- National Biofuels Policy
Cabinet considered and approved the National Biofuels Policy which was presented by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, as Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Industrialisation and Export Development.
The proposed National Biofuels Policy will guide the biofuels sector during the period 2018 to 2030 in promoting the implementation of viable biofuels projects in the country. Its specific focus will be on ethanol production from sugar cane and biodiesel from jatropha, while exploring the possibility if other feedstocks, such as cassava and sweet sorghum for biodiesel production.
More specifically, the policy seeks, inter alia, to:
improve the long-term growth, viability and sustainability of the biofuels sector;
safeguard biofuel product quality and standards;
improve productivity and economic viability of biofuel feedstock production;
implement development programmes that balance biofuel investments with biodiversity ecosystem maintenance and
implementing production models that increase community benefits from biofuel investments and fostering institutional cooperation.
The benefits to be derived from the implementation of the National Biofuels Policy are as follows:
reduction of the country’s dependence on imported petroleum products;
stabilisation of fuel prices;
enhancement of energy security;
promotion of rural development and investment;
poverty reduction and
The policy, if implemented, will also greatly help the country to save foreign currency through import substitution.
- Progress on the Production of Passports
Cabinet received a progress report by the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage on the resolution of the challenges currently affecting the production of passports in the country.
The minister advised Cabinet that the new equipment and consumables required to upscale the production of passports had now been procured. Following this development, the Registrar-General’s Office now has the capacity to produce 800 passports per day, up from the 60 passports which had of late become the daily maximum output.
Government will continue to mobilise further resources in order to ensure that the daily maximum production of passports is raised to 8 000. The Central Registry will also take advantage of the idle capacity at the Fidelity Printers, to further boost the production of passports. Government, once again, wishes to assure the nation that the passport production backlog of 300 000 will be cleared very soon for the convenience of our citizens both within Zimbabwe and in the Diaspora.
- Power and Fuel Supply Situation
Cabinet noted with satisfaction the significant improvement in the supply of electricity following the unlocking of imports of 400MW from ESKOM as from the end of last week. This has seen the de-escalation of the load-shedding schedule from Stage 2 to Stage 1.
This positive development should help boost economic activities in the economy in general as well as bring greater convenience to our citizens and stakeholders. Efforts are now in negotiations with HCB of Mozambique for the supply of additional power imports with a view to ensuring a return to normalcy in terms of power supply.
Some holders of licences for power generation projects have since been issued with show-cause orders for them to explain why their licences should not be withdrawn over inordinate delays in the implementation of the projects.
On the fuel supply front, Cabinet was informed that the fuel supply situations has registered some improvement following the resolution of the technical issues which had been encountered early the previous week.
- Disbursement of Funds for the Rehabilitation of Businesses affected by the 14 to 16 January 2019 violent demonstrations
Cabinet was informed by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development that the remaining $20 million from the fund set up to rehabilitate and restock businesses affected by the 14 to 16 January 2019 violent protests was disbursed the previous week. This should assist the affected businesses and communities to re-establish themselves, create employment and provide valuable services to our citizens.
- Call to preserve peace in the country
In the light of planned demonstrations by the opposition MDC Alliance, Cabinet implores all Zimbabweans to completely reject the culture of violence and intimidation which is counter-productive and inimical to the full enjoyment of freedom by peace-loving Zimbabweans, as enshrined in the country’s Constitution.
Government calls on all progressive Zimbabweans to desist from being used by negative forces to destabilise their own country, as this will only prolong the hardships which Government is tirelessly working to address in a more sustainable manner.
As Zimbabweans, let us shun the culture of violence which brings about the loss of livelihoods, and undermines our peace and unity. I wish to reiterate the call by His Excellency the President Cde E.D. Mnangagwa for all patriotic Zimbabweans to resort to dialogue and other constructive forms of engagement as means for resolving the challenges we face as a nation. Government will, nonetheless, ensure that law and order prevails in the country.