0PPOSITION MDC-T leader, Douglas Mwonzora, yesterday withdrew from the presidential race citing an unfair electoral field tilted in favour of the ruling Zanu PF party.
Mwonzora announced his decision at the party’s headquarters in the capital, where he accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) of improper conduct.
He, however, said he was not backing any presidential candidate.
“Why should we back someone to participate in a farce? There is no doubt that this election is not free and fair.
“The election management body has not displayed the required impartiality.
“Zec has decided who should contest and who should be or not be part of this election.”
He added: “Discrimination of one party in a country by an electoral body is unacceptable. For that reason in terms of section 107 of the Electoral Act, I with the concurrence of my party have withdrawn my candidature in this election.”
Mwonzora was one of the 12 candidates initially eyeing the presidency before his withdrawal. Zec is a respondent in several cases over anomalies relating to the nomination process on June 21.
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Exiled former Cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere is challenging his disqualification from the presidential race.
United Zimbabwe Alliance leader Elisabeth Valerio is the only female candidate participating in the presidential poll after she appealed her disqualification in court.
Mwonzora also protested the disqualification of 87 of his aspiring legislators.
The 87 aspiring candidates had their nomination papers rejected by the poll management authority following payment glitches on electronic bank transactions.
Mwonzora said the party’s 24 parliamentary candidates would contest the polls under protest.
“I love my country and I took part in the Constitution-making process and I believe that the Constitution should not be decorated,” he said.
Mwonzora said they had already contacted Zec over his withdrawal.
Zec chief elections officer Utloile Silaigwana could not be reached for comment.
Analysts yesterday said Mwonzora feared a humiliating defeat in the polls.
Mwonzora’s MDC-T was hit by mass defections recently.
Party spokesperson, Witness Dube, recently quit MDC-T to join Zanu PF.
Mwonzora has been accused of being part of the Zanu PF scheming machine to destabilise the opposition after he snatched the MDC Alliance from Nelson Chamisa.
Chamisa went on to form the Citizens Coalition for Change.
After winning the 2018 presidential elections, President Emmerson Mnangagwa established the Political Actors Dialogue.