Panic and despondency was written on the faced of politician, Linda Masarira’s face as she wrestled against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) deadline to pay nomination fees for her presidential bid.
She had arrived at the High Court, at 10am with a brisk smile ,optimistic that her nomination would be accepted.
Masarira was short with $20 million Zimdollars, but by the end of June 21, the Lead president had not raised enough to support her presidential nomination.
“I have been clear that the $20,000 is exorbitant, it is discriminatory in nature and violates the section that speaks to non-discrimination in the eyes of the law,” an irate Masarira said outside court.
With Masarira’s presidential bid up in smoke, another potential presidential candidate Elisabeth Valerio would also fail to get her nomination through by deadline day.
Of the eleven presidential candidates, none is female.
It is an all-male affair in the upcoming polls.
A report by local news website Newzwire published on June 30 2023 provided a statistical breakdown of women participation from the nomination lists published by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. Statements have also been published by women’s rights groups registering their concern over this decline in women’s representation citing unequal access to resources as one of the factors deterring women’s participation in this election.
The numbers from the nomination process show a regression at all levels of candidature compared to statistics recorded in 2018.
Here is a breakdown of the different levels of candidacy
No women are contesting for the top office in the country, a significant decline from the four who contested in 2018
Overall, 70 women are contesting for National Assembly seats, this represents 11% of the 637 prospective candidates. In the 2018 general elections, women constituted 14.4% of the 1648 national assembly candidates.
In the local authority elections, 665 women will be contesting as candidates against 3940 men. Overall, 14% of the candidates in this election are women compared to 17% in the previous election.
The contesting political parties listed 1336 women who will be vying for the 30% local government quota seats. The quota system guarantees women 561 seats in Council which translates to at least 23% of the 1570 available seats.
The statistics from the ZEC nomination figures show that there has been a decline in women’s participation as candidates in the 2023 election. The prevailing trend violates section 17, 56 and 80 of the Constitution which call for gender equality in all sectors including politics.
This article is part of The NewsReporLive’s Project Zivai (Get Informed) Free2Express programme supported by Magamba Network.