Mwonzora pulls out of presidential race, says “this election is a farce”
Opposition MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora has pulled out of the presidential race, accusing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of disenfranchising a significant number of his party supporters by refusing to accept nomination papers for 87 of the party’s candidates for the National Assembly.
By not having MPs in 87 constituencies, Mwonzora knows that even if he wins the presidency, he would not have control of parliament.
“We are not going to be part of the baptism, blessing of this sham. This election is a farce,” Mwonzora told the journalists in Harare.
He believes that ZEC is punishing his party for taking it to court over the delimitation report.
“We have seen massive disenfranchisement, mass disqualification of a good number of people. There is no doubt why the MDC is being treated in a different manner from other political parties, it is because the MDC took ZEC to court over delimitation,” Mwonzora went on.
“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 boundaries of wards and constituencies. It has added more than a 1,000 more polling stations because delimitation was invalid.
“Having seriously considered this, and being a patriotic Zimbabwean, I took part in the crafting of the constitution of our land. I believe that the constitution is not there for decoration.
“I believe that there is a minimum standard of integrity required in our electoral system, and I believe that the mass disenfranchisement of our people, the discrimination of one party by the election management body, and with the concurrence of my party, I have withdrawn my candidature in this election.
“We are boycotting this farce, we are boycotting this sham, we are boycotting this presidential election.”
“The judges have treated our cases on technicalities, we refuse to be part of that façade… 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,” he charged.
“I don’t want to preempt what we are going to do henceforward. We are going back to the drawing back, to kick-start a programme to ensure there will be free and fair elections in this country. We are going to reconnect with the people; the people of Zimbabwe deserve a free and fair election,” Mwonzora added
Political analyst Alexander Rusero described Mwonzora as a foolish politician.
“Here is Mwonzora’s legacy:-
1. Undertaker of the MDC 2. Paul Bearer of Electoral Democracy in Zimbabwe
3. Biggest spoiler of Opposition Movement 4. Greatest betrayer of Morgan Tsvangirai 5. Brilliant Lawyer who proved to be a foolish politician and a Willing Enabler!”
Prominent journalist Hopewell Chin’ono said although there are irregularities on the part of ZEC, Mwonzora had no chance at all of winning the election.
“Zimbabwe’s bogus opposition leader Douglas Mwonzora has withdrawn from the August 23 elections citing election management irregularities.
“Although these irregularities exist, Mwonzora stood no chance at all in a free and fair election after selling out to Zanu-PF and the regime,” he said.
There some unconfirmed reports that Mwonzora’s withdrawal from the presidential race is a precursor to him joining the ruling Zanu PF party.