Zimbabwean opposition parties on Wednesday demanded that the July 2018 presidential election be conducted by a committee set up by the United Nations and the African Union.
This was because they lost confidence in their local agency.
Leaders from several political parties, including Movement for Democratic Change’s Morgan Tsvangirai, told supporters during a protest rally that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had failed to be partial and should be disbanded.
Police on Wednesday deployed water cannon and anti-riot officers on the streets of the capital ahead of a planned demonstration by opposition parties against changes to the voter registration process.
An anti-government protest of this kind of scenario in August descended into some of the worst violence seen in the southern African nation for two decades as anger over economic hardship boiled over.
President Robert Mugabe, 93 who have been in power for 30 years, is also due to run again after being endorsed by the ruling party.
However, the opposition parties united under a National Election Reform Agenda (NERA) banner are campaigning against a government decision to take over the purchase of biometric voter registration kits from the United Nations.
They fear this will make it easier for President Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party to skew the list of eligible voters in its favour.
Police have allowed the NERA protest march on the outskirts of downtown Harare but have prevented it from heading through the city centre to the offices of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
ZEC denied allegations stating it is biased in favour of ZANU-PF and is run by security agents loyal to the 93-year-old Mugabe.