Zanu PF banks on corrupt businesses to pay nomination fees for own candidates – Madhuku

HARARE – National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) leader Lovemore Madhuku says the Zanu PF-led government has intentionally set steep nomination fees for prospective election candidates next year well knowing it has the full backing of some corrupt business people to take care of its own fees.

Commenting on the shock hike on the mandatory fees by ZEC, Madhuku told a media conference in Harare on Monday that the main opposition also has little to worry about the fees as it has wealthy friends abroad.

According to a government Gazette published Friday, those aspiring to run in presidential elections next year will be required to pay US$20 000 each to pass the nomination process while those seeking passage to take part in national assembly polls will each pay US$1 000.

Nomination fees for those seeking to contest for seats in the senate and local government elections were pegged at US$100 each.

Madhuku, who took part in the 2018 elections with fees pegged at US$1 000 per candidate, said the 19-fold hike was not as a much a headache to the two main political parties in the country which still enjoy support from entities and individuals outside their structures.

“I think the ruling party Zanu PF would easily get that money; they have the resources to do that. They are funded by many corrupt people in this country.

“Just two corrupt business people will be able to fund all Zanu PF expenses; then our other dominant colleagues have so many friends around the world.

“We do not agree with the perception that for us to enjoy our rights as citizens, we have to get the approval of other citizens,” said Madhuku.

Zanu PF has often been accused of railroading business entities to donate funds and other material towards the holding of its conferences.

Out of fear of victimisation and to curry favour with the ruling elite, businesses have been donating abundantly towards the party events.

Similarly, Nelson Chamisa’s CCC enjoys goodwill from western governments and ordinary Zimbabweans based abroad.

The latter have demonstrated capacity to bankroll the opposition’s activities through crowd funding for its operations.

In his comments Monday, Madhuku also accused the Zanu PF led government of resurrecting oppressive tactics of the colonial regime to disenfranchise blacks.

“They have actually taken a 1961 colonial constitution which would pretend that blacks were allowed to vote, that blacks were allowed to be MPs.

“But for you to qualify, you had to show some property qualification, you had to own some property and till it was known that blacks did not own that property,” said the opposition leader.

ZEC has adamantly defended the hiking of nomination fees saying they are in sync with those obtaining in the region and were also an indirect method of cleaning the country’s electoral space of chancers who do not command any following in the country.

There were 23 presidential candidates in the 2018 ballot paper.

Except for President Emmerson Mnangagwa and close challenger Nelson Chamisa, all performed dismally.

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