The Nelson Chamisa led MDC Alliance Tuesday afternoon took to the streets of Harare piling more pressure on the election management body, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), demanding electoral reforms ahead of the 30 July polls.
Zimbabwe has a long history of disputed elections dating back to the 80s. In 2008, the ruling Zanu PF unleashed violence against the opposition MDC supporters following a first round of results in which the late Morgan Tsvangirai was leading with 47,8% against Robert Mugabe’s 43,2%.
Amos Chibaya, MDC-T Organizing Secretary, in an interview with 263Chat during the MDC Alliance electoral reforms demonstration said they are geared to block elections until their demands are met.
“We are ready to stop the election, we can do anything until we get our demands met,” said Chibaya.
“We need to know how many ballot papers have been printed, and also there was an increase of the polling stations, we need to know where they will be located,” added Chibaya.
Spokesperson of the National Patriotic Front, Jealousy Mawarire who was among the people who gathered at the Africa Unity Square amplified the call for electoral reforms which he said are needed to close out on any possible rigging.
“November coup shows that elections will be rigged. We are concerned about ZANU PF being in charge of everything regarding elections,” said the NPP spokesperson.
He added, ” This demonstration is about illegality before the election, for example why was the election date proclaimed before the final voters roll.”
One of the protesters, Gogo Evelyn Tachiwa said ZEC should be demilitarized and constituted by independent people who will not take sides when their job should be refereeing.
“How can there be a free election when ZEC is constituted by military, the same military which helped president Mnangagwa to be in power today.
“We do not want that, we are tired of ZANU PF misrule, now our children are not working because of mis-governance,” said Tachiwa.
MDC Alliance supporters brought Harare to a standstill as they marched on the streets of Harare to handover a petition to ZEC with their demands ahead of the 30 July polls.
Among their key demands is the need for voters roll audit, demilitarization of the electoral management body ZEC, end to voter intimidation and an open tender for printing of ballot papers.