Procurement and supply chain management professionals have been warned against involvement in “procurementgate” because they are the most exposed group and possibly control the largest share of organisation’s budgets.
Business mogul Thom Mpinganjira, who is also FDH Financial Holdings Limited group chief executive officer, coined the term ‘procurementgate’ at the fourth Malawi Institute of Procurement Supply (Mips) annual conference in Mangochi on Friday.
This was in view of Cashgate—the looting of billions of kwacha in public funds at Capital Hill by government and private sector officials—that resulted in bilateral donors withholding budgetary support.
“Therefore, this grouping is perhaps the most exposed group of professionals prone to temptation, bribery and corruption by suppliers.
“We still are reeling from the effects of Cashgate. When I travel these days, Malawians are a laughing stock. People are asking how that can happen, how people can be paid for work that they have not done. We don’t want to see procurementgate in Malawi. Cashgate has done enough damage,” he said.
Mpinganjira encouraged Mips members to continue developing a cadre of high calibre and highly ethical professionals of integrity satisfied with contractual remuneration, rewards and benefits and not self aggrandisement.
He said in procurement and supply, the focus has nowadays shifted from cost avoidance, risk mitigation and compliance to proactively adding value and helping organisations to do more with less and in line with business expectations, government regulations and shareholder demands.
“While many organisations are turning their focus inwardly to their supply side, procurement cannot add value by looking inwards, procurement is increasingly looking for supply chain collaboration and innovation to deliver,” he said.
The Mips conference was held under the theme ‘Innovation and value creation: An opportunity for procurement and supply’.
Mips newly elected president Azikiwe Mussa Mbewe said they want the role of procurement and supply professionals to be considered in influencing policy formulation in Malawi.
“No one can argue a case where over 70 percent of institutional funds go through us and still claim they can do without us. We have had issues happening in the country probably because authorities have not invested enough in supply chain management,” he said.
Mbewe noted that if procurement and supply chain management was taken as a priority in the last two years, mismanagement could not have happened because supply chain is a critical contract management.
“What we want to see in public institutions, the private sector and even non-governmental organisations is investment in supply chain management. We have management areas that we can control, more especially, in contract management,” he said.