Government of Zimbabwe has taken over the procurement of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in a development that has will likely threaten the credibility of 2018 elections.
Addressing journalists in Harare on Wednesday, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Chairperson Rita Makarau said government has made a commitment that it will fund the acquisition of BVR kits.
“I also want to make this announcement at this stage to say that the government of Zimbabwe has come on board and has decided that it will fund the acquisition of the BVR kits instead of letting the UNDP do it on its own,” Makarau said.
She added: “So the government is now on board whatever the successful bidder will require the government will pay.”
Asked why the government decided to take over the process, Makarau professed ignorance saying she cannot speak on behalf of government.
“I wish I could speak on behalf of government…you may want to ask government…I don’t know why they decided to come up now,” Makarau said.
Further asked if the process will not fail the transparency and corruption test, Makarau added that ZEC will make sure that there is no corruption.
“We are in charge of the process as ZEC and we will make sure that there is no corruption,” Makarau said.
ZEC chairperson said the Commission had received US$900 000 to carry out the mapping exercise and has to date used $400 000.
Makarau said 12 companies were shortlisted on the tendering process. “Of the 12 companies seven are said to have failed technically and five are said to be compliant. Out of the five the committee will select three companies that will bring their equipment into the country and demonstrate on the ground and after that one supplier will be selected,” she said.