Latest News Editor's Choice

News / Local

Mnangagwa exempts state firms from Public Procurement scrutiny

by Staff reporter
30 Sep 2023 at 07:57hrs | Views
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has taken steps to protect selected state-owned companies operating under the Mutapa Investment Fund (MIF) from public procurement regulations.

Mnangagwa officially announced Statutory Instrument 156 of 2023, which renames the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) as the Mutapa Investment Fund and consolidates multiple state-owned enterprises under one entity.

The creation of this fund has been promoted by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube since 2018, arguing that the scattered parastatals under various ministries are an outdated model that other countries are moving away from.

Under this new arrangement, approximately 20 enterprises spanning mining, telecommunications, energy, and agriculture will come under the ownership of the Mutapa Investment Fund.

However, less than a week after the renaming, President Mnangagwa issued a statement specifying that companies under the fund would no longer be subject to the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act (PPDPA).

This order was published under General Notice 1546 of 2023, following the provisions of PPDPA Section 3 (9), which allows the President, in consultation with the Authority, to exempt specific public entities from the Act under certain conditions.

The order stated, "And whereas the public entity below mentioned is operating in competitive markets and accordingly needs to be prescribed for the purposes of exemption by virtue of Section 3 (9) abovementioned.

"Now therefore, under and by virtue of powers vested in the President as aforesaid, I do hereby give notice that the public entity mentioned below is exempted from the application of the Act."

These developments have sparked debate among market observers. Some support the initiative, believing it will give state-owned firms the opportunity to operate more effectively and comply with regulations under a single authority, potentially eliminating past instances of political interference and corruption.

However, others express concerns about the lack of taxpayer oversight and fear that the changes could lead to potential abuse by a select group of well-connected individuals.

Source - NewZimbabwe