President Mnangagwa has officially withdrawn the unauthorised General Notice 635 of 2023, which purportedly sought to shield procurement and disposal of certain goods by the Ministry of Health and Child Care from public scrutiny.
General Notice 635 had been gazetted last week. The withdrawal is contained in General Notice 851A of 2023 published in an extra-ordinary Government Gazette by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda.
“It is hereby notified that His Excellency the President has with immediate effect cancelled the declaration set forth in General Notice 635 of 2023; that general notice is accordingly repealed,” Dr Sibanda said.
According to the repealed notice, the President had in terms of section 3(6) of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act (Chapter 22:23), declared various goods to be of “national interest” hence they had been exempted from public disclosure.
These included construction equipment and materials, biomedical and medical equipment, medicines and drugs, vehicles including ambulances, laboratory equipment among others.
In a statement last week, Dr Sibanda said the document in question had no standing at law, in policy and in terms of set Government procedures.
“Upon further investigations, it has come to light that the so-called Government Gazetted Notice is a nullity, having been published without authorisation, and without the signature of the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, as is the norm.
While further investigations are underway, Government wishes to advise the public that, on the instruction of His Excellency the President, the document in question has been rescinded as it has no standing at law, in policy and in terms of set Government procedures. It thus should be disregarded”.
He stressed Government’s commitment to managing a transparent public procurement policy and process, as required by the laws of the country.