A TOP MDC-T official in Bulawayo has said the biometric data capturing system, currently under consideration for implementation by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) was not a new phenomenon, as it existed during the Rhodesian era.
BY SILAS NKALA
MDC-T acting provincial spokesperson, Felix Magalela Sibanda told Southern Eye yesterday that the Rhodesian government used identification cards which captured fingerprints and other biometric data.
“I wish to correct the notion that the BVR (biometric voter registration) system is new and may distort voting results,” he said.
“That’s not correct at all. This biometric system of data capturing is not new as it was used in then Rhodesia and now Zimbabwe. Since colonisation and post-independence, IDs always had fingerprint marks on them. Early 1990s IDs had both face images and fingerprints of the bearer.
“The term bio is not new and for all along we have been using our fingerprints and images unknowing that it is biometric. Let us explain to our kith and kin first and spread outwards later in order to enhance technology in the correct perspective.”
Sibanda’s remarks came after MDC-T secretary-general, Douglas Mwonzora came under fire from other opposition parties, who accused him of allegedly prematurely endorsing the BVR validation process before completion of the exercise.
Zec is currently toying with the idea of using the BVR system to register potential voters ahead of next year’s general elections.
Opposition parties affiliated to the National Electoral Reform Agenda have accused Mwonzora of making a rushed conclusion, which could be manipulated by Zec to award the BVR kits supply tender to an undeserving bidder.
ZEC has shortlisted two international firms — Germany-based Dermalog Identification Systems and Laxton Group Limited from China — to slug it out for the supply of BVR kits through field trial runs.
After the site validation process, the winning bidder will then be awarded the tender to supply about 2 500 BVR kits to create a biometric voters’ roll ahead of the 2018 elections, although the polls will not be run electronically.