Speaking when she featured on Power FM’s Power and Politics radio program on Wednesday Ms Engwase Mwale who is the organization’s Executive Director said the 750% increment in the nomination fees is not justifiable.
She said even the inflation rate which has hit double digits since the last elections has not increased to such astronomical levels.
She said ECZ as an electoral body of the country should adequately be budgeted for by the government so that it does not curtail people from participating through huge nomination fees for candidates.
“When it comes to nomination fees the ECZ is one important body that is mandated to run elections in the country and elections are part and parcel of our democratic process to ensure that it thrives, you and I knows that democracy is about inclusiveness, going by that it simply means that any election must be all incampusing and it also means that it must provide an enabling environment for people that have the capacity and passion to get into leadership.
“Our governance system must ensure that we plan for an election, we have elections every five years, a long enough period to ensure that the ECZ is adequately resourced and prepared for that important election so meaning that the issue of fees and costs to run an election must be adequately be prepared for in our government budget. It must be adequately resourced for well in advance,” she said.
Ms Mwale said her organization has written to the ECZ asking the commission to consider reducing the fees.
We have written to the ECZ raising our concerns to say for example the Presidential nomination fees which were originally K10,000 so to K75,000 that is more than 750% increment even our inflation rate was in single digit and now in double digit is no where near that.
We feel and thought the increase was astronomical and was not informed by any economical trends so we did write raising our concerns especially for our women that want to stand in rural areas, 1500 is a little bit on the high side.
Ms Mwale’s concerns have been backed by a number of stakeholders including political parties who have said the increments are not justifiable as ECZ is not a profit making wing of the government. FDD President Edith Nawakwi and Rainbow Party Presidential Candidate Wynter Kabimba are among the people who have raised similar concerns.