Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) yesterday held a stakeholders’ engagement meeting with political parties and aspiring candidates in Bulawayo to discuss expectations at the Nomination Court.
The Nomination Court will sit on Thursday next week while the harmonised elections will be held on July 30.
Aspiring candidates and members of different political parties attended the meeting, where Zec officials unpacked the Code of Conduct, the Nomination Court requirements, procedures and prohibited symbols.
Zec provincial elections officer Mr Innocent Ncube said the objective of the meeting was to make sure that political parties understand the nomination court processes and requirements to avoid disappointments on the day.
“This is an important meeting that is meant to help our aspiring candidates and their political parties to know what is expected of them before the nomination court so that they’re able to submit their papers in a proper manner without any hassles.
“We’re also trying to demystify issues around the nomination court processes and assist the community to have an appreciation of the procedures. We don’t want people to be confused but to be empowered with all the nomination information that they need,” said Mr Ncube.
He said the engagement meeting will also go a long way in assisting aspiring candidates to be professional and abide by the rules and regulations of the nomination court during the submission of their forms.
“I’m happy that we’ve successfully hosted an engagement meeting that has empowered our aspiring candidates. They came in their numbers and it was quite an interactive meeting. This means that we’ll have order, less mistakes and confusion when the nomination court sits on June 14.
“For those who didn’t manage to attend the meeting, we’re always willing as Zec to assist people with the information that they need. Our doors are always open and no one will have challenges in accessing information because it’s our duty to inform and educate our people,” said Mr Ncube.
He advised aspiring candidates to bring their forms and all the required paperwork before the nomination court so that it’s inspected and corrections are made on time.
“As Zec we check the papers to make sure everything is in order and we remain with them, meaning that the aspiring candidates would have successfully lodged their papers,” said Mr Ncube, adding that aspiring candidates started collecting forms on Monday.
He said candidates aspiring to be presidents will be required to pay a nomination fee of $1 000 while those aspiring for the Upper House will pay $100 and the Lower House aspirants will part with $50 and nothing will be charged for those aspiring to be councillors.
Presidential candidates, he added, should be aged 40 and above while MPs and councillors should be aged 21 and above.
“We’re in the process of making sure that candidates can pay their fees through any mode of payment as part of our efforts to offer convenience to everyone.
“Candidates’ papers should include a copy of their identity card, birth certificate, three colour passport sized photos and a signed copy of the code of conduct. We expect them to be signed by designated office bearers of their political parties,” said Mr Ncube.
He added that candidates’ papers should include names and signatures of at least eight nominators from their wards or constituencies and they should be registered voters.