The Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN) has cautiously embraced the Biometric Voters Registration (BVR) saying although the arrangement has great potential to transform the electoral system; it requires careful planning, preparation, implementation as well as adequate financial and technical resources.
The electoral watchdog has compiled a BVR fact sheet which urges the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to provide adequate information regarding the implementation of the system to ensure that all stakeholders understand how the system will be implemented.
“ZEC would be required to continuously engage other stakeholders on the process to enhance confidence and trust in the process. The BVR should be backed up by regulations supported by a sound legal framework.
“There is need for an inclusive and comprehensive Voter Education to demystify some of the questions around the introduction of the new technology,” the fact sheet reads.
While noting that BVR improves the quality of the voter register by accurately capturing voters’ data, ZESN warns that dangers still remain if the system is not implemented in accordance with internationally accepted principles and standards.
“BVR is not a panacea to Zimbabwe’s Electoral problems. It must be complemented with other reforms to the administrative, legislative and political environment in which electoral processes are implemented,” it reads.
Government was roundly condemned recently after it attempted to take over administration of the system from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in a move described as a plan to manipulate the system in the next elections.local