The biometric voter registration (BVR) site validation tests have ended and the final decision on which company will be awarded the tender will be made after due processes in line with the State Procurement Act.

After five days of detailed presentations by the two companies, Laxton Group from China and Dermalog Identification Systems from Germany, the site validation tests ended this Wednesday with the equipment undergoing shock and waterproof tests.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Chairperson, Justice Rita Makarau said after a technical committee made up of the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) and officials from ZEC evaluated the bids from 12 companies that had expressed interest to supply the kits, two companies were then invited for the site tests.

“The next stage will see the evaluators and the technical team presenting their recommendations to the commission. Observers are also expected to forward their comments to the commission by close of business today. The commission will deliberate on the recommendations and comments before making a decision. The awarding of tender will be made in terms of the provisions of the State Procurement Act Chapter 22.14,” Justice Makarau said.

As Zimbabwe moves to embrace appropriate technologies in the election process, it is hoped that the State Procurement Board (SPB) will speed up the selection process so as to afford the electoral body adequate time to train people who will use the equipment to register voters across the country.

The biometric registration will be used for purposes of compiling the voters roll only and on polling day in 2018, a voter will be required to show the BVR card at the polling station.

The election officer will then access the voter’s record, match the biometric feature and compare it to the template originally enrolled in the voting record and stored on a central database, performing a rapid one-to-one match.