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HARARE – A candidate who was barred from standing in Zanu PF primaries in Gutu West before deciding to stand as an independent has died after his vehicle fell off a bridge.
Christopher Mutonhori Rwodzi, a retired soldier and husband to tourism deputy minister Barbra Rwodzi, was travelling to Harare from Gutu on Thursday night.
Pictures of the accident scene showed the Toyota Prado broke through side barriers of a bridge between Chivhu and Harare before plunging into the dry riverbed below and landing on its roof.
Details of what caused the accident were not immediately available. The Masvingo Mirror, quoting Rwodzi’s father, said the politician died at the scene.
Although running as an independent candidate for the Gutu West National Assembly seat, Rwodzi’s vehicle was emblazoned with a picture of Zanu PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa. A sticker on the vehicle urged voters to “Vote Christopher Mutonhori Rwodzi – Independent Candidate 4ED.”
Rwodzi retired from the military with the rank of colonel.
Zanu PF held its primary elections in April, leaving the party deeply divided as losing candidates claimed the elections had been “rigged” in favour of preferred candidates by an organisation called Forever Associates of Zimbabwe (FAZ).
To contain the fallout, Zanu PF threatened losing candidates who ran as independents with expulsion.
Rwodzi was prevented from running in the primaries, allegedly over pending disciplinary issues.
Zimbabweans vote in general elections on August 23. _*Zimbabwe*_