118 Zimbabwean students evacuated from Ukraine – govt

By Justin Mahlahla

Government says it is taking all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of its citizens in Ukraine, with 118 students having been relocated to Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland to date.

In a post-cabinet media briefing this Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services minister, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said the government is in the process of evacuating students and other nationals from Ukraine, and at the same buying tickets for those students to come home.

“There is a mission official who is currently based in Poland to assist those who need to be repatriated. You will continue to be updated on the situation of the students in Ukraine,” said the minister.

“The continued discussions and engagement with stakeholders is bearing fruits and has positively resulted in increased attendance by both teachers and pupils. By Friday 25th February the attendance by both teachers and learners wat at 91.7% and 85% respectively. Cabinet was also informed that government and civil service representatives negotiated and agreed on improve conditions of service for civil servants,” she said.

She also announced that in view of the opening up of the economy and the need to enhance service delivery to citizens, cabinet resolved that hence forth, the entire civil service should revert to normal working hours of 0745 to 1645 hours.

“Cabinet received and approved proposed amendments to the Rural District Councils Act (Chapter 29:13). The Act , which regulates local authorities, is being amended to achieve alignment to the Constitution,” Senator Mutsvangwa also noted.

The amendments will among other changes, include incorporation of junior councillors in policy-making under local authorities as well as enable the establishment of a devolution account where funding from the fiscus will be deposited for the provision of basic services namely water, electricity, educational and health facilities, among others.

She announced that the recently-held Zimbabwe – Botswana 3rd Bi-National Commission yielded positive results as it resulted in the signing of more agreements of cooperation between the two countries.

The additional memoranda of understanding relate to agricultural development, water cooperation, child protection, youth development and tourism.

Minister Mutsvangwa advised the nation the preparations for the 2022 population and housing census are at an advanced stage, with the mapping exercise having been completed on 19 January 2022, while training of enumerators is underway.

“The actual enumeration will be conducted from 21st April and will end on 30 April, 2022.”