Tuesday, 19 June 2018


Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has not been given an electronic copy of the voters roll despite repeated requests, a party official said.

The MDC has been trying to obtain an electronic copy for two weeks, but has been rebuffed on a daily basis, senator David Coltart said in a telephone interview from Zimbabwe’s second biggest city, Bulawayo, on Monday.

"I’m apoplectic. How come the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has handed a copy to the British embassy, but not to the main political party contesting the election, when we’re the one entitled to it?" Coltart said. "We have 210 constituencies to check and we’ve not even been able to begin."

Access to the voters roll is one of 10 conditions the opposition has laid out as a requirement for fair elections, which are due to be held at the end of July. While the ruling Zanu-PF has agreed to one of the demands — international election observers — demands for legislative changes on press freedom and an insistence that the military commit to respecting the outcome have not been heeded.

The British Embassy in the capital, Harare, tweeted that it "advised patience" and that it had paid for a copy of the voters roll after having queued for a long time. Coltart, a former education minister, said he had confirmed at 4.30pm Zimbabwe time that the request to obtain a copy had again been denied. He was advised to "come back another time", he said.

Neither the British Embassy nor the electoral commission answered phone calls for comment that were made after hours.

The electoral commission has registered 5.6-million voters for the first poll of the post-Robert Mugabe era, which is set to be held on July 30, it said on June 15.



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