Zimbabwe: Opposition ZDP Leader Mukwazhe Dies

18 November 2019

Opposition Zimbabwe Development Party (ZDP) leader and 2013 election presidential candidate Kisinoti Mukwazhe has died. He was 49.

According to reports, Mukwazhe died late Sunday at Karanda Mission hospital in Mashonaland Central after complaining of a sore throat.

The politician, once suspected to be a Zanu PF election decoy, later withdrew his candidature from the 2013 presidential race but it was too late as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had already printed ballots.

He subsequently received 0.29% of the vote in the election won convincingly by Mugabe but rejected by then main opposition MDC losing candidate Morgan Tsvangirai.

The MDC argued the election had been rigged by Zanu PF with assistance from a shadowy Israeli company known as Nikuv Projects that was contracted by the Registrar General's office.

Prior to the 2013 elections there was suspicion from pro-democracy groups that Mugabe had sponsored Mukwazhe's candidature to forestall a possible pull-out of the presidential election by Tsvangirai which would have raised legitimacy issues around the then Zanu PF leader.

Following the suspicious pull-out, Mukwazhe called on his supporters to vote for Mugabe.

Nikuv Projects have recently fallen out of favour with President Emmerson Mnangagwa's administration after demanding payment in foreign currency and withholding passport printing materials.

Details about his funeral were still sketchy late Monday.

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