MPs block centralised buying plans

11 April 2011

12 April 2011 | Angeline Albert

Earlier this month, Zimbabwe MPs rejected centralising the tender system for urban councils, which formed part of amendments to the General Laws Amendment Bill proposed by justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa.

During the second reading of the bill, Chinamasa had proposed to change the Urban Councils Act, which would confine the buying of goods and awarding of tenders in urban councils to Harare, where the State Procurement Board is based.

The MPs felt the changes would destabilise service delivery, compromise the quick procurement of goods, hinder the use of local businesses and damage the independence of urban councils to get resources that could improve service delivery.

The centralisation of procurement could also result in delays to the delivery of medical goods during emergencies, causing loss
of life in cases of epidemics, MPs said. Others were concerned that the proposals could violate principles of devolution of power to local authorities.

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