40th Cabinet meeting decisions matrix Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa addresses the media in the company of Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Acting Minister Sithembiso Nyoni, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda at post-Cabinet briefing in Harare yesterday.— Picture: Tawanda Mudimu

40th Cabinet Meeting Decisions Matrix: 12th November, 2019

1. Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Zimbabwe and Life Academy on Cooperation in the Field of Energy

Cabinet considered and approved the Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Zimbabwe and Life Academy on Cooperation in the Field of Energy.

The memorandum provides a governing framework for cooperation and investment in the development of renewable energy sources, thereby boosting the use of clean energy in the country. The memorandum of understanding underscores Government’s commitment to enhance local generation of energy, which is expected to lead to increased access to affordable, reliable renewable energy and access to electricity by the vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.

Life Academy is a global actor in capacity building and knowledge exchange for sustainable development, and was commissioned by the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) to plan and implement a Global Capacity Development Programme on Renewable Energy to contribute to the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The programme will be premised on three pillars, which are as follows:

learning and knowledge transfer;

change management; and

experience sharing to include policy formulation, technology solutions and investments.

The programme will seek to develop modern and sustainable energy systems inclusive of all forms of renewable energy such as solar, wind, hydro, bio (including waste to energy) and geothermal. The development of these renewable energy sources will promote sustainable use of natural resources and environmental conservation.

The envisaged training programme, which has already commenced, will be expanded to benefit many Zimbabweans as part of the broader human capacity development programme for the nation in line with Vision 2030.

2. Update on the industrial Action by Doctors and City of Harare Nurses

Cabinet was briefed on the industrial action by doctors and City of Harare nurses by the Minister of Health and Child Care.

The strike by the doctors over conditions of service has now gone beyond over seventy days. The Minister informed Cabinet as follows:

a) Harare City Council Nurses

The situation at the municipal clinics remains constrained as only 35 out of the expected 104 nurses turned up for duty at the five polyclinics and one hospital.

The nurses had withdrawn their labour over delayed salary payments and are refusing to resume duty even after receiving their salaries.

The action by the nurses is illegal, and the employer has been advised to commence disciplinary processes on the striking nurses in line with the country’s laws.

As such, therefore, only those nurses reporting for duty will be paid while their conditions of service are being looked into.

Meanwhile, and mindful of the hardships innocent patients are likely to face as a result of the illegal job action, Harare City Council has rationalised services to polyclinics as follows: Mabvuku, Tafara, Kuwadzana, Mufakose, Hatfield and                 Glen View. The Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital is also attending to patients.

Cabinet is concerned about doctors and pharmacies that are demanding payment for their services as well as for medicines in United States dollars. The practice is illegal and should be stopped forthwith.

Those unwilling to comply with the laws risk a withdrawal of their licences.

b) Ministry of Health and Child Care Hospital Doctors

A total of 322 disciplinary cases have so far been heard and the 286 doctors were found guilty have been discharged.

A further 93 doctors from Central hospitals and 55 from provincial hospitals will have their disciplinary hearings concluded by 15th November and 22nd November 2019, respectively.

Government is still committed to dialogue with the striking doctors, and a meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, 14th November, 2019.

Government is working flat out to ensure availability of resources in the health institutions as well as improve the conditions of service for all health personnel. In particular, the provision of institutional accommodation is being pursued in order to alleviate the challenges that affect service delivery in the short, medium to long term.

Government is also taking firm steps to ensure the engagement of nurses who have hitherto been unemployed, and to expedite recruitment of personnel for training as health practitioners.

3. National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Bill, 2019

Cabinet considered and approved the National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Bill, 2019 which the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs presented.

The proposed amendments are primarily aimed at improving the operations of the National Prosecuting Authority, and revamping its governance structures.

The amendments will thus pave way for the creation of the National Prosecuting Authority Board headed by a chairperson appointed by His Excellency the President.

The deputy chairperson shall thus be free to devote more time to the prosecutorial duties relating to his office. The chairperson and the deputy chairperson shall be of different genders. A secretary will be appointed to serve on the board.

The other members of the board shall be a commissioner of the Civil Service Commission appointed by the chairperson of the Civil Service Commission; and five members appointed by the President after consultation with the Minister responsible for Justice. To ensure consistency in the country’s laws, Section 7 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act shall be amended in accordance with the Amendments to the National Prosecuting Authority Act.

Once enacted into law, the National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Bill, 2019 will make the Authority more effective and efficient in carrying out its Constitutional mandate as part of the reforms being undertaken by the Second Republic.

4. Country’s Power Supply Situation

Following presentation by the Minister of Energy and Power Development on the country’s power supply situation, Cabinet remains seized with the current power outages that are adversely impacting on production across all sectors of the economy.

Of major concern is the vandalism that is being perpetrated by unruly elements on electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure.

Measures to curtail this trend, which is tantamount to sabotage, are being instituted. Investors are being invited to participate in the development of alternative technologies intended to minimise the acts of vandalism and theft of essential equipment.

Cabinet further wishes to inform the nation that the fault which occurred around midnight on 11th November has since been attended to successfully, resulting in the restoration of expected power supplies early morning today.

As the country’s power generation capacity faces challenges mainly as a result of the drought that has adversely affected the main hydroelectric power station at Kariba, power augmentation projects are being implemented countrywide.

5. Tugwi-Mukosi National Programmes and Projects

Following a presentation by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement on the preparations for the 2019-2020 agricultural season, the Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development briefed Cabinet on the projects that Government has approved for women under the Tugwi-Mukosi development initiative.

The ministry has managed to register a total of 241 fishery cooperatives as follows: Chivi District, 128 cooperatives; Chiredzi District, 20 cooperatives; Masvingo District, 69 cooperatives; and Mwenezi District, 16 cooperatives.

Cabinet has further informed that a total of 45 women farmers have so far been assisted and referred to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement to enable them to apply for irrigation plots and commercial land at Tugwi-Mukosi.

It is expected that the empowered women will soon make a significant contribution to household and national food security.

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