Zimbabwe must not rush to implement nationwide biometric voter registration (BVR) before a pilot project, given the threat of hacking on technological infrastructure and the financial pitfalls that could plague the process, political analysts have warned. The analysts noted that developed countries like France had since cancelled electronic voting, while Kenya and Ghana that conducted it went through serious challenges that spawned disputed outcomes. The analysts spoke in the wake of a spirited call from opposition parties for the introduction of electronic voter registration and voting, which the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has since started putting in motion.
Seasoned lawyer, diplomat and academic, retired High Court judge, Justice Simbi Mubako, said electronic voting had the potential of creating challenges whose effects could be used to discredit an electoral process.
“I had the occasion of experiencing that in Kenya when I went to observe the election,” he said.
“They used electronic voting and there were serious challenges on it. Mind you, Zimbabwe is predominantly rural. How do you implement it given infrastructure and technological requirements when most areas have no electricity? We will end up reverting to the manual system.”