By Tatenda Mujeyi
The Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) is meant to foster transparency and accountability, the CEO, Mr Nyasha Chizu said at a breakfast meeting organised by Transparency International Zimbabwe in Harare today.
PRAZ emphasised its establishment was a reflection of government’s commitment to effectively institute accountability and transparency on the procurement process.
“The establishment of PRAZ and the related Policy (Chapter 22:23), emphasise the central role government has taken to revamp the procurement process as necessitated by the weaknesses learnt from the State Procurement Board,” PRAZ CEO Mr Chizu said.
PRAZ argued its multiple stakeholder inquiry framework was a reflection of moves to bring many voices on the procurement decision process for transparency.
“Previously we had an individually derived procurement decision, but we have since moved from that through the establishment of a committee that makes procurement decisions in the present structural standing,” Mr Chizu said.
PRAZ further availed their commitment to transparency through a regulatory framework that constantly inquires on adherence to transparency and accountability.
“The new operational framework is hinged on a code of conduct, one that is constantly inquiring on procurement officer compliance and in turn increasing the price of corruption,” Mr Chizu added.
PRAZ argued the positive reviews that the Zimbabwean procurement policy was realising as showing the lessons it offered on transparency and accountability.
“Our procurement policy has been commended globally, continentally and regionally for it’s consideration of accountability, transparency and efficiency of the procurement process.” PRAZ CEO Mr Chizu said
The Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe,(PRAZ) was established through an Act of Parliament, Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act[Cap 22:23] which repealed the State Procurement Board through Act, No. 2/99 [Cap. 22:14] through S.I. 152 of December 2017.
Challenges raised as hindering the efficient transparent and accountable operation of the procurement process where however noted as still existent.
Conference conveners,TIZ, said they were engaging dialogue under the topic “Fiscal transparency policy dialogue” so as to generate knowledge on the transparency circumstances surrounding public procurement.
“The focus of this discussion is to generate information on the changes brought about by the establishment of PRAZ and the implications on transparency and accountability,” TIZ Research and Advocacy Assistant Samuel Matikiti said.
A representative of of higher and tertiary education relayed PRAZ contribution to the advocacy of transparency issues associated within their curriculum.
“We are playing a critical role in availing information to our students on the procurement process. We have compulsory lectures for our second year students and this year Dr Muradzikwa has hosted two lectures on PRAZ and related legislation,” Dr Tawanda Zinyama, Senior Lecturer of Public Administration from the University of Zimbabwe said.