16th JULY, 2019
- The Joint Venture between the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and Alrosa Overseas S.A. of Russia
Cabinet considered and approved the Memorandum of Agreement between ZCDC and Alrosa Overseas S.A. of Russia as submitted by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. The Agreement will establish a mutually beneficial joint venture partnership for diamond exploration, mining and marketing, both in greenfield and brownfield projects. Benefits to be derived from the partnership will include the following:
- Access to advanced exploration and mining technology and technical capacity under the command of Alrosa, a leading diamond mining company;
- Marshalling of investment across the entire diamond value chain from exploration to sales and marketing;
- Mitigation of constraints in the Zimbabwe diamond sector, such as, limited market development, diversity and depth; and
- Unlocking the huge diamond sector potential, which will ensure significant contribution to the fiscus, foreign currency generation, job creation and general economic development. Alrosa has already advanced US$1,6 million for the operationalisation of the joint venture and pledged to avail other funding needs as equity for mining development and equipment acquisition.
I may just advise that the Agreement between ZCDC and Alrosa has been signed a short while ago.
- The Constitutional Court Bill, 2019
Cabinet considered and approved the Constitutional Court Bill which was presented by the Minister of Justice, legal and Parliamentary Affairs. The Bill will govern the operations of the Constitutional Court. It is part of the alignment of laws to the Constitution and will also regulate the jurisdiction, powers, practice and procedure of the Court. The Bill provides for the composition, regulations, appeals from decisions of lower courts and other matters connected to the operations of the Constitutional Court. Once enacted, the Bill will provide and ensure an effective and efficient justice delivery system.
- The International Treaties Bill, 2019
Cabinet considered and approved the International Treaties Bill which was presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. The Bill establishes a uniform procedure for the approval of international treaties by Cabinet and Parliament, and subsequent ratification by the President. It provides a mechanism for the publication or notification of such treaties. This will ensure that international treaties, including those having far-reaching consequences on the country’s domestic laws, are concluded only after the due notification of Parliament and the public.
- Measures to Address Current Challenges Relating to the Issuance of Passports and other Identity Documents
Cabinet expressed concern over the prolonged difficulties faced by citizens both within and outside the country, in obtaining passports and other identity documents.
The Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, then updated Cabinet on progress towards the resolution of the challenges as previously directed by His Excellency the President Cde E.D. Mnangagwa. On the basis of this, therefore we wish to advise the nation that work towards the return to normalcy in the production of the Zimbabwean passport is now at an advanced stage. All the necessary capital equipment is now in place while payment has already been made for the associated consumables. Cabinet has thus directed the responsible Minister to ensure that production of at least 3 000 passports a day commences within the next three to four weeks. This should be followed by measures to ensure that citizens can complete some aspects of the application process on-line, in keeping with the thrust of the ease of doing business reforms.
- Energy and Power Supply Situation
Cabinet received a report by the Minister of Energy and Power Development on the country’s energy and power supply situation.
On power, Cabinet notes with concern the ongoing prolonged load shedding caused by reduced power supplies mainly due to low water levels, and hence depressed electricity generation at Lake Kariba as well as reduced power imports and frequent breakdowns at the Hwange Thermal Power Station.
To alleviate the situation on the power supply front, Cabinet resolved as follows:
- to endorse the arrangement whereby large Hotels in the Victoria Falls resort town can pay their ZESA bills in foreign currency so as to boost capacity to import power supplies;
- that a large scale programme be implemented to promote the importation, local production of solar equipment and the use of solar power as an alternative energy source.
In this regard, special incentives shall be provided through duty waivers on imported solar equipment while it shall be mandatory for all new construction projects to be solar powered;
- Furthermore, Cabinet embraced the commitment by mining companies under the banner of the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines to pay a cost recovery electricity tariff to ZESA, and to directly procure extra power supplies from the Southern Africa Power pool as well as to mobilise a lumpsum towards the settlement of the existing power imports debt arrears. This will, among other things, assist in unlocking further power imports; and
- That the implementation of the already existing coal-bed methane gas projects be speeded up in order to provide affordable gas for cooking and heating purposes, thereby reducing reliance on power from the national grid. Pertaining to fuel, Cabinet noted with concern that some service stations are continuing to flout their licensing conditions by:
- rejecting electronic payments;
- diverting fuel to the parallel market;
- dispensing the product to preferred customers and engaging in other arbitrage activities.
Cabinet accordingly directed as follows:
- The urgent roll-out of the Matsimba Technology, which will enable ZERA to remotely monitor the movement of fuel from the depot to the service station, fuel stocks at service stations, fuel dispensing activities at service stations, and the vehicles involved. A Ministerial statement will soon be issued to spell out the modalities in that regard; and
- That ZERA inspectors should be firmly on the ground and should immediately withdraw operating licences of those service stations caught engaging in the above-indicated malpractices;
The responsible Ministry is already ceased with work on a lasting solution to the country’s fuel supply challenges. Cabinet received with satisfaction, the progress made on the 2 400 MW Batoka Hydro Project, where China Power and General Electronic were recently awarded the tender for the Project. Cabinet also wishes to advise the nation that discussions with ESKOM are continuing, with a view to unlocking power supplies imports therefrom.