GOVERNMENT is set to relax cumbersome procurement regulations to smoothen the rehabilitation and rebuilding of Cyclone Idai-damaged infrastructure, a top government official has said.
Chief permanent secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda told officials at the start of a High-Level Cyclone Idai Reconstruction and Resettlement Taskforce’s tour of affected areas in Chimanimani over the weekend that the procurement regulations were affecting the speed in which work was being carried out.
He said the regulations have been noted in Cabinet as constraining current efforts to rebuild affected areas.
“We want to now take certain initiatives arising from cabinet; for instance one issue that has been constraining the reconstruction programme is the tight procurement procedures.
“I will consult with the chairman of Cabinet, the president be authorised to write to PRAZ (Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe ) after consulting my colleague the secretary for Finance so that we relax the procedures so that we take into account the exigencies of disaster such as the cyclone which we have just witnessed,” Sibanda said.
He said the high-level taskforce was put together to ensure efficiency in superintending over relocation and reconstruction efforts.
“We have put together this team; it’s going to be called the high-level Cyclone Idai reconstruction and resettlement taskforce.
“This is a follow up to the president having pronounced the 10-point plan which was followed up by comprehensive reports given to cabinet by the chairman of the disaster management committee with some decisions that have already been made which now need to be implemented,” he said.
Sibanda said the tour was meant to give the senior civil servants first hand appreciation of the work they will be supervising.
“We have come here as a follow up to the tragic disaster that befell us and indeed more particularly the province of Manicaland and indeed other provinces Masvingo and Mash East… we want to have a thorough assessment of the requirements going forward on what has to be done…
“We thought first and foremost that we need to get familiar with what is on the ground. At some point we are going to arrange a similar trip to Masvingo and Mash East.”
Sibanda said they will be operationalising their findings beginning this week as many survivors have been complaining at the pace in which government has been dealing with the emergency with many areas still to be easily accessible.