THOUSANDS of Zimbabwean opposition supporters took to the streets on Tuesday to call for electoral reforms to prevent fraud and voter intimidation ahead of presidential elections on July 30.
Brandishing placards, singing and dancing, noisy activists defied the cold and marched with the main Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to the country's electoral commission in Harare, halting traffic and drawing onlookers.
"We will not allow an election which is not free and fair," MDC leader Nelson Chamisa told supporters after handing over a petition to the commission.
"We are prepared to do anything necessary. We will keep pressuring them. We will do this every day until we get the reforms we want."
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.
"Why are you deploying soldiers against a political party?" Chamisa asked the crowds which marched watched by a heavy security presence.
Opposition parties are also calling for military personnel seconded to the commission to be removed.
Zimbabwe's next polls will be the first since the fall of long-time ruler Robert Mugabe who was forced to step down following a brief military takeover in November and replaced by former ousted deputy, President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Mugabe had been in power since Zimbabwe's independence from British colonial rule in 1980. News24