The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) risks facing a legal challenge after announcing exorbitant candidate nomination fees for next year’s elections.

And disgruntled citizens expressed their intentions to mount a court challenge against ZEC.

In a Statutory Instrument 144 of 2022, which amended S1 153 of 2014 issued on Friday, ZEC said the cost of fielding a presidential candidate was now US$20 000 up from US$1 000, MPs US$1 000 from US$50 and $200 for senators and councillors from US$100.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights advocate Obey Shava told a local weekly that they were representing citizens, who are preparing to file a court challenge against the new fees.

Apparently, Zimbabwe National Students Union Secretary General, Tapiwanashe Chiriga bemoaned the exorbitant fees by ZEC.

“The fees gazetted yesterday by
ZEC on candidate nomination, voters roll inspection and election observation are designed to disenfranchise the poor, young people and independent candidates. Democracy should be for the many not the few,” he says.

In the same vein, National Constitutional Assembly leader Lovemore Madhuku bemoaned the new fees saying they are beyond the reach of many.

He said a party would need about US$500 000 to field all candidates.