Praz red flags procurement loopholes

Praz chief executive Clever Ruswa

THE Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Praz) says public procurement is still facing worrisome headwinds despite recent positive reviews by the World Bank (WB).

Speaking at a seminar in Kariba organised by local think-tank, Zimbabwe Institute of Strategic Thinking (Zist) recently, Praz chief executive Clever Ruswa noted that the performance of the public procurement system remained questionable.

“Despite the reforms applauded significantly by several stakeholders such as the World Bank, there are traces of challenges in the public procurement system. The monitoring and evaluation reports of 2022 by Praz testify to the need for further improvement in public procurement operations.

“Performance of public procuring entities is more worrisome as the performance of any economy is anchored on public procurement performance. Public procurement is a conduit through which governments provide goods, services and works,” Ruswa said.

“Notwithstanding compliance levels by procuring entities, operational efficiencies in public entities have been a cause of concern through forward pricing, corruption, non-delivery and poor quality supplies. Efficiency is a  core principle of public procurement. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case in the country’s public procuring entities,” he added.

Ruswa said Praz was proactively reaching out to various stakeholders in different forums focusing on compliance and efficiency in public entities, adding that the blame game had derailed several government projects.

“Significant government expenditure in Zimbabwe is attributable to public procurement. Government procurement has been noted to have a significant effect on service delivery due to its expenditure and source of funding,” Ruswa said.

Zist chief executive Tinashe Muzamhindo said there was need for an inclusive approach where players are brought together to drive mindset transformation for national development.

“There is a need to provide a strategy to all critical sectors of the economy through an inclusive approach. Where all economic players take part, we will achieve mindset transformation key to national development,” he said.

Government is currently instituting several reforms to the public procurement processes to plug leakages and ensure that contracts are awarded on merit.

Related Topics