Government working on measures to end Harare’s perennial water challenges
The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Honourable Dr AJ Masuka, presented the update on the summer and winter crops marketing, which was adopted by Cabinet.
Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that the Grain Marketing Board maize stocks as at 24 September for maize stood at 215 000 tonnes, traditional grains at 48 026 tonnes and wheat at 137 414 tonnes. Wheat stocks will last fof six months at a monthly drawdown rate of 21 000 tonnes.
With a projected El Niño season ahead, the private sector has been allowed to import additional maize and soyabean. In addition, the importation of mealie meal by households will continue duty free.
The grain delivered to date is valued at about $66,6 billion and US$21 468 678, and Government is expediting payment to farmers.
Pertaining to winter wheat, a record 90 192 hectares have been planted with an estimated volume of 420 000 tonnes expected to be harvested. About 70 percent has been grown by A2 (57 percent) and A1 (13 percent) farmers, attesting to the success of the land reform programme. Meanwhile, wheat harvesting has commenced with some 900 hectares having been harvested to date.
Regarding Tobacco Marketing, a record 296,1 million kg has been marketed which is an increase of 42,6 percent compared to last year.
To date, 127 million kg of tobacco have been exported at an average price of US$5,08/kg compared to 111 million exported during the same period last year at US$4,59/kg.
The nation is advised that as at 21 September 2023, a total of 90 084 273kgof cotton had been marketed compared to 54 261 997kg marketed at the same period last year. COTTCO has commenced the transformation of the business, which is being expanded to include value addition and beneficiation, with an oil expression plant being constructed in Gokwe, while seed production will also commence at the Kadoma plant.
Under the Presidential Rural Development Programme, some 35 000 village business units, 9 600 school business units, 4 800 youth business units, and 460 irrigation schemes business units will be established throughout the country. When fully operational, the programme will boost yields and improve the rural livelihoods of communities.
UPDATE ON PREPARATIONS FOR THE 2023/2024 SEASON
Cabinet received and considered the report on the update on preparations for the 2023/2024 season as presented by the Minister Masuka.
Under the National Enhanced Agriculture Production Programme (NEAPS) a target of 92 000 hectares has been set. About 40,8 percent of available maize seed is of early to ultra-early maturity.
The acceleration of the Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme is progressing well as well as the distribution of inputs across the country.
Regarding the irrigation update, dams are 82 percent full across the country. Some 70 316 hectares have been committed for irrigated maize production, with a potential of 400 000-500 000 metric tonnes production.
In terms of the summer financing schemes, Government will contribute USD642,372 million while the Bankers Association indicates that Z$68 billion and USD 160 million has been committed for the 2023/24 season.
Seed sales for tobacco preparations for the 2023/24 season are 7 percent above last year figures indicating an increased interest in tobacco production. 40 contractors have registered for tobacco production with the total indicative area contracted at 147 835 hectares.
REPORT ON THE WEATHER FORECAST FOR 2023/2024 SEASON
Cabinet received and considered the report on the weather forecast for 2023/2024 season as presented by the Minister of Environment, Climate and Wildlife, Honourable NM Ndlovu.
Cabinet wishes to advise the nation that the rainfall probabilities of the two sub-seasons (October-November-December 2023 and January-February-March 2024) were determined using statistical analysis and other climate prediction parameters.
These were derived from indicators that show historical trends, and also based on early warning indicator tools based on national, regional and standards as guided by the World Meteorological Services approaches.
The nation is informed that during the 2023/24 summer rainfall season, the three zones (Region 1, 2, and 3) will have a higher probability of receiving normal to below normal rainfall for most of the sub-seasons that make the period October 2023 to March 2024.
The bulk of Matabeleland North Province, parts of Midlands covering Gokwe North and South districts, and parts of Matabeleland South province are expected to receive below normal to normal rainfall, while normal rainfall with a bias towards below normal rainfall is highly likely for the remaining provinces.
The rainfall is expected to be erratic in space and time, with violent storms, prolonged dry spells, flash floods and tropical cyclones as the season progresses.
The Meteorological Services Department will continue to monitor all the available seasonal climate indicators which influence Zimbabwe’s rainfall as they evolve.
PRINCIPLES OF THE PROPOSED REPEAL OF THE FREDRICK CLAYTON TRUST ACT [CHAPTER 17:02], SERVICE OF DOCUMENTS (TELEGRAPH) ACT [CHAPTER 8:13], SETTLED ESTATES LEASING ACT [CHAPTER 20:19] AND WAR MARRIAGES VALIDATION ACT [CHAPTER 5:15]
Cabinet received and approved the Principles of the proposed repeal of the Fredrick Clayton Trust Act [Chapter17:02], Service of Documents (Telegraph) Act [Chapter 8:13], Settled Estates Leasing Act [Chapter 20:19] and War Marriages Validation Act [Chapter 5:15], as presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Honourable Ziyambi Ziyambi.
