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PRAZ Backs Law Changes To Promote Locally Manufactured Goods

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By Alois Vinga


THE Procurement and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) has tabled plans to push for amendments on the purchasing law in order to promote locally manufactured goods.

Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com Business on the sidelines of a media engagement meeting this week past week, PRAZ acting chief executive officer, Clever Ruswa said the proposed amendment will drive procurement.

“Our intention is to incorporate the measures in the regulations by aligning with other policies approved through cabinet and parliament.

“The strategy also falls in line with government policy on local content by giving specific quotas to Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs),” he said.

Through our monitoring and evaluation department, we will be following up on buyers’ activities to see if they really met the required quotas.

The Local Content Strategy (Ministry of Industry and Commerce) aims to increase local content levels from 25% to 80% by 2023.

To aid PPDPPA Act and Regulations need to incorporate weightings for local content, with preference being given to bidders providing local content, and to local manufacturers over importers/middlemen.

The SMEs policy incepted by the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community and SME Development provides that 25% of procurement by government should be from SMEs.

The Local Content Strategy (Ministry of Industry and Commerce) aims to increase local content levels from 25% to 80% by 2023.

“We need to support local manufacturers by increasing preference towards local manufacturers as this will go a long way in creating jobs. We have been recently encouraging local authorities to buy water treatment chemicals manufactured by Zimbabwean firms.

“The firm strategy has been applied to the country’s health sector where we are encouraging use of locally manufactured drugs,” Ruswa said.

The initiative comes against a background where the country has lost millions of foreign currency in a bid to purchase goods from abroad despite these being easily found locally.

Some corrupt government officials have in the past used such opportunities to loot and illegally move money out of Zimbabwe.

Seven sections of the legislative piece have been earmarked for amendment and these are, Amendment of Section 3 (6) of Cap 22:23, Section 15 Authorisation to Conduct Procurement by Procuring Entities, Section 54 of Cap. 22:23 and Section 55 (2) (Contract Award).

The Principal Act will also be amended by the insertion after section 102 of the following new section 102A to include offences and penalties stating that any violations of provisions of the Act shall be an offence and the regulations shall provide penalties for criminal and administrative violations.

Other sections earmarked for amendment are Section 100 (Application of Act to joint ventures) of Cap. 22:23 and the addition of youths and women in the Act.

The Authority has been undertaking stakeholder engagements for the whole of March and managed to meet key sectors such as Insurance; Health; Motor Industry; SME’s: Women, Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation; Information Communication and Technology; 3 Environment, Tourism and Hospitality among other stakeholders.