The Zimbabwean political landscape is facing another twist after MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora sh0cked the nation by withdrawing from the presidential race.
In a press conference at the party’s headquarters, Mwonzora cited an unfair electoral field tilted in favour of the ruling Zanu PF party and accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) of improper conduct.
Mwonzora accused ZEC of bias, saying “ZEC has decided who should contest and who should be part of this election. Discrimination of one party in a country by an electoral body is unacceptable.”
He added that he was withdrawing under section 107 of the Electoral Act. Mwonzora was one of 12 initially vying for the presidency before pulling out.
Mwonzora also protested the disqualification of 87 of his aspiring legislators, who had their nomination papers rejected by the poll management authority following payment glitches on electronic bank transactions. The MDC-T leader said the party’s 24 parliamentary candidates would still contest the polls, but under protest.
Analysts have speculated that Mwonzora withdrew from the race because he feared a humiliating defeat. The MDC-T has been hit by mass defections recently, with party spokesperson Witness Dube quitting the party to join Zanu PF.
Critics accuse Mwonzora of secretly working for Zanu PF after grabbing the MDC Alliance from Nelson Chamisa. Chamisa went on to form the Citizens Coalition for Change.