When the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced that the country was going to adopt Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) system for use in the 2018 harmonised elections most of those that have known the Government of Zimbabwe found this overture to be too good to be true. Coming as it did — a good 30 months ahead of the elections — after minimum lobbying by civic society organisation (CSOs), many became suspicious about this concession that was being readily granted by a government that was intransigently resisting effecting a raft of electoral reforms that opposition parties have been demanding. At the time, some members of these CSOs had told the Financial Gazette that the readiness with which government was willing to let go the “golden” Tobaiwa Mudede-compiled voters’ roll showed that either the ruling party strategists had identified horse and cart loopholes that could be exploited to ZANU-PF’s electoral advantage or it was just a strategy to buy time so that it could plead poverty and shortage of time on the eleventh hour when the only option left would be to revert to the tested old voters’ roll.
When the process to acquire the BVR kits was kick-started with the financial backing from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), after the government had — as expected — pleaded poverty as regards empowering ZEC to acquire the kits, all of a sudden the same government announced that it was taking over the finalisation of the tendering process and was going to fund the purchase of the kits.
Knowing government’s precarious financial position, this development further raised eyebrows in many circles. Before long, the real intention of government started to emerge.
As one African proverb says: When a leopard wants to devour its own cubs, it starts by accusing them of smelling like goats.
Suddenly the State-controlled media started a well-orchestrated campaign to discredit the BVR process, which is now the in-thing on the African continent and beyond.
Full Article: Zimbabwean politics of biometric voter registration system – The Zimbabwe Daily.