‘Poor’ Linda Masarira puts hope on High Court; challenges discriminatory, hefty nomination fees

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By Staff Reporter

Labour, Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) President Linda Masarira has filed a High Court application seeking reversal of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) US$20,000 nomination fee for presidential candidates.

ZEC also set a US$1,000 nomination fee for legislators.

Masarira who formed LEAD following a fallout with then MDC President Thokozani Khupe, where she was spokesperson, said the fees were too steep for ‘women.’

Masarira’s close associate Lynette Mudehwe and the Institute for Young Women Development Trust are second and third appellants respectively.

The three are seeking access to the Constitutional Court on basis ZEC’s fees go against Sections 56 and 67 of Zimbabwe’s Constitution.

Section 56 enshrines equality before the law, while Section 67 enshrines political rights for every Zimbabwean with no limitation.

“Running for political office in Zimbabwe is now a preserve of the rich, we are no longer guaranteed of our political rights and these exorbitant nomination fees actually reverse the gains of the liberation struggle,” said Masarira.


“The exorbitant nomination fees are unjustified, discriminatory, and bent on elbowing women from contesting positions of public office. The candidate nomination fees are beyond the reach of many women in Zimbabwe who still struggle to make ends meet considering the harsh economic climate.

“We feel that the nomination fees are discriminatory and are elbowing out women in political participation for the highest office of the land, Parliament and governance processes in Zimbabwe. The current government is creating a situation where capitalists, the corrupt, elite, and thieves, are only eligible to run for the highest office of the land and to be legislators, which is really worrisome.”

Parliament upheld the fees after a Constitutional Court judgement revealed the August House had not been given an opportunity to do its job regards ZEC’s actions.

Already some seven Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) had petitioned ZEC to reduce the fees, demanding that rates be put at 2018’s US$1,000 for presidential candidates and US$50 for aspiring legislators.

“We demand that, for the 2023 General Elections, ZEC urgently effect a downward revision of the candidate nomination fees to the rates that were used during the 2018 General Elections,” read their statement last month.