GOVERNMENT has dismissed the public procurement and disposal of public assets act which was gazette on Tuesday.
The gazette made on Tuesday seeks to keep details of procurement processes in medicines, drugs and construction from the public.
In a notice dated May 5, 2023, the government declared “Special procurements in the public interest”, specifically the health sector, saying procurement processes falling under the category would not be publicly disclosed.
“It is hereby notified that the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe has, in terms of section 3(6) of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act [Chapter 22:23], declared the following to be of national interest and shall not be publicly disclosed,” the Gazette read.
In a statement by the chief secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, dismissed the gazette.
“His Excellency the President, Dr ED Mnangagwa has been made aware of some document gazetted as General Notice 635 of 2023, purporting to 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 also said the notice must be disregarded and the government has since launched an investigation to find out how it was leaked.
“While further investigations are underway, the 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wishes to advise the public that, on the instruction of His Excellency the President, the document in question has been rescinded as it has no standing at law, policy and in terms of set government procedures.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.
Earlier on today, information ministry permanent secretary Nick Mangwana had justified the initial notice saying it was meant to disentangle purchases of emergency medical supplies or critical equipment repairs from the long-drawn procurement process.