Zimbabweans will vote for their next set of leaders on August 23, 2023 elections. Photo: Reuters

Zimbabwean opposition candidate Douglas Mwonzora has pulled out of the presidential race, citing unfair treatment, leaving ten contestants for the top post.

“There is no doubt, ladies and gentlemen, that this election is not free and fair. The election management body has not displayed the requisite impartiality and fairness expected.

“With the concurrence of my party, I have withdrawn my candidature in this election,” Mwonzora told reporters in the capital Harare on Tuesday.

The politician had previously described the election as “a sham and a farce.”

His decision to withdraw came after Mwonzora criticised Zimbabwe’s judiciary, which threw out an appeal by his party to reinstate 87 candidates.

“The judges have treated our cases on technicalities; we refuse to be part of that facade. We cannot stand all these shenanigans, unfairness and impunity in our electoral system,” Mwonzora said.

‘I will still vote’

He added that the successfully nominated 24 constituency candidates will still run in the election set for August 23.

The opposition politician said he would still cast his vote in the election.

Separately, Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court dismissed independent candidate Saviour Kasukuwere’s appeal to access the apex court to nullify his disqualification.

Refusing to hear Kasukuwere’s constitutional matter, Zimbabwe’s Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza said: “The court finds that the application being a disguised appeal is not properly before the court. The application be and is hereby dismissed with no order as to costs.”

Without Kasukuwere and Mwonzora, Zimbabwe has nine presidential contestants ahead of the August 23 polls.