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General Notice 635 of 2023 fiasco

14 May 2023 at 13:33hrs | Views
It's a bird! It's a plane! No, wait, it's the government of Zimbabwe doing its usual shenanigans.

In a recent move that has left many scratching their heads and wondering about the state of affairs in the country, the government of Zimbabwe published a notice titled General Notice 635 of 2023 in the government gazette that made all Ministry of Health procurements matters of national interest and thus classified.

Now, this may seem like a perfectly reasonable move to some. After all, there are plenty of things in healthcare procurement that could be considered matters of national interest. But to others, this move was not only questionable but downright ridiculous.

And that's where the fun begins.
After a public outcry, the good old government gazette reversed the notice, claiming that it was published without proper authorization of the government. Now, let's pause for a moment. How is it that the government gazette, an official publication of the government, published an article without proper authorization of the government?

It makes one wonder if the right hand knows what the left hand is doing.

But let's not jump to conclusions. Perhaps it was an honest mistake? Maybe the government of Zimbabwe was trying to keep things under wraps, and someone went rogue and published the article without authorization? That seems like a plausible explanation, right? Right?

Not so fast. There is a high likelihood that the article was authorized, and the government is just playing games.

Let's take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Zimbabwe is a country that has had its fair share of troubles over the years. Corruption, political unrest, and economic instability are just a few of the challenges that the country has faced. So, when the government suddenly decides to classify all Ministry of Health procurements as matters of national interest, it's natural for people to be suspicious.
And when the government gazette publishes an article about it, it's natural for people to assume that it was authorized by the government.

So, the question is, why would the government of Zimbabwe want to classify all Ministry  of Health procurements as matters of national interest? Is there something going on behind the scenes that the government doesn't want the public to know about?

One possibility is that the government is trying to cover up corruption in the healthcare system. Zimbabwe has a history of corruption in the government, and the healthcare system is no exception. For a good, recent example there was that entire US$60 million COVID-19 PPE procurement scandal involving then minister Obadiah Moyo, and DRAX - where at the end, no one was ever held accountable. By classifying all healthcare procurements, the government can keep the public in the dark about any shady deals or kickbacks that may be going on.

Another possibility is that the government is trying to prevent the public from scrutinizing the healthcare system too closely. Zimbabwe's healthcare system is in shambles, with shortages of drugs, medical equipment, and personnel. By classifying all healthcare procurements, the government can prevent the public from questioning why the system is failing so miserably.

Whatever the reason may be, the fact remains that the government of Zimbabwe is playing games with its citizens. By publishing an article in the government gazette and then claiming that it was unauthorized, the government is either admitting to incompetence or attempting to deceive the public. Neither of these options inspires confidence in the government's ability to govern effectively.
What still buffles me is that the government spokesperson, Nick Mangwana, actually twitted in support of the government gazette - only to issue a contrary statement barely two hours later. Talk about authority.

The government of Zimbabwe's recent antics with the healthcare procurement system highlight the inherent flaws in the country's government. Whether it's corruption, incompetence, or something else entirely, the fact that the government is playing games is alarming. It's time for the government of Zimbabwe to start taking its responsibilities seriously and to start acting in the best interests of its citizens.

Source - Kumbirai Thierry Nhamo
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