The Zimbabwe biometric voter registration (BVR) system is expected to be fully functional in March 2017 as part of a broader plan to utilise ICT in the running of the country’s general elections, scheduled for July 2018. The BVR system will be used during registration and voting. Amid allegations of fraudulent voter registration and ballot stuffing, the local opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) has expressed concern over the security of the infrastructure and the sluggish pace of the implementation of the BVR system.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu described the implementation of the BVR system as “a move in the right direction” but added, “we’re concerned about the security of the software and hardware, which can be manipulated to rig elections.”
The system is designed to capture voters’ unique biometric features, specifically fingerprints and facial imaging, which is then recorded in a database.
As part of the process, the government initiated a tender in December inviting potential local and international companies to supply BVR kits. The tender was closed in January.