The Zimbabwe Republic Police rejected the MDC Alliance’s request to demonstrate against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. Picture: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

Harare ‑ The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on Tuesday rejected the MDC Alliance’s request to demonstrate against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

“Your intention to hold...a demonstration against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has been noted. However, the demonstration could not be sanctioned,” Officer Commanding Harare Central, Chief Superintendent Ncube said in a response addressed to MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora.

ZRP gave some of the reasons why they could not sanction the demonstration.

“You have already applied for a star rally scheduled for July 28, which has already been sanctioned and have already held two demonstrations against Zec... on the same issue,” Ncube said

MDC Alliance has been complaining bitterly over the electoral playfield, accusing Zec of colluding with the ruling Zanu-PF to rig the election.

The electoral body denies assertions by the MDC Alliance that the voters' roll it released was not credible.

The High Court of Zimbabwe on Monday ruled that Zec could not be forced to release biometric components of the roll.

However, at a multi-party liaison meeting held in Harare on Monday afternoon, Zec conceded to some concerns raised by parties.

The electoral body agreed to use the old polling booth set-up, which allows for the privacy of a voter.

Zec had had redesigned the polling booth and voters were now going to vote in full view of polling agents and electoral officials.

They argued that the design was meant to deter voters from taking pictures of the ballots.

Both Zanu PF and MDC were against the new booth set-up by Zec.

Election watchdog Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN) expressed applauded the move.

“We are pleased that Zec have taken this crucial step, which we believe is essential to safeguarding the secrecy of the vote. It is imperative now for the commission and other institutions supporting democracy to ensure that the political environment outside polling stations is devoid of intimidation and harassment of voters before and after voting,” ZESN chairperson Andrew Makoni said.

African News Agency (ANA)