Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
GOVERNMENT has started taking the necessary steps to evacuate Zimbabweans in Ukraine following a special military operation by Russia last Thursday with 118 students having so far been relocated to Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland.
Zimbabwe, which has 256 registered citizens in Ukraine, has already made representations to different countries neighbouring Ukraine to allow safe passage for its citizens. The country’s Missions to Moscow and Berlin are facilitating the evacuation mission.
The military operation, which has led to a halt of flights in and out of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, was conducted by Russia to safeguard its borders.
In her Post Cabinet media briefing yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Government has also started buying tickets for the students to come home.
“Cabinet would like to reassure the nation that Government is taking all necessary steps to evacuate students and other nationals from Ukraine following the outbreak of war with Russia. The country’s Missions to Moscow and Berlin are facilitating the evacuation mission,” she said.
“To date, a total of 118 students have relocated to the following safer places: Romania, 28; Hungary, 15; Slovakia, 26 and Poland, 49.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said a mission official who is currently based in Poland is assisting those that need to be repatriated.
“You will continue to be updated on the situation of students in Ukraine,” she said.
Currently, there are no flights out of Ukraine and help will be given when nationals have accessed any of the following third countries, which include Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Moldova and Russia.
Minister Mutsvangwa also announced that in view of the opening up of the economy and the need to enhance service delivery to citizens, Cabinet also resolved that the civil service should revert to normal working hours of 07.45am to 4.45pm.
The stipulated normal working time was 7:45am to 3pm in line with the measures for Covid-19 containment in the country.
However, the Public Service Commission (PSC) recently ordered the rest of the vaccinated Government workers who were working from home to return to work and continue to adhere to Covid-19 control measures.
Minister Mutsvangwa said preparations for the planned national vaccination blitz, which also include the 12–15-year age group is also underway. The blitz is in line with the recent Cabinet directive.
“Accordingly, all ministries will provide maximum support to the blitz with a view to protecting communities against severe impact of a potential fifth wave and as such, Cabinet would like to encourage all citizens who have not yet been vaccinated to go and get vaccinated since we are not yet out of the woods,” she said.
As of Monday, a total of 4 357 858 first doses had been administered, with 3 393 674 people having received their second dose and 123 025 their third dose.
“Cabinet, nonetheless, notes with concern the decline in the number of vaccines administered during the reporting week, compared to last week.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said the continued discussions and engagement with the stakeholders is bearing fruits and has positively resulted in increased attendance at schools by both teachers and pupils.
“By Friday, 25 February, 2022, the attendance at schools by both teachers and learners was at 91,7 percent and 85 percent, respectively. Cabinet was also informed that Government and civil service representatives negotiated and agreed on improved conditions of service for civil servants,” she said.–@mashnets
Article Source: The Chronicle