1.0 UPDATE ON ZIMBABWE’S RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK
Cabinet received an update on Zimbabwe’s Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak, which was presented by the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, as Chairperson of the Ad-hoc Inter-Ministerial Task Force on the COVID-19 Outbreak.
As at 11 July, 2021, Zimbabwe’s cumulative COVID-19 cases stood at 67 765 with 44 740 recoveries and 2 185 deaths. The recovery rate stands at 67%, with 97% of COVID-19 positive cases being attributable to local transmission. The number of active cases stands at 20 370.
The nation is advised that the surge reported the previous week continued, with a total of 11 751 cases recorded during the period under review, compared to 8 042 cases reported the previous week.
The country remains under Level 4 lockdown following the surge in COVID-19 cases. The worst affected provinces are Mashonaland West (2 107), Mashonaland Central (1 142), Harare Metropolitan (1 894), Mashonaland East (1 658) and Midlands (1 058).
The surge in cases has led to an increase in demand for beds, hence Government is expediting the full capacitation of isolation and treatment centres throughout the country.
Regarding resource mobilization, the nation is informed that Treasury released an amount of ZW$368.5 million to the Ministries of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage; and Defence and War Veterans Affairs, with an additional ZW$41 million to be released to the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.
In view of the increasing number of cases, Cabinet agrees that there should be enhanced enforcement of restrictions on the movement of people. His Excellency the President has already issued directives as the 14 day lockdown period draws to an end.
Cabinet reports that the Vehicle Inspection Department and police have escalated enforcement of lockdown measures for public transport operations, including the banning of intercity travel. Members of the public are encouraged to strictly adhere to the lockdown measures for their own safety.
Cabinet noted with concern reports of alleged delays in the delivery of grain by farmers owing to demands for vaccination certificates and directed that farmers will not be required to produce vaccination certificates when delivering maize to the Grain Marketing Board. However, they will still be required to observe all the stipulated COVID-19 regulations.
2.0 PROGRESS REPORT ON THE PROCUREMENT AND ROLL-OUT OF COVID-19 VACCINES
Cabinet received an update on the procurement and roll out of the COVID-19 Vaccines, which was presented by the Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Honourable C.G.D.N. Chiwenga.
The nation is informed that as at 11th July, 2021, a total of 926 312 people had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 605 556 their second dose across the country. Cabinet advises that the roll out of the vaccines to hotspot areas and border posts is in full swing. Massive vaccination will also be extended to rural areas which are identified as hotspots.
Cabinet reports that out of the 2 million doses of vaccine that the Ministry of Health and Child Care received on 8th July, 2021 every province received 50 000 first doses except for Harare and Bulawayo Metropolitan provinces which received 100 000 doses each. A total of 1.5 million vaccine doses will be distributed this coming week. The nation is informed that vaccination is now open to everybody, with frontline personnel still being prioritized at vaccination centres.
Cabinet is pleased to note that citizens across the country continue to present themselves for vaccination in large numbers. In order to minimize the time spent in queues, extra personnel from security and defence forces have been harnessed so as to increase the numbers of personnel at the vaccination centres. Furthermore, the Ministry of Health and Child Care, working with relevant Government Departments, is taking measures to ensure that vaccination, rapid response and case management teams are supported with vehicles, fuel and subsistence allowance to ensure that the country achieves herd immunity.
The nation is advised that the Ministry of Health and Child Care has printed adequate stocks of vaccinations cards with security features and is expediting the distribution process to all provinces.
Cabinet reports that Sinopharm and Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines are now available on the COVAX Platform and Government will take advantage of the African Union Facility to boost local supplies of the vaccines.
3.0 UPDATE ON THE 2021 WINTER WHEAT PRODUCTION AND MAIZE MARKETING SEASON
The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Honourable DR. A. Masuka updated Cabinet on the 2021 winter wheat production and maize marketing season.
