| 12 April 2024, Friday |

Zimbabwe parliament approves $20,000 fee to appear on ballot

Despite an attempt by the opposition to lower the fees before a deadline for candidates to register next week, Zimbabwean MPs defended plans to charge candidates for president $20,000 and those running for parliament $1,000 to appear on the ballot.

The fees, which are expressed in U.S. dollars, are 20 times more than those imposed during the 2018 elections.

During a debate on Wednesday, parliamentarians of the ruling ZANU-PF party said the policy would ensure that only strong candidates run for office. They secured parliament’s approval of the measure after the Constitutional Court ruled last week that lawmakers must debate it.

The opposition party Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) said the measure would undermine the right to stand for office, and had sought to reduce the fees in time for the 21 June registration deadline.

Zimbabwe will hold its presidential and parliamentary elections on Aug. 23, battling a raging economic crisis.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, elected in 2018 after a coup that deposed Robert Mugabe the previous year, will be seeking a second term in office. The 80-year-old’s main rival is lawyer and pastor Nelson Chamisa, 45, who leads the newly formed CCC.

  • Reuters