Voter fatigue, high nomination fees contribute to fewer candidates for February by-election |

By Staff Reporter

ELECTION watchdog Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has attributed the sharp decline in the number of candidates for the upcoming by-elections to a combination of factors, including voter fatigue, frequent polls and high nomination fees.

In its report on the recent Nomination Court processes for the February 3, 2024, by-election, ZESN said there is a stark contrast to the bustling June nomination exercise for the August harmonized elections.

There was a 41% decrease in candidates looking to contest for the parliamentary seats in the six constituencies compared to August turnout.

“The 18 December Nomination saw a reduction in competition for constituency seats by candidates who lodged their nomination papers when compared to the 21 June 2023 nomination process conducted in preparation for the 23 August 2023 Harmonized Elections,” read the report.

In June, six candidates submitted nomination papers for Pelandaba-Tshabalala and in comparison, only four emerged in December.

Similar decreases were observed in Mkoba North from five to three candidates and Chegutu West also experienced similar candidates turnout from six to three.

“Candidate fatigue emanating from a series of recalls that have kept Zimbabwe in an electioneering mode, subsequent by-elections in a noticeably short space of time coupled with high nomination fees deter candidates from participating in elections,” said ZESN.

The country recently concluded a round of by-elections and is set to have polls on February 3, following the recalls of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidates on November 10, 2023, by the party’s ‘interim secretary general’ who declared they had ceased to be members of the party.

The recalls triggered the need for by-elections to choose new representatives in Mkoba North, Goromonzi South, Seke, Pelandaba-Tshabalala, Zvimba East and Chegutu West Constituencies.

Among the recalled Members of Parliament are the CCC organising secretary, Amos Chibaya, who is also Chief Whip of the party, and the party’s deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba, representing Mkoba North and Pelandaba-Tshabalala respectively.

Admore Chivero (Chegutu West), Tapfumaneyi Willard Madzimbamuto (Seke), Oliver Mutasa (Zvimba East) and Stephen Chatiza (Goromonzi South) also ceased to be members of Parliament for their respective constituencies on November 10.

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