Nomination court rejects Valerio’s candidacy for President after proof of payment debacle
HARARE – Elisabeth Valerio, the leader of the United Zimbabwe Alliance (UZA), was barred from running for president in the upcoming August 23 elections after failing to meet the nomination court’s requirements yesterday.
She described the day as “tragic” on her twitter account. She claimed that she had submitted all the necessary paperwork and paid Z$138,531,528 fee, but her proof of payment was rejected by the court.
She was then asked to pay US$20,000 in cash to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) by midnight or forfeit her candidacy. She did not manage to do so.
She also said that some of her MP candidates were facing similar challenges in the court.
Valerio’s UZA party had earlier slammed the recently gazetted high fees on candidate nominations, voters roll inspection and election observation.
ZEC announced that for a political party to field a presidential candidate, it now costs US$20,000 up from US$1,000. For members of parliament the fee which was US$50 is now US$1,000.
“This is a dark period for democracy in Zimbabwe as this development creates fertile ground for a disputed electoral process and taints the credibility of the elections body. With the imposition of these fees, the elections will be reserved only for elite political parties who have state funds at their disposal,” UZA said in a statement.
“Besides disadvantaging prospective political candidates, and the youth in particular, the fees will also increase voter apathy especially among women, the youth, people living with disability and the elderly. The new fees gazetted by ZEC are designed to disenfranchise our young people, the elderly, the poor as well as the independent candidates. The fees are segregatory and they will shut out the majority of voters who would want to inspect and access the voters roll.
“Our party, the United Zimbabwe Alliance is appalled that ZEC has gazetted such fees at a time when citizens are already struggling to make ends meet. It is equally sad that ZEC is pegging these fees in United States dollars at a time when high ranking government officials were quoted verbatim claiming that our local currency is the strongest in the region. ZEC is a Constitutional body whose mandate should be to uphold Constitutional provisions including provisions of the Electoral Act which guarantee all political players and citizens the right to participate freely in the country’s democratic processes. What justification does ZEC have for such exorbitant fee increases? Democracy should be inclusive and should be for everyone and not a privileged few.”