Harare: The world’s oldest person is 141 years of age and lives in Zimbabwe. Not far behind is a 134-year-old, also in Zimbabwe.
At least that’s according to the country’s voters’ roll, which has come under sharp scrutiny ahead of the July 30 election, the first in decades without longtime leader Robert Mugabe.
The main Opposition party has called the voters’ roll deeply flawed and the most prominent sign that the election's credibility is at risk.
Today, thousands of people are expected to rally in the capital, Harare, to call for more transparency.
While President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took power when Mugabe was pressured to step down in November, and the election commission have pledged a free and fair election, the issues with the voters’ roll have many worried that Zimbabwe’s government is failing to break with a long past of alleged election fraud.
The strikingly old voters are just one concern. The voters’ roll also shows more than 100 people registered at a single address and has multiple people sharing a single ID number, according to the main Opposition’s chief election agent, Jameson Timba.
“In our view, the voters’ roll is not fit for purpose,” said main Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, who is in a coalition with several smaller parties that also are taking part in today’s demonstration.
The Opposition’s suspicions extend to the ballots’ printing, storage, design and even paper quality.
Confidence in the election has run so low that the opposition now encourages its supporters to carry their own pens into the voting booths because they don't trust the ones provided.