regulations, which amended the nomination fees for the 2023 general elections, were unconstitutional, unreasonable and had the effect of blocking aspiring candidates from participating in elections.

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