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GEARS calls for further reduction in 2021 nomination fees

Governance, Elections, Advocacy, and Research Services (GEARS) Initiative Zambia says Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ)’s decision to reduce Presidential nomination fees to K100, 000 from K150, 000 will still disadvantage aspiring candidates.
Speaking in an interview with Money FM News, Organization Executive Director McDonald Chipenzi said ECZ must ensure that people are able to access the electoral services without being hindered by the monies that are associated with their participation.
Mr. Chipenzi observed that Zambia has 82 percent of the poor people, hence K100, 000 participation fee for presidential aspirants cannot be met by the majority.
He wondered why the Country’s electoral body has categorized the fees according to one’s gender and age group yet when the people occupy the different political offices, they be will get the same incentives.
“The principle is commercialization of elections, it is not about how much it’s been reduced to but what’s the principle behind the astronomical figures for participation in an election?”
“The fees are very high and we are looking at the President, but look at the issue of Members of Parliament, they are bringing the nomination fee at K15, 000 and why do we have to categorize the fees to say the youth, disabled, male or female their fee is this, yet when they get to into office, they will get the same incentives,” he asked.
Mr. Chipenzi called on ECZ to either reduce the fees further, scrap off the increment or increase by K5, 000 to allow people to participate freely.
“Looking at the current economic situation, there is no employment in Zambia so what we expect is that there should be no increment at all if that’s the case or if there is any increment it should be just K5, 000 to allow people to participate freely. MPs were paying K7, 500 in 2016 so in 2021 they can pay K8, 000,” he said.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia has reduced the presidential nomination fees for the 2021 general elections to K100, 000 from the proposed K150, 000, for male aspirants, while female, youth and disabled candidates are expected to pay K80, 000 from K120, 000.
Male aspiring Members of Parliament and Mayors will be required to pay K20, 000 from the earlier proposed K25, 000, whereas female, youth, and disabled candidates will be paying K15, 000 from the earlier proposed K20, 000 and last year MPs where paying K7, 500.
In the Council category, fees for male Council Chairperson have been pegged at K3, 500 from K10, 000 while female, youth and disabled candidates will be required to pay K3, 000 from the proposed K7, 500.

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