President Hakainde Hichilema has tasked relevant authorities to enforce measures that will recover public resources paid for undelivered goods and services to the government.
President Hichilema said that it is unacceptable that contracts worth about K12 billion were signed for feeder roads and some contractors were given down payments but no works have been done, adding that over $63-million was also paid for two projects which were never delivered.
Officially opening a Procurement meeting for Ministers and Permanent Secretaries in Lusaka today, the President said the meeting is aimed at encouraging officers to move in and get back the money.
The Head of State said public service procurement is a key tenet to public governance hence needs to be adhered to at all times.
He lamented that public procurement officers, Permanent Secretaries, and Ministers became suppliers of public services to the government at inflated prices.
The President asked the Ministers and Permanent Secretaries to help restore order in the public procurement process and avoid being found on the wrong side of the law.
He revealed that some Ministers are already under pressure from businesses that have survived on government contracts hence encouraging them to be strong because they risk being flashed out.
President Hichilema also stated that Zambia stands no chance of reconstructing the economy if systems that collapsed are not worked on.
He said public expenditure, procurement of fertilizer, fuel, infrastructures like roads, and general procurement have been the major hindrance to economic development and need urgent attention.
President Hichilema said Zambians voted for employment, health, education, and opportunities which will work with enhanced trade and investments by sorting out challenges.
And Acting Secretary to the Cabinet Patrick Kangwa said the public service needs serious transformation to promote effectiveness, humility, and inclusiveness as part of delivering targets by the new dawn administration.
Mr. Kangwa said a series of four meetings focused on managing results for Permanent Secretaries and decentralization policy implementation among others have been lined up.
He said none of the four meetings is attracting allowances for participants except for 9 Provincial Ministers and Permanent Secretaries for their accommodation and meals.
And in a vote of thanks dubbed “Knowledge is Power,” Justice Minister Mulambo Haimbe said the meeting will empower participants with tools to do the right thing in delivering to the masses.
He said attaining necessary procurement tools by Ministers and Permanent Secretaries is key for them as gatekeepers of public resources.
And Auditor General Dick Sichembe in his presentation of the 2020 Report said weaknesses such as unplanned procurement, awarding contracts to bidders who did not have the capacity to deliver, failure to obtain clearance from his office, and signing of contracts by unauthorized persons among others were discovered.