- ZIMBABWE’S RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Cabinet received an update on the Country‘s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, as presented by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation Science and Technology Development, and Acting Minister of Health and Child Care, Honourable Professor Amon Murwira.
Cabinet advises that since the outbreak of the pandemic, the country’s cumulative COVID-19 cases reached 257 749 as at 9 October 2022, with 251 737 recoveries and 5 604 deaths. The recovery rate was 98%, with 408 active cases recorded. A total of 211 new cases were recorded during the week, compared to 196 the previous week. Of the total number of new cases reported during the week, two (2) were detected in schools, and of the 177 total cases reported in schools since the start of the new term, 173 have since recovered, leaving 4 active cases in schools.
Regarding the National Vaccination Programme, the nation is being informed that, as at 9 October, 2022, a total of 6 539 246 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been administered, while 4 892 799 people had received their second dose, and 1 169 639 their third dose. Provinces continue to prioritise COVID-19 vaccinations in schools that have not yet reached the 2nd dose vaccination coverage target of 70%. Although the proportion of these schools is going down, Provinces remain concerned over the slow vaccine uptake.
As the country continues to embrace the new normal of a few new cases recorded each week, the need for vigilance remains. Cabinet therefore resolved as follows:
- that Provincial devolution structures must continue to strengthen their communication and advocacy, especially with religious, traditional and political leaders on the need for all eligible learners to get vaccinated;
- that Provinces must continue to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine activities and prioritise schools to ensure that all eligible learners are vaccinated before the end of the school term; and
- that all national leaders be it political, religious and traditional must, at every encounter with their followers, vigorously advocate for COVID-19 vaccination.
- NATIONAL GRAINS STATUS REPORT
Cabinet received the National Grains Status Report as at 9 October 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 9 October, 2022 stood at 557 476 metric tonnes comprising 482 078 metric tonnes of maize and 75 398 metric tonnes of traditional grains. Social welfare consumption is now budgeted at 24 295 metric tonnes per month, while total consumption per month is forecast at 49 294 metric tonnes. Using this monthly consumption rate of 49 294 metric tonnes, the available grain will last for 11.3 months. A total of 6 502 metric tonnes of maize were delivered to GMB during the first week of October 2022. The maize deliveries to GMB for the 2021/2022 season have now reached 168 897 metric tonnes. Treasury has so far availed a total of ZW$14.4 billion and US$16.4 million for farmer payments. A total of ZW$8.4 billion and US$5.3 million is outstanding to farmers.
Current wheat stocks stand at 65 490 metric tonnes, and this will provide 2.6 months’ cover at a consumption rate of 21 000 metric tonnes per month. Harvesting of the 2022 Winter wheat crop is gathering pace in many parts of the country.
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It has been noted with dismay the prevalence of veld fires across the country. Yesterday, the nation lost 10 precious lives in Matabeleland South. The Civil Protection Unit has been activated to assist the bereaved families. The responsible Minister will issue a statement. Further, to date 5 wheat fields of about 200 hectares have been burnt by wild fires this week. While farmers are encouraged to have the requisite fire guards around their farms, the public is urged to desist from unnecessarily starting fires as they have grave consequences on human life and property.
3.0 2022 POPULATION AND HOUSING CENSUS: MORTALITY AND ORPHANHOOD
Cabinet received and noted the 2022 Population and Housing Census Mortality and Orphaned Preliminary Results as presented by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development as Acting Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Honourable Felix T. Mhona.
The 2022 Population and Housing Census collected data on household deaths in the 12 months preceding the Census and parental survival status for children aged 0 – 17 years. The nation is being informed that 121 078 deaths were reported in the 12 months preceding the Census. The average death rate nationally was 8 deaths per 1 000. Matabeleland South had the highest rate at 9.7 per 1 000, while Harare had the lowest rate at 5.8 per 1 000. The neonatal rate (children dying within the first month of life) was 9.5 deaths per 1 000 live births, while post-neonatal rate (those dying between one month and 11 months) was 14.7 deaths per 1 000 live births. Rural areas had higher rates of neonatal, post-neonatal, infant, child and under 5 mortality deaths than urban areas.
The nation is being informed that a total of 1 589 maternal deaths were reported during the same period against 437 478 live births, giving a maternal mortality ratio of 363 deaths per 100 000 live births. The maternal mortality ratio was higher in rural areas at 402 deaths per 100 000 live births, compared to 298 per 100 000 live births in urban areas.
Regarding registration of deaths at the national level, 41.4% of the 121 078 were registered, while 34.8% deaths were registered in rural areas and 56.5% of the deaths were registered in urban areas. The proportion of registered deaths was higher for males in both rural and urban areas. About 7.7% of children aged below 17 years were orphaned, with the prevalence of orphanhood higher in rural areas at 8.4% compared to 6.3% in urban areas. Paternal orphanhood was much higher than maternal orphanhood.
Life expectancy nationally was 64.7 years, with females having a higher life expectancy of 68 years compared with males at 61.2 years. Life expectancy was higher in urban areas at 65.5 years, than in rural areas at 63.3 years.
