Government will now be forced to award 60 per cent of all its contracts and other related business to indigenous black Malawians following a successful amendment on Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets amended by Karonga Central MP Frank Mwenifumbo.
The new amendment was passed with other amendments of the Act aimed at curbing corruption in the awarding of contracts and prevention of a repeat of another cashgate, the looting of government finances and resources.
“Provided that a procurig entity shall ensure prioritization of all bids submitted to give preference to sixty per cent indigenous black Malawians and forty percent others for national competitive bidding,” reads the amendment provided by Mwenifumbo.
In an interview with Nyasa Times after the controversial amendment passed through parliament, Mweifumbo said Malawians had no economic independence and this controibutedd to slow economic development.
“Small and medium enterprises are economic engines for growth. That is why I proposed that 60 percent of government contracts should go to Malawians,” he said.
Another amendment is the curtailing of powers of the President in the appointment of the director of the office of public procurement.
Chairman of Budget and Finance committee Rhino Chiphiko said this was one of the best legislation parliament has ever passed.
“The ACB (graft busting body Anti-Corruption Bureau) will now be involved in early stages of procurement before a no objection is issued on single sourcing contracts,” he said.
The bill was passed after a long and protracted committee stage.
Mike Mlombwa, chairman of ABAM, a black empowerment movement welcomed the new Act and thanked Mwenifumbo and others for the amendments.
“We have been asking for this for long, thank God, finally we have what we had been asking for,” he said.
Activist and writer Emily Mkamanga said the passing of the amendments to the Act means the country is moving in the right direction.
The passing of the amendments however did not go without controversy as the government side in parliament did not participate in the voice vote.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :