One hundred and twelve political parties have so far notified the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of their intention to participate in the 2018 polls.

ZEC said even though more parties are registering daily they still have to go through a vetting process by the nomination court for them to be allowed to participate.

There seems to be a rush by many parties to register to participate in the 2018 harmonised polls as evidenced by the daily increase in numbers of new political parties which are now at 112.

ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba said the continued increase in number is not the measure of those going to participate given the rigorous vetting process done by the nomination court after the proclamation by the President.

“Parties register in their numbers usually because of the mistaken impression that they will be paid money for participating, but there is a process of vetting serious parties and candidates at the nomination court. The vetting includes the payment of $1 000 for aspiring presidential candidates and security clearance as convicted persons,” said Justice Chigumba.

The electoral management body chair also said they had proposed an amendment to the Electoral Act which would make it mandatory for candidates not to pull out of the electoral race after the presidential proclamation to avert the logistical challenges of reprinting ballot papers.

“We are hoping the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs will take on board our proposed amendments to avert the logistical nightmare and the use of tax payers’ money to reprint ballots once a candidate elects to opt out on the 11th hour,” added the ZEC Chair.

ZEC had requested from Treasury a budget allocation of $148 million but was promised only $95 million from the state coffers leaving a shortfall of $53 million.

Be that as it may, electoral governing body in its last appearance before parliament said it is prepared to hold transparent elections in line with its constitutional mandate.