THIRTY-FIFTH POST-CABINET PRESS BRIEFING
1.0 PROGRESS REPORT ON THE PROCUREMENT AND ROLL-OUT OF COVID-19 VACCINES
Cabinet received an update on the country’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, which was presented by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Honourable A. Murwira, as Acting Minister of Health and Child Care.
As at 11 October 2021, Zimbabwe’s cumulative COVID-19 cases stood at 131 875, with 125 479 recoveries and 4 643 deaths. The active cases decreased from 1 504 cases to 667 cases.
The number of new infections decreased during the week under review. The daily average of new cases dropped to 10 per day from 19. This is attributed to the comprehensive response by the
Government. There has been a general decline of Covid-19 cases reported in schools. The Ministry of Health and Child Care remains on high alert to contain any surges in Covid-19 cases in learning institutitutions.
Cabinet advises the nation that as of 11th October, 2021, a total of 3 176 744 people had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and
2 417 442 their second across the country. This translates to a national coverage of 37.3% for the first dose and 28.3% for the second. The Ministry of Health and Child Care has dispatched a team to Chitungwiza City to raise awareness and ramp up vaccination efforts to raise vaccine uptake by residents in Chitungwiza.
Cabinet wishes to further inform citizens that the country is expecting a delivery of 5 000 000 syringes in November 2021. This will compliment the 13 243 200 Covid 19 vaccines which have so far been procured.
2.0 WAYS TO STEM BRAIN DRAIN IN THE HEALTH SECTOR.
Cabinet considered and approved the report of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Stemming the Brain Drain in the Health Sector, that was presented by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Honourable A. Murwira, as Acting Minister of Health and Child Care in collaboration with the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Honourable Professor Paul Mavima as Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee.
Cabinet wishes to inform the public that the Inter-Ministerial Committee identified the causes of the brain in the Health sector. To stem the brain drain a Committee was therefore setup to look holistically look into the following issues:
I. Mechanisms to accelerate provision of non-monetary incentives, such as staff accommodation, transport, vehicle loans, canteens/cafeterias; and wifi- facilities connectivity;
II. Measures to improve the remuneration of Tutors in Nurses Training Colleges and administration of Nurses Training Colleges;
III. Judicious adjustment of monetary benefits; and
IV. Addressing the disparity between the urban and rural health personnel incentives in order to attract personnel to rural areas.
Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that Government continues to pursue bilateral agreements with destination countries for our health professionals within the World Health Organisation framework
3.0 STRATEGIES AND MEASURES FOR THE ELIMINATION OF TRAFFIC CONGESTION
Cabinet received and adopted a report of the Ad-hoc Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Elimination of Congestion and Installation of Proper Lighting in the Country’s Urban Areas, as presented by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Honourable July Moyo.
The interventions and projects are broadly categorized under the following areas:
2. Enhanced Public Transport Logistics or Systems; and
1. The public is advised that the infrastructure component includes the repair of street lights along major trunk roads; repair and upgrading of traffic lights and signals at major junctions; installation of new traffic signals; addition of filter lanes at roundabouts and selected junctions; introduction of dedicated bus lanes and carriageway markings; construction of proper kerbing and jersey barriers; completion of one way roads; widening and repair of roads; and improvement of termini facilities. Highlights of the good works done to date include the following:
• the resurfacing of Seke road which is over 80% complete;
• the Simon Mazorodze/Paisley Road Junction asphalt overlay, which will form part of the Mbudzi Traffic Interchange and is over 75% complete; and
• for the Mbudzi Interchange, designs have been completed as well as the selection of the detour roads namely, Chimhanda, Stoneridge, Amalinda and Forbes.
2. The nation is also informed that notable achievements under the Enhanced Urban Transport Logistics or Systems category include the following:
• an additional 50 buses new buses were received and commissioned for ZUPCO;
• the software for the electronic ticketing system was developed and certification was granted; and
• the passenger train services were rolled out in Harare under the ZUPCO franchise. The Mufakose Commuter train is now fully subscribed carrying up to 1 300 passengers per trip. Ruwa and Tynwald are slowly gaining momentum. The services are set to be extended to Bulawayo soon.
3. On enforcement of traffic by-laws, there will be joint operations by Municipal traffic police and Zimbabwe Republic Police as well as the setting up of impounding yards. The operation to remove illegal taxis and criminalizing trading at intersections is ongoing, while deterrent fines are being charged for touting. Joint deployments of City of Harare and the Zimbabwe Republic Police traffic officers at intersections are ongoing, with a significant number of municipal officers having been trained so far.
4.0 PROGRESS REPORT ON THE ON-GOING BIKITA AND TSHOLOTSHO MOBILE REGISTRATION EXERCISE
The Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Honourable Kazembe Kazembe, reported on progress made in the mobile registration exercise which was undertaken in Bikita and Tsholotsho.
The exercise sought to document citizens in Bikita District who were affected by Cyclone Idai in 2019, and those affected by the 2017 floods in Tsholotsho, including the Tjawo (San) community in the District. The Bikita mobile registration programme commenced on 6 September, 2021, and ended on 5 October, 2021, while the Tsholotsho exercise ran from 13 September to 12 October, 2021. The services availed during the mobile registration exercises in the 2 districts covered birth, death and national identity registration.
Cabinet notes, with pleasure, that the exercise commenced smoothly and has been successfully undertaken, providing critical registration documents to distressed citizens affected by natural calamities. A total of 4 397 national identity documents were issued in Bikita comprising the following:
• 3 112 initial birth registration for children under the age of 16 years;
• 348 initial birth registration for persons above 16 years of age;
• 26 duplicate birth certificates were issued to children under 16 years of age;
• 522 duplicate birth certificates were issued to persons above the age of 16 years; and
• 58 death certificates.
In Tsholotsho, a total of 4 169 national identity documents were issued broken down as follows:
• 3 542 initial birth registration for children under the age of 16 years;
• 600 initial birth registration for persons above 16 years of age;
• 46 duplicate birth certificates were issued to children under 16 years of age;
• 625 duplicate birth certificates were issued to persons above the age of 16 years; and
• 58 death certificates.
Government commends the Civil Registry Department for the stakeholder participation approach which it adopted in implementing the exercises, which resulted in effective coordination of the project. Together with the awareness campaigns undertaken through rural district committees, traditional and community leaders, and local radio stations, huge turnouts were witnessed at mobile registration centres from the first day.
Going forward, the mobile registration exercise will be extended to other districts in need, starting with the Bulilima District in Matabeleland South Province. Voter registration will also be concurrently undertaken as part of the exercise.