Cash-based transfers to support food insecure households Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere.

Cabinet considered the Report on the Preparations for Hosting the 44th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government which was presented by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Honourable F.T. Mhona on behalf of the Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Task Force on SADC Summit Preparations.

Cabinet advises that the Technical Preparatory Sub-Committees have been constituted to prepare for the 44th SADC Summit, namely: Transport; Protocol and Conferencing; Accommodation; Entertainment and Excursions; Security and Accreditation; Media and Publicity; Health and Environment; Information, Communication and Technology; Industrialisation Week; Public Lecture and Finance.

The SADC Summit will be preceded by the 7th Annual SADC Industrialisation Week, which will run from July 28 to August 2, 2024 under the theme “Promoting innovation to unlock opportunities for sustainable economic growth and development towards an Industrialised SADC”. The event, at which the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries will assume Chairmanship of the SADC Business Forum, will be hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, in collaboration with the SADC Secretariat, the SADC Business Council and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries.

It is expected that 150 companies from the SADC region will participate at the event, comprising private sector players in the agro-processing, mineral beneficiation, pharmaceutical, financial, consumer and capital goods, women and youth, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and infrastructure sectors. The major highlights of the Industrialisation Week will be as follows: Investment Conference official opening by His Excellency the President and the Ministers’ Plenary Session.

The 44th SADC Summit will have two side events on August 18, 2024, namely: a tour of Geo-Pomona Waste Management Project by Heads of State and Government; and the Launch of the SADC Liberation Square at the Museum of African Liberation. In addition, His Excellency the President will deliver a public lecture at the University of Zimbabwe titled, “Building Research Capacity and Innovation Ecosystems for a Sustainable Industrialised SADC Economy”.

Meanwhile, the construction of other support infrastructure is underway in Mt Hampden, including the following: a dedicated 12,8 kilometre 11KV line from Mt Hampden to the New Parliament; civil works, including roads and water systems.

REPORT ON THE NATIONAL DRUG AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE RESPONSE

Cabinet received and considered the report on the National Drug and Substance Abuse Response, which was presented by the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Honourable K. Kazembe on behalf of the Chairperson of the National Committee on Drug and Substance Abuse in Zimbabwe.

The fight against the scourge of drug and substance abuse is continuing across all provinces of the country.

Monitoring, surveillance and law enforcement activities continue with a total of 2 373 individuals having been arrested while 48 bases were identified, raided and destroyed in six provinces, namely: Harare (10), Manicaland (25), Mashonaland Central (6), Matabeleland North (3), Mashonaland West (2) and Midlands (2). Joint operations involving the Liquor Licensing Board and the Zimbabwe Republic Police were conducted resulting in 724 liquor premises being inspected, out of which 124 outlet owners were arrested for violating license conditions. Cabinet also approved the upward review of the fine from level 5 of US$30 to Level 7 which is US$400 or the ZIG equivalent or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 2 years.

A total of 25 792 youths were sensitised on anti-drug and substance abuse-related matters in Masvingo, Mashonaland Central, Matabeleland North and Manicaland provinces, while in the education sector a total of 569 969 learners were sensitised through special assemblies, in collaboration with the Victim Friendly Unit, Guidance and Counselling interactive sessions, sporting activities and peer education. Crystal Meth has been designated as a dangerous drug. The Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development sensitised 14 951 people in all the provinces through various platforms such as campaigns against the following social ills. Gender-Based Violence (GBV), Child Marriages, HIV/AIDS, Internal Savings and Lending, Financial Literacy, Ward meetings and gender sensitisation meetings were held in collaboration with sister ministries and development partners. A total of 16 529 people were capacitated on various income generating projects such as poultry, detergent-making, drink-making, packaging, branding and perfume-making.

It is pleasing to note that some religious organisations have embraced the fight against drug and substance abuse through campaigns encouraging particularly the youths to live drug-free lives. The Empower Bank capacitated youths across the country by providing them with starter packs. A total of 101 youths were trained under the revamped Youth Service in Zimbabwe programme while more youths are expected to be enrolled following the launch by His Excellency the President, Cde Dr E.D. Mnangagwa at Nhakiwa, in the Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe District of Mashonaland East Province on May 24, 2024.

In an effort to restore the spirit of volunteerism, responsibility and ownership in the youths, the Youth Build Zimbabwe initiative saw 1 900 youths volunteers participating in various community development projects in Masvingo, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central provinces.

