Local entrepreneurs on Wednesday, asked President Peter Mutharika to assent to the Procurement and Asset Disposal Bill; they claim the Bill will help to build capacity of local traders.

According to the group, building local traders’ capacity will contributing to Malawi’s social-economic development.

Speaking to the members of the press on Wednesday, local entrepreneurs hailed Members of Parliament for passing the Bill, which now requires consent from the Head of State to become part of the Laws of Malawi.

President of Small and Medium Enterprises Association (SMEA) James Chiutsi, said “we applaud Parliament for passing the Bill, which, if assented to by the President, will give Government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) powers to buy 60 percent of procurement needs from local entrepreneurs. We hope the leadership will assent to the Bill into law.”

Chiutsi added that “it is high time local entrepreneurs got a fair share of the country’s cake, which has mostly been enjoyed by non-indigenous business persons and large corporations.”

In his remarks, Vice President of Indigenous Medical Suppliers Association (IMSESA), Arthur Sungitsa said giving 60 percent of procurement needs to local Malawians would help in building capacity amongst local traders, who have been regarded as incapable to meet the demands.

“The capacity is there amongst the locals, but they lacked support from the Government, which is the main buyer of goods and services. The non-indigenous or large corporate businesses, have grown because of the support they receive from Government; and if the same treatment is given to the locals, they will grow into large corporations and contribute to the country’s social-economic development,” said Sungitsa.

Sungitsa, however, urged the Government ministries, departments, and agencies to honour payments in good time, so that local businesses are not killed.

He said local entrepreneurs are accused of lacking capacity, but it is sometimes the Government that contributes to the lack of capacity by failing to honour payments in good time.

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