Tanzania to adopt BVR

The Tanzanian National Electoral Commission (NEC) has confirmed biometric voter registration (BVR) will be adopted for the 2015 general election, making it the latest African country to adopt the system.

NEC chairman Damian Lubuva told a Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) delegation yesterday the commission had decided to introduce the system used in Ghana and Kenya.

“Yes we intend to introduce the biometric electoral system,” he said. “Adapting a cost effective and simple technology is a good way of solving the many election-related problems plaguing many African countries.”

He said the system should be in place before the elections in 2015

Kenya implemented an electronic system ahead of its election last month, but the BVR kits ended up mired in controversy as a system collapse delayed the counting of votes, with regional election officials told to physically deliver counts to Nairobi.

The Kenyan Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was forced to admit technical glitches, and asked returning officers to travel to the counting centre in Nairobi to manually transmit the results of constituency voting.

BVR kits use fingerprints and facial scans to identify registered voters. The NEC is set to float tenders for the acquisition of the necessary systems and invite donors to fund the procurement.

Lubuva also denied claims of a lack of transparency at the commission in terms of the system acquisition.

“The whole decision was made by the government, which is our main stakeholder,” he said. “There is no need of hiding the process from the public. Everything will be known after we complete the whole tendering procedure.

“We are working professionally, contrary to what some of our detractors are claiming. We are here to serve Tanzanians, and not any individual or specific group.”

Posted in: Policy

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