- ZIMBABWE’S RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, AND REPORT ON THE PROCUREMENT AND ROLL-OUT OF 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 Chairman of the Ministers’ Committee on the National COVID-19 Response, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Honourable Dr. C.G.D.N. Chiwenga.
The nation is advised that, as at 28 November 2022, the country’s cumulative cases since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 stood at 259 164, with 253 005 recoveries and 5 620 cumulative deaths. The recovery rate was 98%, with 539 active cases having been reported. The pandemic remains under control.
Regarding the national vaccination programme, Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that, as at 27 November 2022, a total of 6 569 603 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been administered, while 4 937 735 people had received their second dose, and 1 239 453 their third dose. A total of 3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses were received from the People’s Republic of China, one million of which were donated by the First Lady of the People’s Republic of China, to the First Lady of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. Auxillia Mnangagwa.
In light of the upcoming festive season, Cabinet resolved on the following strategies in order to ensure that the pandemic is kept under check:
- Strengthening enforcement and adherence to WHO COVID-19 protocols;
- Strengthening genomic sequencing to quickly identify any imported new variants; and
- Introducing an electronic vaccination register to enable easy identification and follow up of those yet to receive second and third doses.
REPORT ON THE NATIONAL GRAINS STATUS, WHEAT HARVESTING AND DELIVERIES
Cabinet received and considered the weekly Report on the National Grains Status, Wheat Harvesting and Deliveries, as presented by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Honourable Dr. Anxious Jongwe Masuka.
Cabinet advises that the grain stocks at GMB as at 27 November, 2022 stood at 555 504 metric tonnes comprising 477 059 metric tonnes of maize and 78 445 metric tonnes of traditional grains. Using the monthly consumption rate of 49 294 metric tonnes, the available grain will last for 11.3 months. In general, the grain situation shows that the country remains food secure.
Wheat stocks at GMB stand at 174 072 metric tonnes, and this will provide 8.2 months’ cover at a consumption rate of 21 000 metric tonnes per month. The cumulative harvested area of the 2022 winter wheat crop stands at 72 663 hectares, translating to 92% of the planted area. The total production now stands at 326 166 metric tonnes of wheat, at an average yield of 4.4 tons per hectare.
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3.0 UPDATE ON PREPARATIONS FOR THE 2022/2023 SUMMER CROPPING SEASON
Cabinet considered and adopted an Update on Preparations for the 2022/2023 Summer Production Season, as presented by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Honourable Dr A.J. Masuka.
Cabinet advises the nation that the country continues to be in the normal to above-normal rainfall category, despite the reduced rainfall activity experienced during the past week. Most areas across the country have received rainfall expected at this time of the year.
Inputs distribution, registration and training on Pfumvudza/Intwasa are in progress, with distribution continuing to be done according to agro-ecological zone requirements. Cabinet highlights that 82% (58 958 metric tonnes) of the received basal fertilizer has been distributed across the provinces, while 69% (14 297 metric tonnes) of the received top dressing fertiliser have been distributed. Planting has commenced in many areas.
Under the National Enhanced Agricultural Productivity Scheme (NEAPS), both AFC and CBZ have commenced registering farmers, with inputs being availed. CBZ is targeting to support a total of 170 000 hectares under maize (150 000 hectares) and soyabeans (20 000 hectares), while AFC is targeting 65 000 hectares under maize (55 000 hectares), soyabeans (5 000 hectares), traditional grains (2 000 hectares) and sunflower (3 000 hectares).
Cabinet would like to highlight the following areas planted for the major crops:
- Maize, 95 593 hectares compared to 33 119 hectares at the same time of the previous season;
- Soyabeans, 1 415 hectares compared to 677 hectares at the same time of the previous season;
- Sorghum, 2 570 hectares against 756 hectares the previous season;
- Cotton, 518 hectares and
- Tobacco, 53 571 hectares versus 38 312 hectares at the same time of the previous season.
Regarding livestock, the nation is informed that a total of 291 750 chickens and 3 158 goats have been distributed under the Presidential Rural Poultry and Goat schemes, respectively. Meanwhile, a total of 435 boreholes have been drilled under the Borehole Drilling Programme across the country, up from the 368 boreholes reported on 15 November, 2022.
