In Full: Nineth Post cabinet press briefing: 20th April 2022

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Jenfan Muswere

1.0   ZIMBABWE’S RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND REPORT ON THE PROCUREMENT AND ROLLOUT OF VACCINES

Cabinet received an update on the country‘s response to the Covid-19 pandemic presented by the Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Honourable, Dr. C.G.D.N. Chiwenga.

The nation is advised that as at 19th April, 2022, Zimbabwe’s cumulative Covid-19 cases stood at 247 336, with 241 160 recoveries and 5 466 deaths. The recovery rate was 97%, with 803 active cases being recorded.  The national coverage of the first dose vaccination is now 52%.

On vaccine procurement and donations, the nation is advised that the country continues to have enough doses in stock. Furthermore, Cabinet approved that the Government of Mauritius donates 60 000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines.

The nation is also being advised to remain vigilant as winter is fast approaching and the country readies for the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).

2.0 THE ZIMBABWE PUBLIC SERVICE SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY

Cabinet considered and approved the Zimbabwe Public Sexual Harassment Policy as presented by the Chairperson of the Cabinet Committee on Social Services and Poverty Eradication, Hon P. Mavima, M. P.

Cabinet reports that the Government of Zimbabwe is committed to creating a conducive Public Service workplace environment free from sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse. This is with a view to ensuring the protection of the dignity of workers’ in the Public Service and maximum work productivity for efficient and effective service delivery. The Policy is underpinned by the following principles:

  • to combat sexual harassment in the Public Service
  • to provide a safe working environment that is free from sexual harassment
  • to support diversity and inclusive work practises
  • to promote respect amongst all people in the workplace
  • to encourage fair and equitable treatment of all people in the workplace
  • to put in place mechanisms for redress in cases of sexual harassment in the Public Service
  • to inform all members that if allegations of sexual harassment are levelled and substantiated against them, they are liable for such actions.

The elimination of gender-based violence and harassment in the workplace is thus central to the attainment of the targets of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)5 on Gender equality through elimination of barriers that hinder the full participation, empowerment and progress of public servants  in the workplace.

Going forward all Quasi-Public Sector entities will be directed to

develop Sexual Harassment Policies in line with this Policy, while issues

of Sexual Harassment will be incorporated into the Public Service Act,

the Health Service Act, and the relevant Statutory Instruments.

3.0 REPORTS ON THE 100-DAY CYCLE REPORTS

 Cabinet received reports on the 100-Day cycle reports from the Ministers of Health and Child Care; Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development; Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage; Energy and Power Development; and Mines and Mining Development.

Hon Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, C.G.D. N. Chiwenga reported that borehole drilling at 10 primary care clinics is complete and functional. On solar power installation, the nation is informed that installation was at 100% complete at the selected 10 primary care clinics.

The construction of one Health posts at Mutasa, Buhera district is at 100% complete.  Pertaining the establishing PoC/ Rapid Diagnostic (HIV and syphilis) testing at 1 500 facilities rural health centres and Districts Hospitals, the nation is informed that 83% coverage has been achieved.

Distribution of testing kits to 1253 sites has been done.  Cabinet is pleased to report that construction of Harare Nat Pharm warehouse was completed and the handover ceremony is due in April, 2022.

The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development reported that the Geospatial Aeronautical and Space Science Capability for Zimbabwe programme is at 90% complete with surveys having been conducted in Harare, Karoi, Bulawayo and Masvingo.

The nation is informed that construction of student hostels with a capacity of 200 students at Manicaland at Manicaland State University is at 50% completion. Construction of the J.M Nkomo College Home Economics Block is at 98% completion. All major works has been completed and finishing touches were in progress.

Regarding the renovation of Gwanda State University epoch mine houses for student and staff accommodation, the project has registered 58% progress, with six student blocks having been renovated and 4 staff houses ongoing.  Regarding the construction of laboratories and administration block complex to 50% completion of superstructure in Chivi District, it is reported that the progress registered is at 65% complete.

The project to develop Marondera State University of Agricultural Sciences capacity for national research and development in the commercial production of indigeneous vegetables stood at 95% completion.

On the establishment of the Mapfura Beneficiation and Value Addition Plant at Rutenga in Mwenezi, the nation is advised that the project stood at 100% completion with more than 25 tons of Mapfura fruits having been collected from villagers to date. The nation is also informed that products from the plant have reached 53 ranging from food to cosmetics.

Regarding the establishment of community archives at Gwanda Rural District Council in Matabeleland South Province, the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Hon Kazembe Kazembe reported that the project is at 70% completion and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the cycle.

The nation is advised that the decentralization of passport services to Hwange district in Matabeleland North, is at 60% of completion and scheduled to be completed by the end of the cycle.  Renovation of the building and setting up of sheds is in progress and 60 boreholes were drilled.

The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon Z. Soda reported that the expansion of Hwange 7 and 8 (600MW) Hwange District in Matabeleland North, is at 82.02% overall completion. With regard to the electrification at Kanyemba, Mbire District, Mashonaland Central, Cabinet reports that 29.55 km of 33/0.4Kv High voltage line were at 99% complete and 1.9 km lines at Chapoto and stood at 95% completion.

The Mabvuku Ethanol storage facility in Harare is now at 95% overall completion.  Pertaining the Richaw Solar Plant in Gwanda District, Matabeleland South, the nation is informed that the lighting protection installation has been completed at 100%; trenching for the whole plant perimeter now stood at 40%; the site substation civil works are at 30% completion; transmission line is at 60% complete; the Gwanda substation feeder is at 40% completion; and the inverter mounting and stringing is at 85% complete for the first 1.2 MW panels.   The Guruve Solar Park (5MW), Guruve District, Mashonaland Central, Cabinet reports that the project is at 70% completion.

