D-Day for Linda Masarira, as court readies nomination judgement #ElectionsZW
By Daniel Chigundu
The Electoral Court is today expected to make a judgement on a case in which Labour Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) leader Linda Masarira is challenging the rejection of her nomination by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
Masarira who was intending to contest for President of the Republic of Zimbabwe in the August 2023 general elections failed to pay her US$20 000 nomination fees using RTGS due to bank limits.
Even though ZEC went on to extend the nomination window for people affected by the payment systems, Masarira says she was told that she was excluded from the window period.
This decision did not go down well with Masarira, which resulted in her deciding to challenge the issue in court to get justice.
Masarira is not the only female Presidential candidate who has had to rope in the courts to save their nomination, as United Zimbabwe Alliance (UZA) leader Elisabeth Valerio recently won her case to become the first female candidate for the Presidential race.
In an interview, Masarira said her party is of the view that ZEC did not do due diligence on nomination fees and payment methods and systems in Zimbabwe.
‘’We view this as a scenario where ZEC did not do due diligence, especially in terms of the payment process considering the volatility in our country.
‘’The inconsistent monetary policies, they were supposed to be interrogated all the modes of payments how prospective candidates were going to make those payments,’’ she said.
Money issues appear to have prevented a lot of aspiring politicians from contesting in the 2023 general elections.
Some who had wanted to contest for President such as Tendai Peter Munyanduri of New Innovative and Modernisation Front (NIMF) opted to contest for Parliament instead due to high nomination fees for President.
Robert Chapman of the Democratic Union of Zimbabwe had to withdraw from the race as his party could not afford the US$20 000 or equivalent in RTGS that was required by ZEC.
Speaking on the sidelines of a Political Parties Roundtable on Violence Against Women in Politics, organised by Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), Nyasha Chikwinya (Zanu PF) blamed lack of money for the poor participation of women in the 2023 general elections.
‘’Women are not adequately prepared for this election, because money is now playing a big role, those that don’t have money, those that cannot promise people things that are tangible they are left out.
‘’People are no longer used to just getting lip service, but they want tangible things, and most women are unable to do that,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, Linda Masarira has indicated that the many 2023 general election-related cases that are pending before the courts, will go a long way in determining whether ZEC is independent or not.
‘’There is also the challenge of the political contestation between certain individuals it is a cause of concern and how that matter is going to be dealt with will show the world whether ZEC is really an independent institution.
‘’So, we wait to see the outcome of all the pending court cases to do with this election and how the courts are going to deal with them.
‘’So far, I think the judgements that have been made in all the pending cases are fair enough and we just wait to see how the remaining cases will be dealt with,’’ she said. #ElectionsZW #ElectionZW @ZESN1 @ercafrica @ZEC @lilomatic @PresValerio @DrivenChapman @ZwContent