“This is total nonsense. I am going to court to file an injunction to restrain the ECZ from going ahead with these fees. It is not that I don’t have money; I have money like sand but to think of paying K75,000 for my nomination is a total farce.
“I will not allow anyone to stand in my way of being president of this country – not ECZ, not anyone. It looks like there are people at ECZ who want to use that institution as a fundraising platform but we shall not condone this,” he said
Meanwhile, UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma told the Daily Nation that there was no justification for ECZ to come up with such fees when some councillors failed in the past even to raise a K50 for their nominations.
Mr. Kakoma said the fees were not cost-effective as parties were already constrained due to other provisions in the amended Constitution which would compel them spend more in this year’s election.
ECZ chairperson Judge Esau Chulu announced the revised fees for this year’s general elections yesterday, with presidential aspirants required to pay K75,000 as nomination fee with those vying for parliamentary seats and mayoral positions required to pay K10,000.
The nomination fee for council chairperson is K5,000 while fees for councillors have been split into two with those vying for city and municipal council positions paying K2000 while rural councillors will now pay K1,500.
MMD spokesperson Raphael Nakachinda said most people especially in rural areas would not manage to raise the K1,500 to stand as councillors because their income base was not sustainable to pay such an amount of money which was not refundable.
“When this issue of paying nominations fees was introduced, it was not meant to discriminate against anyone. It was just a show of commitment and seriousness for those who aspired to national leadership but these fees now show that the presidency is reserved for the rich.
“If a common civil servant sometimes gets below K75, 000, this shows that these fees are discriminatory. The problem in Zambia is that people in the urban areas make decisions on behalf of people in rural areas without considering realistic factors on the ground. K1,500 for a councillor in a rural area is too much,” Mr. Nakachinda said.
But PF secretary general Davies Chama said the ruling party did not have any problem with the fees and urged the opposition political parties which had issues over the fees to appeal to the ECZ.
Zambia Republican Party (ZRP) president Wright Musoma accused the opposition political parties of always being negative about whatever was coming from ECZ ,adding that there was nothing to complain about because the fees were fair.
Among other things, ECZ announced that it would not be able to conduct the 14-day extension mobile voter registration exercise as scheduled from 16th to 29th February if it did not receive funding from Government by today.