The Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has warned against blanket condemnation of procurement officers saying majority act professionally but they must reign on rogue elements amongst them.
Gachagua made the remarks today while officiating the Second Procurement and Supply Chain Dialogue organised by the Kenya Institute of Supply Management(KISM) in Mombasa.
Procurement has cited as one of the conduits used to embezzle taxpayers’ money through collusion between rotten procurement officers and unscrupulous entrepreneurs.
“There are many serious professionals in the procurement and supply chain sector. There are also a few rogue officers who are corrupt in tendering processes. Let people be called by name for what they are. Targeting of all procurement officers for condemnation is unfair and needs to stop.” Gachagua said.
He added that the profession does not operate in a vacuum and like others in our society, 5 per cent are the bad apples.
However, he asked procurement officers to dignify the profession by exposing and dealing with the rotten apples among them.
While raising concerns over corruption, which denies deserving Kenyans an opportunity to do business with the Government, Gachagua suggested to investigating agencies to hire procurement and supply chain experts in the fight against corruption.
“I want to ask investigation agencies to recruit procurement professionals to help investigate cases of corruption. Some police officers are clueless; they have no idea of what they are looking for.” He said.
He added that without the requisite expertise, corruption cases flop and taxpayer’s money is lost.
He challenged the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (Eacc) and other agencies to work harder in ending corruption.
“We cannot keep complaining that we lose billions of shillings to corruption. The Government has allocated tax-payer’s resources to institutions to root out this vice. We have the capacity to implement fool-proof systems. We have adequate laws and we are ready to strengthen them where there are gaps.” Gachagua said.
While calling for inclusion of high-tech ways for transparency in procurement, the Deputy President said such systems will give an opportunity to hustlers too.
“We cannot have an inclusive Supply Chain that does not value Integrity. We cannot have an inclusive Supply Chain that does not regard transparency and non-interference. The supply chain sector has the key to birthing the next generation of millionaires from the bottom.” He added.
While challenging financial institutions to support women, the youth and vulnerable groups, Gachagua called for fair consideration for the benefit of those at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid. He said the Hustler Fund has helped bridge the financial gap.
“Financial inclusion will make sense if we actualise the tendering processes to also favour upcoming enterprises, which may not have a rich track record. Women, the youth and people living with disabilities must benefit in a big way if we are to uplift the hustler to the high table,” the Deputy President said.
For socio-economic transformation, the Deputy President said the supply chain has a direct contribution to lowering the cost of production, adding that a long and bureaucratic process in procurement and supply of farm inputs piles the cost unto the farmer and other consumers at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid.