Govt secures $17m for biometric voter registration kits

Source: Govt secures $17m for biometric voter registration kits – DailyNews Live

Farayi Machamire      16 February 2017

HARARE – Government has now secured $17 million to fund the acquisition of
biometric voter registration (BVR) kits for the 2018 elections, the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) said yesterday.

Government had pledged $17 million while other development partners
through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) pledged the

The biometric polling station-based voter registration process is supposed
to be financed jointly by the government of Zimbabwe and the UNDP.

“I also want to make an announcement at this stage now that the government
of Zimbabwe has come on board and has decided that it will fund the
acquisition of the BVR kits instead of letting the UNDP do it on its own,”
Zec chairperson Rita Makarau told a press briefing yesterday.

“It will fund whatever award is given to the bidder; they will fund that
acquisition of BVR kits.”

Makarau could not be drawn to say why government had taken so long to come
on board.

“I can’t speak on behalf of government, you would have to ask them but we
are grateful they have come on board as this is a national process and we
would have loved that they pay for everything right from the word go,” she

This comes after Zec and UNDP flighted a tender in December inviting
potential local and international companies to supply the BVR kits. The
tender closed on January 17.

Makarau also revealed that five companies had been shortlisted to supply
the kits.

She said out of the 12 companies which were assessed, seven of the bids
were non-compliant.

“Out of those five bids, three will be selected to then come into the
country with their equipment on a selected date and to demonstrate on the
ground what their equipment can do,” she said.

“After the site validation tests, we can award the tender to one supplier
who will supply us with the BVR kits.

“The tendering process – because we were being financed by the UNDP – was
done on the UNDP e-Platform which was run from Copenhagen.

“The bids were opened and we all witnessed the opening of the bids here
through technology,” Makarau said.

The BVR process, which is expected to start next month, will be one of the
key electoral processes which will culminate in the creation of a fresh
voters’ roll and would capture biometrics such as a person’s unique
physical traits and fingerprints among other things.