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Linda Masarira files court application against ‘exorbitant’ nomination fees

Prisca Manyiwa-Masuku

Aspiring presidential candidate Linda Tsungirirai Masarira and her co-applicants Tendayi Lynnet Mudehwe and Institute for Young Women Development Trust have filed a court application against
the US$20 000 presidential fee and US$ 1000 for parliamentary candidates as her party is struggling to fund all the candidates.

The applicants called the attention of the Ministry of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs as the first respondent, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission as the second respondent, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises and four others.

Masarira revealed that her party is facing challenges with the nomination fees as it is looking forward to fielding 26 candidates to contest in the upcoming General elections scheduled for August this year.

“The honest truth is that we are facing challenges in nomination fees, especially for our candidates, we have got about 26 candidates that are supposed to contest but falling short because of the nomination fees that are exorbitant, that is why we made an urgent court application.

“We are also considering the fact of currency volatility which made the rates exorbitant to the reach of ordinary Zimbabweans,” she said.

Masarira condemned the fees and described them as discriminatory.

“We have successfully filed a High Court chamber application CZ50/2023 requesting direct access to the Constitutional Court.

“We can’t continue being victims of currency volatility, vicious cycles of exclusion, and discrimination, ” she said.

The applicants sought the reviewing of the nomination fees to more affordable and ‘reasonable’ fees.

“Applicant seeks an order that the first and second respondents consult the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th respondents and within 24 hours, publish an amendment to the Electoral (Nomination of Candidates ) (Amendment) Regulations, 2022 (No. 1) Statutory Instrument 144 of 2022 prescribing reasonable and affordable nomination fees, ” read part of the application.

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