Call Centre attends to 3 800 calls Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa (centre) addresses journalists at a post-Cabinet briefing at Munhumutapa Building in Harare yesterday. She is flanked by Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira (left) and Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda. Behind her are (from left) Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr Sekai Nzenza, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Professor Paul Mavima and Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo. — Picture: Justin Mutenda

Cabinet Decision Matrix is an outline of issues discussed and decisions taken in Cabinet, read out to the media after each session.It reflects the discussions of the Executive in existing and emerging issues, as well as tracking progress on Government priorities through the 100-Day cycles. The Decision Matrix is not ,however, to be confused by minutes. The main objective of the Cabinet Decision Matrix, introduced by the Second Republic is to ensure transparency in governance by bringing the nation close to the issues that Executive is seized with, and solutions thereof.

1) Zimbabwe’s Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

Cabinet considered and approved a report on the country’s preparedness and response to the COVID-19  outbreak as presented by the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Inter-Ministerial Task Force on COVID-19, Honourable Vice President K.C.D. Mohadi.

Notable progress has been registered with regard to the procurement of the requisite equipment for testing as well as for protection of the frontline health personnel and supporting staff.

Salient areas where remarkable achievement has been made include the following:-

• the conduct of a total of 3 380 Rapid Results Screening and PCR Tests as at 19th April 2020 compared to the 600 tests that had been  done by 14th April, 2020. The number of confirmed positive cases are now 25, up from the 17 that had been recorded as at 14th April, 2020;

• the receipt of a total of 4 499 Rapid Results Test Kits from Namibia on 15th April, 2020 and their subsequent distribution to provinces. Furthermore, 6 000 additional Rapid Results Test Kits have been procured through UNDP/Global Fund and Innscor, with each availing 3 000 kits. 10 000 GeneXpert cartridges, are expected into the country today, 21st April 2020, with a further 20 000 GeneXpert cartridges being procured by UNICEF to help in the rolling out of the testing for COVID-19 to provincial and district levels. Consignments of 18 800 Extraction kits and some laboratory consumables were also received from Jack Ma and the World Health Organisation on 18th April, 2020.

• the partitioning of Parirenyatwa Hospital into red and green zones is 95 percent complete, while the renovation of the Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital has commenced, with funding from Innscor. Thirteen (13) ICU facilities with a total bed occupancy of 100 were identified across the country to take care of the projected 5 percent critically ill patients who may require ICU services;

• the launch by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Cde E.D. Mnangagwa of the 2023 Call Centre at Newlands on 16th April, 2020. Since the launch, a total of 3 800 calls have been attended to;

• authorisation of an online education programme, Ruzivo Platform, by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to offer learning to pupils and ensure they do not regress while observing the COVID-19 lockdown. Raising by the insurance industry of an initial ZWL$1,5 million towards the fight against COVID-19, availing of free life cover to all health practitioners to the tune of a total of about ZW$16 million by various insurance companies; and

• the enactment of Statutory Instrument 90/2020 to control goods, general imports, and export licence of COVID-19 goods, as well as Statutory Instrument 92/2020 to regulate standards adherence in the manufacture and supply of PPEs and materials.

In view of the foregoing, Cabinet agreed as follows:-

a) that the COVID-19 testing programme be expedited commencing with all frontline personnel;

b) that in order to meet the requisite number of tests directed by Cabinet of 40 000 tests by 30th April, 2020, Health Testing Units be engaged to complement and/or bridge the personnel gaps that may arise in the Ministry of Health and Child Care;

c) that as this is a State of Disaster, all workers be compelled to provide service as required;

d) that the agreed risk allowances insurance and other incentives be availed as per agreement;

e) that daily statistical updates on COVID-19 status in the country as well as the nation’s preparedness be availed by the Ministers of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services and Health and Child Care; and

f) that discussions regarding the proposed moratorium on prices identified basic commodities were concluded and announcements in this regard will be made in due course.

2) Presentation on the 5th 100-Day Priority Projects

1) Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development

Progress to date includes the following:

a) completion of the final draft of the new agro-ecological regions map of Zimbabwe and review under the Geospatial Aeronautical and Space Science capability for the Zimbabwe Development Programme;

b) the initiation of 30 innovation projects in established innovation hubs at UZ, MSU, CUT and NUST is 100 percent complete;

c) the establishment of industrial parks at UZ, CUT and MSU is well on course and at 60 percent, 75 percent and 45 percent complete, respectively; and

d) under the application of new cattle reproductive technologies programme, pilot artificial insemination of 93 out of 360 cows in Mwenezi and Chiredzi has since been successfully conducted.

2) Health and Child Care

Progress registered includes the following:

a) Plastering and flooring of the newly built Obstetric Fistula Unit at UBH have been completed under the Super Specialist Hospitals Programme;

b) The construction of an uninterrupted power supply unit has been completed at Mpilo Central Hospital and is now functional;

c) The construction of the National Pharmaceuticals Warehouse is 30 percent complete, with the hazardous substance unit almost complete and awaiting roofing, electrical and other internal finishings; and

d) Renovations at the National Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (NPHEOC) in Zimbabwe premises have been completed, with the premises now adequately equipped and operational.

3) Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services

The Minister informed Cabinet as follows:

• Pertaining the revamping of FM radio transmission in Mashonaland West, it was reported that a new transmitter had been procured the previous year under the Zim-Digital Project;

• On the licensing of six new television stations, and 10 community radio stations, Cabinet noted that an invitation for aspiring licences to file their applications with the authority was done. The project is expected to be accomplished by May 2020, slightly after the lapse of the 100-Days Cycle;

• Regarding the construction of massive mobile stage and public address system for roadshows, it was reported that the system design had been completed, while the procurement and construction of system components stands at 60 percent completion;

• that panels for the screen as well as the wiring and cabling of the outdoor public viewing screens had been fitted. All the projects have been slightly affected by the lockdown; and

• that the Zimbabwe @ 40 documentaries were produced and aired on ZTV before and  during the Independence celebrations.

4) Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage

The Minister reported as follows:

• that construction of Chimoio Block C Flats (ZRP) is at 54 percent towards completion of the superstructure;

• that decentralisation of passport services to Chitungwiza District (Central Registry) currently stands at 20 percent;

• that installation of a queue management system at Immigration Headquarters, Harare, is now at 40 percent towards completion;

• that refurbishment of the visitor facilities at the Chiremba Balancing Rocks monuments in Epworth, Harare, currently stands at 70 percent towards completion;

• that the project of converting an existing building at Girls High School into a Community Archive was completed on 27th March 2020 as planned; and

• that the construction of a Waiting Mothers’ Shelter at Harava Clinic, Zaka District, Masvingo, is 25 percent towards completion. Cabinet noted that the project could not be realised due to delays occasioned by the COVID-19 lockdown.

3) The Country’s Power Supply Situation

Cabinet noted with satisfaction the improved power supply situation which can be attributed not only to reduced demand due to the lockdown but, also to the implementation of the demand side interventions such as the introduction of prepaid meters and also the unlocking of power imports following settling of debts.  Cabinet also welcomed the farmer support initiatives that will guarantee agricultural production, especially the winter wheat programme.

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