Covid-19: Gap between first, second dose vaccination still of grave concern

05 Oct, 2022 - 00:10 0 Views
Covid-19: Gap between first, second dose vaccination still of grave concern Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa addresses the media during a post-Cabinet briefing in Harare yesterday.

The Herald

Cabinet received an update on the country‘s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, as presented by the Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, General (Rtd.) Honourable Dr CGDN Chiwenga. 

Cabinet advises that since the outbreak of the pandemic, the country’s cumulative Covid-19 cases reached 257 568 as at October 3, 2022, with 251 591 recoveries and 5 603 deaths. The recovery rate was 98 percent, with 374 active cases recorded. A total of 30 new cases were recorded during the week, compared to 196 the previous week. The decrease shows that Government containment measures are bearing fruit.

 Regarding the National Vaccination Programme, the nation is being informed that, as at October 3, 2022, a total of 6 531 744 first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had been administered, while 4 885 548 people had received their second dose, and 1 159 989 their third dose. The gap between first and second dose vaccination remains a grave concern. The public is urged to get vaccinated for the 2nd and 3rd doses. Accordingly, provinces will continue to strengthen Covid-19 vaccination and prioritise schools to ensure that all eligible students are vaccinated before the end of the school term. 

National Grains Status Report

Cabinet received the National Grains Status Report as at  October 2, 2022, as presented by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Hon Dr Anxious J. Masuka.

The nation is being informed that the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) grain stocks as at October 2, 2022 stood at 550 673 tonnes comprising 474 966 tonnes of maize and 75 909 tonnes of traditional grains.  Social welfare consumption is set at 15 000 tonnes per month.  While total consumption per month is forecast at 40 000 tonnes.  Using this monthly consumption rate of 40 000 tonnes, the available grain will last for 13,8 months.  Treasury has so far availed a total of $14 437 billion and US$16 354 million for farmer payments. A total of $1,8 billion and US$2 million is outstanding to farmers.  

Current wheat stocks stand at 55 319 tonnes, and this will provide two months’ cover at a consumption rate of 21 000 tonnes per month. Harvesting of the 2022 Winter wheat crop is gathering pace in many parts of the country and payments for farmers of US$620 per tonne which were announced last week were being organised.  

Institutional arrangements for managing water infrastructure

Cabinet received a report on the Proposed Institutional Arrangements for Managing Water Infrastructure as presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Honourable Professor Mthuli Ncube.

The nation is being informed that ZINWA currently operates and maintains over 530 water supply stations across the country, mainly serving small towns, growth points, service centres, Police and Defence establishments, prisons,schools and hospitals.  As a water management authority ZINWA also assists local authorities in the discharge of their functions. Institutional arrangements for managing water infrastructure were adopted by Cabinet so as to ensure that optimal benefits from revenue collected on dams accrue to the nation. In this regard, Cabinet approved the following measures: 

In line with the whole of Government approach, water sector coordination be enhanced through strengthening the existing Department of WASH and Pollution Coordination;

All dams will be gazetted as protected areas to ensure sustainability and law enforcement;

In order to ensure cost recovery tariffs for both clear and raw water, local authorities and ZINWA will continue to review and align their tariff structure to ensure sustainability in maintaining water infrastructure and supply services, with the tariffs being approved by Cabinet before implementation to ensure alignment from an affordability point of view;

Water management authorities should take urgent steps to implement innovative revenue generation measures for approval by Cabinet;

Strict enforcement of  compliance with sound environmental management in dam construction and management of existing dams in view of climate change, biodiversity loss and adverse social impacts;

Further institutional and structural reforms be explored to attract the private sector investment in dam construction; 

The review and alignment of the Water Act and the ZINWA Act be expedited to modernise them and enhance developments in the water sector in pursuit of Vision 2030. 

Proposed bid for Zimbabwe to host the 22nd edition of the International Conference on Aids and Sexually Transmitted Infections (Stis) in Africa in 2023

Cabinet received and approved the Proposed Bid for Zimbabwe to host the 22nd Edition of the International Conference on Aids and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in Africa in 2023 (ICASA 2023), as presented by the Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Gen (Rtd) Honourable Dr CGDN Chiwenga. 

The nation is being informed that Zimbabwe is one of the two countries that qualified for pre-selection to host the ICASA 2023 Conference. Hosting this event presents an opportunity for Zimbabwe to showcase milestones in handling and curbing the spread of AIDS and STIs. ICASA will attract up to 10 000 delegates from across the globe. The Conference will market the country as a Centre of Excellence for provision of research and training in HIV/Aids and TB, and as a safe tourist destination. Over a thousand direct and indirect jobs will be created in the hospitality, transport and security services ahead of and during the Conference.

Zimbabwe made a profit of US$1 million through hosting the ICASA Conference in 2015.    

Proposed architectural designs for Phase Ii of the National Heroes Acre extension works

Cabinet received and approved the proposed architectural designs for Phase II of the National Heroes Acre extension works as presented by the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Honourable Kazembe Kazembe. 

The nation is being informed that the National Heroes Acre at it establishment had 195 graves.  Forty two years later 161 graves have been utilised leaving 35. It is therefore important that an additional 104 graves be created to ensure that the national shrine is able to accommodate new burials at all times.

Cabinet also directed the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to ensure that the national shrine is refurbished. Provincial and district heroes acres will also be spruced up. Cabinet also discussed the need to maintain our heroes monuments outside the country.   

The national shrine will also have a Zimbabwe Liberation War Museum in its vicinity, to memorialise Zimbabwe’s colonial and liberation experiences together with the individual contributions of the heroes and heroines interred at the shrine. The National Heroes Acre is a symbol and celebration of Zimbabwe’s triumph over adversities associated with dispossession and colonialism. 

