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Post cabinet briefing

THIRD POST CABINET BRIEFING: 10TH OCTOBER 2023

1.0 UPDATE ON THE SUMMER CROPS AND WINTER WHEAT
MARKETING

Cabinet received an update on the Summer Crops and Winter Wheat Marketing as presented by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Honourable Dr. A.J. Masuka.

The nation is being informed that the GMB maize stocks as at 8th October 2023 stood at 205 699 Metric Tonnes (MT), while traditional grains stood at 48 103 MT. The total maize and traditional grains stocks were at 253 802 MT.

Cabinet wishes to inform the nation that the GMB wheat stocks as at 8th October 2023 stood at 137 586 MT.

The nation is further informed that the area planted for winter wheat is 90 192 hectares, and the estimated harvest is 440 844 MT. Wheat harvesting has commenced, with some 3 681 hectares harvested to date. Government has already announced a marketing price of US$520 per metric tonne.

2.0 UPDATE ON THE CHOLERA OUTBREAK

The Acting Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon Amon Murwira updated Cabinet on the Cholera outbreak.

Cabinet advises that as at 30th September 2023, Zimbabwe’s cumulative suspected cholera cases were 4 436 with 4 246 recoveries. Manicaland Province and Harare Province contributed the highest number of cholera cases in Zimbabwe, having reported 1 934 (43.5%) and 1 627(36.7%) cumulative cholera cases respectively by 30 September, 2023.

Cabinet reports that medicines and commodities supply have been pre-positioned in districts with resource mobilization ongoing from national level as well as through provisional and district structures and donors have also chipped in. The nation is informed that active surveillance is ongoing at the ports of entry. Cabinet highlights that dissemination of information is being intensified to curb the spread of cholera. Furthermore, water quality monitoring of waste disposal and waste management is ongoing in provinces.

Cabinet advises that the following activities have since been conducted in response to the surge in cases: WASH activities against cholera in Harare, Gutu, Bikita and Chiredzi district as sensitised on cholera in the past week; risk communication and community engagement committees were set-up in four rural provinces of Masvingo, Matebeleland South, Manicaland and Mashonaland Central. Additionally, twenty (20) risk communication and community engagement campaigns were conducted in Mashonaland East, and distribution of cholera information, education and communication materials is ongoing.

In light of the current cholera situation, Cabinet approved as follows: that traditional and religious leaders be engaged to facilitate public health measures to control cholera within their communities; and that there be enforcement of laws on burials and city/council by-laws to ensure the public health response to Cholera is effective.

3.0 UPDATE ON THE TOBACCO TRANSFORMATION PLAN

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Hon. Anxious Masuka updated Cabinet on the Tobacco Transformation Plan.

The Plan seeks to increase tobacco production to 300 million kg by 2025 and transform the industry into a US$5 billion industry through exports of tobacco value-added products. The nation is informed that there has been an increase in volume as a result of post-harvest loss reduction and yield increase. During the 2022/23 season a record 296.1 million kilogrammes of tobacco, worth US$896 million was produced. Of this production, A1 and A2 farmers contributed 153 320 472 kg and US$480 548 375 of total production, being 52% and 54% the value respectively, attesting to the success of the Land Reform Programme.

The nation is advised that the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board(TIMB) introduced the compliance Administration Framework in 2022 to ensure that farmers received a minimum input package from contractors. Additionally, Statutory Instrument 77 of 2022 was introduced in 2022 to criminalise side-marketing of crops. Regarding post-harvest loss reduction, there are ongoing farmer field days, and training, on harvesting, curing, storage, and use of more fuel – efficient barns, to reduces losses from 15% t0 10%. The Tobacco Research Board (TRB) developed a fuel-efficient “Rocket Barn” and “the Kutsaga Counter Current 1 barn” which reduced firewood usage by 50%. Research on alternative fuel types is ongoing at the TRB. The tobacco industry merchants have a voluntary levy collected under the auspices of the Sustainable Afforestation Association, which commenced planting eucalyptus trees in 2014.

There is a 1% increase in the tobacco seed sold this season and a 3% increase in area planted to irrigated tobacco compared to the previous year.

