MASVINGO— The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has come under fire from members of the media, civil society and elections observers who argue that the charging of accreditation fees in US dollars is unjustified.
Government recently gazetted Statutory Instrument (SI) 142 of 2019 banning the use of foreign currency to do local transactions. This meant that only the RTGS$ became the sole legal tender for local transactions.
The Zec Masvingo provincial office is, however, charging $10 for accreditation to cover or monitor the Bikita East Ward 31 by-election which will be held this Saturday, July 13, 2019.
Various stakeholders who visited the Zec provincial offices today seeking accreditation were shocked after being told that accreditation fees were pegged at US$10 or the RTGS$ equivalent using the interbank exchange rate of the day.
“This kind of selective application of the law and inconsistency is what makes every government policy defective. Other organisations will also ignore the US dollar ban,” said one journalist.
Zec provincial boss Zex Pudurai could not be reached for comment as his mobile was not available, with his office saying he was in the field assessing preparations for the election.
Three political parties are battling it out in the by-election; with Zanu PF being represented by Thomas Mataga while the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC is being represented by Moses Maposa. The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) is being represented by Peter Mavenga.