The nation is advised that of the 85 000 hectares planned for wheat, 63 897.26 hectare have been planted for the Presidential, National Enhanced Agricultural Productivity Scheme (NEAPS)/ Command/CBZ Agro-Yield and Private Sector Schemes. Wheat stocks were 92 100 metric tonnes for week ending 4 July 2021. It is highlighted that 354 677mt of maize, 616mt of wheat, 10 528mt of soya bean and 34 820mt of traditional grains had been delivered to the GMB as at 4 July 2021. Grain delivered to date is valued at $13 207 081 717.80 and $8 300 100 000.00 had been paid to farmers, giving an outstanding balance of $4 906 981 717.80.
On tobacco marketing, Cabinet reports that cumulative sales were 178 797 474kg, which is 17% above last year, with prices being 12.34% firmer than the previous year due to improved quality offerings by farmers.
Outstanding payments for the 2020 cotton marketing season are now being made and a total of ZW$220 million and US$659 000 has already been paid to farmers. All cotton farmers are encouraged to provide their bank details.
4.0 PROPOSED PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN HARARE CITY COUNCIL AND GEOGENIX B.V. ON THE HARARE WASTE MANAGEMENT PROJECT
Cabinet considered and approved the Proposed Partnership between Harare City Council and GeoGenix B.V. which was presented by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Honourable J.G. Moyo. The approval is subject to the implementation of bankable feasibility studies.
5.0 REPORTS ON THE 7TH 100 DAY CYCLE OF THE SECOND REPUBLIC
Cabinet received reports on the 7th 100 Day Cycle of the Second Republic from the Ministers of Mines and Mining Development; Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement; Transport and Infrastructural Development; and Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Hon. Paul Mavima reported that 442 ex-Wenela Mine workers were registered and tested for Pneumoconiosis between 31st May to 7th June, 2021. At Ekusileni Hospital, infrastructural works were 90% complete.
The Zim-Vac Assessment was conducted and the Food Deficit Mitigation Strategy Manual was reviewed and validation is in progress. On capacity building for prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices that are perpetrated against women and girls with disabilities, it was reported that 28 officials were trained and they will cascade the training further downstream.
The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Honourable Felix Mhona advised that roofing of the North Wing of the Terminal building at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport was completed. Regarding the rehabilitation of Mhandamabwe-Chivi-Tokwe Road, Masvingo, 15km of the road is complete and open to traffic. The 3.2km Pangula road which is Chikurubi Prisons access road, was rehabilitated. On the Harare-Beitbridge Highway upgrading, it is reported that 50km of the road has been rehabilitated. Construction of the Mwarazi Bridge in Manicaland Province is in progress.
The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Honourable Wiston Chitando reported that the refurbishment of the Eureka Gold Mine, Guruve, Mashonaland Central Province overall progress is at 94.4%. Regarding the Construction of the Afrochine Dinson Colliery Plant for Coking Coal Production in Hwange, it was reported that the construction of the coking coal oven battery and the coking coal plant were both 100% complete. The project has created 300 jobs to date.
At the Bravura Platinum Exploration Project in Selous in Mashonaland West, procurement of equipment to carry out the drilling programme is now 90% complete. Sampling of the economic horizon is now 45% complete. The project has now employed 54 people from the surrounding communities and nearby towns. Pertaining to the Unki Debottlenecking Project in Shurugwi, Midlands Province, the overall project progress is 62% complete.
The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Honourable Dr. Anxious Masuka reported that centre pivots had been installed under the Pedstock Centre Pivot Facility. Regarding the Kanyemba Smallholder Irrigation Development, 3 780 units of the 365 watts rated solar panels were delivered to site, 4 centre pivot units were installed and the casting for 11 centres is 100% complete.
On national water sanitation and hygiene coordination, 211 boreholes were drilled and equipped; 2 320 boreholes rehabilitated; 55 solar powered piped water schemes developed; and 9 functional Rural WASH Information Management Systems were established. Pertaining to the capacitation of extension services, 3 170 motor bikes were distributed; and 4 800 tablets were distributed. Pertaining to the blitz nationwide soil conditioning, it is reported that 112 741 soil samples were analysed.
With regard to the importation of 32 combine harvesters, Cabinet advises that 14 combine harvesters were delivered and they are currently undergoing inspection. 46 852kg of tick grease were distributed under the Presidential Blitz tick Grease Scheme.
