In an upcoming August election, Zimbabwe is set to witness a diverse pool of eleven candidates vying for the presidency, according to the electoral commission. This follows the disqualification of several hopefuls who failed to meet the $20,000 requirement to secure a spot on the ballot.
The race is anticipated to be primarily between Incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa, representing the ZANU-PF party, and Nelson Chamisa, a pastor, and lawyer from the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), who is widely regarded as the strongest contender.
Late on Thursday, the commission announced that eleven aspiring candidates had been disqualified from the August 23 election. Among them was Linda Masarira, who was unable to pay the $20,000 fee by Wednesday, thus dashing hopes of having a female candidate running for the highest office.
Expressing her disappointment, Masarira criticized the exorbitant fee, deeming it discriminatory and a violation of the non-discrimination principle within the legal framework.
Zimbabweans will cast their votes for a new president and parliament on August 23.
While Mnangagwa and Chamisa are viewed as the frontrunners for reinvigorating the country’s struggling economy, an independent presidential candidate has recently emerged on the scene.
Saviour Kasukuwere, a former cabinet minister under Robert Mugabe’s regime, who currently resides in self-imposed exile, will run as an independent candidate. Political analysts speculate that Kasukuwere is likely to garner support in ZANU-PF strongholds.
Having previously harbored presidential ambitions, Kasukuwere fled the country during the coup that resulted in Mugabe’s ousting.
Meanwhile, Mnangagwa, aged 80, is seeking another term amidst an ongoing economic crisis, with the Zimbabwean dollar plummeting by over 50% against the US dollar this month.
As he filed his nomination at the High Court on Wednesday, Mnangagwa praised the democratic process, highlighting the peaceful nature of the ongoing proceedings and emphasizing Zimbabwe’s maturing democracy.
Chamisa, who narrowly lost the previous election in 2018, remains confident that his party is poised to assume government this time around, expressing optimism about the upcoming election.