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Covid-19 scandal: Procurement committee denies involvement

by Staff reporter
26 Jun 2020 at 07:48hrs | Views
THE Special Procurement Oversight Committee (Spoc) has distanced itself from the ongoing Covid-19 scandal, saying all procurement was done through the Ministry of Health and Child Care in line with a circular issued by the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Praz) in March.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa's administration is battling a Covid-19 procurement scandal that saw Drax International fronted by businessman Delish Nguwaya unprocedurally getting a US$60 million contract to supply medicines and surgical sundries without going to tender.

Drax was selling Covid-19 equipment to government at grossly inflated figures.

Nguwaya and Health minister Obadiah Moyo have been arrested in connection with the procurement scandal.

According to Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act (PPDPA), if the tender exceeds the stipulated threshold specified in the General Regulations, the law requires that before the procuring entity awards a procurement contract to the winning bidder, it shall bring the documentation outlining the process undertaken to the Spoc for scrutiny.

The Spoc is chaired by the Attorney General, Prince Machaya with the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe through its CEO Nyasha Chizu being the secretariat.

Last week Machaya referred questions on Covid-19 procurement to Praz saying all cases that the committee deals with would have come from the procurement body.

Chizu revealed that all Covid-19 procurements were exempted from Spoc according to a circular issued on March 27, 2020, following a meeting with officials from the Ministries of Finance and Economic Development and Health.and Child Care.

The Health ministry was given the mandate to coordinate the procurement of all Covid-19 requirements for all provinces.

"The authority in terms of Section 7 and 19 (3) of the Public Procurement and Disposal Of Public Assets Acts (Chapter 22:23) directs that: With reference to a minute from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development on the same matter, the Ministry of Health and Child Care shall coordinate the procurement of Covid-19 requirements for all the provinces," Chizu said.

"Shared procurement for common use would be coordinated through provincial structures or the head office or Health ministry as it sees fit in terms of section 19 of the PPDPA Act. The ministry shall identify a lead procuring entity for each province, which entity may be outside the Ministry of Health and Child Care structures."

The circular exempted the Ministry from following normal procurement procedures.

"Framework arrangements and direct procurement contracts from Covid-19 shall in terms of section 3(7) of the PPDA Act, be exempted from provision of section 54 of the Act for prior review by the Special Procurement Oversight Committee. Procuring entities shall submit the procurement records on a monthly basis to the authority for post review of the contract awards."

Source - the independent