4.0 PROGRESS REPORT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PHASE 2 OF THE ENHANCED EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND DISASTER MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME
Cabinet adopted the Progress Report on the Implementation of Phase 2 of the Enhanced Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management Programme, which was presented by the Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Honourable Dr C.G.D.N. Chiwenga.
Under Phase 2 of the Regularisation of Dysfunctional, Illegal and Irregular Settlements, Government has prioritised the construction of flats in Dzivarasekwa and Senga, with a target of at least 2 relocation sites in each city or town. Construction works on the four blocks of flats funded by Government at Dzivarasekwa have now progressed to 65.8% of completion. Roads and sewer construction are each 95% complete, while the car park and culvert are 75% and 100% complete, respectively. Overall progress on the four blocks at the Senga Former Messengers Camp in Gweru stands at 31.75%. Cabinet wishes to highlight that payments to contractors for budgeted infrastructural projects are being expedited, following the completion of value-for-money and due diligence exercises which were being undertaken on the projects.
On the Mapping of Settlements against Approved Layout Plans, the public is advised that significant progress has been achieved. Following the successful mapping of settlements at Caledonia, Hopley, Saturday Retreat, Cowdray Park, Retreat Farm, Gimboki (Mutare) and Karoi, the Zimbabwe Geospatial and Space Agency (ZINGSA) has further mapped settlements at Eyecourt, Eyerstone, Chizororo, Derbyshire and Granville. The next stage involves verification of settlements to determine those which conform to planned land-use in order to allow for regularisation, followed by issuance of title deeds.
On a related matter, the Second Republic is addressing Concerns of Planned Settlements without Adequate Basic Services. In that respect, it will be recalled that focus has been on addressing infrastructure provision on an initial 16 Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle settlements identified countrywide. Highlights include the commencement of works at the Lupane Local Board Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle site and the completion of engineering designs for onsite infrastructure such as sewer and roads at the Gwanda Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle site. Meanwhile, Government notes and sternly warns against the sprouting of settlements on some State-owned land. Strict action will be taken against those, including leaders, who are found in clear breach of the country’s rural and urban land use laws.
Under the Second Phase of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP 2), a cumulative 125.3 kilometres of road length have been constructed, reconstructed or rehabilitated, while 7 764.9 kilometres have been pothole-patched and 577.7 kilometres gravelled. A total of 9 676.7 kilometres have been graded, while 228 drainage structures have been constructed, and 138.2 kilometres of road resealed or overlaid. Payments of contractors are being expedited.
Regarding the Investigation and Prosecution of Land Barons, the public is informed that a total of 347 arrests were made, and 91 cases are before the courts, while 57 have since been finalised, with 6 convictions having been secured. Accordingly, Devolution funds will be availed to the Harare City Council and other urban municipalities for the purpose of strengthening the local authorities’ law enforcement capacity. Meanwhile, the relevant legislation is being reviewed for the ZRP and Municipal Police to work together more efficiently, and for the establishment of Municipal Courts.
On the Management of Wetlands, Cabinet advises that the first phase of gazetting all ecologically sensitive areas has now covered Harare, Chitungwiza, Ruwa, Epworth and all the head waters in the seven catchment areas spanning 252 855.15 hectares. A five-year rolling plan on wetland restoration from 2021 to 2025 is being supported by Government in a phased approach. Six wetlands covering a total area of 600 hectares have been rehabilitated.
With regard to Housing Cooperatives, a Dispute Resolution Committee to assist the Registrar of Cooperatives has been established. To date, a total of 129 cases have been resolved in 2022 alone, countrywide. On the Provision of Workspaces for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Government is working in collaboration with Local Authorities, the Private Sector and Development Partners on renovating existing spaces or putting up new modern workspaces for MSMEs, with designs taking into account the type of businesses or trades to be housed. The Safe Market in Epworth was constructed at a cost of US$100 000 and completed in November 2021, while the Isheanopa SMEs Complex in Mberengwa cost US$330 000 and was officially opened in January 2022. Similar projects are being implemented in Gweru, Gwanda, Bindura and Chiredzi. The registration of operators at Mupedzanhamo in Mbare has been completed and the facility will soon open to the public once ongoing renovations of the ablution facilities are completed.
5.0 REPORTS ON THE THIRD 100-DAY CYCLE OF 2022
Cabinet received reports on progress made in the implementation of priority projects for the 3rd 100-Day Cycle of 2022, as presented by Ministers.
