Zec goes the biometric voters’ roll way

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HARARE – Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is hunting for $55 million to ensure that the 2018 elections are held using a biometric voters’ roll.

Speaking to journalists at the All Stakeholders engagement on voter registration in Harare yesterday, Zec chairperson Rita Makarau said they were planning to run the 2018 elections using the in-vogue biometric voters’ roll system.

“If you remember the 2013 elections, one of the sticking issues which came out was the state of our voters’ roll.

“So, as we prepare for the 2018 elections we are trying to see how we can improve the integrity of that voters’ roll so that we don’t have the same observation coming up in 2018. We have stated the cost and the most expensive that we are looking at is about $55 million.

Makarau added that the biometric voters’ roll is the best way to go.

“The four options we are presenting are manual, electronic, biometric-with just facial image — and the biometric with facial image and finger prints.

“The last option appears to be the best because it eradicates duplication. We are going to get the response from political parties on the options, but as Zec ,we are entitled to make a decision because we are independent.”

Paradoxically, it is the government of the day, in this case Zanu PF that will fund the process.

“The government will have to fund this process and if there is any assistance from technical partners it will be an assistant but the main funders will be the government. We had already communicated with the government and their response is very good,” said Makarau.

Speaking at the same meeting, UN country coordinator Bishow Parajuli said although UNDP was able to finance the first stage it does not have enough funds to bankroll the second stage.

“For this second stage, UNDP does not have sufficient resources to provide support for all the proposed project activities and will therefore count on the cooperation and partnership of other development partners as well as government’s own commitment to the process.”

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