Source: Biometric kits testing to start – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 17, 2017
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) says it plans to conduct site validation tests for Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits for the first shortlisted companies from April 20 to 26 before government purchases the most suitable equipment.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Zec in a letter dated April 11 this year, invited all stakeholders including political parties and civil society, to observe the process.
“The validation test is part of the procurement process aimed at testing conformity of the kit to specifications, durability and suitability. In view of the important role stakeholders play in the entire electoral process, the commission is inviting you to be part of this process as an observer,” part of the letter read.
Opposition parties affiliated to the National Elections Reform Agenda (Nera) said they had hired international experts to observe the equipment and the process to ensure they were in conformity with international best practices.
“We expected these short notices from ZEC, therefore technical experts were ready. We now have to fight to make sure they are accredited by the 19th of April 2017 and can attend. Let’s keep the fight going, victory is certain as long as we keep fighting,” Nera said in a statement.
Nera members have accused the Zanu PF government of hijacking the procurement of BVR kits in order to manipulate the voter registration process and election results.
United Nations agencies had initially offered to procure the kits on behalf of the government before the Zanu PF regime made a U-turn and snubbed the offer under unclear circumstances.
Government is now expected to raise at least $17 million for the BVR kits.