Public procurement reforms in rural local authorities in Zimbabwe

Prior to the introduction of the new procurement reforms in 2018, the public sector in Zimbabwe operated a centralised, corrupt, chaotic, and inefficient system which had a negative impact on good local governance and democracy. The ushering in of the new public procurement reforms in 2018 was a welcome development as it advocated for the decentralising of the procurement function to institutions such as rural district councils.

However, this study found challenges affecting the implementation of the new reforms by rural district councils, including a lack of adequately trained personnel, additional workload though statutory returns, as well as a lack of appropriate information, communication and technology infrastructure. In order to address these challenges, the author recommends strengthening the collaboration between councils and institutions of higher learning in order to close the skills gap. Policies which promote investment in information and communication infrastructure must be prioritised.