Political Reporter- Simba Moyo

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says it will re-prioritise resources it has earmarked for the Biometric Voter Registration Kits to other areas of need.

Answering questions from journalists on the fall-out by political parties and government on the purchase of the BVR-kits today, the UNDP coordinator Bishow Parajuli said if the government says it has resources for the purchasing of kits, that is a commendable step .

“We work on request and if the government says they now have the resources. It’s a commendable achievement. We will allocate the resources to others areas like poverty reduction and building climate change resilience,” said Parajuli.

Pressed to answer the government position on the issue, the Chief Secretary in the President and Cabinet Mishek Sibanda, said the issue is political and has other people qualified to comment on it.

Seventeen million was earmarked to the purchase of the BVR-kits through the UNDP, but government made a U-turn and indicated that it now had the money to purchase the kits.

This raised the ire of the opposition parties, civic organisations as well as ordinary citizens who have condemned the move citing fears of the polls being rigged by the ruling party.

They also asked the wisdom of using scarce resources when the country has enormous economic problems to address.

Recently the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) led a protest rally against the acquisition of Bio-metric Voter Register (BVR) kit by the Zimbabwean government.

The opposition political parties in NERA rejecting the proposals by government to procure the BVR kits saying the process itself is not transparent and working against an agreed electoral reform process the parties has been engaging in.

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 Programme.

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.