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Alba Iulia
Sunday, June 7, 2020

ECZ awards 16 million dollar 2021 Biometric Voter Registration contract to Smartmatic

Feature Politics ECZ awards 16 million dollar 2021 Biometric Voter Registration contract to Smartmatic

The Electoral Commission of Zambia has awarded a 16 million US dollar contract to a company called Smartmatic International Holdings BV to run a Biometric Voter Registration programme ahead of the 2021 general elections.

According to a tender notice issued by the ECZ Chief Electoral Officer, another tender to supply and deliver Voter Card Forms and Pouches has been awarded to Tesla IT Business Solutions at a cost of Five Hundred -Seventy-Two Thousand One Hundred and Twelve (US$ 572,112.00.)

Smartmatic International Holdings BV will supply, deliver, install, train and commission 2,6000 Biometric Voter Registration kits and software.

The total contract sum is Sixteen Million Six Hundred Eighty-Seven Thousand Eight Hundred Ninety -Eight.

A Biometric Voter Register measures and analyses a voter’s unique physical characteristics to verify their identity and eligibility to vote and uses a voter’s physical characteristics, such as facial features or fingerprints, to identify them.

The most commonly captured attributes are facial features and fingerprints.

According to an online company search, Smartmatic International Holdings BV is a subsidiary of Smartmatic, a Netherlands-based company with presence in the US, Mexico, Venezuela and Spain.

As for Tesla IT Business Solutions, there is no information about the company’s ownership and any history of previous assignment undertaken.

In 2010, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) selected Smartmatic to provide Zambia’s first biometric voter register and the company supplied around 1,000 mobile electronic biometric registry units.

In 2015, Smartmatic also delivered 2,000 enrollment devices to enable Zambia to update its biometric voter register across all 11 provinces.

The company is however not without controversy.

It was accused of electoral fraud when it assisted the Electoral Commission of Uganda to modernize its election processes in the 2016 General Elections.

From detailed investigations, Smartmatic is yet to run an electoral process, anywhere in the world, in which fraud allegations and irregularities have not been made.

From Venezuela to the Philippines, from the USA to Mexico, it is believed that every single contract awarded to Smartmatic has been marred with allegations of bribes, and corruption.

[Read 2,745 times, 1 reads today]


  1. This sounds like a viable company but as usual people have have their own opinions about companies.. there’s no body without fault under the earth.. please ECZ go ahead you have people’s backing…

  2. If the above companies are questionable as you claim, then give us names of a company you believe meets the criteria. A tender process has been undertaken by the ECZ and they have made a decision. Nomba you want us to use your daddy’s company ? Or limbi you will only be happy if we use HHs company? I MEAN why is the opposition so concerned when they are going to lose anyway?

  3. A major opposition party leader (chichi) has suggested that the money be used to fight the Covid19 pandemic instead and defer the 2021 elections to 2026. Chichi has really shown how magnaninous he can be in times of emergency.

  4. Why not roll out biometric passport or NRC instead of voters cards? Elections are held every 5 years but NRCs are for life. Seems a waste of money. I know countries where you don’t need voters cards , but you can vote as long as you appear on voters roll.

  5. Whether we use your bally’s or hhs company, the fact remains that upnd is losing the next election. I have sworn to run naked from arcades to mandahill should the pf lose the next election. I have invited upnd members to agree to do the same but non have come forward. I wonder why

  6. Who were the other bidders? I don’t think I’m ready to trust the ECZ chmn, retired judge Chulu. Why has he never said a word about Chavula the Ugandan who was caught red-handed in broad daylight manipulating election figures? Should this man be trusted to preside over another election? Jdg Chirwa himself should hv shown interest in knowing about Chavula. I was expecting a resignation in disgust by Jdg Chirwa over the Chavula incident .

  7. Looks like its has a good track record …why cant you kill two birds with one stone and just update figures on an NRC card to be used as a Voter’s card.

  8. Tarino that is a good idea. That could possibly save money depending on how expensive that would be. I see a long term benefit. I will take that on board and raise it. Thank for constructive feedback. Kz

  9. Sometimes i just wonder why we are ever outsorcing IT services in Zambia, what is the point of Offering Computer Science/ Engineering programes when your services will never be appreciated in zambia? I feel all Higher Learning Institution should stop offering such programes and such development is an insult to engineering field in our country.

  10. Because of Corona Virus and its far reaching economical effects , lets cancel or postpone 2020 elections We will save money to use in re aligning the economy post cORONA.

  11. Surely, why should almost everything in Zambia be done by foreign entities? Even our own electoral system has to be managed by some foreign company? We opposed that when Chiluba brought NIKUV, we have many IT and computer systems experts. Where’s our sovereignty if we can’t do anything on our own? I think try to award the tender to UPND may be Hichilema will accept the results when he loses

  12. Please zambians take seriously people like Kaizar Zulu’s Declaration that he will walk naked from Arcades to Manda Hill, if PF lost the next election, also Chilufya Tayali who Declared that his Manhood be cut if HH wins the next Elections. I think it’s time people stop declaring impossibilities. Let people see to it that these people account for their declarations once the Elections go against PF. It’s morally dishartening for a man who is married and has grown up children to make such sentiments. We shall wait and see if the above will walk naked or have their manhood cut once it happens the other way round.

  13. MUTOSE – But that is not even Kz just an excited small boyo playing with the internet…imagine someone impersonating a clown like Kz everyday how sad is that!

  14. Concerned IT Specialist: I hv thought on those lines for many years myself. It’s like training architects at CBU and then we go out to ask an American to design a building in Zambia. It would be sheer madness. ZRA to their credit and my uttter excitement and that of several fellow patriots contracted the CBU IT department to develop a program which they’re using in their work. I will never allow plunderers of the Zambian economy to define patriotism for me. I know patriotism whn I see it. It doesn’t include inflating govt contracts and becoming rich out of it.

  15. That is a huge amount to be spent just for registration of voters. Why cant we just update the current register for now and do the biometric registration when the economy can sustain such an expense.

  16. The opposition is sleeping you can not have that JUdge Chulu sitting there for more than 5 years …get him out!!

  17. Zambians will Never trust ECZ, they are corrupt and the Amount mentioned is way too expensive. Is this an ERP or what not even systems like SAP or Oracle would cost that. ANOTHER FIRETENDER.

  18. 13th Disciple, I completely agree with you. It boggles the mind why successive Zambian governments have not bothered to modernise our national ID to the extent that it becomes the single ID that can be used for voting also as opposed to having a separate voters card. Only reason I can think is that by maintaining the NRC as the Supreme unique identifier while still having it manual and decentralised, it can be prone to manipulation and hence serve the interests of those who want to rig elections. Hence the usual NRC registration drives before any election.
    Not only is the Zambian NRC ineffective due to the redundant manual database but the card it self is so backward and one feels embarrassed to explain what the piece of plast/paper is when asked while one is out of the country. We do…

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