BVR kits suppliers demand at least $4m


THE two international firms bidding to supply biometric voter registration (BVR) kits to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) are charging between $4 million and $5,5 million each for the equipment currently on field trials, NewsDay has learnt.



According to the companies’ event bid history supplied to stakeholders involved in the validation tests, Germany-based Dermalog Identification Systems wants $5,5 million for its equipment, while Laxton Group Limited from China’s bid is close to $4 million.

The BVR package include a laptop with encryptable USB ports, internal high capacity, extended life battery which lasts for a minimum of six hours before recharging, digital signature pad and pen, fingerprint scanner, ID and document scanner, digital camera, solar kits and encryptable USB flash disks that are not usable on any other media.

During the ongoing site validation tests, Zec will be testing, among other specifications, the quality of pictures taken, easy movement of equipment from one site to the other during voter registration and the number of voters that the kits can register per hour and per day.

The two companies will be required to set up their equipment in both rural and urban settings where tests will be done on log-in time and input all the required information.

Hardware will also be tested for dust, water and shock-proof, the operating hours of the battery and time required to recharge the batteries through use of electricity and solar power.

Opposition parties under the National Electoral Reform Agenda banner have hired their own BVR experts to observe the site validation tests and submit their observations to Zec to assist in the final decision-making process.

After the site validation processes, the winning bidder whose equipment would have satisfied the assessors will then be awarded the tender to supply about 2 500 BVR kits to create a biometric voters’ roll ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections, although the polls will not be conducted electronically.


  1. quite expensive for a country as poor as Zimbabwe considering this equipment will be used for registering voters and discarded.And what is it about storing such important info on flash discs.There is a risk of them getting lost .

    • no equipment will be discarded. Voter registration is a continuous exercise as there are Zimbabweans who are turning 18 every day and by right should be registered to vote.Risk of data loss on any storage medium is always there but controls should be put in place to safeguard security of the data which security is currently being evaluated by experts. We must not rush to conclusions before we have full cost benefit analysis of the new system. Do you have the costs of maintaining the current system. If we don’t have that what are we comparing the costs of the new system with.

  2. This shows that democracy will not come cheap. But 4 million spent on trying to have fairer elections will be money spent well. I am sure Mugabe has 4 million in his back pocket.

  3. These laptops and scanners should be hired and not owned,maybe own just a few for the central offices. in 5 years when ZEC does its next voter registration (though they will tell you its an ongoing process), the current technology would have been refreshed many times over, and this kit would still be in perfect newish condition even in 10 years

  4. even if it is 17million demanded by the supplies its ok,because a clean and fair voters roll will be produced. How many millions in the hands of the individuals. 15billion yakarova takasvinura sematemba

  5. 1. we don’t need to own those things, lets hire instead, who knows by 2023 when we expect to vote again there will be advancement in technology.
    2. the whole voting thing must be done electronically,even the polls to avoid rigging, then external monitors must be put in place EXCLUDING the Chineese.
    3. that Company from China will win the tender not because their service is cheap, but because they will provide equipment which they will break its security whenever ZANU P.F thugs want to rig the election. e.g that scanner can be programmed to accept two chances per person or allow to vote in two diiferent wards. tikubatwa maziso.
    4. this government will never risk giving a fair election, they know they are out numbered already.

  6. Why use Flash Disks when you can have a secure centralised database on a high powered server which all these laptops connect to. Network coverage has improved a lot and we do not need to risk such valuable information being transported on flash disks.

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