In Full: Second post-cabinet press briefing: 22 February, 2022

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Vaccines
Received vaccines from China in 2021 (File picture)

ZIMBABWE’S RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND REPORT ON THE PROCUREMENT AND ROLL-OUT VACCINES

Cabinet received an update on the country’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and a Report on the Procurement and Roll-Out of Vaccines, as presented by the Chairperson of the Ministers’ COVID-19 National Committee, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Honourable Dr. C.G.D.N. Chiwenga.

As of 21 February, 2022, Zimbabwe’s cumulative COVID-19 cases stood at 233 352, with 224 940 recoveries and 5 386 deaths. The recovery rate stood at 96%, with 929 active cases having been recorded. The number of new COVID-19 cases increased to 1 971 during the week under review, compared to 929 recorded the previous week. The following areas recorded the most significant number of new cases : – Masvingo (642); Manicaland (402); Mashonaland East (280); and Matabeleland North (191).

Cabinet advises that the number of people in need of hospitalisation for COVID-19 increased, with the country’s bed occupancy rate increasing from 1.3% the previous week to 2.1% during the week under review. a total of fifty-four new admissions were recorded during the week compared to thirty-two the previous week.

Regarding the national vaccination programme, Cabinet advises the nation that as at 18 February, 2022, the cumulative number of first, second and third doses administered stood at 4 336 120, 3 369 172 as well as 101 748 respectively. Of concern is the low vaccine coverages for Chitungwiza City (25.5%), Mashonaland East Provinces (31.6%)and Mashonaland West Province (28.8%).  During that during the week under review, 145 learners in 38 schools  tested positive for COVID-19, while 11 members of staff also tested positive. All the active cases detected through the schools’ surveillance system are under isolation and being managed  in accordance with the relevant protocols.

Received Vaccines from China in 2021 (File picture)

 

Cabinet resolved as follows :

That, in view of the science-based guidance from the Paediatric Association of Zimbabwe Special COVID-19 Vaccine Group,  COVID-19 vaccination be extended to the 12 to 15 years age group;

that the Risk Communication Sub-committee should urgently meet with the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) unit of the Ministry of Health and Child Care and begin to prepare and mobilise communities for the March to June national vaccination blitz;

that Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution and their teams should urgently finalise their updated vaccination strategies and micro plans for the harmonised vaccination blitz in line with the agreed timelines; and

that strict enforcement of all COVID-19 regulations must continue, coupled with strengthened risk communication on the pandemic must continue.

PROGRESS REPORT ON THE RESUSCITATION OF ZISCO-STEEL

Cabinet received an update on the resuscitation of ZISCO-Steel as presented by the , Honourable Dr. Sekai Nzenza.

Sekai Nzenza

Cabinet is informing the nation that due process was undertaken for the identification of an investor to partner Government in the operationalisation of ZISCO Steel. The standard process to find an investor/partner for ZISCO-Steel was undertaken under guidance from the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA) and incorporated inputs from the State Enterprises Restructuring Agency (SERA). Initially, nine prospective investors expressed interest, and after a review by the Executive Management team, four bidders were shortlisted. Following further, due diligence, the bidders were reduced to three. Out of the three, Kuvimba Mining House was recommended. Accordingly, Cabinet approved that Kuvimba Mining House be engaged as the Investment partner for the resuscitation of ZISCO Steel. Kuvimba Mining House is a reputable player in the mining and metals sector, and has previously been involved in the Cases in point are the recent resuscitation of  Jena Gold Mine in Midlands Province and Shamva Gold Mines in Mashonaland Central Province, a process which has resulted in the remmittance of dividend to Treasury.

3.0 PRIORITY PROJECTS FOR THE FIRST 100-DAY CYCLE OF 2022

Cabinet considered and approved Priority Projects for the First 100-Day Cycle of 2022 as presented by the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes in the President’s Office, Honourable Joram Gumbo.

Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes in the President’s Office, Honourable Joram Gumbo

The nation is being informed that a total of  three hundred and forty (340) projects spread across Ministries, Departments and Agencies were submitted for implementation under the First 100-Day Cycle of 2022, which commenced on 10 February, 2022 and will end on 21 May, 2022.  The priority projects should contribute to the advancement of the National Development Strategy 1: 2021-2025, and have an impact on the livelihoods of the citizenry.

The distribution of the projects according to NDS 1 Thematic Areas is as follows:

No

NDS 1 THEMATIC AREA

NUMBER OF PROJECTS

1

Food and Nutrition

9

2

Infrastructure and Utilities

22

3

Moving the Economy up the Value Chain, and Structural Transformation

8

4

Governance

10

6

Environmental Protection, Climate Resilience and Natural Resource Management

4

7

Housing Delivery

8

9

Health and Well-Being

5

10

Human Capital Development

11

11

Social Protection

8

12

Devolution

7

13

Image Building and International Re-engagement

17

14

Economic Growth and Stability

10

15

Youth, Sport and Culture

10

16

Digital Economy

5

TOTAL

134

The disaggregation of the projects by Province is as follows:

PROVINCE

NUMBER OF PROJECTS

Harare Metropolitan

52

Matabeleland North

36

Mashonaland West

34

Mashonaland East

34

Midlands

33

Manicaland

33

Matabeleland South

32

Mashonaland Central

31

Masvingo

28

Bulawayo Metropolitan

27

TOTAL

340

Cabinet wishes to advise the nation that some of the projects will be replicated in more than one province or district. Fifty-one (51) percent of the projects will be funded by Government, while 36 percent will be funded by Development Partners while the remaining 13% will be jointly funded by Government and Development Partners.  Government, on the other hand, will continue to use the Executive Electronic Dashboard (EED) and the Whole of Government Performance Management System, as e-planning, e-monitoring and e-reporting tools for expeditious decision-making purposes at all levels.