The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Hon W. Chitando presented progress on the 100 Day Cycle projects’ in the mining sector.  On the construction of Afrochine Dinson Colliery Plant for Coking Coal Production in Hwange, Matebeleland North, Cabinet reports that the 2nd phase Coke Oven Battery Construction is now at 40% complete, while Concrete Foundation for the 2nd Phase Coke Oven Battery is now complete.

The construction of the RioZim Limited  Greenfields Diamond Plant Project, Midlands, the nation is informed that the project stood at 92% completion, with all major civil works having been completed.

The construction of Carbon Steel Plant in Chivhu- Mvuma, Mashonaland East – Midlands Provinces, stood at 35% complete.  With regard to the Grand Sanyuan Copper Resources Zimbabwe, Alaska, Mashonaland West, Cabinet reports that construction of a furnace for smelting purposes is at 100% complete; setting up of a foundation unit has been completed; and the setting up of electrolysis unit will be undertaken at a later stage. Pertaining the construction of the Amazon Ferrochrome Smelter Establishment, at Mutorashanga in Mashonaland West, the nation is informed that the installation of washing plant is at 90% complete.

  • LEVERAGING DIASPORA CAPABILITIES AND ASSETS FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

 Cabinet received a presentation from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Honourable Frederick Shava on the proposed strategies to engage the Zimbabweans in the diaspora so that they can contribute towards the country’s economic development.

The nation is being advised that the creation of a diaspora-friendly environment policy framework will assist the country to harness social, economic, political and cultural dividends which would help spur development in the country.

The promotion of investments by diasporas in their country is part of the Second Republic’s engagement and re-engagement thrust.  Diaspora remittances have been one of the key foreign currency contributors in the past.

The development of a comprehensive policy and strategies will unlock knowledge and skills transfer; diaspora direct investment; and philanthropic works. Government, on the other hand, will avail industrial shells and land to eligible diasporas for the construction of specialist hospitals and industrial parks and any other areas or sectors.

Government will also facilitate the establishment of joint ventures between diasporans and landowners for the production and export of high quality agricultural products and any other sector for investment.

To help realize the contribution of the diasporans to the development of their country, Cabinet resolved that an Inter-Ministerial Committee chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and deputised by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development be put in place.

The Committee is mandated to review the National Diaspora Policy as well as develop robust strategies and interventions for diaspora engagement and re-engagement.  Furthermore, the Cabinet Committee will have sector- specific Sub-Committees which will be mandated to deal with issues pertaining to any sector of the economy.

In addition, the Consular Services abroad will be strengthened in order to issue Civil Registration documents, Visas and Work Permits.  A Diaspora Bond will be listed on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development once finalised.

It was further resolved that a One-Stop-Service-Centre for Diaspora investment applications be set-up at the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA) to expedite the processing of the proposals.

  • PROPOSED HOSTING OF THE NATIONAL LANGUAGES CONFERENCE: VICTORIA FALLS: 7-9 JUNE, 2022

Cabinet considered and approved the report on the Hosting of National Languages Conference from 7 to 9 June, 2022 at the Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls as presented by the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Honourable Dr. Kirsty Coventry.

The nation is informed that the Ministry Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation intends to host a National Languages Conference under the theme,” Harnessing and promoting our national languages for inclusive citizenship and shared development towards Vision 2030”.

The National Languages Conference seeks to define in detail the role and place of all officially recognised and not yet recognised indigenous languages in national development as well as the promotion, preservation and conservation of cultural heritage.

6.0   UPDATE ON THE STATE OF PREPAREDNESS TO HOST THE 62ND EDITION OF THE ZIMBABWE INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR (ZITF) EXHIBITION TO BE HELD IN BULAWAYO:    26– 30 APRIL, 2022

The Minister of Industry and Commerce Honourable Dr. Sekai Nzenza, presented an Update on the State of Preparedness to host the 62nd Edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Exhibition to be held in Bulawayo on 26-30 April, 2022.

The nation is advised that a total of 514 direct exhibitors had booked exhibition space and 71 of these will be exhibiting for the first time. A total of 14 foreign nations were expected to exhibit and these are as follows: Angola; Botswana; Ethiopia; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; South Africa; Tanzania; Zambia; Belarus; Britain; Indonesia and Japan.

The main highlights of the Fair will include the following:

  • the Fair will be officially opened by His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of the Republic of Kenya on 29 April, 2022;
  • The Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. Dr. C.G.D.N. Chiwenga will deliver the Keynote Address at the Connect Africa Symposium on 28 April, 2022;
  • the ZITF International Business Conference will be on 27 April, 2022 and will be officially opened by the Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. Dr. C.G.D.N. Chiwenga;
  • the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade will host the ZITF Diplomats Forum on 28 April, 2022.

Government further advises that in order to promote entrepreneurship and innovation among the youth, two events have been lined-up and these are the Scholastica Conference and the Innovators’ Forum.  The Scholastica Conference will run under the theme “Economic Development Through Innovation and Heritage: Promoting Talent and Skills-based Education” and will be held on 28 April, 2022. The Innovators’ Forum will be held on 26 and 27 April, 2022 under the theme “Innovation for Sustainable Value Chains”.

Hon Jenfan Muswere ( MP)
Acting Minister of Information , Publicity and Broadcasting services