Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Joseph Mwanamvekha has appealed to procurement officers in public and private sector to award 30 percent of all procurement to Malawian businesses to boost their operations.
Speaking at the opening of the Sixth Annual Lake Conference of the Malawi Institute of Procurement and Supply (Mips) in Mangochi on Friday, the minister said the move is in line with the Buy Malawi Strategy (BMS)—borne out of a wide consultation—launched earlier this year.
He said: “There is need for a lot of emotional intelligence when you are dealing with this particular matter. It is a known fact that most Malawian businesses have challenges.
“Similarly, I would want to urge the private sector to emulate what we are trying to do in public procurement by supporting Malawian businesses. As government, we have already drafted the Malawi Economic Empowerment Bill to support this directive.”
The Malawi Economic Empowerment Bill—modelled on Black Empowerment Act of South Africa and Indigenisation Act of Zimbabwe—is expected to be tabled in the forthcoming sitting of Parliament, according to Mwanamvekha.
He said Mips Act, which came into force in June this year, aims at bringing sanity to this field, which has remained unregulated for years by, among others, icensing of members to practise the procurement and supply management profession and accreditation of local training programmes in procurement and supply chain management.
In her speech, Mips acting president Bernadette Maele called on government to work with them to ensure that procurement issues are handled professionally to avoid the country losing money due to fraudulent procurement procedures.
“Let me urge members of this important profession to be persons of high integrity and not soil their good names with unprofessional practices such as corruption, which is for temporary gain, but has far-reaching negative consequences on the profession as well as the nation in general,” she said.
Maele’s sentiments came against the backdrop of a forensic audit report by RSM Risk Assurance of United Kingdom (UK), which found the K236 billion unaccounted for between January 2009 and December 2014 was due to misprocurement. n