Ministries will  be required to submit their proposals for consideration by Cabinet.

4.0 PROPOSED INVESTMENT PROJECTS

Cabinet considered and approved the following four (4) Investment Projects which were presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Prof. Mthuli Ncube, as Chairman of the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) Committee:

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube

Proposed Joint Venture between TelOne, Flashcord and the National Venture Capital Company of Zimbabwe to form the Zimbabwe Innovation and Technology Company (Pvt.) Ltd. (ZITCO) for the Manufacture of ICT Devices;

Proposed Partnership between ZMDC and Chandiwana Mines (Pvt) Ltd. for the Resuscitation of Sabi Gold Mine;

Proposed Joint Venture Partnership between ZMDC and Govine Enterprises on the Resuscitation of Shamrock Copper Mine; and

Proposed Engagement of Samano Holdings (Pvt) Ltd by Mazowe Rural District Council in the Mining of Limestone at Dandamera Farm in Mashonaland Central Province.

Joint Venture Between TelOne, Flashcord and the National Venture Capital Company of Zimbabwe to form the Zimbabwe Innovation and Technology Company (Pvt.) Ltd. (ZITCO)

The Zimbabwe Innovation and Technology Company (Pvt.) Ltd. (ZITCO) is a joint venture company formed  to manufacture ICT gadgets, and based e in the Msasa industrial area of Harare. To date, a total of 3 500 such gadgets have been manufactured, with production expected to reach 5 000 at the end of the year.

The economic benefits of the Joint Venture are:

employment creation: over 2 000 jobs will be created at the plant;

revenue generation: local production of the devices will result in import substitution, thereby saving foreign currency. The targeted export market includes Zambia, Malawi, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique, and exports are estimated to generate US$25 million in the first three years (2022-24); and

strengthening of local industries through engagement of local skilled personnel use of local and materials. This will promote both upstream and downstream industries.

Partnership between ZMDC and Chandiwana Mines (Pvt) Ltd. for the Resuscitation of Sabi Gold Mine in Zvishavane, Midlands Province

Cabinet noted the Joint Venture Partnership between ZMDC and Chandiwana Mines (Pvt) Ltd on the resuscitation of operations at Sabi Gold Mine.   Chandiwana Mines (Pvt) Ltd will inject the necessary working capital, while ZMDC will contribute mineral and material resources.  The joint venture will be for a five (5) year period and will contribute 1 428 kilogrammes of gold to overall national production.

The project will  initially create 650 jobs for locals, and  this number will subsequently  benefit 800 employees at full production. The other benefits of the project will include the following, among others: sustained production at Sabi Gold Mine; enhancement of the socio-economic environment in Zvishavane; and clearance of the debts as well as generating goodwill for Government as a shareholder. The project will also contribute to the US$12 billion Mining Industry by 2023, a milestone set by the Second Republic.

Joint Venture Partnership between ZMDC and Govine Enterprises on the Resuscitation of Shamrock Copper Mine

The Joint Venture Partnership between ZMDC and Govine Enterprises on the resuscitation of underground operations and dump treatment at Shamrock Copper Mine in Mashonaland West Province. The mine is expected to produce 34 200 metric tonnes of copper per year and generate US$45 million annually when fully operational.  Govine Enterprises will inject  the required while ZMDC will contribute mineral resources, mining title and infrastructure at the mine. ZMDC and Govine Enterprises will share revenue from gross sales in the ratio 20:80 in the first six years and 33:67 in the subsequent four years.

The project will create 400 jobs for locals, and Zimbabwe will benefit from technology transfer  as well as US$295 million in foreign currency generation over ten years. The investor, as part of corporate social responsibility, will construct amenities and facilities such as schools and clinics for the benefit of the local community.

Engagement of Samano Holdings (Pvt) Ltd by Mazowe Rural District Council in the Mining of Limestone at Dandamera Farm in Mashonaland Central Province

The Joint Venture Agreement between Mazowe Rural District Council and Samano Holdings (Pvt) Ltd will involve the exploration and mining of limestone,  thereby  contributing to increased revenue inflows for the local authority.  Samano Holdings will invest US$10.6 million into the venture, including US$4.5 million required for the 5MW solar plant to supply power to the mining operations. Mazowe Rural District Council will contribute mineral resources and the mining title.  The Mazowe RDC and Samano Holdings joint inject will run on a shareholding ratio of 30:70 in the first five years and 40:60 subsequently.

The project will create at least 1 000 jobs for locals, generate US$170 million over ten years and plough back to the community through corporate social responsibility programmes. The mining venture will also provide wide range of products for use by agricultural and construction industries, thereby contributing to economic growth for the surrounding areas.