President Lazarus Chakwera Sunday took a swipe at entrepreneurs that monopolise government contracts by, among other things, making multiple bids.
Addressing the nation Sunday night, Chakwera described the tendency as “stupid monopoly”, saying he is eager to stop the culture of greed that has dominated the government’s procurement system for decades.
“The net effect of this pernicious practice is that the contracts across ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and the payouts for them are concentrated in the hands of a few, who grow richer under every administration while everyone else gets poorer. The time has come to break this stupid monopoly.
“I am therefore directing all heads of MDAs to cooperate with my administration in finding ways of ensuring that no supplier of goods and services is allowed to hide behind multiple companies to monopolise procurement opportunities,” Chakwera said.
As a way of promoting local production and consumption, the Malawi leader has directed that MDAs give preference to the procurement of locally made goods.
He said he has personally seen the great work done by local artisans in places like Ndirande in Blantyre, Mchesi in Lilongwe, Katoto in Mzuzu, and other places, producing everything from office furniture to building fixtures, and yet the young people who do such great work are never given a chance.
“I am here to change all that. As far as I am concerned, there is no justification for importing things like uniforms and shoes for army and police officers. Under my administration, I want MDAs to prioritise procuring such goods and services locally where they are available,” he said.