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Zimbabwe Attempting to Use Biometric Voter Registration System

FILE: Election campaign posters are pictured near Zimbabweans walking on a street blocked by uncollected garbage in Harare July 17, 2013.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has welcomed the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s ongoing engagements with international experts in introducing a biometric voter registration system in the country.

In a statement, ZESN urged the Commission to urgently engage with other local electoral stakeholders, including civic society organizations and political parties, to expedite the process of identifying and adopting the most appropriate type of the biometric voter registration system for Zimbabwe.

ZEC is quoted in the Sunday Mail newspaper as saying they are exploring ways of using the system in the 2018 harmonized general elections.

The biometric system, which incorporates fingerprint and iris scans, is being used in elections in countries like Kenya and Ghana.

Some nations also use it for processing visa and immigration documents.

Zimbabwe is expected to hold general polls in 2018 in which Zanu PF will field President Robert Mugabe, who will be 94 years old at that time.

Mr. Mugabe's party is facing serious factionalism as at least two groups allegedly led by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and First Lady Grace Mugabe are fighting to succeed the Zimbabwean leader.