The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) will commence site validation tests of the biometric voter registration (BVR) equipment for the next five days, starting this Friday as part of the electoral body’s initiative to ensure stakeholder participation and to enhance transparency in the electoral processes.
Stakeholders that included representatives from political parties, civil society organisations, faith based organisations as well as media houses attended an observers briefing held at the ZEC headquarters this Thursday in Harare.
ZEC Chairperson, Justice Rita Makarau said companies that had submitted their bids to provide the BVR equipment were evaluated by a joint team of ZEC officials and UNDP representatives and the selection criteria was based on technical compliance of their gadgets.
The two companies that have been shortlisted, Laxton Group Limited from China and Dermalog Identification Systems from Germany are now in the country with their kits which will be put under test to see if they are appropriate.
The actual site validation process will take five days commencing this Friday.
Justice Makarau said the field tests will be conducted at Mabvuku High School on Monday the 24th and at Murape Secondary School in Seke on the 25th.
“Each school has been requested to provide 150 pupils below the age of 18 who will participate in the mock BVR exercise,” she said.
ZEC Chief Elections Officer, Mrs Constance Chigwamba said those that have been accredited to observe the mock registration exercise should refrain from interfering with the processes and must not try to influence the bidding process.
Various stakeholders have been accredited and will witness presentations by the two bidders.
At the end of tests, observers are expected to make written submissions to the electoral body and ZEC is expected to use the recommendations when awarding the tender to the company that will then supply the kits.