PUBLIC PROCUREMENT IN ZIMBABWE: LAW, POLICY AND PRACTICE
Keywords: public procurement, Zimbabwe, infrastructure development
AbstractThe increasing prominence of government in infrastructure construction and development and in the acquisition of public goods and services for public welfare provides a relevant opportunity to scrutinise public procurement laws and policies. In general, an efficient public procurement system enhances a government’s public welfare role, particularly in Africa where governments are the major drivers for economic development in society. Further, determining the nature of a public procurement system, through analysis of the legislative and policy framework, clearly illustrates the political commitment in the fight against corruption and in a government’s pursuit of important social and economic objectives. There is a particularly greater danger that the lack of a clear policy direction in this area, coupled with procurement laws that are difficult to enforce creates a breeding ground for corruption and establishes a system that lacks the necessary integrity. Further, there is the argument that inefficient and compromised public procurement frameworks are bound to create and regenerate corruption, misuse of public funds, poverty and consequently underdevelopment in general. In view of this, it is clear that effective public procurement regulation is a critical tool in public administration. This paper explores Zimbabwe’s public procurement law and policy, arguing that relevant laws and policies should, as a matter of principle, create a transparent procurement system that instills business confidence. The paper therefore underscores the importance of public procurement as a necessary instrument in public administration and public finance management in Zimbabwe, and its role in advancing the government’s social and economic objectives in general.
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