Parliament has approved amendments to the proposed Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Bill to allow the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to vet single sourcing procurement.
However, members of Parliament (MPs) were opposed to giving such powers to the director general of ACB, arguing that being a political appointee, the officer could be biased.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe proposed an amendment that clause 11 of the Bill should include a provision that the single sourcing method of procurement be subject to vetting under Section 10 of the Corrupt Practices Act (CPA).
But Salima South MP Uladi Mussa (People’s Party-PP) feared that there was no guarantee that corruption would not happen after the ACB director general vets the process.
He said: “This is another way of compromising the fight against corruption.?”
Salima Central MP Felix Jumbe (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) suggested that instead of giving the ACB director powers to vet, the officer should just be noting after the process has already been done.
While arguing that the amendment was including the director general as head of an institution, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu expressed surprise that MPs were against rooting out corruption at the onset.
He said it was the joint committee of Legal Affairs, Trade and Industry and Budget and Finance that expressed reservations with single sourcing procurement procedures.
Section 9 of the Bill has outlined occasions under which single sourcing is permitted.
However, after much debate and continued opposition from the opposite benches, Gondwe substituted the wording for director general with ACB. n