Zimbabwe’s poll candidates told to pay in cash

Chamisa Mnangagwa

Zimbabwe’s electoral commission has told some would-be candidates for August’s elections that their registration fees need to be paid in cash.

Wednesday’s deadline for registration was extended by one day because of problems with the payment system, meaning some candidates’ fees could not be processed.

The country faces cash shortages of both the US dollar and its local currency.

Candidates from smaller parties have complained that the 20-fold hike in registration fees has reduced the number of candidates fielded.

Presidential candidates must stump up $20,000 (£16,000), up from $1,000 in 2018, and fees for those running for parliament were raised from $50 to $1,000.

One of the few women who wanted to run for president told the BBC her application was rejected last night when the electoral commission failed to accept a stamped document from her bank when their payment system failed.

She said it was “a system designed to keep people out”.

Zimbabwe has one of the highest rates of inflation in the world. The average civil servant earns as little at $300 a month.

The ruling Zanu-PF party has fielded candidates for all seats.

Zapu, a small opposition party, opted not to field a presidential candidate using the money to pay for 20 people to run in parliamentary seats, it said in a statement.

The main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has complained that there have been multiple fraudulent applications on its behalf.

It says this is aimed at having several CCC candidates on the ballot in some constituencies in order to split the vote in favour of Zanu-PF.


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