Cholera outbreak: Oral rehydration points are being set up in communities Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere (left), Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi (centre) and Attorney General, Mrs Virginia Mabiza (right), interact following a post-Cabinet media briefing n Harare yesterday. — Picture: Edward Zvemisha.

Cabinet received reports on progress made in the implementation of priority projects for the 3rd 100-Day Cycle of 2023, as presented by the Ministers of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs; Primary and Secondary Education; Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture; and Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services. 

The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Honourable Ziyambi Ziyambi reported progress on projects under his purview as follows: 

i. The construction of Gwanda New Court Complex is at 95 percent complete; 

ii. The building of Chiredzi New Magistrate Court is ongoing; 

iii. the Integrated Electronic Case Management System is now functional and system accomplished; 

iv. that 30 hectares land preparations, drilling , sowing and planting is complete at Mutimurefu Prison Farm in Masvingo Province; 

v. that 80 hectares land preparations, drilling, sowing and planting is complete at Hurungwe Prison Farm in Mashonaland West Province; 

vi. that at Anju Prison Farm, in Matabeleland North Province, effective irrigation is progressing well and the planned targets are expected to be achieved. 

vii. that ten inmates out of the targeted 15 inmates had been successfully tested for various trades, while 12 inmates of the targeted 20 inmates have written theory examinations. 

The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Honourable T. Moyo reported progress on projects under his Ministry’s purview as follows:- 

i) The upgrading of school infrastructure in Manicaland, Bulawayo, Matabeleland South, Harare Metropolitan, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central and Midlands Province is 74 percent complete. 

ii) The construction and conversion of laboratories in Manicaland, Matabeleland North, Harare Metropolitan and Mashonaland West Provinces is at 58 percent complete; and 

iii) The construction of sustainable and affordable boarding facilities in Matabeleland South, Manicaland, Matabeleland North and Mashonaland East Provinces is now 65 percent complete. 

The Acting Minister of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Honourable T. Machakaire reported progress on projects under the Ministry’s her purview as follows:- 

i) that a total of thirty-two (32) District Fitness and Wellness campaigns have so far been conducted in districts and provinces which include Harare, Tshovane, Chiredzi, Hwange, Lupane, Bulawayo, Mutare, Nyanga, Chipinge, Zaka, Bikita, Masvingo and Bulawayo. The project is now at 50 percent complete; 

ii) pertaining to anti-drug and substance abuse two awareness raising programmes involving culture and creative industries sector practitioners and the general populace were conducted in Masvingo and Mashonaland West Provinces. Further 301 artists were trained music visual art and dance, theatre, film and fashion. 

The number of artistes that have been capacitated reflect a 20,6 percent progress; 

iii) digitisation of the music sector is now at 70 percent in terms of completion and; 

iv) film strategy development is now at 60 percent complete. 

The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Honourable Dr. Jenfan Muswere reported progress on projects under his purview as follows:- 

i) that the modernisation of the Central FM Studio in Gweru is at 70 percent completion. 

ii) that the modernisation of Khulumani FM Studio, Bulawayo is at 70 percent completion; 

iii) that the expansion of Star FM Transmission Service now 100 percent complete; 

iv) that the renovations of Mbembesi Community Radio Station Studio is 20 percent complete. Mbembesi Community Radio Station has commenced broadcasting utilising provisional studio equipment, supported by training sessions on governance, content production and sustainability facilitated by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe. 

v) the undocumented National Heroes/Heroines Obituaries Production is ongoing. Research is currently underway for the seven Chinhoyi battle heroes namely: Christopher Chatambudza, Simon Chingozha, Godfrey Matsikidze (Dube), Chubby Sawana, Arthur Maramba and Swazini Ndlovu; 

vi) Anti-sanctions coverage is now complete. Anti-sanctions documentary to indicate the effects of sanctions on the people of Zimbabwe across different sectors have commenced, 

vii) that Bioscope Interactive Outreach Programme has been conducted in Mashonaland Central Province. 

PRINCIPLES ON THE AMENDMENT OF THE CRIMINAL LAW (CODIFICATION REFORM) ACT [ CHAPTER 09:23] 

Cabinet considered and approved the Principles on the Amendment of the Criminal Law (Codification Reform) Act as presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Honourable Ziyambi Ziyambi. 

The nation is informed that Section 81 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe addresses the unique needs and the best interest of children in addition to rights and freedoms afforded to all citizens in the Bill of Rights. Section 81(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe defines a child as“ every boy or girl under the age of eighteen years” and further provides for freedom and protection of children from all forms of sexual exploitation. 

Section 61 of the Criminal Law Codification Reform Act, under Part 111 of Chapter V (Sexual Crimes and Crimes Against Morality) defines young person as a “boy or girl under the age of sixteen years.” The implications of Section 61 of the Criminal Law (Codification Reform) Act is that it creates a category of children (those between 16 and 18 years of age) in relation to sexual offences, who do not enjoy the same protection as afforded to all children as intended by Section 81 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which defines every boy or girl below the age of 18 as a child. 

Cabinet reports that the principles seek to amend the Criminal Law  Codification and Reform Act by incorporating the Constitutional definitions of a child and provisions on marriage. Furthermore, that provisions for compliance with the Constitution be made for all sexual offences on sections 70, 76, 83 and 86 of the Act. 

