The Sunday Mail
Aspirants who wish to lend the country’s top job — that of President — will have to be nominated by at least 1 000 registered voters from the country’s 10 provinces and fork out more than the current $1 000 nomination fee.
This comes as Government moves to align local nomination processes with regional and international best practices, it has been learnt.
The overhaul is also expected to winnow out “chancers”.
Last year, 23 candidates successfully registered for the Presidential election, the largest number since 1980.
However, the large pool of candidates created a logistical nightmare for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) in designing the ballot paper.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told The Sunday Mail that the new regulations will ensure that only serious candidates participate.
“We are also looking at provisions that deal with nomination fees for Presidential candidates and that of people who nominate the President with a view of increasing them from 100 to maybe 1 000,” said Minister Ziyambi.
“We want to revise the fees to make sure that they are reasonable.
“As you saw, (in) the last election we had the largest pool of candidates in the history of the country. While we want to encourage participation, we also want to make sure that only serious candidates find their names on the ballot.”
Current regulations require candidates seeking to contest Presidential, Parliamentary and local council polls to submit their candidacy to one of several specially convened nomination courts across the country.
To register successfully, Presidential candidates pay a fee of $1 000 and must be nominated by at least 100 registered voters from across the country’s 10 provinces.
Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) chairperson Mr Andrew Makoni said the changes will eliminate chancers from participating.
“Increasing the number of signatures required to register one as a candidate is meant to avoid a situation where we have people trying their luck at a cost to the elections management body,” said Mr Makoni.
“Organising an election is a very expensive exercise, so if we have a situation where someone just gathers a 100 signatures and a small amount of money, but have no following at all, becomes a very huge cost to the elections management body.
“So I think the idea is to ensure that only serious candidates with constituencies behind them are able to participate and do away with chancers.”
Last year President Mnangagwa out-polled 22 candidates that include Nelson Chamisa (MDC-Alliance), Thokozani Khupe (MDC-T), Nkosana Moyo (Alliance for People’s Agenda), Joice Mujuru (People’s Rainbow Coalition), Elton Mangoma (Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe), and Ambrose Mutinhiri (National Patriotic Front).
Also on the Presidential ballot were Lovemore Madhuku (National Constitutional Assembly), Daniel Shumba (United Democratic Alliance), Noah Ngoni Manyika (Build Alliance Zimbabwe), Joshua Makamba Busha (FreeZim Congress), Johannes Tonderai Chiguvare (People’s Progressive Party), Melba Dzapasi (Hashgtag 1980 Freedom Movement Zimbabwe), Peter Mapfumo Gava (United Democratic Front), Kwanele Hlabangana (Republicans Party of Zimbabwe), Divine Mhambi Hove (National Alliance of Patriotic Democratic Republicans), Blessing Kasiyamhuru (Zimbabwe Partnership for Prosperity), Violet Mariyacha (United Democratic Movement), Taurai Bryn Mteki (Independent), William Taonezvi Mugadza (Bethel Christian Party), Tendai Peter Munyandiri (New Patriotic Front), Harry Peter Wilson (Democratic Opposition Party).