Zimbabwe Opposition Party Denied Access to Voters Roll

Zimbabwean opposition leader Nelson Chamisa (C) gestures as he takes part in a demonstration outside the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), in Harare, on June 5, 2018 to hand over a petition to the ZEC demanding a series of electoral reforms ahead of the July 30 election. - Thousands of Zimbabwean opposition supporters took to the streets to call for electoral reforms to prevent fraud and voter intimidation ahead of presidential elections on July 30. The opposition are demanding the publication of the full voter roll, independent audits of ballot papers as well as guarantees of safety for non-government candidates. (Photo by Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Zimbabwean opposition party Movement for Democratic Change hasn’t 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 told Bloomberg News in a telephone interview from Zimbabwe’s second 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.”

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 4.30 pm Zimbabwe time that the request to obtain a copy had again been denied. He was advised to “come back another time,” he told Bloomberg News.

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

The elections body 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.

(Adds attempts to contact electoral body, British Embassy.) – Bloomberg