Zec kick-starts BVR kits trials

Source: Zec kick-starts BVR kits trials – DailyNews Live

Bridget Mananavire      25 April 2017

HARARE – The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) yesterday conducted field
trials for Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits at Mabvuku High School
in Harare, with two bidders’ systems being put under the test.

Students from the school below the age of 18 were taken through a mock
registration process to test the kits’ viability.

The bidders, Chinese firm Laxton Group Limited and Dermalog Identification
Systems from Germany, each had two kits processing the registration of
students, with one on standby in case the other crashes.

Observers, Zec officials, government officials and other stakeholders were
at the venue assessing the progress of the mock registration.

Briefing the media in Harare, the commission’s chairperson Rita Makarau
said the observers – political parties and civil society organisations –
were not allowed to ask any questions or interview bidders and assessors.

Today, the tests will be at Murape Secondary School in Seke.

Another shortlisted bidder, ZETES from Belgium, withdrew for unknown

Addressing observers last week, Makarau said the invitation to let
observers take part in the trial process was meant to promote transparency
of the process.

“Our invitation to you to observe this important stage is part of Zec’s
initiative to ensure stakeholder participation in its activities and to
enhance transparency in all its electoral processes,” Makarau said.

“You will therefore be able to . . . observe the site validation tests of
their (bidders) respective kits to assess whether they are fit for
purpose,” she said.

“You are, however, not to interfere with any of the processes . . . no
questions or interviews are to be made with those assigned to carry out
specific tasks during these tests.”

Makarau added: “As observers, you will be expected to make written
recommendations to Zec after the tests. Your recommendations will assist
Zec in making a decision on the award of the tender.”

According to Makarau, the tests must conform with supplied specifications,
including having a laptop, webcam, light source, photo background
material, fingerprint scanner, thermal printer and solar power kit among
others which will be under scrutiny.

Shock and waterproof tests will also be conducted.