Zimbabwean churches are expected to embark on massive voter education campaign ahead of 2018 polls.
Various ministers of religion and their followers launched the ‘Christian Vote Campaign’ in Harare on Tuesday aimed at ensuring that followers of various church denominations will register to vote in the crucial elections.
Bishop Ancelimo Magaya of the Zimbabwe Divine Destiny said they will use some of their sermons to drum up support for the voter registration scheme to be conducted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) using Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits.
Pastor Kenneth Mutata of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches and Bishop Peter Makuwe of the Prayer Network of Zimbabwe expressed the same sentiments, adding that it is critical for people to vote in the 2018 general polls.
ZEC has already indicated that the voter registration exercise will start three months after the awarding of a tender for the voter registration.
Early this month, the national State Procurement Board awarded a Chinese firm, Laxton Group Limited, a tender to supply the kits. The Board settled for Laxton Group, which proposed a US$3,9 million budget to supply the BVR kits. The other bidder, Demalog Identification Systems of German, submitted a $5,5 million bid.
Rita Makarau says the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is currently finalizing the terms of the contract with Laxton Group.
Indications are that the initial tender was for 1,600 kits but ZEC is said to be in need of 3,000 kits comprising 2,900 general kits and 100 districts kits.
Laxton Group is said to be worked in nations like Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Malawi and Mozambique.
The Biometric Voter Registration process involves the electronic use of a person’s unique physical traits like eyes in capturing someone’s identity.