Cabinet Decision Matrix is an outline of issues discussed and decisions taken in Cabinet, read out to the media after each session.It reflects the discussions of the Executive in existing and emerging issues, as well as tracking progress on Government priorities through the 100-Day cycles. The Decision Matrix is not ,however, to be confused by minutes.
3rd DECEMBER, 2019
1.ARC Drought Response Cost Insurance Policy Agreement and the World Food Programme Replica Policy
Following presentation by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Cabinet approved the signing of the Insurance Policy Agreement between Africa Risk Capacity Limited (ARC Ltd) and the Government of Zimbabwe, as well as the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Zimbabwe, the World Food Programme and ARC Limited.
The African Risk Capacity Agency seeks to provide participating member States of the African Union with access to financial resources to help them to respond to extreme weather events.
The agency has caused for the establishment of an affiliated financial entity, the African Risk Capacity Insurance Company Limited, to provide insurance coverage, risk pooling and transfer services to ARC member states.
Cabinet was informed that Government, through Treasury, would purchase a drought insurance premium of US$1 003 571, which will unlock a maximum coverage of US$5 345 668,00. Furthermore, the World Food Programme (WFP) will pay a premium amount of US$200 000 which will unlock a maximum coverage of US$1 065 329,00 for this coming 2019/20 season.
Cabinet notes that the country will benefit in terms of ARC coverage of drought by preparing and putting in place necessary measures towards drought mitigation and early response to save the vulnerable populace.
2. Progress Update on the Implementation of the 4th 100-Day Cycle Priority Projects
Cabinet received and appreciated progress reports in the implementation of the 4th 100-Day Cycle Priority Projects, which Ministers presented as follows:
1) Industry and Commerce
The Minister informed Cabinet as follows:
- That the Concept Note on the Chirundu One-Stop Border Post Evaluation has been developed and agreed upon. Improved efficiency at the border post will enhance trade between Zimbabwe and Zambia;
- Consumer awareness campaigns to encourage consumers to raise complaints against unfair service providers using media platforms are being conducted through National FM Radio;
- Seven National Quality Forums have been set up in Masvingo, Beitbridge, Mutare, Marondera, Bulawayo and Gweru and Victoria Falls. The forums are aimed at sensitising the public on the need to choose quality products and thereby encourage their production;
- The Paper Recycling and Value Chain Project is already underway in Harare, as part of efforts to increase capacity utilisation for paper recycling companies; and
- Preparations for the drafting of a Statutory Instrument on imports management to limit the influx of imported goods into the country are on course;
2) Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services
The Minister informed Cabinet as follows:
- Site scoping and deployment of furniture and Local Area Network (LAN) at all the five Community Information Centres (CICs) established in Manicaland, Mashonaland West, Midlands and Masvingo provinces have been completed. Internet services have since been launched at three of the five CICs, while procurement of outstanding ICT equipment is in progress at all the five CICs.
- Consumer Education and Awareness Campaigns meant to increase knowledge on ICTs andcyber security have been conducted in Chiredzi, Triangle, Rutenga, Neshuro, Renco Mine in Masvingo Province, and Mapanzure in Midlands Province;
- Three new 3G base stations have been commissioned under the Shared Infrastructure Base Stations Project in Harare and Manicaland provinces;
- The establishment of a National Research and Education network in order to increase solutions for industrial development at tertiary institutions is at an advanced stage, with six (6) institutions already connected to the Internet. The institutions include Mutare Teachers’ College, the Scientific, Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC); in Harare, Hillside Teachers’ College; Kwekwe Polytechnic; Marymount Teachers’ College; and the Zimbabwe Open University.
3) Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement
The Minister informed Cabinet as follows:
- Installation of 8×40-hectare centre pivot irrigation units under the Irrigation Development Project has been completed;
- Two of the three contracts on solar power generation and pumping stations have been signed for the Kanyemba Irrigation Scheme;
- Equipment worth US$20 million intended for the mechanisation development project is now in Durban, awaiting the Letter of Credit and guarantee from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development;
- On the rabies disease control programme, 46 000 dogs out of the targeted 50 000 dogs have been vaccinated countrywide; and
- Pertaining to relief payment to former farm owners, Treasury has since released US$53 million, and 100 former white farmers had been compensated.
