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Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor
Government is deepening the fight against corruption, with the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) set to start visits to procuring entities to assess how public firms are conducting their procurement processes.
The visits are scheduled to commence in the fourth quarter of this year.
A letter to all procuring entities dated August 16, 2019 has since been sent.
To underscore the seriousness of the matter, the letter was copied to the Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Dr Martin Rushwaya; Permanent Secretary in Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s office Mr Godfrey Chanakira; and Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Mr Willard Manungo.
PRAZ chief executive Mr Nyasha Chizu signed the letter.
“The Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) hereby notifies all procuring entities (PE) that it has scheduled monitoring and evaluation visits to PEs to commence during the 4th Quarter of 2019 in line with Section 6 (b) of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act (PPDPA Act) (Chapter 22;23),” read part of the letter.
“The visits are aimed at assessing the current procurement affairs of the PEs in order to verify their standing vis-à-vis their reported statuses, PRAZ and other public sector records.”
Mr Chizu said during the visits, “special attention” shall also be directed at areas such as institutional set-up, procurement management unit (PMU) establishment and approvals, operational cover and adequacy.
Records of procurement proceedings standards and practices; procurement planning and procurement budget application; contract management processes; and inspections and compliance reviews of selected procurement, contract and asset disposal records in line with the PPDPA Act, will also be assessed.
Government moved in to promulgate the PPDPA Act in a bid to stem the tide of corruption that had characterised public procurement. Procuring entities were cutting deals with suppliers, and prejudicing Government of thousands of dollars, especially during the time of the State Procurement Board (SPB), which was described by analysts as being run like a “mafia”.
The corruption caused delays in the implementation of key public projects such as infrastructure development, as top officials at SPB continuously threw spanners in the works so as to get kick backs.
But the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa has declared zero tolerance to corruption, and has already reconfigured the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), which has started “biting” suspected corrupt individuals.