Govt addresses corruption in public procurement

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Harare (New Ziana) – The government is instituting several reforms to the public procurement process to plug corruption in the system and to ensure that contracts are awarded on merit, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Wednesday.

He was addressing guests at the Buy Zimbabwe 2022 public procurement conference and awards ceremony in the capital.

President Mnangagwa acknowledged that public procurement was one of the government activities most vulnerable to corruption.

“It is noteworthy that this conference and awards ceremony comes at a time when the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe is working on a number of reforms to plug corruption. Due diligence and meticulous administration of tenders across government Ministries, departments, agencies, public entities and state owned enterprises must remain key components of public procurement,” he said.

“Under the Second Republic, deserving, capable and competent service providers with demonstrable local content should be awarded tenders and contracts. Meanwhile, the adoption and use of e-procurement and e-payment systems must be speeded up to lessen face- to-face interface between bidders and those doing the tendering process.”

He added; “The volume of transactions and the financial interests at stake compound corruption risks, which are exacerbated by the complexity of the process, the close interaction between public officials and businesses, and the multitude of stakeholders.

“It is imperative that our public procurement ensures value for money, whilst entrenching a culture of competition and promoting transparency, accountability as well as the prudent use of public resources. Additionally, fair and just business practices must be ingrained in our procurement cycle.”

President Mnangagwa said local procurement would help empower Zimbabwean entrepreneurs while also inculcating a culture of innovation, production and productivity.

“Similarly, research and development as well as the registration of patents, support for innovation and inventions are being scaled up in a bid to have more locally made goods and services. The Second Republic is thus determined to support an entrepreneurial and innovative culture that will see our own young people answer the day to day needs of our country’s fast evolving and modernising socio-economic landscape,” he said.

“Public procurement must be deployed responsibly and in the national interest, not only as an empowerment vehicle but most importantly to accelerate sustainable national development. It is against this background that all public procurement entities are exhorted to utilise public resources in the most efficient, transparent, accountable, responsive and ethical manner.”

When he was inaugurated in 2017, President Mnangagwa vowed to open a new chapter in the fight against corruption, which festered under the previous administration.
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