REPORT ON THE SIGNING CEREMONY OF THE JOINT DROUGHT FLASH APPEAL DOCUMENT

Cabinet considered the Report on the Signing Ceremony of the Joint Drought Flash Appeal Document which was presented by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Honourable Daniel Garwe.

As the nation is aware, His Excellency the President declared the El Nino induced drought a State of Disaster in all Provinces of the country on March 28, 2024 in accordance with Section 27(1) of the Civil Protection Act. The declaration has a domestic and international appeal amounting to US$3,3 billion targeting critical areas such as search and rescue, mitigation, response and resilience-building.

Subsequently, the Minister of Local Government and Public Works and the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Zimbabwe, Dr E. M. Kallon signed a Drought Flash Appeal on May 27, 2024 as part of mobilisation of the much-needed resources to respond to the El Nino-induced drought. The Drought Flash Appeal targets to mobilise US$429,3 million which will contribute 13 percent of the national appeal requirements.

The Food Security and Livelihoods sectoral response strategy will be aligned to the Drought Risk Management Strategy 2017-2025 in order to protect lives and livelihoods, with the Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development working closely together in resourcing the agriculture sector through a combination of crop production and livestock protection strategies. 

In rural areas, food assistance will be provided through the Food Deficit Mitigation Programme, implemented through the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, while in urban areas the World Food Programme, through the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare will implement the cash-based transfers to support food insecure households in the affected areas.

Regarding Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), the sector aims to establish and strengthen effective early-warning, surveillance, and monitoring systems to understand the impacts of drought on households’ access to safe drinking water in rural and urban areas. The sector also aims to provide basic climate–resilient and safe water services to communities, health facilities and schools facing water challenges. This will be achieved through the rehabilitation of existing boreholes and drilling of new ones equipped with solar-powered pumps. The Village and School Business Units will also be capacitated through water provision and drip irrigation technology. Government stresses that it will expend all efforts to ensure that no-one starves on account of the prevailing El Nino-induced state of disaster, while building national food security resilience.

PROGRESS REPORTS ON THE FIRST 100-DAY CYCLE OF 2024

Cabinet received reports on progress made in the implementation of priority projects for the First 100-Day Cycle of 2024, as presented by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Honourable Dr. Anxious Masuka reported progress on projects under his purview as follows:

i.) a total of 57 irrigation schemes have been on-boarded on the Presidential Vision 2030 Accelerator Model managed by the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA);

ii.) 201 village business units have been established and operationalised;

iii.) a total of 840 000 sweet potato vines have been distributed to Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central, Midlands and Matabeleland South provinces;

iv.) an irrigation system was installed on 156 hectares at Pikinini Jawanda Irrigation Scheme in Mwenezi District, Masvingo;

v.) Centre pivot was installed at Bulawayo Kraal Irrigation and is fully functional;

vi.) 10 million doses of Newcastle vaccines have been produced;

 vii.) 141 dip tanks have been rehabilitated; and

viii.) 168 farmers have been trained on piggery production.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Honourable Dr Fredrick Makamure Shava reported progress on projects under his purview as follows:

i.) construction of the Zim-Abuja Chancery and the Official Residence stands at 65 percent and 70 percent of completion, respectively;

ii.) construction of the Zim-Abuja staff apartments is 70 percent complete;

iii.) renovation of the Zim-Berlin Official Residence is 85 percent complete;

iv.) renovation of the Zim-London Official Residence is 75 percent complete; and

v.) renovation of the Johannesburg Chancery is 100 percent complete.

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE AND SHELTER-AFRIQUE DEVELOPMENT BANK

Cabinet considered and approved the Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Zimbabwe and Shelter-Afrique Development Bank which was presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Honourable Ziyambi Ziyambi as Chairperson of the Cabinet Committee on Legislation.

The Cabinet approved the ratification the amendments of the establishment of the Company for Habitat and Housing in Africa (Shelter- Afrique) to the Shelter Afrique Development Bank.  This will reposition

 Shelter-Afrique to implement the original vision and intention of its founding member countries, that is, to establish the “African Housing Development and Finance Institution”. The Company for Habitat and Housing in Africa (Shelter-Afrique) was established by a Constituent Charter of the African Union in 1982, as an African Housing Development Finance Institution to assist African Member States to deliver affordable housing. There are 45 African Member States who are Class A Shareholders and 3 non-state Class B Shareholders with the Republic of Zimbabwe being a Class A shareholder.

