Chaos rocks BVR test accreditation


CHAOS yesterday rocked the accreditation of political parties seeking to be part of the site validation test of the biometric voter registration (BVR) process that is scheduled to start today at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).


Some of the political parties said they were not informed about the validation test, but felt they could not be left out of the important process, hence they had come to accredit like others.

On the other hand, political parties working under one group said they wanted additional people to be co-opted into the team, but Zec was still to respond to them by yesterday evening.

Drama nearly unfolded when party representatives, patiently waiting to be addressed by Zec officials, were given marching orders by the police.

However, the stand-off with the police did not last long as the law enforcers seemed to have heeded the explanation by the political parties.

MDC-T secretary-general, Douglas Mwonzora told the police that political parties could not be chased away like criminals when Zec had formally invited them for accreditation.

“This development shows Zec is conflated with the oppressive State apparatus. It called us for accreditation, but it has not done the accreditation. There is no transparency at all and the police are threatening to arrest people who are peaceful, who are not riotous at all,” he said.

“This also shows that this process is not going to be transparent. We should condemn that.”

Mwonzora said the bone of contention was on them bringing their technical experts.

“We have written a letter to [Zec chairperson, Rita] Makarau today (yesterday) that besides the political parties observing the validation process, we are insisting that the political parties must bring their own technical experts to examine the machines and appreciate the technical process that is taking place. We have those technical experts, who can help us ask the correct questions and to appreciate this process much better.”

MDC spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi said they were demanding transparency on the process.

“We are simply demanding our space. Zec is now using divide-and-rule tactics by handpicking some political parties, while leaving out others. We are demanding a satisfactory explanation over the privatisation of the BVR site validation test. We are not expecting Zec to redefine democracy or privately run the election preparatory process,” he said.

Zec said the validation test is part of the procurement process aimed at testing conformity of the kits to specifications, durability and suitability.

Today there will be a briefing followed by presentation by bidders tomorrow, laboratory test (April 22), training of voter registration operators (April 23), and field test from (April 24 to 26).