2023 ELECTIONS: MDC leader Douglas Mwonzora’s withdrawal saga

Mr Douglas Mwonzora

Claim: On August 8, 2023 Zimbabwe presidential aspirant, Douglas Mwonzora of the Movement for Democratic Change — Tsvangirai (MDC-T) announced his withdrawal from August 23 2023 general election.

But despite his decision local state media quoted the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) stating that Mwonzora’s name would remain on the presidential ballot for 2023 since he missed the 21-day deadline for candidates to pull out of the race.

Verdict: True or False? True

What is the procedure for the withdrawal of a presidential candidate?

This is captured in section 107 subsection 1 and 2 of the Electoral Act which states that a nominated candidate for election as President may, by notice in writing addressed to the chief elections officer, withdraw his or her candidature at any time before twenty-one days from the day … on which the poll in an election to the office of president is to be taken.

On receipt of a notice of withdrawal in terms of subsection (1), the chief elections officer shall cause the withdrawal to be published in the Gazette and in all newspapers of mass circulation in Zimbabwe.


In light on the above provision of the Electoral Act, it is too late for ZEC to remove Mwonzora from the ballot, as he made his announcement 15 days before polling day.

What about votes for Mwonzora?

Any votes cast for a candidate who has withdrawn will be considered as spoilt ballots.

— The Standard

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