Twenty-Eighth Meeting Decisions Matrix: August 6, 2019
- National Renewable Energy Policy
Cabinet considered and approved the National Renewable Energy Policy which was presented by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, as chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Industrialisation and Export Development. The renewable energy sector in Zimbabwe comprises solar, hydro, wind, geothermal and biomass energy sources.
The National Renewable Energy Policy seeks to attain the following:
to establish market-oriented measures and regulatory instruments for the development of the renewable energy sector in Zimbabwe;
to address the barriers to the uptake of renewable energy in the country;
to achieve an installed renewable energy capacity consistent with the country’s projected energy requirements under Vision 2030;
to promote investment in the renewable energy sector;
to provide the necessary guidelines, incentives, standards, procurement and financing mechanisms for promoting the development of off-grid projects, which have the potential to increase electricity access in rural areas; and
to promote the manufacturing of renewable energy equipment in the country as well as local skills development in that regard.
The policy, if implemented, will go a long way in resolving current energy problems besetting the country and negative ripple effects thereof in the entire economy.
- Proposal on the Production of Industrial Hemp
Cabinet considered and approved the proposal on the production of industrial hemp in Zimbabwe as presented by the Minister of Industry and Commerce.
The benefits to be derived from industrial hemp include the following:
Production of building products, textiles, paper and plastics from hemp fibre;
Processing of fuel from hemp seed;
The crop can be a good substitute to the leading export crop, tobacco, which is currently facing possibilities of being banned internationally due to its adverse effects on health;
Hemp is bio-degradable, compostable, recyclable, non-toxic and capable of carbon sequestration and hence, reduces global warming effects; and
Industrial hemp will widen the country’s industrial and export base.
Currently, Zimbabwe, through Statutory Instrument 62 of 2018 only allows for the cultivation and processing of cannabis specifically for medicinal and scientific purposes. In view of the foregoing, the law governing the use and control of hemp in the country will be repealed to reflect the current industrial thrust of the country.
- Launch of the University of Zimbabwe Innovation Hub
Cabinet was briefed by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development on the launch of the University of Zimbabwe Innovation Hub by His Excellency President E.D. Mnangagwa on August 5, 2019. The innovation hub, which was built with funding from Treasury amounting to US$4,5 million, is set to be a key lever of Zimbabwe’s industrialisation and modernisation drive under Vision 2030. This innovation hub is just but one of the six innovation hubs currently at different levels of construction at some State universities.
- National Declaration of a State of Disaster in relation to the 2018/2019 Drought
Cabinet was informed by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing that His Excellency President E.D. Mnangagwa has today (yesterday) declared a State of National Disaster in regard to the El-Nino-induced drought, which adversely affected the country’s agricultural production and food security in the 2018/2019 agricultural season.
The declaration paves way for the launch of the Country’s Appeal for drought relief assistance and the associated resilience building support by the international community. The launch of the Country Appeal is due to take place today (yesterday).
- Fuel and Power Situation
Cabinet was informed by the Minister of Energy and Power Development that an arrangement to unlock the supply of 400MW has been concluded with Eskom. In terms of this arrangement, Government through Treasury, has commenced the payment of an amount of US$890 000 per week towards the settlement of its debt to Eskom.
Furthermore, similar discussions will soon commence with HCB of Mozambique. Regarding fuel supply, Cabinet was informed that the situation had slightly improved during the week under review. The Minister of Energy and Power Development also advised Cabinet that the fuel supply situation was expected to improve even further within the next few days, on the back of the funding arrangements currently under active consideration.
- Preparations for the 2019 National Heroes and Defence Forces Days Celebrations
The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing briefed Cabinet on Preparations for the 2019 National Heroes and Defence Forces days celebrations.
This Year’s Heroes Day celebrations will be held under the theme “Lest we Forget”, while the theme for the Defence Forces Day commemoration will be “ZDF: Guaranteeing Peace and Security for National Development”. The theme of the Heroes Day celebrations serves as a reminder to the whole nation on the need to reflect on the supreme sacrifices of our gallant heroes and heroines who brought about the freedom and independence we enjoy today. The Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day theme resonates well with the economic development thrust adopted by the Second Republic.
- Signing of the Cease-fire Agreement between the Government of Mozambique and Renamo
His Excellency President E.D. Mnangagwa informed Cabinet that the Government of Mozambique and the Renamo rebel movement were due to sign a ceasefire agreement today. The agreement will entail the full integration of Renamo into Mozambique’s civil and public administration systems. Cabinet applauds this positive development, which is a significant step towards sustainable regional peace and stability.