Elisabeth Valerio

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Elisabeth Valerio
Elisabeth Valerio Biography
Known forBeing a politician

Elisabeth Valerio is a Zimbabwean politician and businessperson. She is the founder of the political party United Zimbabwe Alliance (UZA).


Elisabeth Valerio's mother is from Masvingo. In the mid-1970s her parents had a grocery store at Machipisa Shopping Centre in Highfield.[1]


After completing her university education in the United States she began her career as a biochemist before moving to Hwange. Valerio has spent almost a decade in Hwange honouring a promise she made to her mother who, while on her death bed, asked that she look after a herd of elephants in Dete.


During her time in Hwange, Elisabeth Valerio established Gobelo, a business focused on the research and development of natural and indigenous consumer products. With her husband, she also built Gwango, a tourism destination at the edge of Hwange National Park, with guest rooms, conference facilities, restaurants and a BaNambya Cultural Exhibit.

She founded the Entrepreneurial and Leadership Initiative for Sustainability in Africa (ELISA) supporting Africa focused entrepreneurs via an online web portal and annual summit to be hosted in Hwange.[1]


She officially launched the United Zimbabwe Alliance (UZA) party as its interim President on 17 March 2022. In 2022, UZA fielded four candidates in the council and parliamentary by-election. [2]
See A History of Zimbabwean Elections [[1]]


Nomination Fees

Elisabeth Valerio condemned Parliament’s recent decision to uphold candidate nomination fees pegged by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). She said:

The fees are exorbitant and will make it hard for some aspiring candidates to contest in the 23 August elections. It strips away all possibility for participation by potential election contestants who may not have the required resources… The Constitution of Zimbabwe is clear that the state should ensure that its citizens’ political rights are protected and this include running for political office, when running for political office becomes a preserve of the rich, we are no longer guaranteeing the political rights of citizens.

The leader of the Nationalists Alliance Party (NAP), Divine Mhambi-Hove successfully challenged the nomination fees through the courts. The Constitutional Court ordered Parliament to scrutinise them for their legality or lack of. However, Parliament’s Legal Committee (PLC), which is made up of five members, three of whom are Zanu PF members, approved the nomination fees. [3]

Nomination Court June 2023

The nomination court on 21 June 2023 produced eleven presidential candidates for the August elections.[4] They are:

The Nomination Court rejected Valerio’s nomination to run for the presidency even though she reportedly submitted proof that she had paid the nomination fee in full.

Valerio then appealed the decision by ZEC at the Electoral Court Division of the High Court in Harare and the matter was heard on Friday, 14 July. High Court judge, Samuel Deme presided over the appeal.[5]

On 19 July 2023, the Electoral Court Division of the High Court in Harare ruled that ZEC made a mistake in refusing to accept Elisabeth Valerio’s nomination papers.

The court directed ZEC to register Valerio as a presidential candidate for the 2023 elections. She became the only female presidential candidate for the 2023 elections.[6]

From Veritas, Election Watch 15-2023 - The Constitutional Court Order on Nomination Fees File:Election Watch 15-2023 - The Constitutional Court Order on Nomination Fees 0.pdf

Elisabeth Valerio Duly Nominated

On 16 August 2023, ZEC chief elections officer, Utloile Silaigwana said: following an order of the Electoral Court sitting in Harare, issued on 19 July 2023, Ms. Elisabeth Isabel Valerio, a candidate sponsored by the United Zimbabwe Alliance (UZA) party, is hereby declared a duly nominated Presidential candidate. The other aspiring presidential candidates, Saviour Kasukuwere and Linda Masarira’s appeals were rejected by the courts. Her nomination papers were rejected despite providing bank-stamped proof of her request to initiate a ZWL transfer of funds to the ZEC bank account for the required nomination fees equivalent to US$20 000. The other candidates are Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zanu PF, Joseph Makamba Busha of Free Zim Congress, Nelson Chamisa of CCC, Trust Chikohora of ZCPD, Blessing Kasiyamhuru of ZIPP, Lovemore Madhuku of NCA, Wilbert Mubaiwa of NPC, Gwinyai Henry Muzorewa of UANC, Douglas Mwonzora of MDC and Wilson Harry Peter of DOP. [7]

2023 Results

Presidential Votes
Candidate (Party) Number of Votes % of votes
Joseph Makamba Busha (FreeZim Congress) 18 816 0.4%
Nelson Chamisa (CCC) 1 968 343 44.3%
Trust Chikohora (ZCPD) 10 230 0.2%
Blessing Kasiyamhuru (ZIPP) 13 060 0.3%
Lovemore Madhuku (NCA) 5 323 0.1%
Emmerson Mnangagwa (Zanu PF) 2 350 711 52.9%
Wilbert Mubaiwa (National People's Congress) (NPC) 53 517 1.2%
Gwinyai Henry Muzorewa (UANC) 7 053 0.1%
Elisabeth Valerio (UZA) 6 989 0.15%
Harry Peter Wilson (Democratic Opposition Party) (DOP) 6 743 0.15%

Total votes: 4 440 449


  1. 1.0 1.1 Elisabeth Valerio, UZA, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: March 18, 2022
  2. Zimbabwean Businesswoman Launches New Opposition Party, VOA, Published: March 17, 2022, Retrieved: March 18, 2022
  3. UZA President Elisabeth Valerio Cries Foul Over US$20 000 Candidate Fees, Pindula, Published: 19 June 2023, Retrieved: 19 June 2023
  4. 11 candidates vie for Presidency, The Herald, Published: 23 June 2023, Retrieved: 23 June 2023
  5. UZA leader Valerio wins presidential nomination appeal against ZEC, ZimLive, Published: 19 July 2023, Retrieved: 21 July 2023
  6. Elisabeth Valerio Wins Nomination Appeal Against ZEC, Pindula News, Published: 19 July 2023, Retrieved: 21 July 2023
  7. ZEC Declares Elisabeth Valerio A Duly Nominated Presidential Candidate, Pindula, Published: 16 August 2023, Retrieved: 18 August 2023

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