The amendment proposes that provisions be incorporated in the Act which define the close in age gap between minors and/or an adolescent to avoid criminalising consenting minors or a minor and an adolescent whose age range cannot be considered predatory or exploitative. Consultations conducted recommended 3 years age difference for this purpose. Further proposals include the removal of discretional powers of a Social Worker recommending the prosecution of one of the minors where the minors consent to sexual activity and fall within the recognised close in age gap. 

The amendment proposes that the discretion should lie with the Prosecutor-General who has the power to decline prosecution in criminal cases. 

To eliminate predatory and exploitative sexual conduct, the Bill will provide for the protection of children living with disabilities and those with unique communication needs and who rely on a special sign language for communication which is not classified as official sign language. The provisions will include interpretation of such unique sign language that may aid in adducing evidence in Court and not limiting sign language to official court sign language only as admissible. 

PRINCIPLES OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE MANAGEMENT BILL 

Cabinet considered and approved the Principles of the Climate Change Management Bill as presented by the Minister of Environment, Climate and Wildlife, Honourable N.M. Ndhlovu. 

The nation is informed that the Climate Change Management Bill will provide for the national climate change response through integration of climate change mitigation and adaptation actions in development planning and budgeting processes. The proposed Bill will provide for the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, facilitate low carbon development technologies and carbon trading as well as putting in place measures to reduce the use of ozone-depleting substances. 

The proposed Bill will create obligations for the public and private sector stakeholders to collect, archive and share activity data that is utilised in the compilation of national greenhouse gas inventories, climate risk and vulnerability impacts. The Bill will also provide for the establishment of the 

Designated National Authority (DNA) and the National Climate Fund to support the implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation actions provided for in the National Climate Policy. The Fund will be financed by a percentage of the proceeds from carbon credits trading, the fiscus, and multilateral climate finance mechanisms, such as the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund among others. 

Cabinet advises that the Bill seeks to align with Section 73 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, which provides for environmental rights, emphasises on the need to have the environment protected for present and future generations through legislative and other measures. 

Consistent with the Paris Agreement and Montreal Protocol obligations on emissions reporting, the Bill will establish and operationalise a domestic mechanism for Measurement, Reporting and Verification to enable the country to report to the Conference of Parties (COP) on the level of emissions by which compliance to those agreements will be measured. 

Furthermore, the Bill seeks to integrate gender perspectives in climate change planning and policy formulation, including the different experiences of men and women into the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes. The Bill seeks to create legislation that enables Zimbabwe to effectively respond to the impacts of climate change, build climate resilience, promote low carbon development, establish a climate change fund and comply with international obligations on climate change management and ozone layer protection. 

UPDATE ON THE CHOLERA OUTBREAK RESPONSE 

Cabinet received an update on the cholera outbreak as presented by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and technology Development, as the Acting Minister of Health and Child Care, Honourable Prof. A. Murwira. 

The nation is informed that during the period 16th November, 2023 to 23rd November, 2023 there were 1 744 new suspected cholera cases reported compared to 1 259 reported the previous week. Zvishavane and Mbire are the new districts that reported cases during this period. The highest number of cholera cases during this period were from Harare (705);and Chitungwiza (163). 

Cabinet advises that by 26 November, 2023 46 cholera treatment camps were set up. Oral rehydration points are being set up in communities to bring services closer to the people. Case management and rapid response Team’s training sessions are ongoing using workstations, on the job and classroom methods to improve on disease management. Furthermore, health education on cholera prevention and control measures including hygiene promotion is ongoing in all provinces. Training of City Health promoters in Chitungwiza and Harare started this week targeting 300 community members who will spearhead door-to-door campaigns. 

Community dialogues, inter faith discussions and sensitisation of key stakeholders on cholera are planned for the coming week in high cholera incidence districts. Cabinet has reiterated that there is need to improve water, sanitation and hygiene in communities. To that end, Cabinet wishes to restate that where the Local Authorities are failing to provide infrastructure, Government will continue to strengthen intervenes. In the meantime, specific interventions are being put in place to augment the following services: 

a) that immediate safe water trucking in affected urban areas; 

b) that the continuation of drilling and rehabilitation of boreholes; 

c) that the monitoring water quality in all areas; 

d) that the provision of household water treatment technologies; 

e) that the repairing of burst sewer pipes; 

f) that the regular refuse collection and removal of garbage; 

g) that restrictions of gatherings in all cholera affected areas; 

h) that supervision of all burials in all cholera affected areas; 

i) that there was need to have functional public toilets in all public places by involvement of private sector in the installation of temporary toilets; and 

j) that installation hand washing and sanitation devices in all public places be expedited. 

THE CEMENT SUPPLY SITUATION 

The Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities Hon. D. Garwe as the Acting Minister of Industry and Commerce updated Cabinet on the cement supply situation. 

Cabinet reports that PPC continues to supply the market, producing 120 000 metric tonnes per month. The price of cement is currently pegged at US$9.34 per 50kg bag to the retailers. That Sino Cement Zimbabwe started to supply the market as at 21st November, 2023. 

The company is dispatching 1 000 metric tonnes per day at a price of US$9,25 per 50kg bag. Sino Zimbabwe has imported 90 MT against an import licence of 1000 MT. Khaya Cement has also resumed operations. Furthermore, 713 companies have been allowed to import cement giving a total tonnage of 200 00MT, of which 461 have collected the licences. Government continues to monitor the situation and the public will be kept abreast of the matter as it develops. 

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