The nation is being informed that the recommendation to repeal the above-mentioned Acts was borne out of the realisation that these laws have become obsolete and should be deleted from the statute books.
The Fredrick Clayton Trust Act [Chapter 17:02] is a colonial era Act which was enacted to give effect to the intentions and wishes of a will drawn by one Fredrick Clayton in 1918. Fredrick Clayton was part of the Pioneer column.
The Act differentiates between European and non-European children in the celebration of the annual “Pioneers Day” or “Commonwealth Day” picnic, which events are no longer celebrated in Zimbabwe. This Act is discriminatory and falls foul of Section 56 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
The Service of Documents (Telegraph) Act [Chapter 8:13] was enacted to facilitate service of court processes through the use of Telegraphs. The use of Telegraphs has since become obsolete and has long been discontinued.
The Settled Estates Leasing Act [Chapter 20:19] empowered the High Court to make an order regarding the leasing of settled estates. The Administration of Estates Act [Chapter 06:01] already deals with interests in deceased estates.
The War Marriages Validation Act [Chapter 5:15] was aimed at facilitating registration of marriages contracted during the war of liberation that ended in 1980.
A war marriage can still be registered in terms of the Marriages Act [Chapter 5:17] as a civil or customary marriage.
Report on the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly: 18 – 22 September 2023, New York, USA
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Honourable Fredrick Shava briefed Cabinet of His Excellency the President’s highly successful visit to the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, United States of America, from 18 – 22 September 2023.
The nation is being informed that in his address to the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, His Excellency the President stressed the compelling need to strengthen multilateralism for the world to effectively respond to the multi-dimensional and interlinked crises facing the global community. He highlighted the benefits of the land reform programme in Zimbabwe, particularly the record production of wheat and tobacco. He emphasised that previous crop production records had been surpassed, adding that the country is now food secure.
The President deplored the continued application of the unilateral sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, which were causing immense suffering among the generality of the people.
Leaders from Angola, Cuba, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa joined his Excellency the President in calling for the unconditional lifting of the sanctions.
The nation is further informed that His Excellency the President participated and contributed in the following meetings: the SDG Summit; the High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development; the High-Level Meeting on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response; Universal Health Coverage (UHC); and the Fight Against Tuberculosis. His Excellency the President joined other leaders from the Global South in calling for the reform of the global financial architecture, the need for more investments in the health sector, and resource mobilisation towards the elimination of tuberculosis.
Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that His Excellency the President engaged his SADC counterparts, notably H.E. President Lourenzo of Angola; H.E. President Nyusi of Mozambique; H.E. President Geingob of Namibia; and H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa.
The engagements were on the recent peaceful, free and fair harmonised elections in Zimbabwe, as well as cooperation in the energy sector with Mozambique.
Cabinet wishes to highlight that the President also met the UK Minister for International Development and Africa, the Right Honorable Andrew Mitchell; the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr A Adesina; the president of the Afrexim Bank, Professor Benedict Oramah; the presidents of GE Vernova Canada and GE Vernova Africa, Heather Chalmers and respectively, and executives from Investments in Manufacturing, Production and Infrastructure Inc. (IMPI).
CHOLERA SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE
Cabinet received a report on the outbreak of cholera in Buhera district with effect from 26 August 2023 as presented by the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Douglas Mombeshora.
The Minister also presented a report on preventive measures with respect to reported cases of cholera in Buhera. Cabinet would like to inform the nation that the Government has instituted a number of measures to contain the reported Buhera incidents such as mobilising equipment for borehole drilling, advocacy and activation of the District Civil Protection Unit. The nation will be kept abreast of developments on the matter.
HARARE METROPOLITAN BULK WATER SUPPLY SITUATION
Following reports by the Harare City Council on their failure to provide bulk water to the city, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development convened a meeting of the National Action Committee on Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
The committee found out that the main challenges affecting the City of Harare are as follows: heavy pollution of water supply dams (Chivero and Manyame) leading to excessive use of water treatment chemicals; aged units constantly breaking down; aged water supply infrastructure leading to reduction in treatment capacity and high water losses; and failure by City of Harare to pay for water treatment chemicals to meet the current treatment capacity of 520 Megalitres per day.
The nation is being informed that the Government is fully committed to resolving the Harare water challenges and that of all cities, rural and urban centres.
The Government, through the Presidential Rural Development Programme, has drilled 301 boreholes in the past year. Furthermore, a rig has been dedicated to Harare Metropolitan Province and ZINWA will continue the borehole drilling programme, prioritising suburbs which are not receiving water from the City of Harare.