Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Mwonzora welcomes nomination fee increases to ‘root out opportunists’

Opposition MDC Alliance president Douglas Mwonzora has welcomed the increase in the nomination fees for candidates to contest in the 2023 harmonized elections arguing this will weed out opportunists on a “fundraising initiative”.

To contest for President candidates have to pay US$20 000, up from US$1 000 paid in 2018, while those seeking to contest for parliamentary seats will each part with US$1 000, up from US$50.

Those seeking to take part in senatorial and council elections will have to fork out US$100 each.

Mwonzora whose party failed to win a single seat in by-elections in March this year said the increases were good because they discouraged people who thought elections are meant for fundraising.

“It is a good idea that the nomination fees be raised for candidates. I heard other people complaining that the fees will affect the poor candidates, yes, as a candidate the money is not supposed to come from your pocket but it should come from your party,” Mwonzora told the state controlled New Ziana news agency

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He added: “In Zimbabwe, others think that if they become a candidate, it’s an opportunity of making money, so it’s a fundraising initiative. The increase in nomination fees for one to be a candidate is a way of screening candidates.”

“If you cannot raise the money, it shows that you are wasting other candidates’ time,” he said.

“Our ballot paper has to be small. In 2018 elections it had 23 presidential candidates, which is a bit problematic. In Kenya they dealt with the problem by forming coalitions.

“Azimiyo of Odinga’s had about 20 parties. Another one Kwanza Kenya had coalitions. This makes the ballot paper not to be expensive,” said Mwonzora.