PRAZ on Covid-19 procurement regulations

BY Davison Vandira

The prolonged suspension of the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) Chief Executive Officer, Mr Nyasha Chizu took centre stage when the authority appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development this Monday.

With expectations high that PRAZ was going to give oral evidence concerning COVID-19 procurement procedures to Parliament, proceedings were however premised on the last appearance of the authority’s board in Parliament in July.

The committee led by Chikomba Central Legislator, Honourable Felix Mhona sought clarification from the PRAZ Board for the suspension of the CEO, Mr Nyasha Chizu after leading oral evidence to the committee.

“As a committee, we are not here to interfere with the internal operations of PRAZ but we are only here to seek clarity if the suspension is linked with the appearance of PRAZ CEO to this committee.”

The PRAZ Board was invited after Mr Chizu had written to parliament requesting protection as he felt his administration leave was a direct result of his appearance in parliament.

“After appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on the 6th of July 2020 I was served with a letter of suspension of 30days and it’s now 90 days after that suspension and as such, I cannot give answers to this committee pertaining issues to do with COVID-19 procurement regulations that were not done properly,” said Mr Chizu.

However, PRAZ Board Chairperson, Mrs Vimbai Nyemba said the suspension of the CEO was purely an internal process which had nothing to do with his appearance before parliament.

“As PRAZ Board, we did suspend the CEO to undertake an internal process with regards to corporate governance in as far as the strategic plan of the organisation is concerned.”

Issues surrounding PRAZ are emanating from a suspicion that there was non-compliance on the part of the entity in the procurement COVID-19 materials.