LifeStyle & Health

More priority projects continue coming on stream


Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa addresses the media during a post-Cabinet briefing in Harare yesterday

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 National Covid-19 Inter-Ministerial Committee, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Honourable General (Rtd) Dr CGDN Chiwenga.

The nation is advised that, as at 1 August, 2022, the country’s cumulative Covid-19 cases stood at 256 403, with 250 368 recoveries and 5 578 deaths.

The recovery rate was 98 percent, with 457 active cases having been reported.

The overall number of new Covid-19 cases continued to decrease, with 112 cases having been recorded, compared to the 133 recorded the previous week, marking a 16 percent decline. An average of 16 new cases was reported per day, compared to 19 new cases the previous week. Cabinet reports that a total of 17 new admissions were recorded during the week compared to 13 the previous week. No patients were admitted in the intensive care unit. This indicates that the Covid-19 pandemic remains under control.

Regarding the national vaccination programme, Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that, as at 1st August 2022, a total of 6 375 064 first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had been administered, while 4 738 010 people had received their second dose, and 942 648 their third dose. This translates to a national coverage of 56,7 percent, compared to the 56,6 percent recorded the previous week.

The nation is also being advised that no new cases were reported during the week by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. On another health matter, Cabinet reports that all provinces continued to strengthen routine immunisation in all health facilities and remained vigilant over the poliomyelitis (polio) outbreak in neighbouring Tete province in Mozambique.

Regarding the monkeypox global outbreak, a total of 19 1778 cases have been reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from 78 countries since the beginning of May 2022. Countries in Africa that have reported cases are Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, DRC, Congo Brazzaville, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. Once again, there are no monkeypox cases reported in Zimbabwe so far. However, surveillance and awareness continues to be heightened in the national interest.

REPORTS ON THE 2ND 100-DAY CYCLE PRIORITY PROJECTS

Cabinet received reports on progress made in the implementation of priority projects for the second100-Day Cycle of 2022, as presented by the Ministers of Industry and Commerce; Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry; Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development; and Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services.

The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Honourable Sekai T Nzenza, reported that the following progress has been recorded on projects under her purview:

  • Manufacturing of the equipment for the new grain protectant plant at Chemplex Corporation, had been completed;
  • Manufacturing of the component of the fertiliser granulation plant has been completed and will be installed by the first week of September;
  • The installation of a leather processing plant at Zambezi Tanners, in Bulawayo, the first container of the machinery had since arrived in Bulawayo, with the second container expected in August 2022;
  • Funding of US$2.5 million for the expansion of the magnetite production at Dorowa Minerals, Buhera in Manicaland has been secured. This would increase capacity of the plant.
  • The installation of the flour milling plant at Mega Market, Mutare is 93 percent complete and the projected is expected to be commissioned by the end of the year; and
  • Construction of Phase 2 of the Intrachem plant manufacturing of explosives in Midlands is now complete and was commissioned by His Excellency the President the previous week.

The Minister Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable NM Ndlovu reported that the progress recorded for projects under his purview is as follows:

  • The installation of five digital stations was complete; four automatic and digital Weather Stations and three automatic rain gauges were installed in Masvingo;
  • The renovation of Zimparks lodges at Lake Chivero and Nyanga have been completed;
  • The integrated fire management projects were accomplished in eight wards of eight districts namely: Makoni; Hurungwe; Gweru; Insiza; Zaka; Lupane; Mbire and Chikomba
  • On the wetlands rehabilitation project the map and baseline report was produced, in Mpompini, in Insiza district, Matabeleland South and Mazvide, in Zvishavane, Midlands 2,5 hectares fencing completed and conservation works constructed;
  • On the Guga wetland rehabilitation and protection project, Lupane District, Matabeleland North, a map had been produced; report in place and conservation works had been completed.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade , Honourable F. Shava, outlined the following progress for projects being implemented in his sector:

