Government has roped in other stakeholders such as churches and traditional leaders to sit on the Covid-19 taskforce as part of deliberate efforts to disseminate information about the pandemic to all Zimbabweans, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Cde Monica Mutsvangwa has said.
She said this yesterday in the National Assembly during a Question and Answer session, adding that Government was leaving no stone unturned to ensure the safety of citizens.
Gutu South MP Cde Pupurai Togarepi (Zanu PF) had asked what Government was doing to ensure information regarding Covid-19 got to all places including rural areas.
“We are not the only country that has been affected and we are learning from other countries what they are doing. We have been telling our people to stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel.
“We have also brought in stakeholders such as traditional leaders as part of measures to disseminate information. We have also established a toll-free call centre where one can call to get information and ask questions in a language of his or her choice,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She outlined a number of activities that have been done by Government since the outbreak of the pandemic, including introducing a national lockdown, setting up an inter-ministerial taskforce chaired by Vice President Kembo Mohadi, and declaring the disease a national disaster, among other measures.
The taskforce is responsible for managing the response to Covid-19 and identifying any gaps for corrective action.
Its roles include mobilising domestic and international financial resources to adequately respond to the outbreak.
Responding to another question, Energy and Power Development Minister Fortune Chasi said Government will continue to blend petrol with ethanol to ensure that the price was kept at bay and to enhance the quantity of the product.
Legislators had raised concern over the continued use of ethanol which they said constituted more than a third of total landing price structure of fuel.
“Blending is part of import substitution to save foreign currency and make fuel available in larger quantities. I do not buy the suggestion by legislators that we should give a choice on whether one wants ethanol or unleaded, we cannot afford that luxury,” said Minister Chasi.
Legislators said the newly announced price of petrol was not competitive and was higher than other countries in the region.
Minister Chasi said Government considered a number of factors in coming up with the price.
The factors included exchange rate, free on board (FOB), Zinara road levy, carbon tax, strategic reserve revy, administrative costs, storage and transport costs, among others.