1. Subsidised Roller Meal Prices
The Minister of Finance and Economic Development briefed Cabinet on the action taken to normalise the roller meal supply situation. He explained that at the First meeting, Cabinet had noted that the then prevailing price of roller meal provided arbitrage opportunities to some unscrupulous people.
Government had thus moved in to redress the situation using a two-pronged approach.
Firstly, it had been decided that the price be raised to $70 per 10kg bag of mealie-meal from $50.
Secondly, a targeted Coupon Scheme for the Vulnerable is in the offing, with the compilation of a database at an advanced stage. The scheme will be rolled out in a week’s time.
2. Report on the Second Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing National Risk Assessment and National AML/CFT/CFP Strategic Plan
Cabinet considered and approved the Report on the Second Money Laundering and Terrorist, Financing National Risk Assessment (NRA) and Zimbabwe’s Third National Anti-Money Laundering, Combating Financing of Terrorism and Countering the Financing of Proliferation (AML/CFT/CFP) Strategic Plan for the period 2020-2025, which were presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.
In order to address the challenges outlined in the Second NRA Report, Government has come up with the Third National Anti-Money Laundering, Combating Finance of Terrorism and Countering the Financing of Proliferation (AML/CFT/CFP) Strategic Plan, which will cover the period 2020 to 2025.
The Strategic Plan is premised on four pillars over the next five years, namely:
- Awareness and capacity building;
- Parallel financial investigations by law enforcement agencies;
- Confiscation and forfeiture of criminal proceeds and
- Beneficial ownership issues.
The 2020-2025 Strategic Plan therefore positions Zimbabwe on solid ground that will enhance its domestic capability and capacity to respond effectively to the challenges of Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Financing of Proliferation (ML/TF/FP) and its associated financial crimes.
3. Update on the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) meetings held on 5th and 7th February, 2020
Cabinet considered and approved the recommendations from the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) as presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development as Acting Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
Regarding the matter on the financing of minimum wage, Cabinet directed that dialogue be pursued to ensure an urgent win-win solution to the matter given the prevailing economic conditions.
4. Proposed Zimbabwe National Plan of Action for the Universal Periodic Review (2017-2021)
Cabinet considered and approved the proposed Zimbabwe National Plan of Action for the Universal Periodic Review (2017-2021) which the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs presented.
Cabinet noted that the National Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a State-driven peer review process that provides the opportunity for each State to identify key human rights issues and challenges as well as to periodically declare what actions it has taken to improve human rights situations and fulfil human rights obligations.
The recommendations accepted by Zimbabwe for the period 2017 to 2021 cover a wide range of human rights issues. The actions, activities, and programmes to address the adopted recommendations according to the National Plan of Action include the following:
(a) identifying treaties that need domestication and taking measures to domesticate them,
(b) identifying legislation and policies that need to be aligned with the Constitution,
(c) reviewing the legislation establishing independent Commissions and supporting the Commissions,
(d) to continue training law enforcement agents, prison officers and other public officers on human rights,
(e) strengthening and decentralising justice delivery institutions;
(f) enhancing programmes and activities aimed at promoting gender equality and eliminating discrimination against women and gender-based violence and
(g) to deepen electoral reforms.
Cabinet noted that some of the activities and programmes had already been implemented, while others remain work in progress.
5. Progress Report on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID19)
Cabinet was briefed by the Minister of Health and Child Care on the national progress regarding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak, which commenced on 30 December, 2019 in China and was upgraded to a public health emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 31 January, 2020.
With effect from 25 January, 2020 the Ministry of Health and Child Care activated a surveillance system which includes follow up on travellers to Zimbabwe who visited China and other affected countries. To date, 1 433 travellers have been reported to have passed through Zimbabwe’s ports of entry that are screening travellers.
The Government of Zimbabwe has agreed with the Government of the Republic of China that these travellers be subjected to self quarantine for a 21-day surveillance period, in order to ensure early detection of symptoms.
The national response mechanism for surveillance and early detection of any possible cases remains activated, especially at all ports of entry in the country.
The main treatment centres will be situated at the Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital for the northern part of the country and Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital for the Southern region.
The National Microbiology Reference Laboratory (NMRL) was assessed and found to have good testing capacity and is adequately equipped.
Medicines for treatment have been identified locally and will be strategically positioned at the treatment centres.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care is currently working on modalities to ensure that adequate personnel for identification and management of cases, particularly at ports of entry, is trained and equipped for the arduous task ahead of them.
Government wants to assure the nation that it is ready to tackle the coronavirus scourge head-on, and there is no need for Zimbabweans to panic, as the situation is under control. The Ministry of Health and Child Care will continue to give updates on developments regarding the virus.
6. Flash Floods, Nsungwale Area, Binga District
Cabinet received a report on the flash floods which were experienced in Binga District’s Nsungwale Area, under Chief Sinakoma as presented by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement as the Acting Minister of Local Government and Public Works.
It was reported that due to the heavy backlash, all the 21 families in the flood plain were marooned and 11 people were hanging on trees waiting for assistance.
Cabinet noted that the Air Force of Zimbabwe, Sub-Aqua Unit stationed at Fairbridge, Bulawayo and the Civil Protection Department had been mobilised to assist the affected families.
Cabinet noted that:
- That evacuation of the affected families to areas of safety was in progress,
- That non-food and food items were being mobilised for the affected families,
- That the District Civil Protection Committee was monitoring the general health and welfare of the people for possible outbreaks of water-borne related diseases.
7. Report on the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union: 9 and 10 February, 2020, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Cabinet received a detailed report on the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union held from 9 to 10 February, 2020, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
The Summit was held under the theme, “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development”.
In his report to the Peace and Security Council (PSC) on its activities and the State of peace and Security in Africa, His Excellency, the President, had appreciated the show of solidarity with Zimbabwe against sanctions as it had demonstrated and affirmed the importance that the Union attached to the defence of the provisions of the Constitutive Act of the organisation.
Cabinet noted with satisfaction that the Assembly had adopted a resolution which, inter-alia, expressed solidarity with the people and Government of Zimbabwe and urged the United States of America to consider lifting the long-standing sanctions imposed on the Government and people of Zimbabwe to facilitate the socio-economic recovery of the country.
The assembly also acknowledged the steps already taken by the European Union towards removing sanctions, urging that all remaining sanctions be terminated.
The minister also reported that His Excellency, the President, had signed the Memorandum of Understanding of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).
In his accession speech, the President noted that his administration is committed to open and responsive governance citing the political legislative and media reforms that were being undertaken to deepen democracy.
The President also participated in the Third African Business Forum held under the theme, “Investing in People, Planet and Prosperity” hosted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on 11 February, 2020 on the margins of the AU.
He had taken the opportunity to invite businesses to consider investing in Zimbabwe’s energy sector, particularly in electricity generation to enable increased production in the industrial and agricultural sectors.
His Excellency, the President, also held bilateral engagements with the President of Algeria and with the President of Rwanda where the leaders agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in the field of education.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade held bilateral engagements with the Minister of State for International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, Her Excellency Mrs Reem Al Hashimy.
The outcomes of the discussions are that:
i. Zimbabwe was invited to participate at the 2020 World Exposition, Expo 2020 to be held in Dubai from 20 October 2020 to 10 April, 2021.
The minister appealed to Zimbabwe to capitalise on the Expo 2020 as this was a good opportunity for the country to market itself.
ii. The UAE minister pledged to financially assist artists from Zimbabwe to exhibit at Expo 2020.
iii. Furthermore, Zimbabwe was invited to the Africa Arab Summit to be held in Saudi Arabia on 16 March 2020.