Cash reprieve for Jan violence victims

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

At least $10 million out of $30 million has now been disbursed to assist businesses affected by violent clashes that rocked the country in January that saw shops being looted and some vandalised as Zimbabweans protested against a 150% fuel price hike, Cabinet said yesterday.

Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa told a post-Cabinet media briefing that the $10 million rescue package disbursed so far had benefitted the worst-affected businesses.

“A total of $4 964 133 has already been disbursed to replenish stocks. Currently, the affected provinces are processing requests for equipment and infrastructure, with the disbursements expected to start this week,” Mutsvangwa said.

Cabinet also received an update on principles to amend the High Court Act in order to align it with the Constitution.

The proposed changes deal with the composition of the High Court and its jurisdiction.

Mutsvangwa said they also discussed the Zimbabwe Human Rights Amendment Bill which seeks to align the country’s Constitution to the human rights laws.

“The proposed amendments also seek to achieve the following: To ensure that the Act is in compliance with international best practices as contained in the Paris principles. To allow for co-operation with other constitutional commissions such as the Zimbabwe Gender Commission and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission,” she said.

Cabinet also discussed the Water Amendment Bill which seeks to guarantee the provision of clean and potable water to citizens as provided by the Constitution.

“The Bill also provides for the following, the need to prioritise, inter alia, primary requirements, environment conservation, agriculture, mining, industry and factors such as gender and disability in the allocation of water resources,” Mutsvangwa said.

The Bill will also expand the procedure for reservation of areas likely to be required for dam basin or dam sites, to provide for the increased management and protection of water resources, taking into account the increased demand for ground water.

In the past, water activists have accused the government of failing to protect water sources, especially wetlands.

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