OUTGOING Home Affairs co-minister Theresa Makone yesterday said she was not privy to the operations of shadowy Israeli group Nikuv International Projects (NIP) which has been accused by her MDC-T party of rigging the July 31 polls.
Makone said when the MDC-T joined the inclusive government in 2009, NIP had already been contracted by the then Zanu PF-led government to provide technical support to the Registrar-General’s offices located at the army’s KGVI headquarters.
Surprisingly, however, her Zanu PF counterpart in the ministry, Kembo Mohadi, said he was unaware of the presence of Nikuv in the country. That is despite the fact that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission acknowledged Nikuv’s operations in the country saying the company had been contracted by the Registrar-General’s Office.
Makone told NewsDay she had been denied direct access to the company’s offices to establish their involvement in national registration.
“Nikuv has been with the Home Affairs ministry before my time. I don’t know how they were introduced and what their actual role was, but I am told their job was to provide technical expertise, but I didn’t have access to them,” said Makone.
“They supplied equipment used by Home Affairs and the Registrar-General. They supplied technical expertise and maintenance of that equipment. They have been there for years, but what role they played, I can’t tell you.
“They live here in Zimbabwe and are based at KGVI where their equipment is. I have been to their offices in Tel Aviv (Israel) and I know they can do anything. If it was their role to provide a clean voters’ roll, they could have done it within 24 hours and if the instruction was otherwise, then they also could have done it in 24 hours. I am distressed that they were unable to provide the electronic voters’ roll.”
But Mohadi said: “There is nothing that I know of. Why are they (MDC-T) saying it now after the elections? They should have raised it before the elections. If they have issues, they should bring them forward, but I don’t know about that.”