Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

ZEC defends ‘high’ registration fees, launches opinion poll

By Matthew Takaona | Masvingo Mirror |

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has launched a public opinion poll at the on-going Zimbabwe Agricultural Show in Harare to determine whether citizens would want political parties in the country registered or not.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Mirror from the Harare showgrounds yesterday, ZEC spokesperson, Commissioner Jasper Mangwana said registration of political parties is one of the major electoral amendment acts expected before the 2023 national elections.

Currently the law does not require political parties to register.

“Parties just write a letter to notify us that they are in existence and indicate their symbols. As a result, ZEC had more than 200 political parties registered for 2018 and yet less than 10% of those participated in the elections,” said Mangwana.

Although Mangwana did not say what the conditions for registration of parties would be, he hinted that in countries where such processes take place the requirements are stiff. He said this may amount to such conditions such as ownership of buildings, submission of certain documents including registers of supporters who are 20 to 30% of registered voters in that area.

Mangwana defended the ‘exorbitant’ registration fees gazetted for aspiring councilors, MPs and presidents for the 2023 national elections.

“We want candidates who are seriously vying for public office. You cannot entirely depend on public funds to provide a process that will vote you into power. You have to show commitment either as an MP or President.

“Surely you cannot fail to raise US$1 000 as an MP or even ask your supporters to contribute 10c each. These fixed amounts are very low and some stakeholders are saying so.

“If you want to be an MP, to administer Community Development Funds (CDF) and you want to make laws for this country you must show commitment,” said Mangwana.

ZEC has gazette US$100 registration fees for aspiring councilors, US$1 000 for MPs and US$20 000 for presidents.

ZEC has pitched a stand at the Harare Agricultural Show where it is registering voters, giving voters an opportunity to transfer from one station to another, providing for the inspection of the voters’ role and holding of awareness campaigns.

The services were opened yesterday and scores of people were already queuing up for the services. The Zimbabwe Agricultural Show opened on Monday and it will be running until Saturday night.

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