Electoral body reverses candidates withdrawal from 2023 polls

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Head Office

Writes Elvis Dumba

Harare – Zimbabwe Elections Commission (ZEC) has rescinded the decision of withdrawing local authority candidates from the 23 August polls.

In a notice, the country’s electoral management body said the candidates remain in the race for the poll, reversing its earlier notification of the duo’s withdrawal.

Two of the candidates who had been said to have withdrawn are ZANU PF local authority candidates for Zvimba Rural District Council’s  Wards 3 and 4. They are Luke Rutter and Lameck Zhanda.

The two councilors, Rutter and Zhanda both said they were shocked to see their names in a notice of their withdrawal by ZEC when they had not done so.

The two councillors challenged ZEC over the issue with an investigation by this publication revealing that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission had put their withdrawal notification following the submission of letters with the intention to withdraw from the election race.

The letters had forged signatures of the candidates.

In an earlier notification placed by ZEC in a local daily on 10 August 2023, the Chief Election Officer, Utoile Silaigwana, had said “It is hereby notified that in terms of section 126 (2) of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13) that the persons specified below nominated for the election on 23 August have withdrawn their candidature of their respective wards,” the notice read.

In another notice signed by the Chief Election Officer, placed in a local daily by ZEC, the election management body said the candidates remain as candidates as they were erroneously said to have been withdrawn in the earlier published notice.

“I was shocked to see my name on the list of candidates who were said to have withdrawn when I never had done so and that came when I was just having successful campaigns in my ward. I am happy that after we challenged ZEC, they managed to sort out the issue quickly,” Lameck Zhanda one of the candidates said.

Zimbabweans will go to the polls in a one’s week time with the current political environment largely peaceful although some isolated cases of violence have been reported.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende