Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Ward 9 candidate Bekithemba Nyathi has withdrawn his candidature for the March 26 municipal by-election.
Nyathi, a former Member of Parliament for Mpopoma-Pelandaba constituency, successfully filed his papers at the Nomination Court which sat on Wednesday.
Donaldson Mabutho, from the same party, who was the incumbent before he was recalled from the council, also filed his papers for the same ward.
A similar situation was obtained in Ward 21 where Norman Hlabano and Mpumelelo Moyo, who are both members of CCC filed their papers to contest for the vacant seat.
In a statement, Thursday, Nyathi said he was stepping down to make way for the “Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party certified candidate Mr Mabutho”.
“Our small squabbles that emanated from the CCC internal process of confirming candidates should not interfere with the bigger project for Change in Zimbabwe.”
Nyathi said he was now throwing his weight behind Mabutho and “will do whatever it takes for him to win Ward 9”.
“I also want to take this opportunity to apologize to my leaders, in particular, President Chamisa and his Vice Prof Ncube for allowing the small squabbles to spill on to the bigger picture”
Nyathi has since informed the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of his withdrawal.
“I take this opportunity to inform and notify you of my decision not (to) contest the ward 9 council by-elections which are scheduled for March 2022. I hereby withdraw my candidature and please be advised not to include my name in the ballot paper for the by-elections due in March 2022,” he wrote in a letter to the electoral management body.
The double candidates exposed divisions in the fledgling party with analysts warning that if such issues are not resolved it could cause friction in the party ahead of the crunch 2023 elections.