ERC notes with grave concern the amendments to fees for the nominations of candidates, accreditation of observers and to access the voters roll by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). The price increases do not seem to consider the importance of ensuring access to electoral processes by all citizens of Zimbabwe. While the Electoral Body is within the confines of the law in increasing presidential and parliamentary nomination fees, the price increase has a bearing on electoral participation. The amendments revised nomination fees by:
- Presidential Nomination Fees (1900%) from US$1,000.00 revised to US$20,000.00
- Parliamentary Nomination Fees (1900%) from US$50.00 revised to US$1,000.00
Key and pressing electoral reforms remain outstanding and must be quickly addressed.
ZEC’s focus should be on promoting electoral participation instead of introducing measures that hinder participation. More so, the Commission should prioritize electoral reforms that improve the quality, conduct and outcome of elections.
The newly introduced charges do not seem to promote openness, transparency and accountability in the electoral process. As the country prepares for the 2023 Harmonised elections, the Electoral Commission must revisit the reform agenda and accordingly advise Parliament on priorities to facilitate better elections in Zimbabwe. The following reforms should be prioritized:
- Strengthening electoral administration processes including enhancing voter registration in under registered districts; undertaking comprehensive voter education and more effective information by the Commission with election stakeholders.
- Reform the ZEC looking at the commissions personnel, practices and administration.
- Alignment of electoral laws to the Constitution.
- Reform the conduct of the state media in electoral processes.
- Reform the conduct of the traditional leaders in political processes.
Source: Election Resource Centre (ERC)