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Citizens Coalition for Change Candidate Withdraws in Ward With 2 Party Members Vying for Same Council Seat in March By-election

Nomination Court in Bulawayo. (VOA)

A member of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has pulled out of a council by-election in Zimbabwe's second largest city, Bulawayo, following the double-fielding of candidates by the party on Wednesday at the Nomination Court ahead of the March poll.

According to local party leader, Swithern Chiroodza, CCC’s candidate Bekithemba Nyathi wrote a letter Thursday to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) informing the electoral body that he has pulled out of the election.

"Nyathi wrote the letter to ZEC without coercion noting that he is no longer interested in contesting the Ward 9 by-election."

Chiroodza said the party's remaining candidate, Donaldson Mabutho, is now expected to battle for the vacant seat against representatives of the ruling ZANU PF party, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance led by Douglas Mwonzora and others.

"We are confident that we will win this election," he said.

Chiroodza further noted that his party is now addressing a similar problem in Ward 26 where two CCC candidates - Norman Hlabano and Mpikelelo Moyo - filed papers at the Nomination Court seeking to land the vacant seat.

"We are trying by all means to sort out this issue and hopefully we will manage to do this so that our party can win in the council seat."

Some council and parliamentary seats fell vacant when Douglas Mwonzora's MDC-T recalled councillors and lawmakers who were linked to Chamisa's MDC Alliance. Chamisa formed a new party a few days ago.

Correspondent Annastaciah Ndlovu contributed to this article