The nation is informed that to accelerate localization of tobacco funding to 70% of the cost of production by 2025, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe recently removed the requirement compelling tobacco merchants to source offshore financing to fund production and for buying green leaf from farmers. Cabinet advises that to increase the production of alternative crops and increase their contribution to the farmers’ income to 25% by 2025 , TIMB is now offering GLOBAL GAP Consultancy services to enable tobacco farmers to access global export markets for horticultural crops. Additionally, agronomic evaluation of imported industrial hemp varities by the TRB has now been advanced to multilocation trials.

On tobacco exports, Cabinet advises that this season, 145 million kg have been exported at an average price of US$4.97/kg, compared 122 million kg at US$4.54/kg the previous year. There are opportunities to increase the level of value addition and beneficiation of tobacco into cut rag and cigarette production from 2% of tobacco produced to 30%. The construction of a new cigarette manufacturing plant and cutrag processing factories is underway and this will result in an increase in processing capacity by 50% in the first half of 2024.

4.0 HIGHLY PATHOGENIC AVIAN INFLUENZA OUTBREAK IN SOUTH AFRICA: IMPLICATIONS FOR ZIMBABWE AND WAY FORWARD

Cabinet received a Report on the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in South Africa, and implications for Zimbabwe, as presented by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Honourable Dr. A.J. Masuka.

The nation is being informed that South Africa is currently experiencing outbreaks of two different strains of Highly Pathogenic Avian Inflenza (HPAI) H5N8 and H7N6 in seven of its nine provinces. The Government has instituted the following preventative measures among others through the Department of Veterinary Services:

a) activation of Rapid Response Teams; and
b) awareness campaigns to the poultry industry value chain players and the public on the urgent need to strengthen their bio-security measures.

The Poultry Sector is urged to institute the following measures;

a) limit movement of people, feed and farm equipment from other poultry enterprises; and
b) not to feed wild birds coming to the homestead or farm.

Farmers should contact their nearest Veterinary Offices for guidance.

5.0 SANGANAI/HLANGANANI WORLD TOURISM EXPO

The Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable B. Rwodzi reported on the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo to be held in Bulawayo from 12 – 14 October 2023.

The nation is being informed that 365 companies have to date confirmed participation compared to 275 last year. There has been an increase in the number of international exhibitors from 23 in 2022 to 34 this year. The international exhibitors are from South Africa, Mozambique, Rwanda, Malawi, Zambia, Iran and Botswana. There will also be 100 buyers from key source markets of Africa, Middle East, Asia, Europe and America. Running alongside the exhibition will be forums and social events aimed at further affording exhibitors and buyers more time to engage and share ideas.

6.0 COMBINED SIXTEENTH PERIODIC REPORT UNDER PEOPLE’S RIGHTS AND SECOND PERIODIC REPORT UNDER THE PROTOCOL TO THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN IN AFRICA

Cabinet considered and approved the Combined Sixteenth Periodic Report under People’s Rights and Second Periodic Report under the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa as presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon Ziyambi Ziyambi.

The nation is advised that Zimbabwe ratified the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (The Maputo Protocol) in 1986 and 2008 respectively. The Maputo Protocol was developed to promote and protect human rights in particular to protect the rights of women and girls on the African continent. Upon ratification Zimbabwe assumed the obligation under Article 62 of the ACHPR and Article 26 (1) of the Maputo Protocol to submit every two years, from the date instruments come into force periodic reports on legislative, administrative and other measures taken with a view of giving effect to the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed by these instruments.

Cabinet reports that the Report provides details of the progress made and measures taken during the period under review from 2019 to date in the promotion and protection of human and people’s rights in Zimbabwe, showing the State Party’s commitment in improving and upholding human rights of its citizinery. Information is provided with regards to the Constitutional, legislative and administrative measures undertaken by the Government of Zimbabwe to implement obligations arising from the ACHPR and the Maputo Protocol.

