Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority director general Elias Hausi says people should not attack the authority on the proposed regulations to give preferential treatment to indigenous black Malawians in the award of contracts.
He was speaking in Mzuzu on Monday at a consultative meeting on Administration of Preferential Treatment Regulations 2020 and PPDA Participation by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Order 2020.
His sentiments come against a background of concerns from some citizens who have described the regulations to award 60 percent of all contracts under national competitive bidding to indigenous black Malawians as discriminatory and unconstitutional.
Said Hausi: “These laws were passed in Parliament in 2017 and not by PPDA or Ministry of Trade.
“The parliamentarians had good intentions towards indigenous black Malawians,” he said.
Hausi said the authority is only facilitating the implementation of the laws to uplift the economic status of indigenous black Malawians and micro, small and medium enterprises through active participation in supplying goods and services to public institutions.
In an interview, Minister of Trade Sosten Gwengwe maintained that indigenous black Malawians should be given preferential treatment.
“There is need to put some mechanism in place if there is an economic injustice experienced with some sections of the society,” he said.
Gwengwe said his ministry has not received any dissenting views from some sections of the society on the matter.
Human rights activist Rafiq Hajat and other concerned citizens, namely Robert Jamieson, Khrisna Achuthan, Keshia Osman-Meyer, Michael Antoine and Carver Bhima said Section 44 (10) of Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act discriminate against anyone who does not appear to be either indigenous or black enough to participate in business on an equal footing. n