4) Mines and Mining Development
The Minister informed Cabinet as follows:
- Expansion of the granite cutting and polishing plant at Sure Win in Mashonaland East is at 80 percent completion. Assessment for market pricing has been completed; and
- Targets set for the Karo Platinum Exploration Project in Mashonaland West Province have been met, and civil construction work for the establishment of the Jin An Low Carbon Ferrochrome Furnace in Midlands province is 80 percent complete. These are some of the projects aimed at achieving the one billion target for the ferrochrome industry.
5) Finance and Economic Development
The Minister informed Cabinet as follows:
- With regard to resource mobilisation, RTGS$6,09 billion has been realised from tax revenue, out of the targeted RTGS$6,68 billion;
- On expenditure targets, adjustments had to be effected as a result of the prevailing negative economic environment, with RTGS$3,05 billion
- Having been disbursed, against a target of RTGS $7,68 billion as follows: salaries RTGS$1,7 billion, social spending RTGS$64,6 million; and capital spending, RTGS$1,25 billion;
- With regard to Financial Re-engagement, seven out of nine Staff Monitored Structural benchmark targets have been met, including under smart agriculture financing.
6) Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Following presentation by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Cabinet noted with satisfaction that efforts to portray the country’s image in good light are yielding results. The Anti-Sanctions Day was commemorated on 25 October 2019, and a concept paper was produced and circulated to all Zimbabwean missions for onward transmission to host governments in October 2019.
- As Chair of the SADC Organ on Defence and Politics, Zimbabwe successfully led the SADC team observed elections in Mozambique, Botswana, Mauritius, and Namibia, which were conducted peacefully.
- Zimbabwe is set to receive an additional 53 million Euro under the country’s National Indicative Programme for the period 2014-2020 targeting the health and agricultural sectors.
3. Medical Services Amendment Bill, 2019
Cabinet considered and approved the Medical Services Amendment Bill, 2019 which the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs presented as the chairman of the Committee on Legislation. The Minister informed Cabinet that the Medical Services Amendment Bill, 2019 is intended to align the Medical Services Act [Chapter 15:13] with the Constitution, under the ongoing Legislative Reform Programme which is being pursued by the Second Republic.
The amendment primarily seeks to safeguard and promote the right of every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe to access basic health care services, including reproductive health care; the right of every person to emergency medical treatment in any health institution; and the right of every child to health care services.
In particular, the amendment accords priority to the rights of persons over 70 years, persons living with disabilities and veterans of the liberation struggle to access medical attention.
4. Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Zimbabwe and the African Union Sports Council Region 5 on Co- Operation in the Establishment of a Sport Museum
Cabinet considered and approved the Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Zimbabwe and the African Union Sports Council Region 5 on co-operation in the establishment of a sport museum in Harare, as presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, chairman of the Committee on Legislation.
The Minister informed Cabinet that in its endeavour to preserve the sporting culture and heritage of its member states, the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5, formerly known as the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa Zone VI, has come up with a grand project to capture the historic achievements that form the legacy of the region. It is envisaged that such a project will elevate the rich and unique sporting history of the region by immortalising the achievements of persons who have performed with distinction across various sporting disciplines.
Africa’s Region 5 will thus establish, capture and manage all its historic milestones and proud moments in their original nature and exhibit them as a way of preserving the region’s identity and heritage. The unanimous choice of Zimbabwe to host the museum again provides ample testimony that the country is without doubt the envy of the region in terms of the hospitality of its people as well as their sporting excellence.
Zimbabwe itself will benefit immensely through sport tourism, infrastructure development through the museum, and the promotion of sport, sport education, culture and information preservation.
Numerous employment opportunities will arise as we set up and manage exhibitions. As such, demand for our curators, historians, artists, designers, tour guides and administrative staff will certainly grow.
5. Report on the 2019 Investment for Africa Forum Hosted by Egypt: 22-23 November, 2019
Cabinet received a briefing report on the 2019 Investment for Africa Forum which the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement attended in Cairo, Egypt, from 22 to 23 November, 2019. The Investment for Africa Forum provides a unique pan- African platform that brings together African Heads of State and Governments, prominent regional and international investors as well as International Financial Institutions.
The Forum deliberated on Africa’s abundant opportunities, and explored means of utilising the continent’s vast human and natural resources towards achieving self-sufficiency and the continent’s industrial transformation.
Cabinet took note that the AfreximBank, which has always stood by Zimbabwe, demonstrated a commitment towards supporting the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement in order to increase intra-Africa trade. In that regard, the bank set aside US$35 billion to bridge the funding gap in intra-Africa trade, and has already disbursed US$15 billion in that regard.
