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‘GOVT TO CONTINUE SEIZING CORRUPTION PROCEEDS’

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MBABANE – “Government is unyielding in its endeavour to ensure that all proceeds of corruption, and any other criminal activity, are traced and forfeited to the State”.


This statement was enunciated by Prime Minister (PM) Mandvulo Dlamini during the inaugural procurement indaba gala dinner convened at the Royal Swazi Spa on Wednesday. The PM pointed out that one of the major challenges of government procurement was its uncanny ability to inadvertently invite corruption.
Dlamini said he hoped that deliberations during the procurement indaba had identified all the gaps that unfavourably project procurement as the perfect platform for inducing bribes or inflating prices, and all forms of corruption.


“We cannot normalise such a scenario, and government is determined to root out corruption with zero tolerance. And to achieve that, both the public and private sector have an ethical role to play,” said Dlamini.


The PM said government was aware that, if properly carried out, public procurement could be used as a tool to deter corruption.
Dlamini challenged the Eswatini Public Procurement Regulatory Agency (ESPPRA), which spearheaded the indaba, to ensure that public procurement follows all the necessary regulations and laws.


The PM said the role of public procurement regulations as an enhancer, and not a deterrent of public procurement, could not be over emphasised.
Dlamini added that government was currently looking at several procurement interventions, namely; using procurement as a tool for rationalising government expenditure, using the Private Public Partnership (PPP) model as an alternative model of financing government projects, and using procurement as a mitigating tool for corruption.


Advised


ESPPRA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Madoda Mngomezulu advised government to utilise public procurement regulatory findings to determine policy direction with a view to make all procurement processes transparent.


“As a country, we should consider using public procurement to revive dormant or underperforming sectors of the economy,” advised Mngomezulu.     
It should be mentioned that the Eswatini public sector in the year 2017/2018 spent about E14 billion which accounted for 22 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product to procure goods, works and services.


Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg in his opening remarks during the inaugural procurement indaba said this should make it automatic, given the kingdom’s developmental approach and the transformational pieces of legislation and policies, that Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises would thrive.
Rijkenberg said the marginalised majority of Swati people should be drawn into the mainstream economy which would see more people getting out of poverty.

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