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Election nomination fees gazetted

by Staff reporter
18 Jun 2023 at 08:33hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) said it is going through the final phases of cleaning the voters' roll of mistakes noted during the inspection period and getting it ready for use in the harmonised elections with expectations that it will be ready today.

The electoral body said due to limitations of time the voters' roll will only be availed to candiadtes who successfully file their papers with the Nomination Court that sits on Wednesday. In an interview on the readiness of the voters' roll yesterday, Zec chief elections officer, Mr Utoile Silaigwana said they were now going through the final phases of cleaning of the voters' roll.

"The voters' roll might be ready tomorrow (today), that is when we will have the total number of people who registered to vote in the coming elections. For now, we are just going through the final cleaning of the roll, removing such cases as multiple registrations and other issues that were picked up during the voters roll inspection phase. This is all to ensure that come Wednesday we fulfill our mandate of giving the voters roll to everyone that successfully submit their papers to the nomination courts," said Mr Silaigwana.

According to the constitution, the voters' roll that will be used in the 23 August  elections closed two days after the proclamation of elections by President Mnangagwa although voter registration remains open. Meanwhile, Zec has clarified provisions of Constitutional Amendment 2 of 2021 mainly to do with the women's quota for local authority elections and the youth quota.

In a statement, Mr Silaigwana said a political party contesting in the local authority elections might submit a nomination paper containing the names of women as party-list candidates nominated by such party for every local authority in which it intends to field two or more candidates for direct election as councillors.

"Each candidate must be a woman who is eligible in terms of Section 119(2) of the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13] for election as a councillor. The party list for the local authority must have at least 30 percent of the total members of the local council concerned all of whom must be women aged 21 years and above.

"This list must be lodged with the district elections officer for the local authority to which it relates on any day before nomination day and if lodged on nomination day, at the local authority offices which have been designated as Nomination Court venues in terms proclamation 4 of 2023, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission shall designate persons to be nomination officers to receive the local authority women part list nomination papers," he said.

Regarding the youth quota elections, Mr Silaigwana noted that a political party contesting National Assembly constituency elections may submit a youth party list for each province in which it is contesting.

"The youth party list for each province must have on it two candidates aged from 21 to 35 years (one substantive and one alternative). This list must be lodged with the provincial elections officer for the province to which it relates. The provincial elections officer will be the nomination officer for that province.

This party list must be submitted to the provincial nomination officer on nomination day at the designated provincial magistrates court venues specified in proclamation 4 of 2023. However, political parties are advised that it is in their interest to submit these lists to the provincial offices of the commission on any day starting from the fourth day after proclamation and ending two days before the sitting of the Nomination Court so that the lists can be checked in advance of the sitting of the Nomination Court," he said.

Mr Silaigwana said submitting early ensures that any problems with the list can be pointed out to the political party to enable timeous rectification.

Meanwhile, the  Nomination Court will sit on Wednesday and political parties planning to field candidates in all wards and constituencies will need to fork out about US$230 800, or the equivalent in local currency (about $1,5 billion), after Parliament approved the new nomination fees last week.

The fees, gazetted under Statutory Instrument 144 of 2022, require Presidential candidates to pay US$20 000, while National Assembly aspirants for the 210 constituencies will have to part with US$1 000 each.

Party lists for Senate, National Assembly women and youth quotas, provincial and metropolitan council candidates will attract a US$200 charge. Contesting for local authority seats does not attract any fee.

The High Court in Harare will be the venue for submitting nomination papers for Presidential election candidates.

Similarly, National Assembly, Senate and Metropolitan and Provincial Councils nomination papers will be submitted at provincial magistrates' courts countrywide. For aspiring councilors, the candidates will file their papers at their respective local authority offices. According to ZEC, this year's elections will have five categories contested under proportional representation system – Senate, National Assembly (women and youth quotas), Provincial and Metropolitan Councils, and the women's quota in local authorities.

Last week, political parties were finalising preparations for sitting of the Nomination Court.

Zanu-PF director of information and publicity Tafadzwa Mugwadi said the ruling party will field candidates in all constituencies.

"What I can say to the media is that all our candidates are capable of paying the fees and will be duly nominated without fail. When it comes to who will pay the fees, it's now an internal process which remains closed to the public."

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) spokesperson Mr Witness Dube said the party was finalising it candidate nomination process.

"We have successfully filed for our presidential candidate and we are meeting this weekend to finalise our candidates list for Nomination Court," he said.

In a post on Twitter, Democratic Union of Zimbabwe (DUZ) president Mr Robert Chapman said: "We are fielding candidates and heavily focused on that process right now.

"After nomination on Wednesday, the country will know who's who in their respective communities, and the vision and paths for communities become more transparent and open for debate and discussion. I look forward to those discussions around the country with voters."

CCC spokesperson Ms Fadzayi Mahere had not replied to questions sent by The Sunday Mail last week.

Source - The Sunday News
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