The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has conducted the second and final biometric voter registration (BVR) site validation test at Murape Secondary School in Seke rural district.
Speaking to ZBC News on the sidelines of the second bvr site validation test, United Nations Development Fund permanent representative to Zimbabwe Mr Bishow Parajuli says the commitment by the Zimbabwean government to fund the procurement of BVR kits in collaboration with cooperating partners enhances ownership and sustainability of the programme.
The two companies were demonstrating how the equipment performs in a rural setting where electricity may not be readily available and contingency measures that can be applied in case of a systems breakdown.
At least US$30 million is required to procure 2 500 BVR kits from the company that will win the tender.
The Zimbabwean government has already committed US$17 million towards the purchasing of the BVR kits while co-operating partners are expected to chip in with the remainder.
Mr Parajuli commended the process saying it reinforces the element of positive engagement and transparency.
The set up at Murape Secondary School in Seke just like at Mabvuku High 1 School in the capital, resembled a proper registration site.
150 all aged below 17 and who will not be part of the 2018 voter population went through the same mock registration process.
ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau, representatives from political parties, civic organisations and other stakeholders were also present observing how the procedures were being conducted and how the equipment was performing.
After the site validation tests, the evaluation team is expected to present written submissions to the ZEC on their assessment of the two bidders, Dermalog Identification Systems from Germany and Laxton Group Limited from China.
BVR systems are becoming popular with more countries opting for the electronic voters rolls because of a number of advantages, which include the system’s ability to prevent duplicate registrations.