Opposition Democratic Union of Zimbabwe (DUZ) leader Robert Chapman has expressed concern over the exorbitant fees imposed on candidates nomination by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
Speaking to journalists in Harare Tuesday afternoon, Chapman highlighted the financial burden the fees have on political parties given that campaigning has not yet commenced.
“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.
He also emphasized the importance of forming political alliances to challenge the ruling party, Zanu PF.
“The opportunity to create alliances is crucial if our ideologies align,” he said.
He mentioned that DUZ has been engaging with several parties, some of which have expressed interest in joining alliances.
Chapman highlighted the success of political alliances in the past, citing the example of the 2008 election when Morgan Tsvangirai formed a coalition that posed a significant challenge to Zanu PF’s dominance.
However, he acknowledged the challenges in forming alliances castigating what he termed career politicians.
“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.
Chapman has joined forces with former Makoni South legislator Pishayi Muchauraya who was leader of the Patriotic Zimbabweans (PZ) party, with the latter assuming the secretary general’s position.