The Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe and Transparency International Zimbabwe have signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at addressing corruption risks and vulnerabilities within the public procurement value chain and in the process foster partnership, co-operation and collaboration between the two bodies.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, TIZ executive director Muchaneta Mundopa said the collaborative engagement between her organization and PRAZ is expected to improve mechanisms that will help combat public procurement and disposal of public assets is effected in a manner that is efficient, fair and transparent consistent with Section 315 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
“The underlying ethos and values of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Chapter (22:23), which are honesty, cost-effectiveness, transparency, fairness and competition are also in line with TIZ’ s organizational and independent mandate of fighting corruption in Zimbabwe.”
“TIZ demands greater transparency, accountability and integrity in all areas of public life; therefore, we believe this MOU will result in a mutually beneficial relationship as both parties work towards addressing corruption in public procurement.”
The provisions of the MOU include, PRAZ providing TIZ with technical assistance on provisions of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act while TIZ provides regional and international best practices in public procurement, capacity building of relevant stakeholders on procurement and anti-corruption and sharing of information including corruption trends and drivers and expertise, finding and implementing solutions to enhance fiscal transparency and counter corruption in public procurement.
According to TIZ, the COVID-19 pandemic amplified the culture of corruption in the public procurement sector.
“The infamous COVID-19 scandal in Zimbabwe served as an eye opener for key stakeholders in both the public procurement sector and the anti-corruption sector to join forces and call for integrity and fiscal transparency.”
Mundopa said the media in Zimbabwe, as the Fourth Estate, had played a vital role in exposing corruption in public procurement.
The media had been awash with exposes of opaque public procurement contracts that have been entered into between State Owned Enterprises/the government, and private players.
Public procurement processes were said to be at the centre of political debate and are characterized by complex dynamics of political/state capture, and failure to adhere to procurement processes, would weak accountability and enforcement institutions and a continued culture of impunity.
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