PRAZ speaks on COVID-19 procurement procedures

By ZBC Reporter
THE Public Procurement Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) has given submissions to the parliamentary portfolio committee on the budget, finance, and economic development regarding the procurement of COVID-19 medical supplies.

The Honourable Felix Mhona led committee’s enquiry was centred around Natpharm procurement deals of 86 million Zimbabwe Dollars and 13 Million US dollars for Covid-19 medical supplies. Clarity was being sought in the interest of transparency and accountability.

Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Nyasha Chizu based his submissions on the provisions of the new act on public procurement and disposal of public assets which gives them monitoring and supervisory role.

“As PRAZ our mandate is driven from the new public procurement act which empowers accounting officers of procurement entities to make decisions on procurement as is the case with the issue at hand and as the regulator, we only came in to see if everything was done accordingly and make reports of our findings to the auditor general,” he said.

Mr. Chizu also reiterated that as part of their supervisory role they also detect and prevent non- compliance with tendering processes.

“We have seen of late some tenders being cancelled mainly due to exchange rate volatility as a lot of time would have been taken to finalise these tenders but as the regulator, we gave special provisions for COVID-19 procurement and we are in active supervision of that statutory,” he highlighted.

PRAZ also took the initiative to highlight challenges Zimbabwean companies are facing especially in foreign procurement in light of the illegal sanctions imposed on the country.

Public procurement has of late come under scrutiny as corruption and a tendency not to adhere to procurement regulations has become common practice.