Govt hasn't hijacked BVR kits procurement: Mnangagwa

HARARE - The procurement of biometric voter registration (BVR) kits for the 2018 elections remains under the control of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with government only funding the process, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa told Parliament yesterday.

Responding to a question during a debate, Mnangagwa — who also doubles up as Justice minister — said government will not use its own procurement processes to acquire the kits.

His remarks come amid outrage by opposition parties who accuse government of hijacking the procurement process, after it announced that it had raised $17 million to fund the BVR acquisition.

Parties under the National Electoral Reform Agenda and Coalition for Democracy (Code) have threatened to stage nationwide protests over the BVR kits.

“Government...has agreed to provide the $17 million required to buy that equipment, full stop. So it’s not true that government has taken over,” Mnangagwa said.

“The question of specification as to what type of gadgets is going to be bought is technical; government is not involved. It has agreed to advance $17 million to Zec and I think every Zimbabwean will feel proud that we are independent in finding resources to acquire equipment for ourselves,” he said.

“We are all concerned about free and fair general elections. This is why as political parties we have gone the bio-metric way,” he said, adding “hatina kurasha vukama neUNDP (we have not severed ties with UNDP)”.

Mnangagwa reiterated that UNDP was still assisting with the balance required for voter education and other modalities needed to ensure a free and fair 2018 election.

Glen View North MDC MP Fani Munengami asked why a broke government was scrounging for resources for a process that a foreign donor had already pledged to assist.

“Our country does not have money to pay doctors. We have patients dying in hospitals. So why are we channelling all this money when a friend has already said they would assist?” he questioned.

But Mnangagwa retorted: “I have said we did not break our relationship with those that help us . . . but sometimes as leaders and as government, we should stand and say this is our duty and our job . . . this is a noble thing that we have done.”

Comments (3)

Kkkkk and its not Government's duty to pay doctors. Ngwena don't pull wool over our eyes!!!

Grade 2 - 23 February 2017

Better we revert to one man with ID 1 vote as in 1980. ZANU pf is still going ahead with disenfranchisement

Shungu - 24 February 2017

KKKKK.Ngwena usada kuti tiseke nhamo serugare.How can you opt to pay for something that has already found an organisation willing to fund when we have doctors and teachers that you are failing to pay their salaries?Even a mad person can actually tell kuti you are up to no good.Asi haunyariwo nhai Ngwena ku defender zvinhu zvakadaro?Nyaya irir yekuda kubiridzira ma votes in 2018 kuti mugoramba muchitonga,muchitonga muchingotonga.Gwendo gwuno tinosvitsana kuma penalties.Vanhuyi vasina ganda kumeso?You have proved to be a mafia organisation that only wants its stranglehold to power and damn the povo!

Janana wa Bikaz - 24 February 2017

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