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 with 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 2020 African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development
The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare updated Cabinet on the 2020 African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD 6) which Zimbabwe had successfully hosted in Victoria Falls from 24 to 27 February, 2020. The Forum ran under the theme “2020- 2030: A Decade to Deliver a Transformed and Prosperous Africa through the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063”.
Key messages from the Forum include the following:
that member states should invest in data, research and new knowledge while being cognisant of social norms and practices as well as refocusing educational programmes to target industrial development while paying attention to secondary education of the girl child because the science and mathematics gap by gender is very wide in most member states;
that African countries should design and implement innovative financial policies as well as undertaking reforms to broaden their tax bases, eliminate loopholes that permit tax avoidance and prioritise expenditure with the greatest impact on the less privileged and monitor the reach of public spending and combat illicit financial flows and operationalise the African Continental Free Trade Area; and
that member states should integrate pro-employment policy approaches in their macro-economic and sectoral economic policy frameworks, in an effort to stimulate labour demand and decent jobs
Cabinet noted that Zimbabwe assumed chairmanship of the Bureau and is expected to present the key messages from the ARFSD 6 to the 2020 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, in New York from 7 to 17 July 2020.
- National Preparedness and Response Progress Regarding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, (COVID-19) Outbreak
The Minister of Health and Child Care updated Cabinet on the national preparedness and response regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Cabinet was informed that as of 1st March 2020, a total of 6 169 travellers had been screened at our air and ground ports of entry, with the majority through the R.G. Mugabe International Airport in Harare. Cabinet was informed that two suspected cases were detected and isolated at Wilkins Hospital over the weekend. One is a Zimbabwean from Bahrain and the other is a Chinese citizen from Hunan Province. Subsequent tests for the two were conducted locally and were negative, the two were discharged, but will continue on the 21-day follow-up and monitoring.
As an additional measure, Cabinet resolved as follows: that all visitors from affected countries should hold valid medical certificates of clearance for coronavirus showing that they have been examined for symptoms and tested for coronavirus at a designated government health institution in their country;
that all Government emergency agencies including the Civil Protection Unit have to gear towards preparedness in advance of COVID-19;
that Government workers at all borders should work as a team so as to enhance national preparedness against COVID-19; and that spot checks on visitors on the 21-day self-quarantine should continue to be enhanced. Cabinet was informed that the Ministry of Health and Child Care continues to coordinate the training of doctors, nurses, laboratory scientists, health promotion, environmental health and infection and control officers at Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital. The trained cadres are expected to cascade the training to all institutions from central hospitals to the clinic level.
- Outcome of the 25th Conference of Parties (COP 25) held in Madrid, Spain
Cabinet received a report on the 25th Conference of Parties (COP 25) which the Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry attended in Madrid, Spain, from 2 to 13 December 2019.
The parties agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement through their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which are to be achieved by 2030. Zimbabwe aims to reduce emissions by 33 percent per capita in the energy sector by 2030.
Zimbabwe together with other developing countries are concerned by the call to phase out coal usage in thermal energy generation and other industrial processes. This is in view of the dwindling water resources in the country owing to recurrent droughts which in turn constrain hydroelectric power generation.
The country will, however, continue to explore alternatives and renewable sources of energy in place of coal. Dialogue will also need to be initiated with SADC member states on the implications of the call to phase out the use of coal in order to arrive at a common position which can be articulated at international fora.
Cabinet further noted with satisfaction that the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has recently been accredited by the Green Climate Fund to become a National Implementing Entity (NIE). This will enable the country to receive climate change adaptation funds directly through the entity. Twenty-five percent of carbon tax will be allocated to the National Climate Fund as co-financing contributions.
- Proposed General Amnesty
Cabinet considered and approved the proposal to have a General Amnesty as presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Cabinet noted that the country’s prison population currently stands at 22 000 against an official holding capacity of 17 000. The General Amnesty, which will be for certain specified categories of prisoners, will decongest the country’s prisons and alleviate challenges being experienced by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS).
- Report Back on the Second Session of the Zimbabwe-Botswana Bi-National Commission
The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development as Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade briefed Cabinet on the proceedings and outcomes of the Second Session of the Zimbabwe-Botswana Bi-National Commission (BNC) which was held in Maun, Botswana, from 25-28 February 2020. The Zimbabwe Government delegation, which included several ministers, was led by His Excellency the President, Cde ED Mnangagwa.
Cabinet noted with satisfaction that the BNC was a resounding success as it brought to the fore the broadening strategic partnership between Zimbabwe and Botswana. Six Memoranda of Understanding were signed in the fields of health, employment and labour, housing, education and training, sports development and the media. One agreement was signed in defence and security.
The two Heads of State, however, were concerned by the lack of sufficient progress in the implementation of BNC decisions in the areas of finance and transport and infrastructure. They urged that implementation of the bilateral programmes and projects be speeded up in these areas. Positive results were, nonetheless, achieved in several areas including in environment and wildlife where both Zimbabwe and Botswana have set aside substantial portions of their countries’ budgets towards wildlife conservation. The Third Session of the Bi-National Commission will be held in Zimbabwe in February 2021.
- Preparedness of the Zimbabwe National Stadium to host the Confederation of African Football Tournament
The Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage as Acting Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation reported on Zimbabwe’s preparedness to host the Confederation of African Football (CAF) tournament following the banning of the country’s stadia. Cabinet was informed that the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation had conducted an inspection tour of Zimbabwe National Sports Stadium to assess Zimbabwe’s preparedness to host international matches.
Cabinet noted that corrective action is in progress and all efforts are being made to ensure that the country hosts international matches, in particular CAF.
Meanwhile, consultations are in progress to ensure that the country’s stadia which fall under different responsible authorities are also rehabilitated to meet the required international stan- dards.