The Institute for Young Women Development (IYWD) has recently petitioned the Parliament of Zimbabwe over the Nomination fee hikes by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
Zec recently amended Statutory Instrument 53 of 2014 to declare the cost of fielding a presidential candidate was now US$20 000 up from US$1 000, US$1 000 from US$50 for aspiring legislators, US$200 from US$100 for senators and councillors from US$50 to US$100.
This raised concerns that the fee structure will block potential candidates from participating in future elections. In its petition, IYWD noted that the fee is detrimental to women’s participation in political spaces.
“Historically, the participation and representation of women in the political arena have been affected by patriarchal systems and structures that since time immemorial have hindered their participation and representation,” IYWD said.
“As the IYWD, we are passionate about promoting and strengthening women’s participation and representation in all spheres of governance. We contend that there must be gender parity supported by law in all decision-making positions and institutions and ZEC must be guided by the Constitutional provisions which protect and promote the participation of women in decision-making spaces. It is our considered view that these new gazetted fees are unconstitutional and unreasonably high, meant to close the democratic space for the women political players,” IYWD said.
The responsible Minister of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs must, in consultation with citizens, and stakeholders, effect a downward revision of the gazetted nomination and access to the voters’ roll and electoral maps fees and ensure that any set amounts are affordable, gender, youth, and disability sensitive, IYWD further stated.
In addition, the organisation called on the state promptly and urgently align all electoral laws to the country’s constitution including the enactment of a Gender Equality Act which shall provide for equal representation in local government, parliament, and the praesidium in line with Sections 17, 20, 56, and 80 of the constitution.