Six presidential aspirants have submitted their papers at the nomination court in Harare, marking the start of the general elections on August 23. The nomination court will consider and accept candidates for presidential, parliamentary, and local authority elections.
The presidential candidates include President Emmerson Mnangagwa (ZANU PF), Nelson Chamisa (CCC), Lovemore Madhuku (National Constituent Assembly (NCA), Trust Chikohora (Zimbabwe Coalition for Peace and Development), Linda Masarira (LEAD), and Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T).
Saviour Kasukuwere, a presidential hopeful who plans to contest as an independent candidate, is currently registering his candidature as an independent.
Prospective senators, members of parliament, and aspiring councillors are also filing their papers at provincial capitals and district centres across the country.
The Nomination Court for Zimbabwe’s upcoming elections requires a US$20 000 (R400,000) fee to be lodged at the high court for presidential candidates, US$1000 (R20,000) for parliamentarians at provincial courts, and US$200 (R4,000) for those aspiring to Senate seats.
Although the fees were contested last week, the Constitutional Court upheld the amounts. On Monday, opposition political parties filed an urgent court application seeking a reduction in the fees, but High Court Judge Justice Munamato Mutevedzi ruled that the matter was not urgent and should be set down for a normal hearing.
ZAPU, an opposition party in Zimbabwe, has failed to file papers for the presidential nomination, with party leader Mr. Sibangilizwe Nkomo allegedly withdrawing his candidacy the night before the filing deadline. The high nomination fees were cited as one of the reasons for their decision not to participate in the presidential election.
The party spokesperson, Msongelwa Ndlovu, stated that ZAPU considered the nomination fees to be unreasonable and felt that they were being asked to buy their democratic rights for $20,000, which sends a bad message to disadvantaged children. However, sources within the party told the Chronicle that the decision not to run for the presidency had nothing to do with the nomination fees, as the party had already raised the necessary funds. The timing of the announcement left the party without another option to appoint a new candidate for the presidential nomination. Nonetheless, ZAPU will participate in the National Assembly and local government elections.