- Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Plant
In light of the water supply challenges affecting Harare and its satellite towns, it will be recalled that His Excellency the President recently visited Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Plant to assess the situation obtaining thereat. The Minister of Local Government and Public Works reported that water supply capacity at Morton Jaffray is limited due to the poor quality of the raw water in Lake Chivero. An assessment of Manyame and Warren Control Pump Stations revealed that pollution of water at Lake Chivero is worse compared to Manyame. Cabinet concurs that pumping water from Lake Manyame reduces the usage of aluminium sulphate by 26,8 percent. This will consequently reduce the cost of treating water as aluminium sulphate is the main chemical. Accordingly, Cabinet resolved as follows:
- a) that Harare City Council draws water from Lake Manyame;
- b) that Treasury avails US$9,3 million for urgent works at Manyame and Warren Control Pump Station, which are to be completed in two months. The installation of appropriate water meters will be undertaken concurrently with the cited works;
- c) that Chemplex Corporation be allocated enough foreign currency to import water treatment chemicals;
- d) that Government provides loan guarantees for the various water and sanitation projects to be undertaken by local authorities using the various project procurement methods that suit their specific requirements;
- e) that hefty fines be imposed on polluters of water sources; and
- f) that local authorities be allowed to sign the various agreements that will ensure the supply of adequate and affordable potable water to the public while ensuring recovery of funds advanced to local authorities by Government.
- Progress Update on the Implementation of the 4th 100 Day Cycle Priority Projects
Cabinet received and appreciated progress in the implementation of the following Fourth 100-Day Cycle Priority Projects, which Ministries presented as follows:
1) Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development a) Geospatial Aeronautical and Space Science Capability for Zimbabwe
Establishment of the Zimbabwe National Geo-Spatial and Space Agency (ZINGSA) offices;
Development of maps and interactive digital applications for the Agro-Ecological Zones of Zimbabwe;
Release of funds to procure wildlife satellite collars by the Research Council of Zimbabwe; and
Digitalisation of both the first and second round sub-division maps is complete.
Cabinet noted that implementation of the following projects is underway: Geospatial capability for quantifying solar and biomass output and distribution over Zimbabwe; and geospatial capability for matching fertiliser recommendations to soil types in Zimbabwe in order to ensure the timely application of the right types of fertilisers and thereby increase productivity by farmers.
- b) Establishment of Innovation Hubs
On equipping innovation hubs at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), the Midlands State University (MSU), the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), and the Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT), Cabinet noted that the process of procuring equipment for all the innovation hubs has been initiated, bringing overall progress on the project to 80 percent.
Furthermore, architectural designs for the Industrial Park at the UZ Farm in Harare have been completed, and procurement of materials has commenced. Construction works for the Agro-industrial Park at the Chinhoyi University of Technology Farm have commenced. Regarding application of new cattle reproductive technologies, Cabinet noted that the establishment of artificial insemination centres in the provinces is ongoing, while the production of semen straw labelling and filler machines for local use and for export has commenced at Chinhoyi University Tech- nology.
Cabinet further noted that construction of the Humanities and Social Science Faculty Building at the Lupane State University in Matabeleland North has commenced.
2) Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services
Regarding installation of FM radio transmission gap fillers in Matabeleland South and Masvingo, Cabinet noted that fabricated containers have been procured, and equipment has been delivered to Madlambuzi in Matabeleland South Province and Tugwi-Mukosi in Masvingo Province.
Pertaining to the construction of High Definition Studio for independent producers, old analogue equipment had been removed, while high definition equipment has been procured. On the launch of a 24-hour news channel on DSTV, Cabinet was informed that assessment of the TV channel by Multichoice (DSTV) has been completed. Concerning the mobile cinema project, the procurement of equipment has commenced.
Regarding the installation of hardware components for the Outdoor Viewing Screen at Nyika Growth Point in Ward 11 of Bikita District, Cabinet noted that the sound system has been procured.
3) Ministry of Health and Child Care
The Minister of Health and Child Care informed Cabinet as follows:
United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) partnered with the Zimbabwe Orthopaedic Trust to construct an orthopaedic private hospital to be named the Bulawayo Orthopaedic Hospital (BOH), through a Build Operate and Transfer model;
Construction and refurbishment works at the BOH were completed on 30 September 2019;
4) Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage
As the process of monitoring the implementation of projects and programmes that are intended to bring about a positive impact on the citizenry continues, the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage informed Cabinet that the Tomlinson Depot Block “C” Flats in Harare have now reached 50 percent completion.
Cabinet directed that outstanding works be expedited in order to alleviate the institutional accommodation challenges for the Zimbabwe Republic Police. The Minister further reported that the Wedza District Registry in Mashonaland East Province is at 72 percent completion as Government seeks to bring national documentation services closer to the people.
5) Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education
As the e-Education model gathers pace, the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education informed Cabinet that Government has distributed iPads, laptops and projector screens to a total of 60 primary schools. The remaining 2 000 gadgets are being programmed and loaded with software, following which issuance to beneficiary schools will commence.
Under the quality control programme, the Minister informed Cabinet that a total of 20 satellite schools in the Manicaland, Mashonaland East and West provinces have been upgraded and registered. The Minister expressed hope that health certificates for the affected schools would soon be issued.
Elsewhere, in Mashonaland Central Province, the upgrading of Chapoto Secondary School into a low-cost boarding institution is being pursued vigorously. In Hurungwe District, Mashonaland West Province, a 40-bed girls’ hostel at Vuti Primary School is being roofed.
