Zimbabwe electoral body receives all registration kits for 2018 polls

HARARE, Oct. 6 — Zimbabwe’s electoral body has received the
remaining 2,600 biometric voter registration (BVR) kits from Laxton Group,
paving the way for commencement of a countrywide voter registration blitz
ahead of next year’s presidential polls.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) received an initial 400 BVR kits
from the Chinese company in August, which it used to launch district-based
voter registration on Sept. 14. The latest consignment brings to 3,000 the
total number of BVR kits that ZEC has received from Laxton Group. “I can
confirm that the kits are in the country now and that at the moment they
are undergoing acceptance tests by our technicians and technical experts,”
ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau was quoted as saying by the state-run Herald
newspaper on Tuesday. Zimbabwe is using BVR technology for the first time
which entails capturing a person’s fingerprints, facial features and
identity card details. This is meant to address concerns of vote fraud
which marred Zimbabwe’s elections in the past. ZEC intends to register 7
million voters for next year’s polls, up from 6.8 million registered in the
2013 elections. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, 93, will seek
re-election in next year’s polls after being endorsed by his ruling ZANU-PF
party as its presidential candidate. – XINHUA