On livestock production, it is reported that 120 staff members were trained as Trainers on-farm feed formulations. Furthermore, 1 637 farmers were trained on on-farm feed formulations. Three hay balers were procured and distributed. Five haler operators were trained. Pertaining to land surveying and mapping, Cabinet advises that 150 A2 farms have been surveyed to date. 500 applications for 99 year leases were processed and 30 leases were issued.
6.0 PRINCIPLES OF THE MONEY LAUNDERING AND PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT [CHAPTER 9:24] AND THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE ACT [CHAPTER 24:25]
Cabinet considered and approved the Principles of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act [Chapter 9:24] and the Securities and Exchange Act [Chapter 24:25] which were presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Honourable Professor Mthuli Ncube.
The nation is advised that the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act will be amended to include proliferation financing, as well as cooperation and coordination among relevant authorities to ensure compatibility of money laundering, counterfeiting Terrorism and Proliferation Financing requirements with Data Protection and Privacy rules.
The definition of securities will be widened to include Virtual Asset Service Providers, through amending the Securities and Exchange Act [Chapter 24:25]. It is highlighted that this will enable the Securities and Exchange Commission to come up with regulations to supervise the Virtual Assets Service Providers on a risk-based approach.
Cabinet reports that the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act will be amended in order to provide for identification and assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing risks that may arise in relation to Virtual assets, acts and the activities.
The Act will be amended to ensure that sanctions are also applicable to Virtual Asset Service Providers, their directors and senior management. Amendments to the Act will also be made to ensure that Virtual Asset Service Providers comply with set preventive measures. Furthermore, amendments will be made to allow supervisors of Virtual Asset Service Providers some legal basis for exchanging information with their foreign counterparts.
7.0 PRINCIPLES OF THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE LEGAL PRACTITIONERS ACT [CHAPTER 27:07]
Cabinet considered and approved the Principles of the Proposed Amendment to the Legal Practitioners Act [Chapter 27:07] which was presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Honourable Ziyambi Ziyambi.
Cabinet advises that the Legal Practitioners Act [Chapter 27:07] regulates the legal profession in Zimbabwe. The Act established the Law Society of Zimbabwe, a corporate body which was incorporated in terms of the Law Society of Zimbabwe (Private) Act [Chapter 223 of 1974]. It is highlighted that there are several provisions of the Act that have been identified that need to be amended to ensure a high standard of professional ethics, efficient and economical use of resources as well as transparency and accountability.
The nation is informed that Section 52(o) of the Act will be amended by the insertion of a new section that authorises the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to exercise his discretion to approve or disapprove external funding raised by the Law Society of Zimbabwe to ensure efficient and economical use of resources.
This will ensure good corporate governance principles as entrenched in the Constitution. Furthermore, Section 54(1)(b) is amended so that Ministerial appointments to the Law Society Council are increased from two to four Councillors in the national interest.
8.0 INITIATIVES TOWARDS ACHIEVEMENT OF US$12 BILLION MINING INDUSTRY BY 2023: GREATER CHINHOYI COPPER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
Cabinet considered the Greater Chinhoyi Copper Development Programmme which was presented by the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Honourable Wiston Chitando.
Cabinet approved the Greater Chinhoyi Copper Development Programme which entails six copper projects becoming operational by 2023. A further three projects are Greenfield projects which will have resource definition being undertaken with the objective of making them operational.
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development will be submitting proposals in due course of the six projects, the re-treatment of the Mhangura and Alaska copper dumps which were previously approved by Cabinet whilst two new projects being the reopening of Angwa Mine in Chinhoyi and Shamrock mine in Hurungwe were approved by Cabinet. Proposals on two other projects to make them a total of six will be presented in due course.
The two projects approved at Cabinet are for joint ventures between ZMDC and:
a) Govine Enterprises over Shamrock Mine in Hurungwe which will reopen by the end of 2022 employing an estimated 4 500 people and generating US$32 million per annum;
b) Hongua International over Angwa mine and the Chidzikwe dump which will be operational by mid 2022 employing an estimated 400 people, generating an estimated US$33 million per annum.
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