Under the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Programme, boreholes have been drilled and water reservoirs mounted at Mpilo and Pelandaba primary schools in Matabeleland North Province.
- Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare
Pertaining to the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM), the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare reported that ZW$12 million has been paid to 280 000 beneficiaries. Cabinet noted that monitoring tools for BEAM have been developed and 60 school heads and sub-national structures in Mazowe and Goromonzi District have been capacitated on BEAM implemen- tation.
On the State Service Disability Benefits Act (Chapter 16:05), Cabinet noted that 95 of the 100 targetted human resources personnel across the service have been trained. Furthermore, actuarial valuation on pension benefits was finalised. Pension levels were increased in November 2019, backdated to 1st October 2019 as per actuarial recommendations.
- Update on the Strike by Public Hospital Doctors and Harare City Council Nurses
Cabinet received an update on the industrial action by public hospital doctors and City of Harare nurses. The Minister of Health and Child Care reported that the doctors’ strike has now gone beyond 84 days, with the doctors continuing to cite incapacitation. As such, health service provision at most central hospitals remains constrained.
On the situation at Harare City Council clinics, the Minister indicated that 99 out of the expected 179 nurses turned up for duty as of 25th November, 2019. The recent opening of the Edith Opperman Clinic in Mbare has since eased the challenge of home-based deliveries. Pertaining to disciplinary hearings for striking doctors, the Minister informed Cabinet that 508 disciplinary cases on doctors that have not been coming to work have so far been heard, out of which 498 doctors were found guilty. It will be recalled that from the previous report, 435 doctors had been discharged, and since then an additional 13 doctors have been found guilty and discharged, bringing the cumulative total of doctors discharged to 448.
In addition to the 508 disciplinary cases heard by the 25th November 2019, an additional 43 doctors from the provinces are awaiting hearing. Serving of charge letters for 57 senior doctors at central hospitals commenced on the 25th November, 2019.
Regarding the recruitment of doctors, the Ministry of Health and Child Care will publish before the end of this week an advert in the press for all posts that have become vacant as a result of the disciplinary process. Processes on the recruitment of 700 nurses, 150 Cuban medical staff as well as the training of 6 000 clinical officers are being expedited. Once again, Cabinet wishes to assure the nation that all avenues to ensure that the situation in the health sector returns to normalcy are being explored for immediate implementation.
- Update on Damage Caused by Hailstorms, Strong Winds and Heavy Rains in the Country
While the nation is still seized with memories of Cyclone Idai which struck earlier in the year, the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, as chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Disaster Preparedness and Management, informed Cabinet that the start of the rainfall season in October 2019 has been punctuated by hailstorms, violent winds and lightning strikes.
To date, a total of eight provinces and 28 districts have reported considerable damage associated with the commencement of the rainfall season. Of note is the extensive damage to properties countrywide. To date, approximately 543 homesteads have suffered various levels of damage, scores of internally displaced persons are living with neighbours or relatives, while hundreds of schools have had part of their roofs blown off.
Shops and buildings belonging to private companies were also affected. A total of 19 lives have been lost due to falling trees and debris from buildings or from lightning strikes. The Minister analysed the situation province by province for the information of Cabinet:
In view of the extent of the disaster, Cabinet has directed that funds that Treasury has already disbursed towards the Devolution Programme be immediately channelled towards assistance for the affected households, communities and institutions. The assistance will be handled by the respective urban and rural councils, which have also been directed to act with speed and submit all requests for further assistance.
Meanwhile, Cabinet has also directed the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development and relevant organisations to conduct a scientific study to establish the exact mapping of the impact of the rainfall-induced disasters which seem to be assuming a regular pattern. This will facilitate timely interventions to avert loss of lives and destruction of property.
- The Second Session of the Political Dialogue between Zimbabwe and European Union (EU)
Cabinet received and noted with satisfaction the report on the Second Session of the Political Dialogue between Zimbabwe and the European Union (EU) which the Minister of Local Government and Public Works presented as the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The Dialogue took place on 21st November, 2019 in Harare, and was co-chaired by Hon. Minister July Moyo and Ambassador Timo Olkkonen, the EU Head of Delegation to Zimbabwe.
The Minister informed Cabinet that the dialogue focused on key issues under the Zimbabwe-EU partnership, namely: progress on political, economic, legislative and electoral reforms; implementation of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) and the Staff Monitored Programme, among other issues. Deliberations also focused on the impact of climate change, including drought and natural disasters; an update on humanitarian assistance; post-Cotonou co-operation between the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States and the EU; the SADC-EU Dialogue; and Zimbabwe’s chairmanship of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation.
Cyclone Idai, the drought and isolation from the international community were cited as the challenges that hamper Government’s efforts to implement its reforms. A lot of common ground was achieved on issues encompassing alleged human rights abuses, the need for direct support to Government as part of cooperation efforts, the quantum of humanitarian assistance required and the need to increase productivity in the agricultural sector.
The next meetings are scheduled for May and June 2020 when it is hoped that more fruitful deliberations will be held, including on trade and investment.
- Clarification on the Review of Import Procedures for Foodstuffs
Following presentation by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement on the food security situation, and in view of undue pronouncements through the media,
Cabinet reiterated its position on the relaxation of importation procedures for grain and foodstuffs. The nation is therefore informed that all companies and individuals with free funds are free to import not just maize, maize meal and flour, but the entire range of foodstuffs, without import permits.
As such, therefore, no question shall be asked regarding the source of the funds so used, except when there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a crime has been committed. The intention is to ensure that by all means possible, citizens’ right to access food is protected, until such a time that another review shall be deemed necessary.