Cabinet received an update on the country’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak, which was presented by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Honourable A Murwira, as Acting Minister of Health and Child Care.
As at 11 October 2021, Zimbabwe’s cumulative Covid-19 cases stood at 131 875, with 125 479 recoveries and 4 643 deaths. The active cases decreased from 1 504 cases to 667 cases.
The number of new infections decreased during the week under review. The daily average of new cases dropped to 10 per day from 19. This is attributed to the comprehensive response by the Government.
There has been a general decline of Covid-19 cases reported in schools. The Ministry of Health and Child Care remains on high alert to contain any surges at learning institutions. Cabinet advises the nation that as of 11 October, a total of 3 176 744 people had received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and 2 417 442 their second across the country. This translates to a national coverage of 37,3 percent for the first dose and 28,3 percent for the second.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care has dispatched a team to Chitungwiza city to raise awareness and ramp up vaccination efforts to raise vaccine uptake by residents in Chitungwiza. Cabinet wishes to further inform citizens that the country is expecting a delivery of 5 million syringes in November 2021. This will compliment the 13 243 200 Covid-19 vaccines which have so far been procured.
WAYS TO STEM BRAIN DRAIN IN THE HEALTH SECTOR
Cabinet considered and approved the report of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Stemming the Brain Drain in the Health Sector, that was presented by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Honourable A. Murwira, as Acting Minister of Health and Child Care in collaboration with the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Honourable Professor Paul Mavima as chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee.
Cabinet wishes to inform the public that the Inter-Ministerial Committee identified the causes of the brain in the health sector. To stem the brain drain a committee was therefore setup to look holistically look into the following issues:
- Mechanisms to accelerate provision of non-monetary incentives, such as staff accommodation, transport, vehicle loans, canteens/cafeterias; and wi-fi facilities connectivity;
- Measures to improve the remuneration of tutors in nursing training colleges and administration of nursing training colleges;
- Judicious adjustment of monetary benefits; and
- Addressing the disparity between the urban and rural health personnel incentives in order to attract personnel to rural areas.
Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that Government continues to pursue bilateral agreements with destination countries for our health professionals within the World Health Organisation framework
STRATEGIES AND MEASURES FOR THE ELIMINATION OF TRAFFIC CONGESTION
Cabinet received and adopted a report of the Ad-hoc Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Elimination of Congestion and Installation of Proper Lighting in the Country’s Urban Areas, as presented by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Honourable July Moyo. The interventions and projects are broadly categorised under the following areas:
- Enhanced Public Transport Logistics or Systems; and
- The public is advised that the infrastructure component includes the repair of street lights along major trunk roads; repair and upgrading of traffic lights and signals at major junctions; installation of new traffic signals; addition of filter lanes at roundabouts and selected junctions; introduction of dedicated bus lanes and carriageway markings; construction of proper kerbing and jersey barriers; completion of one way roads; widening and repair of roads; and improvement of termini facilities.
Highlights of the good works done to date include the following:
- The resurfacing of Seke road which is over 80 percent complete;
- The Simon Mazorodze/Paisley Road Junction asphalt overlay, which will form part of the Mbudzi Traffic Interchange and is over 75 percent complete; and
- The Mbudzi Interchange, designs have been completed as well as the selection of the detour roads namely, Chimhanda, Stoneridge, Amalinda and Forbes.
The nation is also informed that notable achievements under the Enhanced Urban Transport Logistics or Systems category include the following:
- An additional 50 buses new buses were received and commissioned for ZUPCO;
- The software for the electronic ticketing system was developed and certification was granted; and
- The passenger train services were rolled out in Harare under the ZUPCO franchise. The Mufakose commuter train is now fully subscribed carrying up to 1 300 passengers per trip. Ruwa and Tynwald are slowly gaining momentum. The services are set to be extended to Bulawayo soon.
On enforcement of traffic by-laws, there will be joint operations by municipal traffic police and Zimbabwe Republic Police as well as the setting up of impounding yards. The operation to remove illegal taxis and criminalising trading at intersections is ongoing, while deterrent fines are being charged for touting. Joint deployments of City of Harare and the Zimbabwe Republic Police traffic officers at intersections are ongoing, with a significant number of municipal officers having been trained so far.
PROGRESS REPORT ON THE ON-GOING BIKITA AND TSHOLOTSHO MOBILE REGISTRATION EXERCISE
The Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Honourable Kazembe Kazembe, reported on progress made in the mobile registration exercise which was undertaken in Bikita and Tsholotsho.
The exercise sought to document citizens in Bikita District who were affected by Cyclone Idai in 2019, and those affected by the 2017 floods in Tsholotsho, including the Tjawo (San) community in the District.
The Bikita mobile registration programme commenced on 6 September, 2021, and ended on 5 October, 2021, while the Tsholotsho exercise ran from 13 September to 12 October, 2021. The services availed during the mobile registration exercises in the 2 districts covered birth, death and national identity registration.
Cabinet notes, with pleasure, that the exercise commenced smoothly and has been successfully undertaken, providing critical registration documents to distressed citizens affected by natural calamities. A total of 4 397 national identity documents were issued in Bikita comprising the following:
- 3 112 initial birth registration for children under the age of 16 years;
- 348 initial birth registration for persons above 16 years of age;
- 26 duplicate birth certificates were issued to children under 16 years of age;
- 522 duplicate birth certificates were issued to persons above the age of 16 years; and
- 58 death certificates.
