Biometric Voters Registration in Makambako
CCT is a member of TEMCO. TEMCO is now observing the process of updating the National Permanent Voter Register (NPVR) using the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR). The updating started on 23rd February, 2015 and launched in Makambako Town Council in Njombe region on 24th February by the Prime Minister, Hon. Kayanza Peter Pinda. The registration process was done in 9 administrative wards, including 54 voters’ registration centers. Observation findings in these wards reveal that in the first day of the registration the process was not as smooth as it should have been. These are some of the challenges
- Slow pace in registering eligible voters due to inadequate competency and inexperience of the BVR kits operators, resulting into unnecessarily long queues.
- On Day One, on average it took 7-10 minutes to complete the registration of one voter.
- Some eligible voters could not be registered because the BVR kits/technology failed to detect their finger prints due to damaged ‘finger contours’.
- There were few incidents where the BVR kits either stopped working or had an on-and- off” tendency. The reasons mentioned by the operators included “fainting printing ink”, “overheating”; and “weak e-connectivity”.
- There were two incidents in one registration centre where the dates of birth for two registered people were wrongly recorded on their Voter IDs;
- Only two political parties, CCM and CHADEMA, had agents in many voters’ registration centres
- So far there is no organized voter education providers (civil society organizations, political parties, etc.) educating people on voter registration in Makambako town council apart from NEC’s public advertisement on public places and places of worship.
- So far there are no reported cases of irregularities in voter registration process (i.e. double registration, under-age or non-citizen, etc.).
- The pace of voter registration per day has significantly increased from about 30 voters in Day One (23/2/2015) to about 80-100 voters on Day Five (27/2/2015) in one registration center. On average the voter registration pace has increased from 7-10 minutes per voter to 3-4 minutes.
- The major political parties, particularly CCM and CHADEMA, are generally mobilizing people to turn out in big numbers to register. We do not have reports of political actors who are mobilizing people to boycott the voters’ registration exercise.
- Some of the BVR operators claimed before our observer that they were supposed to register 50-70 eligible voters per day but they were registering more than the required number, and some of them have started claiming for the increase of remuneration rate per day.
- The centers are opened and closing on the specified time, i.e. 8:00 am -6:00 pm.
Generally Makambako have been able to register 46,700 voters after increasing two days of registration. The capacity of BVR is to register 80 -100 people per day. There are no members from civil societies that mobilize people to participate in the registration processes