Pertaining the African Charter on Human People’s Rights Sixteenth Periodic Report, the nation is informed that about fifteen (15) regional and international instruments are set to be ratified. Cabinet advises that during the period under review, the country had promulgated the Freedom of Information which repealed the Access of Information and Protection of Privacy Act [AIPPA]. On the right to Freedom of Assembly and Association, it is reported that in a bid to entrench democratic values and align legislation with the Constitution, the country has enacted the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act [MOPA] which repealed the Public Order and Security Act [POSA]. The nation is informed that climate change had impacted on human rights of the citizens.

Furthermore, the Report provides both legislative and administrative measures taken to protect the rights of refugees and migrants in line with international law.

Pertaining to persons with disabilities, the nation is informed that Government is in the process of amending the current Disabled Persons Act through the persons with Disabilities Bill so as to domesticate some of the UNCRPD provisions. Regarding Older Persons, measures have been put in place to protect rights of older persons, especially in the rural areas bearing in mind their own realities as compared to their counterparts in the urban areas.

Cabinet advises that the Second Periodic Report under the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa provides general progress that had taken place on the promotion and protection of women rights in Zimbabwe. These measures included the following: elimination of discrimination against women in all spheres of life and the upholding of women’s rights to be treated with dignity; the right to life, integrity and security of persons, elimination of harmful cultural practices; the right for women to access justice and equal protection before the law; and participation of women in political. The Report focuses on the right to education and training for women; economic and social welfare for women, health and reproductive rights interventions; right to food; the establishment of human settlement, initiatives to ensure the promotion and preservation of Zimbabwean culture, values; and practices and the right to sustainable development.

7.0 UPDATE ON THE 2023 SADC ANTI-SANCTIONS DAY

Cabinet received an Update on the 2023 SADC Anti-Sanctions Day as presented by the Minister of Defence as the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Honourable O.C.Z. Muchinguri-Kashiri.

The nation is being informed that the SADC Anti-Sanctions Day will be held on 25 October 2023 under the theme “Harnessing the Youth for Accelerated Socio-Economic Development in the Fight Against Sanctions”. The theme recognizes the youth’s resilience, courage, fortitude and unflinching determination in the face of illegal sanctions. The youth have heeded His Excellency the President’s clarion call that “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo,ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikhazi balo” and are playing a significant role in the development of the country.

His Excellency the President will deliver a televised keynote address to mark the Anti-Sanctions Day. The address will be distributed on all social media platforms, targeting the youth to enhance awareness of the negative impact of sanctions. There will also be short and brief anti-sanctions marches within school premises and around work-stations for Government workers. An Anti-Sanctions Musical Show will also be held.

8.0 REPORT ON HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT’S MEETING
WITH THE SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT, HIS EXCELLENCY
CYRIL RAMAPHOSA

The Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Honourable O.C.Z. Muchinguri-Kashiri reported on the joint tour of the Beirbridge Border Post by His Excellency the President, Dr Emmerson D. Mnangagwa and his counterpart, His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, on 5 October 2023.

The nation is being informed that the two Presidents undertook a tour of the South African and Zimbabwean sides of the Beitbridge Border Post. On the South African side, the Principals toured, among other facilities, the new bridge and the vehicle and cargo scanner technology. On the Zimbabwean side, both Presidents Ramaphosa were impressed by the work and the refurbished Border Post, and undertook to work together in terms of modernizing border-control infrastructure. President Ramaphosa noted that the efforts had promoted efficiency on the Zimbabwean side by reducing transit times, procedural delays and traffic congestion, as it separated trucks, buses and light vehicles. The two Heads of State expressed the common desire to make their border systems and infrastructure compatible to each other in order to facilitate efficient movement of people and promote cross-border trade.

9.0 RIOZIM PLANE CRASH IN MASHAVA AREA, CHIVI DISTRICT,
MASVINGO PROVINCE

The Minister of National Housing and Social Services as the Acting Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Hon. D. Garwe updated Cabinet on the plane crush that occurred in the Mashava area, Masvingo Province.

The nation is advised that Government has since availed ZW$12 million as funeral assistance for the 6 bereaved families. Logistics are underway to ensure that all the families receive the funeral assistance.

I THANK YOU!

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