- Update on the roll-out of the Expanded ZUPCO Mass Transit System
The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing briefed Cabinet on progress made on the roll-out of the expanded ZUPCO Mass Transit System.
This is a strategy by Government to further cushion the commuting public from the prevailing rising costs of public transport services.
The expanded ZUPCO Mass Transit System incorporates commuter omnibuses, and more significantly will extend the ZUPCO bus service to rural areas.
The minister informed Cabinet that an assessment exercise undertaken by ZUPCO indicated that a total of 923 conventional buses are required to fully satisfy demand.
The current deficit of 415 conventional buses will thus be covered by the 1 000 commuter omnibuses, which are now being incorporated under the ZUPCO Mass Transit System. The additional buses and omnibuses will be allocated to all cities and some rural routes on a proportional basis.
Furthermore, another 99 conventional buses have been identified to boost the ZUPCO Mass Transport Fleet.
To enhance public convenience, Government is already working with the private sector to construct appropriate shelters at bus stops and to improve security at such points through the installation of solar-powered lighting systems and surveillance cameras.
All the buses and commuter omnibuses shall be using the tap-card system, which does not require the payment of cash on all ticketing systems within ZUPCO.
- Strategy for Coordinating the Planned Development of Critical Economic Infrastructure
Cabinet considered and adopted an integrated Strategy for the Development of Critical Economic Infrastructure, which was presented by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development as the chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Utilities and Infrastructure Development.
The strategy seeks to ensure that, going forward, the development of the country’s infrastructure and utilities is done in a more coordinated and integrated manner in line with the country’s envisaged development trajectory.
This will be achieved primarily through the formulation of an integrated National Infrastructure Development Master Plan covering the requirements of the various sectors of the economy.
The master plan targets to have an infrastructure base which can support an upper middle-income economy by 2030, and will ensure that, henceforth, infrastructure and utilities development is undertaken based on an economically justified, environmentally sustainable, integrated and multi-sectoral approach, instead of responding to impromptu demands, as is the case currently.
To carry out this programme, Cabinet has resolved that a technical team of officers from key Government ministries and agencies supported by appropriate experts from the country’s professional bodies and tertiary education institutions be urgently instituted to drive the process.
- Ratification of the Eastern and Southern Africa-United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (ESA-UK) Economic Partnership Agreement
Following presentation by the Attorney -General, Cabinet approved ratification of the Eastern and Southern Africa-United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (ESA-UK) Economic Partnership Agreement.
The agreement seeks to ensure the maintenance of existing market access to the UK by ESA Signatory States which comprise Zimbabwe, the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Zambia.
In terms of the agreement, the UK will grant duty-free and quota-free market access for all goods exported by the ESA countries to the UK, except for arms and ammunition.
On their part, the ESA states will continue to gradually liberalise 80 percent of their trade imports from the UK covering capital, raw materials and intermediate goods up to 2022.
Zimbabwean products to be excluded from the liberalisation process are: products of animal origin, cereals, beverages, paper, plastics and rubber, textiles and clothing, footwear, glass and ceramics, consumer electronics and vehicles.
- Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Zimbabwe and We Care Solar on the Expansion of the Solar Suitcase Programme in Zimbabwe
Cabinet approved the Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Zimbabwe and We Care Solar on the Expansion of the Solar Suitcase Programme in Zimbabwe as proposed by the Minister of Health and Child Care.
We Care Solar is a non-profit organisation registered in the United States of America, which designs and installs solar electricity systems for lighting maternal health facilities.
Under the agreement, We Care Solar will now expand its operations to all districts and target maternal services institutions which lack access to conventional grid electricity.
The Solar Suitcase Programme, which has already installed solar lighting equipment at 90 health facilities in Zimbabwe, will help save lives during childbirth and ,thereby, contribute to the reduction of maternal mortality.
- The situation regarding the strike by doctors
The Minister of Health and Child Care briefed Cabinet on the job action by medical doctors at public hospitals.
The strike action disregards the significant efforts demonstrated by Government in its unwavering commitment to address their concerns.
Such efforts include the recent upward review of their salaries and allowances, which should be in their accounts before the end of this month. The doctors, by continuing with the job action, are also in flagrant defiance of the court order which ruled their strike as illegal and ordered them to return to work forthwith.
Government continues to appeal to the striking doctors to return to work and to constructively engage with Government while at work.
Doctors should value the sanctity of human life above all else and offer their critical services to patients.
Government wishes to thank all the other categories of health personnel who continue to prioritise the saving of human life.
- The SADC Anti-Sanctions Solidarity March
Government received a preliminary report on preparations for the upcoming SADC-sponsored Anti-Sanctions Solidarity March scheduled for October 25, 2019.
On this day, the whole of SADC will be in solidarity with Zimbabwe in calling for the removal of the illegal and unjustified sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by some Western nations.
In Harare, the march will be towards the National Sports Stadium, where Government, business, religious leaders, the academia, civic society and various other social groups will call for the unconditional removal of the sanctions.
The proceedings at the National Sports Stadium will culminate in the staging of the Anti-Sanctions Musical Gala by various artistes. Similar events shall also be held in all provincial capitals and district centres throughout the country.
We call upon Zimbabweans from all walks of life to join hands and call for the removal of the sanctions which have and continue to cause untold suffering for the rank and file of our people.
- Introduction of the e-Cabinet and the Electronic Executive Dashboard
Cabinet was briefed by the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services regarding migration to the holding of e-enabled paperless Cabinet meetings as well as the introduction of the Executive Electronic Dashboard to monitor the implementation of priority Government Programmes in real time.
These two innovations are part of the broader e-Government programme which seeks to transform Zimbabwe into a digital and knowledge-driven society in line with Vision 2030.
In terms of the progress already made, it is projected that Cabinet meetings will go paperless by early February, 2020.
In preparation for the Executive Electronic Dashboard Monitoring System, Cabinet members were issued with the relevant tablets which will be used by the Presidency, Government ministers, and senior Government officials to track progress in the implementation of Government programmes by ministries and Government agencies in keeping with His Excellency President E.D. Mnangagwa’s clarion call to prioritise actual implementation of policies.