  • Renovation of phase two main structure, Windsor building, Mount Pleasant Harare is 50 percent complete. The project seeks to provide training facilities and courses for foreign service personnel and other Government officials in field of diplomacy; and
  • The refurbishment of the chancery’s house, two officers’ houses in Johannesburg, South Africa, the ambassador’s residence is 35 percent complete, while the defence attaché’s house is at 15 percent complete. The project seeks to improve the country’s image and reduce the cost of rentals

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Development, Honourable Dr Anxious Masuka , outlined the progress registered in his sector as follows:

  • The irrigation development, pedstock centre pivot facility in all rural provinces is 93,3 percent complete;
  • 130 boreholes for irrigation had been drilled;
  • 1 212 293 cattle were branded against a target of 800 000;
  • With regard to hay cutting and bailing 848 735 of the target of 500 000 bales of hay were cut and bailed;
  • Pertaining to the local production of vaccines for tick-borne diseases, 15 000 doses of vaccines were produced;
  • Fish ponds at Henderson Research station were under rehabilitation; and
  • A2 farms were surveyed and target will be met by end of cycle.

The Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Honourable J Muswere reported the progress recorded and projects under his purview as follows:

  • 50 ICT labs have been established at schools to date in all provinces;
  • Establishment of 10 public finance management systems kiosks in all the provinces is now complete;
  • Under smart health connectivity, 140 health institutions have been connected in all the provinces;
  • 400 schools from all the provinces were connected to the internet;
  • Under fibre to the home project for the following suburbs, Prospect Park(Harare), Hillside, (Bulawayo); and Izaya Park, (Zvishavane) which targets 7 000 households is 60 percent complete;
  • The NetOne billing system is now complete;
  • The broadband network expansion was completed;
  • On deployment of 5G base stations, in Harare, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls, Gweru and Chitungwiza, Cabinet reports that 22 5G sites were deployed, 19 sites are now solar powered; and 57 sites were deployed to support tele-working as well as the SME sector;
  • Expansion of Long Term Evolution (LTE) network at 60 base stations was completed and was officially launched; and
  • Establishment of data centres in Bulawayo Province were completed and officially launched.

UPDATE ON THE PARTIAL PRIVATISATION OF PETROTRADE (PVT) (LTD)

Cabinet considered an update on the partial privatisation of Petrotrade as presented by the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Honourable Zhemu Soda.

The nation will recall that Cabinet in 2019 approved the merging of the state-owned petroleum companies, namely Petrotrade (Pvt) Ltd and Genesis Energy to form a single entity that would be partially privatised. Cabinet also approved Independent Petroleum Group (IPG) as the prospective strategic partner to the merged petroleum company, subject to successful negotiations. The transaction advisor proposed three merging methods or options that is, purchase of assets, business purchase and establishment of a new company.

Cabinet wishes to inform the public that it approved the business purchase merging method since it fulfils the Government’s objective of merging Petrotrade and Genesis Energy at the least restructuring cost.

The option will preserve the value created to date by both entities over the years and will ensure minimum disruption to the current operations.

UPDATE ON VARIOUS MINING INDUSTRY ISSUES

Cabinet considered a memorandum on the update on various mining industry issues as presented by the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Honourable Winston Chitando.

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE YOUTHS IN MINING PROGRAMME

Cabinet considered and approved that the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development should reserve some areas for the empowerment of Youths, to take part in the mining industry, in line with the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Section 20 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states that the “State and its institutions and agencies at every level must take reasonable measures, including affirmative action to ensure that youths are afforded opportunities for employment and other avenues to economic empowerment.”

Accordingly Cabinet approved to reserve against prospecting and pegging portions of areas in the eight provinces.

A framework which will clearly outline the implementation modalities for the programme will be shared with the public soon.

Cabinet also approved the principle of a support programme to enable the youths to optimally utilise the mining concessions and that Ministry of Finance and Economic Development committed to a funding programme for the Youth in Mining.