The findings of the study will be used in the following areas among others:
- for analysing current demographic conditions as well as determining the prospects of potential changes in mortality conditions in the future;
- the public health administration depends heavily on the study of mortality;
- to inform the formulation, implementation and evaluation of public health programmes;
- for insurance companies to craft insurance policies; and
- for monitoring regional and international obligations such as Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
4.0 CONCEPT PAPER ON THE THEME AND ACTIVITIES TO MARK THE ANTI-SANCTIONS SOLIDARITY DAY
Cabinet received and approved a Concept Paper on the Theme and Activities to mark the Anti-Sanctions Solidarity Day as presented by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation Science and Technology Development, and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Honourable Professor Amon Murwira.
The nation is being informed that the fourth Anti- Sanctions Day on 25 October 2022, will be held under the Theme, “Enhancing Zimbabwe’s Resilience through Economic Development and Engagement and Re-engagement”. This is in recognition of the concrete steps the country has taken in strengthening engagement and re-engagement at bilateral and multilateral levels. The event will showcase the progress the country is making with the economic transformation drive, through His Excellency the President’s mantra, “nyika inovakwa nevene vayo/ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo”
The activities on the day will include the following:
- a televised statement by His Excellency the President, which will be distributed through all media platforms;
- media awareness campaigns on the nature and impact of sanctions in and outside Zimbabwe;
- showcasing commendable progress of projects in various sectors including in Agriculture and food security, Mining, Health, Education, Infrastructure, and industry;
- a musical concert at Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex with participation both physically and virtually through the national broadcaster to allow for wider coverage across the country’s ten Provinces;
- circulation of His Excellency the President’s Address through Embassies accredited to Zimbabwe and through our Missions abroad; and
- sharing with the SADC Secretariat through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, a Guide on the nature and impact of sanctions on Zimbabwe as well as the Final Report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on Human Rights.
5.0 PRINCIPLES OF THE COMPANIES AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE OF ZIMBABWE
Cabinet considered and approved the Principles of the Companies and Intellectual Property Office of Zimbabwe Bill as presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi.
Cabinet advises that the Bill will provide for the establishment of the Companies and Intellectual Property Office. The Companies and Intellectual Property Office of Zimbabwe will be responsible for registration and administration of proprietary rights related to companies, other business entities and intellectual property in Zimbabwe. The enactment of the legislation will amend several Acts establishing the Companies and Intellectual Property Office of Zimbabwe (CIPZ) which include the following:
- the Copyright and Neighbouring Act (Chapter 26:05);
- the Patent Act (Chapter 26:03);
- the Industrial Designs Act (Chapter 26:02);
- the Integrated Circuit Layout Designs Act(Chapter26:07);
- the Trade Marks Act(Chapter26:04);
- the Intellectual Property Tribunal Act(Chapter 26:08);
- the Armorial Bearing, Names , Uniforms and Badges Act (Chapter 10:01) ; and
- the Companies and other Business Entities Act (Chapter 24:31).
The Companies and Intellectual Property Office of Zimbabwe will be urgently established to enable the effective facilitation and support of creativity and innovation in Zimbabwe as well as ease of doing business and service delivery in line with NDSI.
6.0 PRINCIPLES OF THE LEGAL PRACTITIONERS (AMENDMENT) BILL
Cabinet considered and approved the Principles of Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Bill as presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Honourable Ziyambi Ziyambi.
The nation is informed that in order for a legal practitioner to be registered to practice in Zimbabwe it is a requirement that they be resident in Zimbabwe. In the event that the legal practitioner is not resident in Zimbabwe they would be granted a residential exemption certificate. The Principles seek to amend Section 5 (1) (c) and Section 7(1) to limit the granting of exemption letters to legal practitioners from a reciprocating country.
7.0 PROPOSED RATIFICATION OF THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON STATISTICS
Cabinet considered and approved the proposed Ratification of the African Charter on Statistics as presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi as Chairperson of the Cabinet Committee on Legislation.
The nation is informed that the African Charter on Statistics provides a regulatory framework for the development of statistics at national and continental level. The ratification of the African Charter on statistics will ensure that collection of official statistics is premised on internationally recognized methodologies and guidelines required in the production of statistics. The Charter provides principles and values which National Statistical Systems should follow in the production of statistics. The ratification will also guarantee that official statistics produced in Zimbabwe are of high credibility and enhance coordination among different stakeholders involved in the production of statistics. The principles enshrined in the Charter also promote the quality of official statistics produced in the country and will contribute immensely to the economy in support of the National Development Strategies and other development agendas.
8.0 ZIMBABWE’S ELECTION TO THE ICAO COUNCIL
The Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon Felix T. Mhona reported on Zimbabwe’s successful election into the International Civil Aviation Organisation Council (ICAO) at the 41st session of the Assembly held on 4 October, 2022 in Montreal, Canada. The nation is informed that a total of 180 contracting States of International Civil Aviation Organisation Council participated at the 41st Session of the Assembly. The Assembly elected a new International Civil Aviation Organisation Council composed of thirty-six (36) States for the period from 2022 to 2025.
This is further evidence that Zimbabwe’s Engagement and Re-engagement Policy continues to bear fruit.