Zec, Nikuv BVR ‘rigging’ plot exposed

The integrity of next year’s elections is already in question, as it emerged that Israeli company, Nikuv International Project, could be roped in through the backdoor to manage, store and compile voters’ data ahead of the 2018 general elections, a development likely to raise eyebrows and questions about the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (Zec) much-hyped biometric voter registration (BVR) exercise.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Zec chairperson Rita Makarau
Zec chairperson Rita Makarau

The fears arose after revelations that Zec was silent on how the data collected from registration would be stored, which is an integral part of the process.

Laxton Group, which won the tender to supply BVR kits, fears it could be unwittingly used as a cover for a grand election-rigging scheme.

Sources said the Chinese firm, which was recently awarded the tender to supply the kits, was resisting attempts to use its name in a development which could tarnish its international reputation.

Top secret documents compiled by Laxton Group Limited’s chief legal officer, Paul Bellin, and shared among the company’s board of directors and security chiefs in Zimbabwe, expose highly irregular issues in the manner in which Zec will handle voters’ data.

Chief among the fears expressed by Bellin are data security, accountability, technical compatibility and time risks, which Laxton Group says could soil their reputation.

“This is a highly alarming risk. Zec does not appear to have this infrastructure in place and when Laxton raised this issue, it fell on deaf ears.

“It was also made clear that Zec intends using an alternative company to provide the central system, which was even more alarming,” reads the leaked report.

The objective of the report was to provide a risk analysis of the BVR tender for evaluation by Laxton’s board of directors prior to entering into a contract with Zec.

Laxton, in its risk report, said it was alarmed that Zec sought to roll out the BVR system without providing for a central system to manage, back up and collate the data or disaster recovery.

Bellin said buying the BVR kits without the central system was like buying a car without an engine, because it was the driver and crux in managing the collected data.

“Typically, a central system is put in place before BVR kits are rolled out … the BVR kits without the central system are useless, they work together as a team,” the report reads.

“The BVR kits collect the data in the field, which they transmit to the central system. The central system is the brain that consolidates and processes the millions of records registered on the kits and removes all the duplicates to allow for a clean accurate voters’ roll to be produced.

“It’s confusing as to why this central system is not being contracted to the same company providing the kits. It’s like buying a car without an engine. They are very much symbiotic systems.”

Laxton said in the event Zec proceeded to contract another company to provide the central system, it would not be held accountable for the system’s failures.

“If issues arise, it is virtually impossible to know who is accountable. With multiple parties handling the system, then who is responsible if an issue arises? It will make it too easy to point fingers at each other,” reads the report.

On the technical risks, Laxton said if Zec insisted on using their BVR kits on a central system from another company, it could get “messy”.

“It’s like buying an Apple iPhone and trying to load android applications on it. It results in a messy solution and major effort and frustration to integrate the two systems in order to talk to each other. Then there are continuous compatibility headaches that continue into the future,” reads the report.

Laxton officials refused to comment on the leaked document, referring all questions to Zec owing to contractual agreements of confidentiality signed between the two.

The tender specifications on the BVR equipment advertised by the United Nations Development Programme did not include supply or setting-up of the central system.

But it required that BVR kits should have connectivity to a database and should have encrypted user identifiable data backup storage, which will be used to transfer data from one place to the other.

Sources told NewsDay that Zec would use Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede’s passport database, which was set up by Nikuv as its central system. Nikuv was, in the 2013 elections, accused by opposition parties of conniving with Zanu PF to rig and manipulate the voters’ roll.

Efforts to get comment from Zec chairperson, Rita Makarau over the past two days were fruitless, as her mobile phone went unanswered, while emails sent to her office had not been responded to at the time of going to print last night.

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44 Comments

  1. Silent observer

    Makarau is manipulated by a now visible hand!! She seems to have taken leave of herself as Justice.

  2. This is the catch, they intend to feed their dead people via Mudede’s office.

  3. If this has been identified why not approach the courts for a recouse

  4. Rwendo runo rigging is going to be very difficult for you.We are watching you ZEC/ZANU PF.Madam chairperson for once be proffessional.Mamakisa ZEC.

  5. History will judge you Madam Makarau for suppressing a free and fair election, but for your own information Hapana chisingaperi. Meanwhile thank you Newsday for for exposing these shenanigans.

  6. This is what I have always thought if there is any rigging it will not be Laxton because they are in business to make a profit.This other third party is the path that is going to be used for rigging.

