By Memory Chivhunga
Democratic Union of Zimbabwe (DUZ) leader Robert Chapman has raised concerns regarding the excessively high fees imposed by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for candidate nominations.
Speaking to journalists in Harare on Tuesday, Chapman expressed his worry about the financial burden these fees place on political parties, especially considering that the campaigning period has not yet begun.
“I don’t think the US$20,000 for candidates is fair. It’s more than just a fee. Prior to ZEC waiving the Councillor fee, if a political party was fielding 100% candidates, they were paying around US$433,000 just to ZEC to field candidates. That’s a lot of money. Assuming that three political parties field 100% candidates, it’s almost US$1.5 million just to ZEC. It’s pretty ludicrous, as DUZ we are going to be paying the US$20 000 and as a party entering this contestation, we knew that these fees were coming.” said Chapman.
Additionally, Chapman stressed the importance of forming political alliances to challenge the ruling party, Zanu PF.
“The opportunity to create alliances is crucial if our ideologies align. The challenge that we face in these alliances is that there are career politicians inside these conversations, and their concern is ‘What happens to me?’ not really what’s best for the country.” he said.
In a move to strengthen their position, Chapman has collaborated with former Makoni South legislator Pishayi Muchauraya, who was the leader of the Patriotic Zimbabweans (PZ) party.
Muchauraya has assumed the role of secretary general within DUZ.