MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora declared on Tuesday that he was dropping out of the running to be the next president of Zimbabwe, calling the election on August 23 a “sham and a farce.”
Mwonzora said that even if he won the president, he would not have authority over parliament since the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) refused to recognise nomination papers for 87 of the party’s candidates for the National Assembly.
“We are not going to be part of the baptism, blessing of this sham. This election is a farce,” Mwonzora told a news conference in Harare.
He declared that the 24 MDC-T candidates for elective office who successfully filed their nomination papers will still run in the election.
“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people, the discrimination of one party by the election management body, and with the concurrence of my party, I have withdrawn my candidature in this election.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 MDC-T leader said he will still vote in the election but declined to support a particular candidate saying;
“When you are boycotting, you have no-one to back, you’re refusing to participate. Why should we back someone to participate in a farce, in a theft against the people of Zimbabwe?”
Mwonzora asserted his standing as a steadfast advocate for democratic principles and declared he would not support Zanu PF.
“Yes, I am going to vote, I will vote for the opposition,” he said.