Makarau buckles

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Justice Rita Makarau has buckled under pressure and assured opposition parties that the government will not fiddle with the procurement process for biometric voter registration (BVR) kits or the independence of her commission, NewsDay has heard.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Rita Makarau

Rita Makarau

In a letter to the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera), a grouping of 13 political parties pushing for her ouster among other electoral reforms, Makarau said government was only providing funding and would not interfere with the procurement.

“We wish to reiterate our position, as indicated to you in the meeting, that government has not taken over the procurement process of BVR kits. Government, instead of UNDP [United Nations Development Programme], is now providing the funding, while Zec becomes the procuring entity,” she said.

Parties under the Nera banner held a demonstration last week demanding that government fires Justice Makarau and allow a United Nations as well as Sadc-supervised poll. She walked out of a meeting with opposition parties demanding “respect”, claiming she had been undermined and abused.

Tempers have flared with opposition political parties accusing Zec and the Zanu PF-led government of trying to rig the election by tampering with the transparent procurement of BVR kits which was being run by the UNDP.

Justice Makarau said: “The commission wishes to assure all stakeholders that transparency shall be maintained throughout the procurement process of the BVR kits. There will be no retendering or invitation of new bidders in the process. Only those who were involved from the beginning will be considered.”

Zec did not, however, clarify whether all 14 companies that placed their bids would be included or it would stick to the seven who qualified under the UNDP vetting.

Justice Makarau also said the commission would continue to work with UNDP using their money to pay for other unfunded aspects of its operations.

“The funds which had been sourced by the UNDP for BVR kits will be channelled to other needy areas by the commission. Be rest assured that the move does not threaten Zec’s independence in any way,” she said in the letter.

MDC-T secretary-general and Nera legal adviser Douglas Mwonzora called for more pressure, adding last week’s demonstration had worked.
“It was not in vain. We shall continue keeping our eyes open to ensure that it’s not government which will seek to procure these kits. We will continue to fight,” Mwonzora said.

10 Responses to Makarau buckles

  1. fresh March 27, 2017 at 6:28 am #

    Be careful of these decoys. Hope you have learnt from the past. Kurumwa muchi furudzirwa

  2. Dzvinyangoma March 27, 2017 at 7:56 am #

    No buckling here. The government was always going to provide funding while ZEC would do the procuring as an independent commission as provided for in the constitution.

  3. Sagitarr March 27, 2017 at 8:34 am #

    The voting field is not yet level. We want to know in advance:-
    1- what will be done to parties flouting election campaigning rules
    2 – how long it will take to count votes
    3 – confirmation that each polling station will count and display vote count
    4 – measures to ensure food aid is not used to lure voters and what action will be taken against culprits.
    5. when the govt will be dissolved with incumbents all leaving the current posts to make way for transition.
    etc

  4. imbwa March 27, 2017 at 8:40 am #

    Opposition yemuno inodhuva kubvuma nhema in a blink of the eye. Dindingwe harichinje mavara iri. Saggittar you are very right, toda reforms in all aspects.

  5. Zvechokwadi March 27, 2017 at 9:03 am #

    Why not using UNDP money for the voriginal purpose or procuring the BVR kits. Be careful ZEC is ZANU PF controlled.

  6. interbe March 27, 2017 at 9:18 am #

    why cash strapped govt refuse UNDP offer, it defies logic

  7. Wezhira wezhara March 27, 2017 at 11:11 am #

    Where does the Government get that money from when they are failing to pay civil servants on time? UNDP rambayi nemari yenyu inonotenga mabhasikoro kuTsholotsho futi.

  8. just being candid March 27, 2017 at 4:11 pm #

    If UNDP money is going to be used at all, why divert it from the original purpose. Its just not making sense. The UN facilitated our first elections in 1980. Let them help.

  9. Patrick Guramatunhu March 27, 2017 at 8:04 pm #

    ZANU PF IS A MASTER TACTICIAN AT MAKING A MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLE HILL. UNPD BUYING THE KIT WILL NEVER STOP ZANU PF RIGGING THE ELECTION BUT LISTENING TO MWONZORA ONE WOULD BE FORGIVEN TO THINK MDC-T HAS NOT ONLY STOPPED ALL VOTE RIGGING BUT HAS ALREADY WON THE ELECTIONS!

  10. Tembertshuma March 27, 2017 at 9:43 pm #

    Rita u are very stupid inombo piwa mari namungabe evry time u want zanupf to win but nothing change we are sufferd from poverdy and now u want cntn rigging fool

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