Political parties to fork out $100 000 to register observers

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douglas-mwonzora

POLITICAL parties have accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) of pricing them out of observing the voter registration process, which will open with a nationwide blitz next Tuesday.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

MDC-T secretary general, Douglas Mwonzora said, while it was a positive development to allow political parties to field voter registration agents at each registration centre, the fee prescribed by Zec was too high.

“This is a good development, however, agents are required to pay $10 each. This is too exorbitant, as most political parties will not afford this fee. There are about 10 000 voter registration centres countrywide.

This will translate to $100 000 per political party. We are approaching the government to scrap this fee. Voter registration agents will also be allowed to monitor the transmission of data from the registration centres to the servers,” he said.

Mwonzora said Zec, with the help of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), was in the process of acquiring another server, which will be used for the compilation of biometric voter registration data.

“Zec advised that, while one server was brought with the kits, the UNDP is in the process of procuring another one. It was agreed that Zec will allow a technical interface between itself and the stakeholders.

In this regard, we will second our technical experts to study the system and advise the parties on it. We also demanded reasonable access to the server.

In that regard, Zec would need to understand from our experts the extent of that access. We will formally write to them explaining the extent and meaning of access to the server,” he said.

Zec vice-chairperson, Emmanuel Magade confirmed that there was a process underway to procure the server and critical software, but could not shed more light.