Confusion rocks Govt Comms: Mnangagwa nullifies ‘secret’ health sector procurement bid moments after Mangwana defends its illegality

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By Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has backtracked on a controversial decree through a Statutory Instrument (SI) stating that procurement in construction, medicines and drugs will not be publicly disclosed.

Earlier on, Information ministry spokesperson Nick Mangwana defended the illegality of the document which had caused an uproar, saying it is meant to disentangle purchases of emergency medical supplies or critical equipment repairs from the long drawn procurement process.

“So the import of the General Notice is not to avoid public accountability but to allow life saving procurement. Supposing there is an urgent need for certain theatre sundries, without the “Notice”, it would mean the hospital would need to publish a tender first, and go through the long drawn process putting patient safety and life at risk.

“This “Notice” gives room for direct procurement of such sundries without the need for bureaucratic procurement processes,” he said.

However moments after, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, dismissed the SI saying it had been published without Mnangagwa’s authorisation.

“His Excellency the President, Dr ED Mnangagwa. has been made aware of some document gazetted as General Notice 635 of 2023, purporting (© place the procurement of certain goods outside public scrutiny. On grounds of “national interest”.

“Upon further investigations, it has come to light that the so-called Government Gazetted Notice is nullity, having been published without authorisation, and without the signature of the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, as is the norm,” read the statement.


Sibanda added that investigations are underway to determine how the ‘illegal’ document was leaked.

“While further investigations are underway, Government wishes to advise the public that, on the instruction of His Excellency the President, the document in question has been rescinded as it has no standing at law, policy and in terms of set Government in  procedures. It thus should be disregarded.

“Government remains committed as ever to managing a transparent public procurement policy and process as required by the law of the country,” added the statement.

The nullified SI on Tuesday drew fierce criticism from opposition Citizens Coalition for Change, Civil Society Organisations and legal experts who described it as a counterproductive move to cover up rampant corruption.