- The Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable Mangaliso Ndlovu reported on the progress on projects under his Ministry as follows:
- the construction of Environmental Management Agency (EMA) Offices in Shurugwi and Mvuma, has been completed;
- the installation of machinery at the Baobab Technology Waste Paper Recycling Project (Marondera and Harare) was completed;
- the civil works for the Doppler Weather Radar were completed under the automation and expansion of Meteorological network and eight Automatic Weather Stations installed;
- the National Finals of the Tourism Innovation Challenge were concluded and a Prize Giving Ceremony washeld in September 2022, with the initial incubation on tourism business management for all the 30 winners being conducted;
- the construction of Phase 1 of Insika Lodges, Victoria Falls comprising 40 rooms, a kitchen, an administration block and a swimming pool was completed in September 2022, with 25 staff members being employed. The opening of the initial 15 rooms is scheduled for 1 December, 2022;
- a total of 220 beekeepers from Nyautongi and Mbumbusi were trained and certified out of the targeted 402 under the Capacity Building on Beekeeping project in Manicaland and Midlands Provinces, and 30 hives colonized across all apiaries in Midlands; and
- the pre-feasibility report on the construction of a sawmill with kilning facilities at Nyagui Estate, Nyanga has been submitted to the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA).
- The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Honourable Wiston Chitando highlighted the following projects in his sector:
- the construction of the Phase 2 Coke Oven Battery at Dinson Colliery in Hwange, Matabeleland North province has reached 70% of completion;
- the construction of a Carbon Steel Plant at Tsingshan Iron Ore and Chrome in Chivhu-Mvuma is at 40% completion;
- the upgrading of No. 1 and rebuilding of the No. 2 Furnaces at Zimasco High Carbon Ferrochrome Smelter in Kwekwe, Midlands province has reached 80% and 20% of completion, respectively, while the Number 7 and 8 Furnaces have reached 50%;
- the major civil works on the Concentrator Optimisation at Mimosa Mining Company in Zvishavane, in Midlands Province has been completed; and
- the construction of the Lithium Processing Plant at Sabi Star Mine in Buhera, Manicaland province has reached 50% of completion.
- The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Honourable Ziyambi Ziyambi, reported that the Lupane New Magistrates Court was commissioned, while the construction of new Court buildings in Epworth, Gwanda and Chiredzi is at different levels of completion. In addition, the nation is being informed that:
- the 30 hectares of wheat at Mutimurefu Prison farm were harvested and 99.412 metric tonnes realised; and
- the harvesting of horticultural crops planted on 12.4 hectares at Anju Prison farm is underway and on course to meet the set production targets for onion, butternuts, spinach, covo, tomatoes, cabbages, green pepper, green mealies and watermelon.
- The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Honourable Dr. Sekai Nzenza, as Acting Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare outlined the progress made in her sector as follows:
- the operationalisation of Colbain Staff and Pensioners’ Clinic in Harare was completed and the facility officially functional;
- a total of 40 Labour Officers were sensitised and trained on Violence and Harassment at the Workplace; and
- a total of 19 Community Awareness Campaigns were conducted in Harare, Chitungwiza, Zvimba, Masvingo, Kariba, Mazowe and Bindura districts and 10 439 accessed with information on drug and substance abuse. Twenty-three (23) drug and substance abuse survivors were successfully reintegrated into society, with 774 in-patient and out-patient service users having been reached out to in the Manicaland, Bulawayo Metropolitan, Matabeleland North, Masvingo, Midlands, and Mashonaland West provinces.
- The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Honourable Dr. Sekai Nzenza, highlighted the following projects in her sector:
- the equipment for the new Fertiliser Granulation Plant at the Zimbabwe Phosphates Industries (Zimphos) in Msasa, Harare is now in the country;
- the installation of a new Blending Plant at Zimphos is also in progress and has reached 95% of completion;
- the installation of a new Grain Protectant Plant at Chemplex Corporation is 95% complete;
- the importation of equipment for the expansion of the Magnetite production at Dorowa Minerals is underway;
- the installation of the Wheat Milling Plant at Mega Market in Mutare, Manicaland province has reached 97% of completion;
- the installation of the state-of-the-art Leather Processing Plant at Zambezi Tanners in Bulawayo is at 80% of completion; and
- the instalment of the Tar plant at ZimChem Refineries has reached 85% completion.
