Source: Govt contributed US$305m towards fighting Covid-19 | Herald (Opinion)
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 Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Honourable General (Rtd.) Dr CGDN Chiwenga.
The nation is being informed that since the outbreak of the pandemic, the country’s cumulative Covid-19 cases stood at 257 409 as at September 27, 2022, with 251 281 recoveries and 5 602 deaths.
The recovery rate was 98 percent, with 526 active cases recorded. A total of 252 new cases were recorded during the week, compared to 202 the previous week.
Out of the 252 new cases, 130 were form Fatima and 33 from George Silundika Secondary Schools, in Matabeleland North Province.
Health teams are on the ground and the situation is under control. The slight increase is an indication that the country needs to remain vigilant.
Regarding the national vaccination programme, Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that, as at September 27, 2022, a total of 6 525 445 first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had been administered, while 4 878 822 people had received their second dose, and 1 151 835 their third dose.
Provinces continued to prioritise Covid-19 vaccinations in all schools, with a focus on those that have not yet reached the 2nd dose coverage target of 70 percent. They have also stepped up their response to the measles outbreak, which is being brought under control.
Regarding resource mobilisation, Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that the most significant Covid-19 funding for 2021 came from the Government of Zimbabwe. Government contributed US$305 million (84 percent) of the total funding of US$362 million.
The nation is advised that the country’s Covid-19 pandemic response remains on track.
However, in view of the small increase in new cases, Cabinet has resolved as follows:
- That all provinces must continue to prioritise Covid-19 vaccination activities and take advantage of any gatherings to vaccinate eligible individuals; and
- That all schools must strengthen Covid-19 vaccination activities.
National Grains Status Report
Cabinet received the National Grains Status Report as at 28 September 2022, which was presented by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Hon Dr Anxious Masuka.
The nation is being informed that the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) grain stocks as at September 28, 2022 stand at 550 464 tonnes comprising 475 966 tonnes of maize and 74 498 tonnes of traditional grains.
Social welfare consumption is budgeted now at 15 000 tonnes per month. Total consumption per month is currently forecast at 40 000 tonnes. Using this monthly rate of 40 000 tonnes, the available grain will last for 13,8 months. The country has sufficient grain to last until the next harvest in 2023.
Millers and stockfeed manufacturers are expected to import grain to cover the gap in their own requirements.
The cumulative grain intake since April 1, 2022 is valued at a total of $21 405 989 254 covering maize, wheat and traditional grains, with most farmers having been paid for their deliveries to GMB.
Current wheat stocks stand at 52 167 tonnes, and will provide two months’ cover at a consumption rate of 21 000 tonnes per month. Harvesting of the 2022 winter wheat crop has commenced in many parts of the country, and preparations for purchasing the crop are underway resulting in the country attaining wheat self sufficiency.
Principles of the Economic Empowerment Bill
Cabinet considered and approved the principles of the Economic Empowerment Bill, which were presented by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Honourable Sekai Irene Nzenza.
The nation is being informed that the principles are intended to create a resource and administrative structures for supporting economic empowerment of citizens.
The principles will repeal the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act [Chapter 14:33] and pave way for the enactment of the new Economic Empowerment Act.
The Second Republic attaches special importance to opening up the nation for business, hence the promulgation of the Finance Act No. 1 of 2018 which amended the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act. It will be recalled that the amendment removed the 51 / 49 indigenisation shareholding cap.
The new Economic Empowerment Act will be aligned to the Constitution of Zimbabwe; to National Development Strategies; to Vision 2030; to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; and to the African Union Agenda 2063.
The formulation of the draft Bill will be undertaken through a multi-stakeholder consultative process under the Whole-of-Government Approach. The new law will provide for the establishment of the National Economic Empowerment Fund, mainly through Treasury funding. The Act will also establish a Corporate Social Responsibility framework; and training will be operationalised under the National Entrepreneurship Training framework of the Manpower Planning and Development Act.
The New City Masterplan Update
Cabinet received and adopted an update on the New City Masterplan as presented by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Hon JG Moyo.
The nation is being informed that Cabinet made a decision to establish a Smart City at Mt Hampden, in pursuit of the Government’s vision of having an upper middle income society by 2030. The project will see the development of about 15 500 hectares of land into a New City, with the New Parliament Building as the anchor project and catalyst for this development.
The nation is being informed that the University of Zimbabwe, working with a private consultant, has produced a draft master plan.
The master plan provides for the following: Government District; Parliament of Zimbabwe; State House; Diplomatic Zone; City Centre and Cyber City; Institutions of Higher Learning; Hotels; a comprehensive transport system, residential apartments; and recreational parks.
There will be an eight lane boulevard leading to the new Parliament. Charles Prince airport will be upgraded to international standards. There will be cultural and religious parks, conference facilities as well as restaurants. Solar rooftops will be mandatory.
The New City is expected to attract investors for rapid economic growth. It will solve the shortage of development space in Harare, which is being exacerbated by rapid population growth and aging infrastructure.
Cabinet endorsed the proposed implementation model as presented.
Reports on the 2nd 100-Day Cycle Projects and Priority Projects for the third 100-Day Cycle of 2022
Cabinet received and adopted reports on (i) the 2nd 100-day Cycle Projects and (ii) Priority Projects for the third 100 Day Cycle of 2022, as presented by the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes, Honourable Dr J.M. Gumbo.
