Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, (ZEC) has kick-started field tests for the bio-metric voter registration kits in Mabvuku despite opposition parties and civic groups expressing concern over the lack of transparency in the whole process.
ZEC has identified Mabvuku and Seke rural for its field tests as part of the requirements of the tendering process, according to the chairperson Rita Makarau.
“This mock registration is part of a tender requirement and it takes place in simultaneously in two different mock registration centers,” said Makarau during a field test at Mabvuku High School on Monday
She added that the tendering companies are expected to train people who will use the system as it will also be considering as part of their assessment to award the winning tender.
As part of the field testing process, ZEC was looking at equipment set up and time to do so, flashing out of double registration, how the webcam captures the photography, how the finger print scanner captures the finger print and battery life of the kit among other considerations.
Field testing which is currently underway involves two shortlisted companies Dermalog Identification System from Germany and a Chinese based outfit Laxton Group Limited.
Opposition parties and civil society organizations in the country are unconvinced that the whole process of awarding tenders for BVR kits could benefit the ruling Zanu PF which was previously accused of using its state power of grabbing the procurement process of United Nations Development Programme which had committed resources to fund the process.
Recently, police turned down a request by the National Election Reform Agenda (NERA) to hold a demonstration against the government takeover of BVR procurement.
The BVR kit testing proceeds with the field test to be held at Murape Secondary School in Seke rural area on Tuesday 25 April.