The Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe’s (PRAZ) chief executive, Mr Nyasha Chizu, was on Tuesday sent on leave, the day after he told Parliament’s committee on the Budget, Finance and Economic Development that some entities had not complied with procurement guidelines issued by the authority in March when the Covid-19 pandemic was declared a national disaster.
PRAZ admitted that it did not oversee all procurement of goods and services by Government departments to combat Covid-19 and that not all State entities had submitted monthly procurement reports since the beginning of the lockdown.
The non-compliant entities were yet to submit their monthly procurement reports as required by law while some had centralised their procurement processes instead of decentralising them.
Mr Chizu said some cases had been referred to the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (Zacc) for further investigation.
PRAZ board chairperson Mrs Vimbai Nyemba confirmed Mr Chizu was on leave and denied rumours he had been suspended.
When Mr Chizu appeared with other PRAZ managers before the budget committee on Monday, he said the authority was reviewing procurement done by various Government departments since the lockdown was enforced in March.
PRAZ was established as a successor body to the State Procurement Board, through the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act in 2018, and Mr Chizu was appointed CEO since then.
The organisation is no longer responsible for awarding tenders, but issues general procurement guidelines, review processes and evaluates decisions made by procuring entities.
The Treasury has the responsibility for the final money for value assessment, before it will approve payments, and recently ordered the cancellation of a large deal for medical supplies entered into by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, a deal that has already seen the former Health Minister, Dr Obadiah Moyo, arrested and later dismissed from office.