It would appear as though the Israeli Security Company, Nikuv International Projects is one of the twelve bidders that have answered the call by ZEC to supply the electoral commission with Biometric Registration Kits and Software.
Before end of year last year, the Electoral commission advertised a tender that welcomed willing local and international tech savvy companies with the capacity to supply biometric voter registration kits. Apparently ZEC opened the bids in the presence of selected few stakeholders of the economy excluding the forth arm of the state, the watchdog of the state,the media. Which has been an eyebrow raiser.
All that is known from a reliable source who attended the opening of the tender by ZEC, is that twelve companies submitted their bids and one of them is Nikuv. It is said that worry registered on the faces of those in attendance at the possibility of Nikuv being the victor for the tender that was up for grabs.
We are well aware of the bad history that Zimbabwe has with Nikuv with regards to elections during the last election that Zimbabwe had. In 2013 this security firm was accused of facilitating a fraudulent election, in fact it was fingered as having aided in the results that were greatly disputed by opposition party MDC then.
Out of the twelve companies it is has been availed that they submitted tenders whose value ranges from between $3,7 million and $10,7 million. ZEC is quoted to have submitted that it will look for the cheapest and best qualified company to best provide the kits.
There shall be the shortlisting of the companies and the three shortlisted are expected to carry out a pilot scheme between the 8th and 9th of February this year. This pilot scheme shall make use of school going children below the legal age of majority, which is 18 years. This is so as to demystify the notion that voters names will be registered in the voters roll to be used in the anticipated 2018 election.
ZEC has long since confirmed that the registration process to vote shall begin in May and should be complete after eight months thereafter. It is anticipated that 1500 kits will be used for voter registration at 10 000 polling stations across Zimbabwe and ZEC officials will be positioned at each polling centre for 15 days.
Each polling station shall be endowed with a finger print scanner, kit box , camera and solar kit whilst a printer, ID scanner, barcode scanner, document and signature pad are optional.
Other jurisdictions that have engaged the services of Nikuv International Projects especially for elections include Botswana, particularly the Botswana Democratic Party in the 2014 election. And of course not forgetting the controversial elections in Zambia in 1996 where its services were engaged to manage and computerise voter registration by the Movement for Multiparty Democracy party( MMD). So it wll most probably be the first time they actually provide BVR kits.
Among other services that the firm offers, Nikuv provides package solution, knowledge and expert skills that any government may require to leverage advanced technologies in the areas of administration, security, civil planning and infrastructure development as per nikuv website