Zec takes delivery of 2 600 BVR kits

HARARE - Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) on Wednesday took delivery of the remaining  2 600 biometric voter registration (BVR) kits.

The BVR kits were undergoing customs clearance by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority yesterday before being released to the country’s electoral management body.

This comes after Zec launched the BVR exercise on September 18, four days after the date proclaimed by President Robert Mugabe.

The launch saw the setting up of 63 registration centres countrywide, utilising 400 BVR kits received early September.

The latest arrival of 2 600 kits will see Zec opening 10 000 registration centres countrywide.

Each kit has the capacity to register an average 80 to 100 voters per day.

Zec deputy chairperson Emmanuel Magade confirmed the arrival of the kits and was optimistic the development will allow Zec to bring biometric registration to the doorstep of every Zimbabwean.

“Yes, it’s a fact that they are now here and I am not fantasising,” Magade told the Daily News yesterday.

“I would like to believe that it’s the rest of the outstanding consignment – 2 600 kits—as a result, we are really on course to launch the blitz in early October. We will hit the ground running,” he said.

The commission said it will be embarking on widespread voter education ahead of the blitz BVR exercise.

“Right now, there are other process which are underway that feed into the bigger picture like training of voter educators and the training of voter registration officials who will be involved in the blitz,” Magade said.

“Obviously, because the kits have just arrived, we need to attend to formalities like customs clearance.”

As of September 25,         10 999 citizens had biometrically registered to vote in next year’s elections with the commission expecting that number to pick up pace with the arrival of more BVR kits.

“The registrants are now coming in full swing and this is quickening the process,” Zec said in a statement on Tuesday.

“It is now taking an average five minutes to register one person. For example, Harare district managed to surpass the average figure and registered 120 and 144 people on Thursday and Friday respectively.

“The kit operators are thus picking up the pace as they become more familiar with the kits.”

Magade also called for calm, saying Zec was working round the clock to bring Zimbabwe a free, fair, credible and verifiable election.

“Our desire is to have a process that is transparent and as all-inclusive as possible and the nation will be advised imminently of any further developments,” Magade said.

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