Opposition Democratic Union of Zimbabwe (DUZ) president, Robert Chapman (pictured), has officially announced his withdrawal from the presidential race, citing ‘the political financial constraints on the president’, amongst a hpost of other reasons.
In a statement released by DUZ Secretary-General Pishai, Muchauraya, the party will no longer field a presidential candidate in the 2023 Harmonised Elections slated for the 23rd of August.
Below, we publish a full text of the communication from the opposition party.
“On June 21st, 2023, the Democratic Union of Zimbabwe (DUZ) filed its presidential nomination papers for Robert Chapman. Around 15:20 local Harare time, the nomination courts ‘approved’ the candidacy of Robert Chapman to contest in the 2023 Harmonised Elections.
After great discussion with the Democratic Union of Zimbabwe top leadership and its advisory, freiewnds and colleagues, including the circulation of the Bulawayo province, the party and president reached the decision to withdraw the presidential candidate from the 2023 elections citing key reasons:
- The political financial constraints on the President and the party against the required Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Fee’s to contend the country. If a party were to contest all seats, it would cost $250 000 and that’s before the campaign. This has a chilling effect on Democracy.
- The remaining time to voting day without addressing issues around the voters’ roll, polling agent training costs, and campaign.
- The possible continuation of fractionalization and possible infiltration against the remaining 60+ days to voting day.
- The economic challenges of the nation hindering political support to the remaining requirements to campaign and field a strong race.
- The extreme political polarisation coupled (with) economic challenges yields concern to campaign in a free and fair environment.
Presidential elect Robert Chapman for the Democratic Union of Zimbabwe has withdrawn from the 2023 Harmonized Elections, however, will support the House of Assembly and Local Council DUZ Candidates nominated successfully on June 21st, 2023. Congratulations to our nominated 6 House of Assembly and many local council candidates.
The party is focused on building for the future and it’s best for this time to focus our resources on these local and constituency campaigns.
The Democratic Union of Zimbabwe and President Robert Chapman look at 2023 as a tough, yet valuable lesson to appreciate in the rebuilding, restructuring and key preparedness of 2028. We are proud of the tireless efforts by true comrades that brought the party from its vision to a reality, and we take this milestone in great stride to ensure our candidates success and deliver their commitments between 2023 and 2028.
The Democratic Union of Zimbabwe will not be fielding a presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, and we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and wish well to all the Presidential nominees during this campaign period. We would also like to advocate against political violence during and after the campaign and voting day.
Hon Pishayi Muchauraya
Secretary General for the Democratic Union of Zimbabwe