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Zambia’s procurement system needs transformation not reform

Dr Bwalya Ng’andu says Zambia’s current procurement system is flawed and that it is being reformed. We agree!

And it needs to be transformed and not reformed.

As nouns the difference between reform and transform is that reform is an amendment of what is defective, vicious, corrupt, or depraved; reformation; while transform is (mathematics) the result of a transformation.

As verbs the difference between reform and transform is that reform is to put into a new and improved form or condition; to restore to a former good state, or bring from bad to good; to change from worse to better; to amend; to correct while transform is to change greatly the appearance or form of.

Reform is to leave a system as it is and try to change its behaviour through a modification of the means it employs. This is about doing things right.

To transform is to change a system’s objectives or ends and the means it employs to achieve those ends. This is about doing the right things.

Our procurement is reeking with corruption, inefficiency, wastefulness in every pore. It’s simply a conduit for sharing public resources. Kickbacks, commissions or cuts are the order of the day. From top to bottom people have gotten rich through getting kickbacks, commissions or cuts from the procurement system. It has become a way of life.

Why should someone who doesn’t even have a wheelbarrow or a shovel be given 20 per cent of a construction project which they simply end up discounting to the main foreign contractor?

This is nothing but broad daylight banditry.

This system doesn’t need reform, it must be totally uprooted.

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