Presidential aspirant sues over rejected nomination

United Zimbabwe Alliance (UZA) party leader Elisabeth Valeiro

OPPOSITION United Zimbabwe Alliance (UZA) party leader Elisabeth Valerio has dragged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to the Electoral Court  challenging its decision to reject her bid to contest in the presidential race.

Vareiro’s nomination papers were rejected after she failed to pay the required US$20 000 nomination fee within the stipulated timeframe.

Zec set the presidential nomination fee at US$20 000 or $138 million in local currency up from US$1 000 in 2018 while parliamentary nominees were required to pay US$1 000 up from US$50.

In her court challenge, Vareiro argued that she provided proof of a bank transfer to the presiding officers but her nomination papers were rejected.

“The first respondent (presiding officer) erred in rejecting appellants’ nomination papers when sufficient evidence had been presented that a deposit of the prescribed nomination fee had been paid through a Zimdollar bank transfer amounting to $138 531 528 using the rate of US$1: $6 926 as advised by the third respondent (Zec),” Vareiro submitted through her lawyers.

Among the respondents, she  cited the presiding officer of the nomination court, chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana, chairperson Priscilla Chigumba, and 11 presidential candidates whose nominations were accepted.

“Even assuming that the funds had not yet reflected in third respondents’ bank account, the 1st respondent erred in rejecting the nomination papers in circumstances where there had been substantial compliance with the provisions of the nomination requirements.”

Vareiro is seeking an order directing Zec to accept her nomination papers and those of her five party's parliamentary aspirants.

She joins LEAD president Linda Masarira whose candidature was turned down on similar grounds.

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