An independent candidate contesting in a Chinhoyi council by-election has withdrawn from the race citing massive transportation of potential voters from the town and surrounding farms to register as voters in Ward 15.
BY NUNURAI JENA
In a letter to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) dated 12 February and addressed to the chief election officer, Benny Rabi said the elections would not be free and fair because of the bussing of potential voters from other areas.
“I, Benny Rabi, have withdrawn my papers to stand as an independent candidate because of the reason that I witnessed people being transported from Biri, Portland Farm, Citrus farm, Upperroom farm, Manyamba Farm, Alaska Mine and Chinhoyi to go and register to vote in a ward they are not residents and they were given proof of residents by the mayor of Chinhoyi. I have seen that this forthcoming election will not be free and fair,” Rabi wrote.
He cited Section 126 of the new Constitution that allowed a candidate to withdraw at any time before polling day or the first polling day as the case maybe.
Rabi said he wrote a letter to Zec, but nothing was done to rectify the anomaly, hence his withdrawal.
Rabi, a former MDC-T councillor who registered as an independent after the opposition party refused to participate in the by-elections slated for March 27, has also accused Zanu PF candidate Innocent Mangwanya of stuffing the voters’ register with names of people from outside the ward.
But Mangwanya has since denied the allegations.
The ward fell vacant following the death of Zanu PF councilor Moffat Munyaradzi in December last year.