  7. Can you please tell us how nikuv rigged the last election tinongoziva kuti nikuv rigged but how ? is the question yet to be answered by those who knows even Mr Tsvangson is yet to tell the public what transipired during the 2013 elections, so until i am told how NIKUV did it that is when i will start to worry, for now i am encouraging opposition parties to register as many people as possible especially the youths to give zanu pf a run in the next elections, otherwise if we continue talking about nikuv that and nikuv this we are waiting for a major drubbing by zanu pf

    1. kana neni hapana pandakanyatsonzwa kuti rigging yacho yaifamba sei iwo maopposition aive represented at each and every polling station.saka vaitengwa here mapolling agents aya???can someone respond to this NIKUV issue.

      1. nutty dreadlock

        brilliant bcz im sik of hearing rigging this rigging that wen in actual fact no concrete evidence is put report yenyu iyi is all hypothetical bcz zvinhu zvacho hazvisati zvaitwa and in 2012 MDC pulled out its petitions mu court eku challenger election result to the effect yekuti tendai biti akati we were defeated because we lacked sound strategy. so as love zim and chahototo say plizz tell us how the previous election was rigged evidence etc kwete kungoti vaka rigger yaka rigger heh voters role this that tiratidzei zvibude pachena otherwise mukuita kunonzi kutungana kwembudzi

        1. prosperity mzila

          mabharanzi, they are scared and looking for a scapegoat as always, they are cry babies. its either ZANU PF is terrorising people, or pane rigging, why don’t they just face the truth kuti havadiwi nevanhu and stop kutinyawudza… madofo. Ngavasiyane na Rita ne Nikuv, the two are like parallel roads, never the twain shall meet. Bring workable policies and stop blabbering

      2. Havana nyaya just a lot of barking with no substance.

      3. Media Greatness

        Military baracks are the biggest rigging machines around 1am to 2:30am that is when they rig full time by adding more boxes at a particular polling station in the camp with numbers far out numbering any voters in Zimbabwe.Military nikuv for you hapana anoti pwee.At DZ the presidential guards were caught but nothing was done.

    2. true that instead of looking for a muroyi watisati tamboona kuty akaita sei uyezwe kuti anoroya sei, lets just encourage the youth to register and vote that way i can guarantee you rigging will be extremely hard to do because in the end its all about the numbers

  8. Ndakashamisika nekubvuma kuti BVR ishandiswe nyamba vaitoziva kuti vachabirira sei manje vamama, come 2018.

    1. nutty dreadlock

      hahahaha vam******* handiti

  9. Laxton Group must pull out

    1. If anything, Laxton group should specifically not pull out. The leaked report actually proves that Laxton Group is not in bed with ZEC which is comforting.

      1. Pamwe mastatement ekurasisa so that when Laxton eventually participates it will seem like ZEC set things right.

  10. Look, we obtained our independence when Rhodesians were in power. In other words all state machinery were on their side. That did not stop the wind of change from blowing. When time comes, nothing and absolutely nothing will stop change from happening.

  11. Don’t lose eye on the ball. Does the opposition have plans to ensure everyone is registered? When is the registration date? How much time will they allow for registration? Will it be enough?

  12. Wezhira wezhara

    Mudede’s office ndiyo yavari kuda kushandisa seCentral system nokuti atova nayo BVR kare Mudede yezvitupa zveplastic. Makarau takes instructions from the Junta if you did not know and just recently he met senior police officers to strategize on how to rig. Ko ndeupi judge wamunoona asiri weZanu PF? Wese anopa maJudgments against haagari vanomutsvagira nyaya. In fact most of these so called judges are CIO.

  13. MDC should halt being a sissy party. They must take action if the 2018 elections are stolen. In 2008 as well as 2013, what action did MDC take? This time you should take action and its apparent that, even if MDC wins Zanu will keep on ruling and its high time you should take a leaf from Rwanda, Mosambique, Angola etc. KUSIRI KUFA NDEKUPI?

  14. navo nemumvura mose

    1. BVR must work together with the Cetral System

  15. I agree with those who suggest that we should concentrate on registering our youths while the political parties continue to deal with the technicalities involved in the use of BVR. They should not leave any stone unturned. Deal with the fear factor also and 2018 will be different.

  16. Without being economical with the truth, Tsvangirai has to accept liability for remotely becoming a partaker in dwindling the economic, political and social fabrics of the country by hastily approving a ploy pre-arranged behind the scenes. Will he be able to make a volte-face once it backfires? As the body entrusted with the entire electoral process, zec must live to its billings to take the country to the right trajectory lest we cannot afford to have a compromised commission this time round.