The nation is being informed that a total of 164 projects were implemented under the second 100-Day Cycle of 2022, which began on 23 May 2022 and ended on 30 August, 2022. One hundred and eight (108) of these projects were on target, while 129 had an average performance of 61 percent to 100 percent. Targets set for some of the projects were adversely affected by the constrained fiscal space coupled with price escalations witnessed during the course of implementation.
Targets were met on the following projects:
- Construction of the Gwanda State University Engineering Laboratory and Innovation Complex;
- Establishment of innovation centres for dryland agriculture in Chivi District and at Lupane State University;
- Decentralisation of passport services to Beitbridge District, Matabeleland South Province;
- Installation of plants at Chemplex, Zimphos, Zambezi Tanners and Mega Market Flour Milling;
- Installation of a campus radio station at NUST;
- Construction of Magistrates’ Courts at Epworth and Lupane;
- Borehole drilling, winter crop production, irrigation and mechanisation;
- Construction of clinics, schools and roads under the devolution programme;
- Dinson Colliery coke oven battery construction in Hwange;
- Construction of roads, bridges, and dams by the District Development Fund;
- Upgrading of the Beitbridge Border Post, and the RG Mugabe International Airport; and
- Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway upgrading.
Regarding the 3rd 100 Day Cycle which is scheduled for 31 August 2022 to December 8, 2022, the nation is being informed that a total of 189 priority projects will be implemented. Areas covered by the projects include the following: mines and mining development; dam construction; irrigation development; transport and health infrastructure; provision of water; road construction; housing and social amenities; and information communication technology. These projects are expected to positively impact on the livelihoods of the populace. The projects are distributed as follows:
Harare Metropolitan 57
Bulawayo Metropolitan 28
Matabeleland North 62
Matabeleland South 49
Mashonaland West 51
Mashonaland East 50
Mashonaland Central 40
Some of the projects cover more than one province.
The nation is being informed that under the Binga Development Initiative, projects will be implemented in the following areas: borehole drilling; empowerment of special interest groups; establishment of Binga Industrial Training College, which will graduate into a Polytechnic; construction of a Vocational Training Centre, upgrading of Binga Hospital; electrification of clinics; construction of houses for flood victims; and establishment of Twasumpuka Community Radio Station, among others. The projects are designed to address the socio-economic development deficiencies in Binga District.
Proposed General Amnesty
Cabinet considered and approved the General Amnesty 2022 as proposed by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Honourable Ziyambi Ziyambi.
The nation is being informed that Section 112 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that the President after consultation with Cabinet may exercise the power of mercy to grant pardon to any person convicted of an offence against the law. The rationale behind the proposal is to decongest our prisons, whose population as at August 29, 2022 stood at 22 114, against an official holding capacity of 17 000 inmates. This situation means that 4 798 inmates do not have adequate floor space as required by the Constitution, and this compromises the health of inmates, among other challenges.
The Amnesty excludes the following categories of prisoners: those previously released on amnesty; those serving a sentence imposed by Court Martial; those with a record of escaping from lawful custody; and those convicted of committing specified offences. Specified offences include murder; treason; rape or any sexual offences; carjacking; robbery; public violence; human trafficking; unlawful possession of firearms; contravention of the ZESA Act, the PTC Act and MOPA; and any conspiracy, incitement or attempt to commit any of these offences.
Report on the 42nd ordinary Sadc Summit of Heads of State and Government: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Cabinet received a report on the 42nd Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government, which was held in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo 17 August 2022, as presented by the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Honourable Prof A Murwira. His Excellency the President, Dr ED Mnangagwa led the Zimbabwean delegation to the Summit.
The nation is being informed that the Summit was held under the theme: “Promoting Industrialisation through Agro-Processing, Mineral Beneficiation, and Regional Value Chains for Inclusive and Resilient Economic Growth”. The theme was in line with the economic environment in the region, and the Summit stressed the urgent need to roll out the SADC industrialization and market integration programmes as contained in the Regional Indicative Strategy Development Plan (RISDP) (2020 – 2030).
His Excellency the President, Dr E.D. Mnangagwa held a meeting with his Zambian counterpart, His Excellency H. Hichilema, on the margins of the Summit, on the following issues: the Batoka Hydro-power Project; the Kazungula Bridge Project; modernisation of the railway system covering South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo; legacy issues pertaining to the Zimbabwe/Zambia Mineral Concession in South Africa; and the Central African Power Corporation (CAPCO) legacy debts. These, among other issues, are expected to clear hurdles along the path of regional integration.
REPORT ON THE EIGHTH TOKYO INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT: 27 – 28 AUGUST 2022: TUNIS, TUNISIA
Cabinet received a report on the Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 8) Summit, which was held in Tunisia from 27 – 28 August 2022, as presented by the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Honourable Prof. A. Murwira.
The nation is being informed that the Summit was attended by twelve (12) Heads of State and Government, while the African Union Commission, the United Nations, the Africa Development Bank, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organisation, were represented at senior levels. The Summit assessed progress on the implementation of the 2019 TICAD 7 Action Plan, and identified new areas of cooperation for the next three years until 2025.
The nation is being informed that the Prime Minister of Japan pledged US$30 billion to the TICAD process over the next three years. The funding is mainly earmarked for the following areas: Start-up Businesses and Entrepreneurship for the Youth; Debt Management; Food Security; and combating Covid-19, Malaria, TB, and HIV/AIDS, among other diseases.