Zimbabwe’s participation at the Fourth Investment Forum demonstrated the country’s commitment to building closer economic and trade ties with other regional countries in the spirit of operationalising the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.
6. Update on the Industrial Action by Doctors and City of Harare Nurses
The Minister of Health and Child Care updated Cabinet on the industrial action by public hospital doctors as well as City of Harare nurses. He indicated that 46 dismissed doctors had presented themselves for work at various institutions following the moratorium extended by His Excellency the President to the doctors who were dismissed.
Cabinet directed that the moratorium lapsed on 1 December, 2019 and would not be extended as this would negatively affect patients. Cabinet resolved that discussions on conditions of service would only be held with those doctors who are at work.
Cabinet further noted with satisfaction that the construction of flats for lease to doctors had commenced in Harare.
Two blocks of medium-density flats will be constructed at all the country’s hospitals on a phased approach.
7. Report on the Fuel Supply Situation
The Minister of Energy and Power Development updated Cabinet on the energy and power supply situation in the country. Cabinet noted that the fuel supply situation was constrained in the past week due to the depressed uplifts which were experienced early in the week and the previous week.
However, it was pleasing to note that the situation improved as the week progressed after the interventions which were done by the National Oil Infrastructure Company (NOIC). After the NOIC implemented 24 loadings at its depots, the daily uplifts had surpassed the daily consumption rates of five million litres combined product.
1. Priority Projects Under the Fourth 100-Day Cycle
The Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes presented to Cabinet the Priority Projects under the Fourth 100-Day Cycle, which commenced on 16 September, 2019 and will end on 24 December, 2019.
A total of one hundred and one projects were submitted by nineteen Ministries. The Infrastructure and Utilities, and the Social Development pillars had the largest number of projects, which is a reflection of the Government of the Second Republic’s focus on projects with the highest impact on the livelihoods of the people.
Under the Infrastructure and Utilities Pillar on projects intended to improve access to electricity, Cabinet approved the construction of the 132/33 kilovolt 85 km transmission line for the Karoi and Alaska sub-stations; the manufacture of 210 transformers to meet ever increasing demand; the installation of 2 700 smart electricity meters; and the electrification of 35 institutions in the rural provinces of Zimbabwe.
Under the Social Development Pillar, Cabinet approved the training of 15 agencies and organisations countrywide on customer care; the establishment of 8 community fishing ponds at various schools in Mashonaland East Province; the installation of two biogas digesters in Masvingo and Bubi; and the establishment of centres of excellence or super specialist hospitals at United Bulawayo Hospitals, Mpilo, Chitungwiza, Parirenyatwa, Harare Central and Victoria Falls hospitals. In addition, solar projects shall be undertaken at Chitungwiza Hospital and at four other health institutions in Gokwe, Midlands Province.
The full compendium of projects approved by Cabinet, including under the Macro-Economic Stabilisation and Fiscal Reforms; Governance; Inclusive Growth and Cross Cutting themes will be availed for the information of citizens in due course.
2. Report on Approved New Place Names
Cabinet received and approved new place and street names as presented by Hon. Vice President K.C.D. Mohadi as Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Place Names. Cabinet noted that through the process of naming, every community or society defines its identity and culture, tells its history, and espouses its values, beliefs, norms and worldview. Naming is also a social engagement tool that fosters understanding, peace and unity in diversity.
3. Joint Statement by the Ministries of Finance and Economic Development, Industry and Commerce; and Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement on the Relaxation of Licences and Permits for Importation of Maize Grain, Maize Meal and Wheat Flour
Following presentation of the Grain Importation and Logistics Report by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage as Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Cabinet noted the need to ensure the continued availability of essential food stuffs in the market and to counter the effects of the drought that was experienced during the 2018/19 agricultural season. Accordingly, Cabinet has resolved to implement the following temporary measures: removal of control of goods import permits for maize grain, maize meal and wheat flour, with immediate effect; placement of wheat flour on the Open General Import Licence (OGIL) with immediate effect; and suspension of all import duties currently applicable on the following products, as indicated.
Millers and commercial users of grain are also hereby informed that following the pronouncements in the 2020 National Budget, the subsidy on grains has been removed with immediate effect. In essence all users of grain, including millers, will now buy grains at cost price, which currently stands at ZWL$4 000 for maize and small grains, and ZWL$8 612.08 for wheat, per metric tonne.
