By A Correspondent- The Election Resource Centre (ERC) has expressed its concern about the increase in fees for external oversight by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
Last week ZEC revised Presidential Nomination Fees from US$1 000 to US$20 000, and Parliamentary Nomination Fees from US$50 to US$1 000.
ERC said in a statement:
ERC notes with grave concern the amendments to fees for the nominations of candidates, accreditation of observers and to access the voters roll by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
The price increases do not seem to consider the importance of ensuring access to electoral processes by all citizens of Zimbabwe.
While the Electoral Body is within the confines of the law in increasing presidential and parliamentary nomination fees, the price increase has a bearing on electoral participation.
ERC also challenged ZEC to address key and pressing electoral reforms that remain outstanding instead of introducing measures that hinder participation.
The newly introduced charges do not seem to promote openness, transparency and accountability in the electoral process.
As the country prepares for the 2023 Harmonised elections, the Electoral Commission must revisit the reform agenda and accordingly advise Parliament on priorities to facilitate better elections in Zimbabwe.
ERC identified several reforms that ZEC should prioritise. These are:
- Strengthening electoral administration processes including enhancing voter registration in under-registered districts; undertaking comprehensive voter education and more effective information by the Commission with election stakeholders
- Reform the ZEC by looking at the commission’s personnel, practices and administration.
- Alignment of electoral laws to the Constitution.
- Reform the conduct of the state media in electoral processes.
- Reform the conduct of the traditional leaders in political processes.