Chakwera orders ministries, agencies to buy local

… says he wants people to have money in their pockets

President Lazarus Chakwera has ordered Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to prioritize procurement of locally made goods and services.

He issued the directive on Sunday during an address to the nation, saying the order is part of his administration’s plan to ensure there is money in people’s pockets.

Chakwera said MDAs should give preference to procurement of goods, such as furniture, which are produced in the country.

“There is no justification for importing uniforms and shoes for police officers,” said Chakwera.

He then urged Malawi Bureau of Standards and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute to help build capacity of those wishing to supply locally made goods and services to government.

Chakwera further ordered MDAs to buy supplies from local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) including those owned by marginalized groups.

The Malawi leader also disclosed that he wants to end a culture of greed which he said has dominated government procurement system for decades.

He noted that there is a practice where one person uses several companies the person owns to submit multiple applications for the same contract and then this is done in several MDAs.

“The net effect of this practice is that the contracts across MDAs and the payouts for them are concentrated in the hands of a few who grow richer under every administration while everyone else gets poor.

“Time has come to break this stupid monopoly and replace it with government policies, legislation and practice that promotes inclusive economic growth,” said Chakwera.

He then directed heads of MDAs to ensure that no suppliers of goods and services is allowed to hide behind several companies to monopolize procurement opportunities.

The Malawi leader warned MDAs that they will bear consequences if they fail to adhere to the directions.