I DID NOT WITHDRAW : ALLIANCE CANDIDATE
An aspiring MDC Alliance Member of Parliament for Bulawayo South Mr Muvirimi Francis Mangwendeza is in limbo after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission yesterday published his name among a list of candidates who have withdrawn from the harmonised elections slated for July 30.
In a notice, Zec published a list of 48 candidates from both the National Assembly and the Local Authority who withdrew from contesting in the July 30 polls. Addressing a press conference in Bulawayo yesterday, Mr Mangwendeza said he had not withdrawn from the race.
“I note with concern that my name has been listed as a having withdrawn my candidature for the National Assembly seat in the Bulawayo South Constituency. Let me categorically state that I did not withdraw my candidature,” he said.
Mr Mangwendeza said the notice was likely to cause confusion among his supporters and derail his campaign programme.
“The Zec advertisement has the effect of causing consternation and confusion among the electorate and I have been inundated with calls seeking clarification. It is evident that this is the work of people who are trying to derail my campaign and cause confusion within the voting public,” he said.
Mr Mangwendeza said when he contacted Zec provincial offices in Bulawayo, there was no record of his withdrawal.
“I therefore request the immediate withdrawal of the Zec notice and its replacement with a notice clarifying my candidature in all media that carried the advert,” he said.
Zec acting chief elections officer Mr Utoile Silaigwana said the notice could be an error, adding that his organisation would look into the issue.
He however, said no political party has power to withdraw the candidature of an individual.
“It is only an individual who can withdraw his or her candidature not the party,” said Mr Silaigwana.
Zimbabwe is heading towards a July 30 plebiscite and President Mnangagwa has appealed to contesting candidates to ensure that the polls will be violence-free.
According to the list of names, one of the National Assembly candidates who withdrew their candidature was Zanu-PF’s Cde Martin Dinha who had filed his nomination papers to contest in Mazowe North constituency, while eight candidates were from the MDC Alliance including Mr Mangwendeza.
Cde Dinha withdrew his candidature from the Mazowe North National Assembly race, leaving Zanu-PF with Cde Campion Mugweni.
A total of seven independent candidates and two MDC-T members also withdrew as well as two National Patriotic Front (NPF) members.
The People’s Progressive Party of Zimbabwe (PPPZ), the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and Zapu had one member each withdrawing from contesting in the elections.
For the Local Authority candidates, 12 independent candidates withdrew, while three MDC-T members and two members of the MDC Alliance also withdrew.
Two NPF and two NCA candidates also withdrew their candidatures while United Republic Party (URP), People’s Rainbow Coalition of Opposition Political Parties (PRCOPP) and Build Zimbabwe Alliance (BZA) had one member each withdrawing.
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