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Zimbabwean lawyers are taking the electoral system to court over nomination fees

Umamah Bakharia

Zimbabwean human rights lawyers are taking the country’s electoral system to court. This follows reports that nomination fees for some presidential and parliamentary candidates have been increased from R17 000 to R340 000.

 

 

Speaking to Radio Islam, the human rights lawyer handling the case, Obey Shava, says this is part of a strategy to deter candidates.

“In recent times, the ruling party has been under immense pressure from opposition political parties, mainly the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Advocate Nelson Chamisa, and in our view, this was an attempt to restrict the number of participants from that particular political party,” says Shava.

Due to the increased cost of nomination fees, political candidates in Zimbabwe say they can’t afford the excessive nomination fees to contest next year’s presidential and parliamentary polls.

“The increase is meant to directly affect their capacity to participate in the electoral process and thereby winning seats uncontested – a move which we say is very unconstitutional,” says Shava.

Based on the timeline for the case, Shava says he expects a ruling on the matter in the upcoming months before Zimbabwe’s 2023 nominations are announced.

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