- The Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Honourable Dr. Jenfan Muswere, reported on the following progress recorded on projects under his purview:
- a total of 23 Community Information Centres (CICs) and 60 ICT school Laboratories were established across the provinces;
- A total of 5 Public Service Training Centres, namely: Domboshava; ZIPAM; Senga; PSC Head Office and Highlands were connected with Public Wi-Fi;
- 17 heavy-duty scanners were acquired and 2 000 Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services records digitized under the pilot SMART Government (Digitisation) project;
- 265 schools across the country were connected to the internet free of charge;
- Broadband Network Expansion was completed at 31 base stations;
- 50 Clinics were connected under the SMART Health (e-health)/Impilo Electronic Health Record programme;
- A total of 1 344 homes in Chitungwiza, Harare (Gunhill and Alexandria Park); Bulawayo (Hillside) and Zvishavane (Izaya Park) were assessed and passed under the Fibre-to-the Home project;
- the upgrading of TelOne Core Network by 200Giga bytes has been completed;
- the TelOne Cloud Services Centre has reached 85% of completion; and
- the solution design for Long Term Evolution (LTE) with Carrier Aggregated base stations has been completed.
6.0 MEMORANDUM ON THE RATIFICATION OF THE BI-LATERAL AIR SERVICES AGREEMENTS (BASA) BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE AND THIRTEEN (13) STATES
Following presentation by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi, Cabinet approved the Bi-Lateral Air Service Agreements between Zimbabwe and thirteen (13) other States, namely: Jordan; Turkey; Iran; Sri Lanka; Singapore; Ethiopia; South Africa; Qatar; Mozambique; Saudi Arabia; Rwanda; the Gambia; and the Seychelles. The agreements are mainly meant for the establishment and operation of air services between and beyond their respective territories; create and foster friendships, understanding and cooperation as well as enhance the expansion of international air transport opportunities. The agreements resonate well with the Second Republic’s international engagement drive and the mantra that indeed Zimbabwe is open for business.
- REPORT ON THE AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT ON INDUSTRIALISATION AND ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION, AND THE EXTRAORDINARY SESSION ON THE AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA: NIAMEY, NIGER: 25 NOVEMBER, 2022
Cabinet received and adopted the Report on the African Union Summit on Industrialisation and Economic Diversification and the Extraordinary Session on the African Continental Free Trade Area, as presented by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Honourable Dr. S.I. Nzenza, on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Cabinet advises the nation that the Summit on Industrialisation and Economic Diversification was held under the theme “Industrialising Africa: Towards Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialisation and Economic Diversification”. Highlights of the Summit, which was attended by His Excellency the President, include the following:
- the Made in Africa Standards and Guidelines were adopted;
- a call was made for the synchronization of African Intellectual Property policies under the auspices of the African Union Council;
- the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa; the African Trade Insurance Agency; and other African Financial Institutions pledged to provide a credit guarantee of up to US$1 billion for micro, small and medium enterprises; and
- His Excellency, President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger was appointed the Champion of Industrialisation and Productive Transformation.
In his intervention, His Excellency the President, Cde Dr E.D. Mnangagwa urged the continent to design and implement industrial value chains on Africa’s natural resource endowments. The President also highlighted Zimbabwe’s Five-Year Fertiliser Roadmap, which has seen investments into idle processing capacity.
Regarding the Extraordinary Session on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Cabinet highlights that the Summit launched the AfCFTA additional Operational Tools and adopted the decisions on AfCFTA. To date, 44 countries, including Zimbabwe, have ratified the AfCFTA Agreement. The Assembly adopted the following decisions on AfCFTA:
- Extension of the Guided Trade Initiative to cover Trade in Services;
- Extension of the deadline to conclude outstanding rules of origin for textiles and clothing, and the automotive sectors to June 2023; and
- That the African Union Council should work with the AfCFTA Secretariat to propose an arrangement for the rationalization of the institutional governance of the Intellectual Property Rights on the continent and report back to the relevant policy organs.
- THE COUNTRY’S POWER SUPPLY SITUATION
Cabinet deliberated on the issue of Zimbabwe’s energy and power supply. A detailed statement on the matter will be issued by the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Honourable Zhemu Soda, as soon as consultations are finalised.