The Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe capacitates law enforcement agents ZRP officers follow proceedings at a PRAZ workshop in Bulawayo recently

 Peter Matika, [email protected] 

THE Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ), is on a national drive to equip law enforcement agencies with vital knowledge and skills required to handle corruption cases related to the procurement processes.

For the past month, PRAZ has been holding a series of workshops around the country to impart knowledge and skills to fight corruption.

PRAZ in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion and the African Development Bank (AFDB) contracted the services of a Ugandan expert in the field of procurement to impart knowledge and skills to local law enforcement agents.

Last week, PRAZ launched a transformative law enforcement workshop in Bulawayo, which was attended by police, the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) officers.

The workshops are aimed at complementing PRAZ’s efforts in the fight against corruption and help minimising human contact through the adoption of electronic Government Procurement (e-GP) system, which was launched by President Mnangagwa last month. 

The Electronic-Government Procurement system will minimise human assistance in the awarding of tenders and help tackle corruption.

It is an efficient and modern public procurement system, which increases value for money, transparency, and accountability while saving as much as 30 percent.

Procurement consultant, Mr Paul Kalumba said he is impressed by the manner in which Zimbabwe was implementing strategic measures to minimise corruption.

“Last week we held a similar workshop in which we were mainly dealing with chief directors from various institutions. Across the country we have managed to train more than 400 people from the law enforcement sectors,” he said.

“The aim is to raise awareness on issues related to procurement crimes and how best to minimise the crimes. We are equipping officials with technicalities that are critical for them when conducting investigations.” 

Mr Kalumba said at the end of the workshop, law enforcement officers will have an appreciation of the subject.

“I understand the country is on a digitalisation drive through the implementation of policies and programmes that lay a strong digital foundation. Such measures are important in protecting public funds and also promote transparency and accountability,” he said.

The e-GP works by connecting various entities and processes through a centralised platform that will eliminate the need to manually carry out laborious, procurement-related tasks, exchanging supplier contracts and filling out supplier onboarding questionnaires.

PRAZ director of capacity building Mr Cliff Gondo said the country was on a positive trajectory in the fight against corruption.

“The e-GP will minimise human interface and assist in dealing with corruption issues associated with the procurement sector. Interactions in the system will be auditable and verifiable. The irregularities in awarding of contracts associated with our public tender processes must be put to an end,” he said.

Mr Gondo said the e-GP system will result in an efficient and transparent exchange of information between Government and suppliers of goods and services.

“There will be financial accountability and transparency in procurement procedures. This system will not need you to travel long distances and can be accessed from the comfort of your home,” he said.

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