Concern over increased external monitoring fees by ZEC
The ERC notes with deep concern the changes made to the fees for nomination of candidates, accreditation of observers and access to voter lists by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). Price increases do not appear to take into account the importance of ensuring access to electoral processes for all citizens of Zimbabwe. While the electorate is within the bounds of the law with respect to increased presidential and parliamentary nomination fees, the increase in fees has an impact on voter turnout. The amendments revised the nomination fees by:
- Presidential Nomination Fee (1900%) of $1,000.00 revised to $20,000.00
- Parliamentary Appointment Fee (1900%) of US$50.00 revised to US$1,000.00
Critical and urgent electoral reforms remain outstanding and need to be addressed quickly.
The ZEC should focus on promoting voter turnout instead of introducing measures that hinder turnout. More so, the Commission should prioritize electoral reforms that improve the quality, conduct and outcome of elections.
The newly introduced charges do not appear to promote openness, transparency and accountability in the electoral process. As the country prepares for harmonized elections in 2023, the Electoral Commission must review the reform agenda and advise Parliament accordingly on priorities to facilitate better elections in Zimbabwe. The following reforms should be prioritized:
- Strengthening electoral administration processes, including improving voter registration in under-registered constituencies; undertake comprehensive voter education and more effective information by the Commission to election stakeholders.
- Reform the zec by looking at commission staff, practices and administration.
- Alignment of electoral laws with the Constitution.
- Reform the conduct of state media in electoral processes.
- Reform the conduct of traditional leaders in political processes.
Source: Electoral Resource Center (ERC)