BY LORRAINE NDEBELE
Government has promised to remain committed to fostering an enabling business environment and availing the requisite support to increase capacity utilisation in the country’s manufacturing sector
This was assured by the government at the Buy Zimbabwe 2022 Public Procurement conference which was running under the theme, ‘Unlocking Zimbabwe’s Economic Potential through Public Procurement”.
During the public procurement conference and awards ceremony, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the public procurement must be viewed more holistically, not only as a public administration tool, to purchase the needed goods and services, but also as a vehicle to lift people from poverty into prosperity.
“This conference is thus timely and resonates with the Second Republic’s unwavering thrust to realize sustainable development and inclusive economic growth for our people, which leaves no one and no place behind,” he said.
Mnangagwa said at an international level, under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; the promotion of sustainable public procurement will help the country realise these goals, specifically SDG 12.7 and SDG 16.6 which target public procurement.
“It is gratifying to note that the various economic reforms being championed by my Administration, coupled with concerted efforts of organisations such as the Buy Zimbabwe Trust, has seen locally produced goods now dominating shelf spaces,” said Mnangagwa.
Public procurement is one of the activities most vulnerable to corruption therefore the volume of transactions and the financial interests at stake, compound corruption risks are exacerbated by the complexity of the process, the close interaction between public officials and businesses, and the multitude of stakeholders.
The government said they are working on a number of reforms to plunk out corruption and is urging stakeholders to implement responsive storages which limit the involvement of women and youths.
“In implementing this deliberate policy of my government, 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,” the President said.
“All stakeholders should work harder to realize robust procurement frameworks and systems that ultimately deliver quality public goods and service”.
Local Government and Public Works minister July Moyo said procurement should go directly to the production units and lands.
“$42 billion of our devolution funds will go for procurement which includes building schools,” said Moyo.
Buy Zimbabwe chairman Munyaradzi Hwengwere also noted that 68% of their budget are for public procurement of goods and services.
Mnangagwa further challenged the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe to refine the procurement policy and procedures to attract and ensure long term commitment by investors.