By TEDDY KUYELA
MINISTER of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane has called on the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) to be transparent and accountable in the procurement of goods and services.
Dr Musokotwane said ZPPA should follow the procurement guidelines and practices to help Government and parastatal institutions carry out procurement in a more consistent and efficient manner.
He said this in Lusaka on Friday when he received a donation of five vehicles from Zambia’s co-operating partners on behalf of ZPPA.
Dr Musokotwane said controlling officers and chief executives of parastatal bodies are required to undertake most of their purchasing through ZPPA to ensure transparency and accountability in the utilisation of public funds.
He said Government is concerned about the abuse of resources in the procurement of public goods and that this must be addressed to enhance service delivery in the country.
Dr Musokotwane said ZPPA has been mandated to procure goods on behalf of Government and that effective management of public resources can greatly contribute to poverty reduction and the general welfare of Zambians.
He said public finance management is cardinal to Zambia’s development agenda.
“Government is currently carrying out a lot of projects such as the construction of roads, hospitals and schools. These are projects which require huge sums of money and we can only achieve our objectives as Government when there is transparency and accountability in all the resources we are spending.
“ZPPA has been mandated by Government to procure goods and services on behalf of all the public institutions. So we have to ensure that we become more accountable in the manner in which we are utilising our resources so that we can enhance service delivery in the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, World Bank country manager Kapil Kapoor, who represented co-operating partners, said the donor community will continue supporting Zambia’s efforts of ensuring transparency and accountability in the utilisation of public funds.
Dr Kapoor said procurement is paramount to the economy of the country and that the donor community will continue supporting mechanisms aimed at enhancing the public procurement system.
“We will continue providing technical and financial support to all the efforts that the Zambian government is undertaking to help enhance the procurement system of the country.
“We the co-operating partners namely the World Bank, Department for International Development (DFID), the Netherlands government and the Public Expenditure Management and Financial Accountability (PEMFA) have decided to donate these vehicles at a cost of US$200, 000 to help improve ZPPA operations,” he said.
And ZPPA director general Samuel Chibuye commended the donor community for the donation.
Mr Chibuye said the donation will greatly help improve operations at his institution by cushioning the transport problems.