By Nkanyiso Ncube
ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it is expecting to receive the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits by end of August this year if things go according to plan.
The kits are going to be supplied by Chinese based Laxton Group Limited who won the tender ahead of a German company called Dermalog Identification Systems.
Dermalog was asking for about US$5.5 million to supply the equipment while Laxton pegged their kits at US$3.9 million.
Addressing senior police officers in Harare on Electoral Laws and Policing Elections ahead of the 2018 general elections, ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau, said if the supplier was to adhere to the contract, the kits will arrive in the country by end of August.
“We have now signed a contract with a supplier of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits as of now and the kits should be supplied in terms of that contract. And we are firmly on our way to going biometrically in terms of voter registration. The contract was signed with Laxton Group of Companies which is from China,” she said.
Makarau told the police officers that the repeal of some of the laws has seen some changes taking place especially with regards to the issue of special voting and added that all election staff deployed away from their voting stations during election period will miss the 2018 voting rights.
The election body is in the process of coming up with a new biometric voter’s roll for the 2018 elections and this voter’s role is also expected to help in the implementation of polling station based voting a departure from the current ward-based voting.
According to ZEC, BVR kits are going to help address the issue of ghost voters and multiple registration from the voter’s list.
In previous elections opposition parties have complained that there was rigging of elections using multiple registrations.