By Pamela Shumba
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has warned that aspiring candidates for the harmonised elections who will use “banned symbols” as party emblems will be disqualified at the nomination court.
Nomination forms, which are filled in by candidates and submitted together with other relevant papers, have a section where a party symbol should be attached or drawn.
Elections officer for Bulawayo province Mr Innocent Ncube yesterday said according to the law, about 15 symbols were prohibited from being used by parties.
He said Zec will immediately reject any forms that come with prohibited symbols attached on them.
Mr Ncube could not give the reason why the symbols were prohibited.
“As Zec we’re implementing the law as it is. About 15 symbols are prohibited from being used by any political party according to section 146 of the Electoral Act, Chapter 213.
“These symbols include the elephant, buffalo, lion, rhinoceros, snake, leopard, cheetah, owl, cobra, griffon and birds of prey such as the eagle and the secretary bird. Other prohibited symbols include a laurel or wreath, the flame lily, flaming torch, sword and axe,” said Mr Ncube.
He said Zec checks for these symbols when political parties submit letters notifying them about their intentions to contest in the elections and also check when candidates submit their nomination papers.
“When we see any of the prohibited symbols we immediately reject the papers and ask the political parties to use symbols that are allowed.
“On the papers, there’s a section where candidates are expected to attach or draw pictures of their party symbol. We therefore make sure that the symbol is not a prohibited one,” said Mr Ncube.
Aspiring candidates started submitting their nomination papers on Monday in preparation for the Nomination Court, which will sit on Thursday next week to receive names of aspiring candidates ahead of the general elections July 30.
Presidential candidates will be required to pay $1 000 while those aspiring for the National Assembly will part with $50.
Aspiring councillors will not be paying anything while the six Senatorial candidates for each party pay a combined $100 per province.
The same applies to the National Assembly candidates under the proportional representation. The Chronicle