    1. I don’t agree with this narration 100%.

  17. mugabe ,his twin evil brothers and security sector demons should be given a run for their money.the opposition should confront this diabolic regime to the teeth if ever they are to entertain any hopes of forming the next government.they must demand that laxton group do the whole job from bvr to managing data otherwise the evil one wants zimbabwe to die with him.the only problem with zimbos is that we take comfort on full bellies and leave the rest to chance.united we stand

    1. Opposition failed to deal with Zanu during GNU when they had the majority in parliament. For now they are but only toothless bulldogs.

    2. Zanu inoita zvainoda and doesn.t listen to anyone. Chinx anzi provincial hero vanhu vese vachiti national hero. Amendment yaChief Justice appointment yapaswa through parliament when the whole country said no to it. So chero mukati BVR hatiidi vanongoishandisa chete.

  18. ONLY GOD KNOWS

  19. SecularSkeptic

    Be careful this Laxton Group could just be mystifying things . for their own monetary benefit

    1. Please spare us these hogwash claims of rig this, rigging that. Our opposition is simply Anti-people with their much hated sanctions, targeted, selective or whatever term.

      WHO IN his/or her senses will vote for a heartless and moron POLITICAL organisation which is completely divorced from the aspirations of the people.

  20. U playing with professionals, they’ll find another way to rig as long as Zec is still in charge.

  21. people look obsessed with power than anything else is there a proper person to vote for here…. i
    wonder

    1. That is not the issue. we want a credible system so that we can vote properly when the time comes. Who to vote for is an issue for the democratic process to decide.

  22. I think its wasting time kuswera tichivhota coz still Zanu wont accept it so, the best is to remove zanu pf gvt violently kusiri kufa ndekupi? Just wasting resources on elections for nothing, lets fight for our freedom tisatye hapana achada Zanu yakawora kare.

  23. Why don’t you be happy when concerns are raised? Its about having the will of the real majority being acknowledged. Demorcracy is being fronted, but let it be real without tempering with people’s voices, which is the vote. Transperancy is really needed in this exercise, to promote it in areas which will eradicate poverty in our people. Economy is showing us tto change direction right now. Imagine another 5years of the state of our economy now.

  24. MukadzI uyu akaipa chiso nemoyo zvese haikona. My friendly advice to her and ZANU Pf is,please don’t push us! If ZANU Pf and their doddering HE doesn’t want to be removed from office by ballot then they must make it clear to us so that we can try other avenues.And please let us know while there still time.

  25. MDC-T leader must think on his foot. The like of Chamisa and other literate MDC-T guys must not just give MDC-T leader platform to speak and praise a system that has not been evaluated and see the risks of the system. One thing that I want to say is that Robert Mugabe and Mnangagwa have been friends and their friendship has thrived on one common thing. CRUELITY and manipulation of any system to their advantage. Ndebeles where a threat to their dominance in 1980s, they teamed and destroyed it. MDC-T was united from 1999, Mnangagwa crafted a bia camera parliament by creating senate. They split MDC-T to create a division. In 2008 they were deceived again by useless unit government and RGM and ED went on to rig big in 2013. All this these open deceptions frustrated the electorate and the people who initially had hopes in the MDC-T became disgruntled and left. Tsvangirai spoke of the integrity of the BVR system. Now the analysis are pointing to a clear deception of the data mining and that is where ZPF beats MDC-T. They allow it to come closer and beat it there. 2000 the referendum made ZPF realise the falling popularity and they beat people to election in 2002. If MDC-T had taken advantage of unemployment in the country, recruit diasporas into a military wing in exile, by now these MDC-T military man would be not less than 15 years or 10 years of military experience. They would be guaranteeing safe freedom of voters of MDC-T in 2018. NELSON Mandela at 46 years had to receive military training after realising that the talks with apartheid whites was falling on deaf ears. It had consequences but he achieved. MDC-T has been talking for the past 18 years 1999-2017. Military ACTION IS NEEDED NOW OR NEVER. they founding fathers of MDC-T are now in their 60 who joined in their 40s

  26. typical zimbabweans, you expect someone to it for you, MDC should this and that, tsvangirai this and that iwe iripi.Its high time everyone should participate is this so called change.

  27. Jongwe Rachembera

    Rita Makarau was a Zanu pf operative from day one. There is no way next years elections will be free or fair. The election is rigged long before it even starts.

  28. it is prudent at this juncture to note that Laxton is a business entity that is looking forward making a kiling from this tender and in this case through what I can term aggressive marketing. they want ZEC to engage them in supplying the central system so that they can mark up their profit margins. this is just one typical cost cutting measure that has been hijacked. certainly u cannot be forced to go for expensive equipment when there is an option of making life easier. just that those who are awaiting a regime change are getting paranoid by the end of the end.

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