2022 Population and Housing Census: Migration

Cabinet received and noted the 2022 Population and Housing Census preliminary results on migration as presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Honourable Professor Mthuli Ncube.

The nation is being informed that the 2022 Population and Housing Census collected data on international migration, specifically the movement of people between Zimbabwe and other countries. 

The importance of migration statistics is that it is a powerful driver and important consequence of economic, political and social change; it affects population dynamic, demographic characteristics, and ethnic and religious composition; for crafting of national policies such as migration policy and labour migration policy; and monitoring of regional and international obligations such as agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Harare Province had the highest number of lifetime in-migrants (1 037 907), while Manicaland Province had the largest number of lifetime out-migrants (586 930). There were a total of 908 914 emigrants, with 84 percent of them between the ages of 15 and 39 years. Males were generally dominant across all age groups, save for the 65 years and above. The highest numbers of emigrants were reported between 2020 and 2021. 

South Africa is the major destination of emigrants, at 85 percent, followed by Botswana (5 percent) and United Kingdom (3 percent). At the time of departure, 64 percent of emigrants had completed lower secondary education, while 8 percent had completed upper secondary education. Education/training and family matters were the major reasons for emigrating from Zimbabwe. 

Report on the fact-finding mission to the United Kingdom on the repatriation of human remains of national heroes and heroines of the First Chimurenga 

Cabinet received and noted a report on the fact-finding mission to the United Kingdom on the repatriation of human remains of national heroes and heroines of the First Chimurenga as presented by the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Honourable Kazembe Kazembe.

The nation is being informed that the Government dispatched a team of officials led by the Executive Director of the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe, to travel to the United Kingdom on a Fact-Finding Mission to prepare for the repatriation of human remains of National Heroes and Heroines of the First Chimurenga. The objectives of the mission included the following: to engage British institutions with a view 

1. to ascertain the presence of human remains of our ancestors and facilitate their repatriation; 

2. to access and assess migrated archives including Rhodesian Military and Intelligence records and negotiate for their repatriation; and to 

3. identify cultural artefacts in British institutions and initiate dialogue for their possible repatriation. 

The team held meetings with six museums, namely: the Natural History Museum; the British Museum; the University of Cambridge Duckworth Laboratory; the University of Oxford Pitt Rivers Museum; University of Manchester Museum and the National Archives. 

Cabinet advised that these remains which are in various institutions as well as private collections, are believed to include those of Zimbabwe’s iconic heroes who were murdered during the resistance to colonial rule in the early 1890s and early 1900s. The nation is being informed that the archival documents associated with the remains were examined to verify their authenticity and integrity. The delegation was satisfied that there are indeed human remains of Zimbabwean origin in the United Kingdom as confirmed by the Natural History Museum and the Duckworth laboratory. Both the Natural History Museum and the University of Cambridge are willing to collaborate on the repatriation of the human remains in their institutions. 

Government will spare no effort to ensure the repatriation of our ancestors. 

ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL, 2022

Cabinet received and approved the Electoral Amendment Bill 2022 as presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Honourable Ziyambi Ziyambi.

The nation is being informed that the Bill seeks to amend the Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13] to provide for, among others:

1. The timeframe within which National Assembly and Local Authority candidates can withdraw from contesting in an election; 

2. incorporation of the 30 percent women quota as well as the youth quota; and 

3. amendment of the definition of proof of identity. In terms of the constitution of Zimbbawe, one has to be a citizen in order to qualify as a voter.  Accordingly, only the valid Passport or National Identity Card will be required as proof of identity

Once the Electoral Amendment Bill; 2022 is enacted into law, it will assist in ensuring that only citizens are able to vote in an election; that proper candidates are allowed to contest in an election; providing clarity on when and how a candidate can withdraw their candidature in an election so as to afford ZEC sufficient time to make changes to the design of the ballot; and advising the electorate of any changes to the candidature in an election.    

REPORT ON THE 77TH UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY: NEW YORK, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: 20 – 26 SEPTEMBER 2022

Cabinet received a Report on the High-Level Week of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly as presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Honourable Dr Fredrick Shava.

The nation is being informed that His Excellency the President led a Zimbabwean delegation to the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, held in New York from 20 – 26 September, under the theme “A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges”. His Excellency the President successfully participated in the General Debate of the UN General Assembly, and delivered his Statement on 22 September, 2022. The President underscored the need to address food insecurity, climate change, biodiversity loss, desertification, pollution, terrorism and other challenges. The President was joined by the current AU Chair (Senegal), the SADC chairperson (DRC), Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Kenya in calling for the unconditional removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe. 

His Excellency the President attended a number of high-level meetings in New York, including the following: the Transforming Education Summit; the SDG Moment; the Meeting to mark the Commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities; and the High-Level Plenary to Commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. His Excellency the President also held meetings with the UN Secretary General, Mr Antonio Guterres; African Heads of State Mr Mohammed Moussa Faki; the African Union Commission Chairperson; and Bilateral meetings with Presidents of Iran and Sudan; 

In his endeavour to promote trade and investment, His Excellency the President had dinner with CEOs of leading American companies, and held other separate meetings with USA investors as well as Zimbabweans in the diaspora.

ELECTIONS OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEVELOPMENT

The Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Hon Dr Jenfan Muswere updated Cabinet that Dr Cosmas Zavazava had been elected as the Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) Uruguay won the Director Radiocommunication Bureau (RB) post uncontested, while Japan emerged winner of the Telecommunication Standardisation Bureau (TSB).

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