REPORT ON THE VIRTUAL EXTRAORDINARY MEETING OF THE SADC SUMMIT ON THE EL-NINO SITUATION IN THE REGION

Cabinet received a report on the Virtual Extraordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government on the El-Nino situation in the region as reported by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Honourable Dr Fredrick Shava.

The SADC Heads of State and Government held a virtual meeting on May 20, 2024 to discuss the humanitarian situation in the region following the El-Nino-induced drought that has adversely impacted on the lives, livelihoods and economies of many countries in the region. The Extraordinary Summit adopted 7 decisions, including the launch of the SADC Regional Humanitarian Appeal worth at least US$5,5 billion. The appeal is intended to augment the efforts of the affected Member States in mobilising assistance from regional and international humanitarian partners and persons of goodwill.

In his intervention, His Excellency the President, Cde Dr E.D. Mnangagwa appraised his counterparts on the economic and humanitarian challenges facing Zimbabwe due to the late onset and early end of the rainfall season. The President also briefed the Summit on the interventions that the Government of Zimbabwe is undertaking in order to mitigate the effects of the drought and build resilience.

On the related matter of enhancing sufficient energy supply, the Summit directed Member States to prioritise Regional Priority Power Projects and to increase the uptake of renewable energy, as well as to develop and implement waste to energy projects.

The Summit condemned the attempted coup d’etat that occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo on May 19, 2024 and reaffirmed its opposition to any unconstitutional changes of Government in the region and beyond.

 REPORT ON HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT’S ATTENDANCE AT THE KOREA-AFRICA SUMMIT, SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA

Cabinet received and noted a report on His Excellency the President’s attendance at the Korea-Africa Summit, as presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Honourable Dr. Fredrick Shava.

His Excellency the President, Cde Dr E.D. Mnangagwa, attended the Korea-Africa Summit held in Seoul, South Korea from June 4 to 5, 2024. A total of 24 Heads of State and Government attended the Summit, which was held under the theme, “The Future We Make Together: Shared Growth, Sustainability and Solidarity”.

His Excellency the President held bilateral talks with his counterpart, His Excellency Yoon Suk-Yeol, the President of South Korea during the period of the Summit. Among others, the two Presidents discussed potential areas of cooperation between Korea and Zimbabwe, and called for the strengthening of bilateral relations. The President also met the President of Mauritius on the sidelines of the Summit and discussed areas of mutual interest.

The Summit adopted a Joint Declaration that sets out the framework of cooperation between Korea and Africa in the following areas:

a) infrastructure for education and research;

b) high-quality programmes in science and technology;

c) cooperation for food security and sustainable agriculture;

d) cooperation in the fields of defence; and

e) expansion of Korea Official Development Assistance to Africa.

REPORT ON HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT’S ATTENDANCE AT THE ST. PETERSBURG INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC FORUM

Cabinet received and noted a report on His Excellency the President’s attendance at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, as presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Honourable Dr Fredrick Shava.

His Excellency the President attended the 27th Edition of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum from June 5 to 8 2024, at the invitation of his Russian counterpart, His Excellency President Vladmir Putin. The Forum is an annual event that brings together Government officials, business leaders and experts from around the world to discuss key economic issues and opportunities for cooperation. It was held under the theme “The Foundation of a Multipolar World – The Formation of New Areas of Growth”.

His Excellency the President held a bilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart,  where  the  two  leaders  reaffirmed  their  commitment  to strengthening bilateral relations through cooperation in various sectors, including education, agriculture, health and space exploration.

His Excellency the President’s other critical engagement was meeting with a representative of the Business Community.

INFLUENZA-LIKE ILLNESS IN ZIMBABWE

Cabinet received a report on the current influenza-like illness in Zimbabwe, as reported by the Honourable Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Douglas Mombeshora.

Cabinet advises that the recent increase in influenza-like illness experienced in the last few weeks is due to a seasonal increase which is usually experienced in the country and region as we approach the winter season. This is not a Covid-19 outbreak, but a seasonal phenomenon experienced during the winter season. There were more influenza cases at the same period in 2023 (149 000) compared to 2024 (99 000). Zimbabwe has not recorded a single Covid-19 case in the last 4 weeks. People are however encouraged to wash their hands, avoid large crowds, cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and stay at home when there are symptoms of the disease.

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