1. Report on the Cyclone Idai Disaster
Cabinet received a comprehensive update from the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing on the ongoing rescue and search efforts in the aftermath of the Cyclone Idai Disaster.
Cabinet noted with satisfaction that access to the affected areas is steadily improving as more roads are being reopened. As a consequence of this development, the distribution of food and other forms of relief assistance is now reaching a greater spread of the affected communities.
Cabinet, however, is concerned over the shortage of aircraft to airlift relief assistance to collection points that are still inaccessible by road. It is noted with sadness that the figure of human fatalities has now risen to 268 and is still expected to rise as the search efforts continue.
Cabinet wishes, once again, to express its profound appreciation for the overwhelming response by both locals and the broader international community to calls by His Excellency the President for offers of assistance towards the victims of the disaster.
Government also greatly commends the civil servants, the Zimbabwe Defence forces and other security agencies as well as members of the media who continue to discharge their work with a high level of commitment despite working long hours and under trying circumstances. Cabinet also took note of the impending visit to Chimanimani by 18 presidents of the local political parties, involved in the Political Parties Dialogue to express their solidarity with the people affected by Cyclone Idai.
Pertaining to the way forward, Cabinet approved the launch of a formal appeal for domestic and international disaster relief assistance in respect of the cyclone Idai Disaster.
2. Principles for the establishment of an Open Merchant Ship Registry
Cabinet considered and approved a proposal by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development on Principles for the establishment of an Open Merchant Ship Registry.
The Open Merchant Ship Registry will pave way for Zimbabwe to register and own sea going ships thus, strategically position Zimbabwe for strong economic growth.
3. Principles of the Public Service Amendment Act
Cabinet approved a proposal by the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare on Principles to Amend the Public Service Act in order to align it with the Zimbabwe Constitution. The amendments seek to, inter alia:
- Change name of “the Public Service Commission” to the “Civil Service Commission”;
- align the conditions of service for the Civil Service Commissioners to the Constitution;
- provide that staff of the Civil Service Commission will follow processes through the National Joint Negotiating Forum before engaging in collective job action;
- promote full gender balance in all institutions and agencies of Government;
- provide mechanisms for the implementation of the Collective Bargaining;
- provide for the political neutrality of the Civil Service and;
- make provision for the values and principles governing public administration, disclosure of assets and the code of conduct.
4. Construction of the Railway Line and Wharf at Beira
Following a presentation by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Cabinet approved in principle the proposal for Balmoral Corporation Investments to undertake the construction of a railway line and a port at Beira on a Built, Operate and Transfer basis in order to facilitate the transportation of minerals.
5. Third Party Report under the African Charter on Human, People’s Rights
Cabinet approved the Third Party Report Under the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights as presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
The report will be used to brief the African Commission on People’s Rights on the steps taken by Zimbabwe to safeguard and promote the rights of its citizens.
In addition, highlights challenges the country faces in implementing the specified rights and the strategies that will be employed to overcome the challenges. The most notable achievements in this regard include the following:
(a) enactment of the Zimbabwe Constitution in 2013, which contains several Bills of Rights;
(b) establishment of various Independent Commissions in order to further promote human rights and
(c) the institution of Legislative, Judicial and Administrative measures to give effect to each of the rights provided by the articles.
6. Principles for the Securities and Exchange Amendment Bill
Cabinet approved Principles for the Securities and Exchange Amendment Bill as presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. The amendments seek to address the existing deficiencies and to align the legislation with market development and international best practice. More specifically, the proposed amendments aim to achieve the following:
- provision of full, accurate and timely disclosure of financial results, risk and other information which is material to investor’s decisions;
- ensuring fair and equitable treatment of holders of securities and that financial statements be in line with international accounting standards;
- expanding the scope of regulation of capital markets to cover issuers of securities;
- eliminating regulatory arbitrage in the capital markets sector;
- introducing civil penalties for contravention of the Act to enhance Securities and Exchange Commission (SECZ) powers in market; and
- providing for cooperation and sharing of information with both local and foreign regulators.
7. Basis for Rational Price Increases
Cabinet raised concern over the tendency by suppliers of goods and services to increase prices citing movements in the exchange rate. It was pointed out that the correct approach is to predicate price increases on inflation trends.