Zimbabwe to end disclosures about medical procurement
Zimbabwe’s government will no longer be forced to disclose information to the public about its procurement of medicines, medical and construction equipment, according to a gazette by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Critics say the move violates the right to freedom of information.
Entitled “Special Procurements in the Public Interest – Health Sector”, the gazette lists biomedical equipment, vehicles including ambulances, laboratory equipment, chemicals, hospital protective equipment as “of national interest” adding that details of their disposal and procurement shall not be publicly disclosed.
Zimbabwe’s public healthcare sector is poorly funded and often has shortages of syringes and antibiotics.
It is not clear whether the government is planning large-scale expenditure in the health sector without having to disclose the details.
State procurements worth over $1m (£790,000) are usually required to go to public tender.
The main opposition party, the Citizen’s Coalition for Change, called for transparency and questioned why the acquisition of public property should be hidden. It said the secrecy would promote corruption.