SPECIAL GRANTS IN FAVOUR OF MINING PROMOTION CORPORATION

The nation is reminded that Cabinet in December 2020 banned all applications for Special Grants in areas reserved in favour of Ministry of Mines and Mining Development through the Mining Promotion Corporation.

Mining Promotion Corporation is a wholly owned Government company that holds a number of reservations for strategic investment and exploration.

Cabinet approved the registration of four Special Grants to enable Mining Promotion Corporation to engage suitable entities to negotiate joint venture arrangements.

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH THE AFRICAN DIASPORA DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE (ADDI)

The Minister of Mines and Mining Development presented a proposal for an Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Zimbabwe and the African Diaspora Development Institute. African Diaspora Development Institute (ADDI) is an organisation made up of African Diaspora around the world who have united for the purpose of participating in investing in Africa.

Cabinet considered and approved the MOU. The African Diaspora Development Institute will fund the development of a mining gold centre in Pondoroza village in Mashonaland province. The benefits from these investment, will accrue to African Diaspora Development Institute and the community.

REPORT ON THE OCCASION OF THE 41ST ORDINARY SESSION OF THE AFRICAN UNION EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

Cabinet received and noted the Report on the 41st Ordinary Session of the African Union Executive Council held in Lusaka, Zambia as presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Honourable F.M. Shava. Highlight of the Executive Council’s Decisions include the following matters; approval of the 2023 AU budget of US$654 878 930; hosting of the African Medicines Council by Rwanda; and instructing the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) to quickly finalise, the AU Partnership Strategy and Policy Framework for submission to 42nd Session of the Executive Council in February 2023. The Strategy is expected to bring clarity on how the AU engages with its external partners as well as how it can best leverage on partnerships for the benefit of the continent.

Zimbabwe expressed its interest to host the Regional Centres of Regulatory Excellency for the Southern Region, given that our country’s regulatory authority, the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe is accredited and pre-qualified by World Health Organisation (WHO) as a Regional Centre of Excellence.

The Executive Council also approved the amendments to the Statute to the Africa-Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa-CDC) meant to elevate it to an autonomous continental health agency capable of rapidly and effectively responding to future health emergencies.

Furthermore, the Executive Council took note of the interest by Zimbabwe to present its candidature as a Non-Permanent Member in the United Nations Security Council for the Period 2027-2028 and deferred endorsement of the offer to the next Session of the Executive Council.

REPORT ON THE 24TH ORDINARY MEETING OF THE SADC MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE OF THE ORGAN HELD IN PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA: 19 JULY 2022

Cabinet received and noted the Report on the 24th Ordinary Meeting of the SADC Ministerial Committee, as presented by the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Honourable O.C.Z. Muchinguri-Kashiri.

The Ministerial Committee of the Organ noted that 81 percent of the decisions made at its last meeting in July 2021, and that of Summit in August of the same year had been implemented by the Secretariat and Member States, signifying the seriousness that the region attaches to peace and security.

The Meeting also noted the importance of involving women in peace and security matters as they are affected the most by war and conflict. Each SADC Member State is accordingly developing National Action Plans that outline approaches and courses of action on Women, Peace and Security.

Pertaining to Protocol on the Facilitation of Movement of Persons in the SADC Region, Member States are at varying stages of negotiations on visa exemptions. The Meeting also discussed the ongoing progress on the UNIVISA which will promote tourism in the region.

On the Mechanism in Honour of the SADC Founding Fathers, the Meeting agreed that medals in honour of the SADC Founding Fathers would be handed over to families of the respective SADC Founding Fathers during the Summit in August 2022 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. The Ministerial Committee of the Organ also accepted the proposal that the founding President of Angola, Agostinho Neto be honoured in the same way as other SADC Founding Fathers. Construction of the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere statue at the African Union Peace and Security building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is one of the practical and critical steps in honouring the SADC Founding Fathers.

The Meeting noted that overally the security and political situation in the region remained stable.

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