Mwonzora withdraws from Zimbabwe’s presidential election

MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora announced on Tuesday that he is withdrawing from Zimbabwe’s presidential election, calling it a “sham and a farce.”

The election is scheduled to take place on August 23.

Mwonzora’s decision to withdraw comes after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) refused to accept nomination papers for 87 of the MDC-T’s candidates for the National Assembly.

“There is no doubt ladies and gentlemen that this election is not free and fair. The election management body has not displayed the requisite impartiality and fairness expected of it. It has acted vindictively in a partisan manner against the MDC.

“Having seriously considered this and being a patriotic Zimbabwean I love my country. I took part in crafting the constitution of our country. I with the concurrence of my party have withdrawn my candidature in this election,” Mwonzora said.

Mwonzora also expressed dissatisfaction with the delimitation process, which he said has disenfranchised a large number of voters.

“The delimitation that we fought against is now in force and its effects are now clear on this election. Right now, as we are speaking ZEC is busy changing the boundaries of wards and constituencies. It has added more than 1,000 more polling stations because delimitation was invalid,” he said.

He also criticised the judiciary for throwing out an appeal by his party to reinstate the 87 candidates.

“The judges have treated our cases on technicalities, we refuse to be part of that facade… Zimbabweans deserve a fair judiciary and abhor selective application of the law. We cannot stand all these shenanigans, unfairness and impunity in our electoral system,” said the opposition leader.

“We are not going to be part of this sham,” Mwonzora said. “We are boycotting this presidential election.”

Mwonzora’s withdrawal leaves 10 candidates in the presidential race, including Zanu PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is seeking re-election.

Zimbabwe’s election has been marred by controversy in recent weeks. In addition to Mwonzora’s withdrawal, independent candidate Saviour Kasukuwere was barred from the election by the High Court. Kasukuwere is still appealing the ruling at the Constitutional Court after the Supreme Court upheld the High Court ruling.

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