Parly electronic voting still way off – Zvoma

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Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma says although the House of Assembly was fully automated last year, Parliament was not yet ready to use electronic voting equipment.

Automation of Parliament was a major project meant to modernise both the House of Assembly and Senate as well as committee rooms.

The project was funded by the USAID and spearheaded by Speaker of the House of Assembly Lovemore Moyo.

Moyo said the programme was meant to modernise the voting system in Parliament to enable MPs to vote electronically using smart cards.

However, Zvoma told journalists at a media briefing on Monday that electronic voting was not yet ready for use and that Parliament would continue to use the archaic methods.

“The automated system would lend itself open to abuse because there is no single unit dedicated to one MP,” said Zvoma.

“The electronic voting system has not been activated in both Houses.”

Zvoma said both the old system of voting and the electronic voting system employed the secret ballot voting method.

“The number of voting units in the House of Assembly is 69 out of a total of 215 MPs that are eligible to vote.

“Members should have voting cards but they could give one another those voting cards just like what happens in banking where someone can disclose their PIN and ask a relative to withdraw money on their behalf,” said Zvoma.

“We do not want to import cyber crime yet in the House before we make sure the system has been sorted out to ensure each MP has his own voting unit,” he said.

After completion of phase one of the automation of Parliament which saw audio equipment being installed, Moyo said the second phase would concentrate on the mounting of satellite television sets in both Houses of Parliament and cameras that would transmit parliamentary proceedings to the general public.