President Emmerson Mnangagwa has slammed corruption in the country’s public procurement processes saying the government is aware that a number of officials are involved in bid-rigging and fraud which is against the law.
Speaking during the Buy Zimbabwe Public Procurement Conference held in the capital yesterday, President Mnangagwa said a number of measures must be put in place to curb bid-rigging by public procurement officials .
“The Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission together with other law enforcement agencies must excessively apply the law without fear or favour.
“However, my experience now is that even the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission needs to be investigated and supervised.
“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.
“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,” he said.
He added that the Government is committed to the promotion of inclusive public procurement to help Zimbabweans start, build and grow viable businesses.
“However, it is most unfortunate that to date women, youth entrepreneurs and the disabled face disproportionately complex and interconnected barriers to accessing equal opportunities in public procurement.
“We must as stakeholders, tap into public procurement for women and youth empowerment to unleash the full potential of these important demographics.
“This will also go a long way towards providing a springboard for the advancements, economic inclusion, and participation of women and youths in the mainstream economy.
“I, therefore, urge stakeholders in the public procurement cycle to implement responsive strategies to curb the legal and regulatory hurdles, socio-cultural biases, and lack of skills, networks, and financing, which limit the involvement of women and youths in public procurement,” he said.
The Buy Zimbabwe Public Procurement Conference and awards ran under the theme ‘Unlocking Zimbabwe’s economic potential through public procurement’.