Be ready for BVR protests: Transform Zimbabwe

Charles Mabhena   

Opposition political party Transform Zimbabwe (TZ) leader Jacob Ngarivhume has urged his supporters to come in full force to protest the acquisition of Bio-metric Voter Register (BVR) kit by the Zimbabwean government.

Ngarivhume said the demonstrators must come geared for a prolonged period of protest as he does not know when the campaign will end.

Addressing supporters of his party in Glen Norah B grounds on Saturday at the launch of the TZ’s voter registration program Ngarivhume said the protest which is going to involve opposition political parties and political pressure groups is going to be a watershed as the protesters will not abandon the contest until the decision by the government to buy the BVR kits is overturned.

“No one should take away our vote rights. It is time we refuse anyone to tamper with the constitutional rights of the Zimbabwean people,” said Ngarivhume.

The intention by the government to acquire the BVR kit has been viewed as an attempt to rig the forthcoming 2018 harmonised elections.

A coalition of political party’s alliance Coalition of Democrats (CODE) has accused the government of trying to undermine the democratic principle of separation of power between the executive and independent statutory bodies.

Opposition political parties in the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) are rejecting the proposals by government to procure the BVR kits.

The position by the political parties comes after statements attributed to the Minister of Finance disclosed that the government has decided to take over procurement process from the United Nations Development Programmed.

In preparation for the Biometric Voter Registration process, a polling station mapping exercise is already underway in the country and political parties are participating actively through the mapping subcommittees which provide oversight to the ZEC Mapping Sub-committee.

Subsequently, ZEC had invited five representatives of political parties to witness the opening of the bids which was being done in Copenhagen. Together the UNDP country Director, ZEC chairperson Makarau advised the political parties and the nation on the remaining steps to be taken in procurement of the kits.

Election Resource Centre (ERC) said elections are an important right of individuals and no one should decide the fate of the electorate without key stakeholders.

Addressing the same audience, Solomon Bobosibumu, Training and Outreach Officer at ERC said citizens should be active participants and decide the nature and manner they want to run their elections.