Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission yesterday conducted field tests at Mabvuku High School for the Biometric Voter Registration kits from the two companies bidding to supply the kits ahead of next year’s harmonised elections.
The companies bidding to supply the kits are Dermalog Identification Systems from Germany and Laxton Group Limited from China.
ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said 10 officials had been trained to operate the BVR kits as required by the tender document.
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“This training is provided for in the tender document and forms part of the assessment tasks. The training was conducted in the presence of ZEC and accredited observers. The mock registration is part of a tender requirement,” she said.
She said 150 students took part in the mock registration exercise.
“During the mock registration exercise the operators (data capturers) are to register 150 students who have been selected for this purpose.
“The students should be aged 17 years and below by 31 December 2017 and will not be part of the 2018 voter population,” Justice Makarau said.
During yesterday’s field tests the assessors were testing various issues that include time taken to set up the equipment, flashing out double registrations, how the webcam captures photographs, how the finger print scanner captures the finger print and battery life of the kit.
Justice Makarau commended the various stakeholders that have participated in the process so far.
“ZEC would like to thank all stakeholders who have taken time to participate in the process thus far and urge exercise of patience, caution and refrain from making public pronouncements on the process.
“The commission wishes to reassure the nation on its unwavering commitment to transparency, professionalism and inclusive participation in the electoral,” Justice Makarau said.
ZEC will today hold another field test at Murape Secondary School in Seke.
The tests will conclude tomorrow while the evaluation team will compile its report and present it to ZEC on Thursday.
The report will then be presented to the State Procurement Board on Friday.
The two companies bidding for the tender to supply the kits were chosen from a list of 12 organisations.
The companies were selected by an evaluation team comprising of officials from ZEC and the United Nations Development Programme.