In Tsholotsho, a total of 4 169 national identity documents were issued broken down as follows:
- 3 542 initial birth registration for children under the age of 16 years;
- 600 initial birth registration for persons above 16 years of age;
- 46 duplicate birth certificates were issued to children under 16 years of age;
- 625 duplicate birth certificates were issued to persons above the age of 16 years; and
- 58 death certificates.
Government commends the Civil Registry Department for the stakeholder participation approach which it adopted in implementing the exercises, which resulted in effective coordination of the project. Together with the awareness campaigns undertaken through rural district committees, traditional and community leaders, and local radio stations, huge turnouts were witnessed at mobile registration centres from the first day.
Going forward, the mobile registration exercise will be extended to other districts in need, starting with the Bulilima District in Matabeleland South Province. Voter registration will also be concurrently undertaken as part of the exercise.
REPORTS ON THE EIGHTH 100-DAY CYCLE OF THE SECOND REPUBLIC
Cabinet received reports on the 8th 100-Day Cycle of the Second Republic from the Ministers of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services; Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services; National Housing and Social Amenities; and Primary and Secondary Education.
1.The Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Honourable Dr Jenfan Muswere, reported that, as at Day-50 of the Cycle, the following progress had been recorded for projects under his purview:
- a total of 79 schools had received ICT equipment, while the renovation of the targeted 100 ICT laboratories and internet connectivity was on-going under the ICT per School project;
- 30 Community Information Centres (CICs) and/or Computerized Village Information Centres (CVICs) were established;
- a total of 9 Public Finance Management System (PFMS) Kiosks were completed and are ready for commissioning;
- the Government Communication Suite was established and launched, and more than 2 000 users are connected to the suite;
- 10 heavy-duty scanners and the same number of laptops were acquired and are due to be deployed under the pilot digitisation exercise of five Ministries;
- 866 schools were connected to the internet free of charge across the country; and
- the NetOne Mobile Broadband (MBB) project is ongoing, with the installation of the targeted network controllers and routers in Harare and Bulawayo having been completed, while 90% of the targeted 17 rooftop base stations in Harare were completed.
- The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Honourable Dr Evelyn Ndlovu, highlighted the following for projects in her sector:
- under the School Registration project, 32 out of the targeted 40 schools were registered;
- regarding the Upgrading of Schools Infrastructure project, 42 of the targeted 80 classroom blocks were completed;
- on the Development of Learner Modules/Workbooks project, 10 out of the planned 12 modules were developed.
All the projects will be completed as targeted in the current 100day circle.
- The Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities, Honourable Daniel Garwe, reported that the building of blocks of flats at the Dzivarasekwa Site was underway, while the development of roads, storm water drains, sewer and water reticulation, and provision of electricity at the Empumalanga High Density Stands site was 50% complete. The Kasese-Kariba Housing site development project was 54% complete, while the Lupane Housing Project is 90% complete, with only plumbing, painting, glazing, fixing of doors, and water and electricity connections outstanding.
- The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Honourable Monica Mutsvangwa, outlined the progress made in her sector, highlights of which are as follows:
- the Chimanimani Digital Terrestrial Television (DTTV) project which targeted upgrades and pilot home installations among other works was completed and awaits commissioning;
- similarly, the Gokwe Digital Terrestial Television project is ready for launching;
- meanwhile, under the Nyangani Community Radio Station Installation project, the relevant works are at advanced stages of completion and the station is expected to go on air before the end of the 8th 100-Day Cycle;
- 8 Community Radio Stations were licensed, bringing the total number of community radio stations licensed across the country so far to 14.
In related language-based community broadcasting matters, equipment donated by UNICEF for the operationalisation of the Chimanimani Community Radio Station was handed over on 27 September, 2021, and civil works for the Station are underway.
- For the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Campus Radio Station Installation project, the antenna system and transmitters were put in place and studio renovations and civil works for the installation proper of the campus radio station are on-going.
- Under the targeted modernisation of the Radio Zimbabwe Studio project, an air conditioning system and console desk for the station’s Studio E were installed, while ancillary equipment was also purchased using ZBC’s own funds.
- Under the National Awareness Audio-visual Productions project, 2 of the targeted 5 programmes were produced during the 8th 100-Day Cycle under the “Zimbabwe in Motion” television programme. To date, 8 episodes of the programme that were produced during the 7th 100-Day Cycle have been aired on Zimbabwe Television (ZTV).
COMMEMORATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR DISASTER REDUCTION
Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that this year’s commemorations of the International Day for Disaster Reduction, which is held on 13th of October each year, will be held in Chinhoyi tomorrow, under the theme “Multiple Hazards are Best Managed in a Devolved Environment”. The objectives are as follows:
(i) to promote a culture of disaster preparedness in the face of multiple hazards;
(ii) to sensitise devolved structures on disaster risk management in line with the devolution agenda; and
(iii) to disseminate information to the public on building resilience to vulnerabilities and disaster risks.
Government has extended the necessary budget which is complemented by the World Health Organisation, the World Bank, the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society and World Vision. The Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Honourable J.G. Moyo, will deliver a statement today.
I THANK YOU!