Government will also be unveiling a mechanism for targeted subsidies for basic foodstuffs, particularly roller maize meal and bread flour as outlined in the 2020 Budget Statement, once the finer details of the mechanism are worked out. This is intended as an additional cushion for vulnerable households and the generality of Zimbabweans. Cabinet therefore wishes to assure the nation that all measures possible will continue to be taken in order to ease the challenges of accessing food by all Zimbabweans.
4. Report on His Excellency the President’s Visit to Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Attend the 5th Global Business Forum on Africa: 18 – 19 November 2019
Cabinet received a detailed report on His Excellency the President’s recent visit to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which the Minister of Finance and Economic Development presented. The visit followed an invitation extended by the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
It is significant that His Excellency the President’s delegation comprised at least 25 business persons from Zimbabwe, as this resonates with the Second Republic’s focus on efforts to revive the economy through engagement and re-engagement. Indeed the message taken to the UAE was “Zimbabwe is Open for Business”. Cabinet was informed that the Business Forum focused on entrepreneurship; tackling Africa’s challenges in business; enhancing innovation in agriculture and the rebuilding of food supplies; trade and investment facilitation; and power generation.
It will be recalled that earlier in the year, the United Arab Emirates donated a huge consignment of medical equipment and drugs for the benefit of Cyclone Idai victims as well as a number of our health institutions. As relations with the UAE continue to scale new heights, Zimbabwe has appointed its first Ambassador to the oil-rich nation, and plans to set up an embassy in Dubai have made significant progress. Zimbabwe’s Ambassador is due to present his credentials to the UAE President today.
Immense benefits from the President E.D. Mnangagwa’s visit abound for bilateral cooperation in sectors encompassing agriculture and agro-processing, mining, tourism, energy; infrastructure and services; and free trade zones. An opportunity was therefore taken during the visit to articulate the opportunities of doing business in Zimbabwe, including in the area of small and medium and start-up enterprises. A lot of facilitation is being arranged in this regard.
Cabinet was further informed that the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is expected to lead a business delegation of potential investors from the UAE to Zimbabwe in 2020 to scout for business opportunities in various sectors. Consideration is being made to extend visas at port of entry to citizens of the United Arab Emirates.
5. Update on the Industrial Action by Doctors and City of Harare Nurses
The Minister of Health and Child Care updated Cabinet on the industrial action by Public Hospital Doctors and City of Harare Nurses. The strike by the doctors over conditions of service has now gone beyond 77 days. Pertaining to the industrial action by Harare City Council Nurses, the situation at the municipal clinics remains constrained as only 70 out of the expected 138 nurses are turning up for duty at the six (6) Municipal clinics. In order to ease the challenges associated with home based deliveries, the Minister of Health and Child Care has, in conjunction with Harare City Council Health Department, facilitated the opening of Edith Opperman Maternity Clinic. Nursing staff from Harare Hospital have been seconded to the Edith Opperman Maternity Clinic, which is open for 24 hours. They will also be working with three Sisters-in-Charge drawn from other City Council clinics.
Cabinet is cognisant that an agreement has been reached between the National Employment Council and the Nurses Trade Union for a salary increment for nurses. The nurses are therefore expected to return to work soon, but will not be paid for the days that they have not been reporting for duty. Disciplinary procedures for the striking nurses will definitely be conducted according to the law.
Turning to hospital doctors, a total of 480 disciplinary cases have so far been heard. An additional 149 doctors were found guilty and discharged, bringing the cumulative total of the doctors discharged to 435.
Cabinet was informed of a meeting which was held on 15th November, 2019 between the Minister of Health and Child Care and representatives from the Senior and Junior Doctors Association. While positive strides were made at the meeting, with some doctors showing a willingness to return to work, Cabinet has resolved that those doctors already discharged have to apply for re-admission. Government will not rescind its position on the fired doctors.
Regarding accommodation provision for health services personnel, the Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities has informed Cabinet that his Ministry is currently seized with a housing programme to complement accommodation for health workers.
THIRTY-NINTH MEETING CABINET DECISIONS MATRIX: 5th NOVEMBER, 2019
1. State Enterprises Reform Programme: Forestry Performance Review and Turnaround Strategy.
Cabinet considered and approved a comprehensive turnaround strategy for the Forestry Commission, which the Minister of Finance and Economic Development presented as part of the ongoing State Enterprises Reform Programme.
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