1.The Country’s Power and Energy Supply Situation
Cabinet received the weekly power and energy supply status report for the country by the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, as the Acting Minister of Energy and Power Development.
Following the decision by Cabinet to allow exporting mining companies to pay their electricity bills in foreign currency, the business community had now embraced the following:
adoption of renewable energy, including participation in net metering and smart metering technologies;
escalation of energy efficiency, taking note of the SADC Industrial Energy Efficiency Initiative;
implementation of the cost-reflective tariffs proposal for their members through a ring-fenced power arrangement.
Modalities to operationalise the above resolutions are being worked out. Furthermore, ZESA is now accessing 300MW during off-pick hours.
This additional power is availed through the Southern African Power Pool Day Ahead Market under a US$2 million facility which was mobilised by ZETDC from its resources. This additional power has reduced the duration of load shedding in most areas.
Cabinet was informed that about the 400MW Eskom Power Import Scheme, negotiations were still underway and that a more definitive position on the outcome of the negotiations would be issued once the remaining loose ends have been concluded.
2. Ratification of the Beijing Treaty on Audio-Visual Performances
Cabinet considered and approved Ratification of the Beijing Treaty on Audio-Visual Performances which was presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
The treaty provides for performers’ economic rights covering reproduction, distribution, rental and making available their performances in audio-visual formats. The benefits of ratifying the treaty to Zimbabwe include the following:
ensuring that local producers and performers receive their due rewards when their audio-visual works are availed outside Zimbabwe’s borders;
guarding against the unauthorised use of performances;
strengthening the local audio-visual industry through an international system of protection;
improving the working conditions of performers by professionalising the industry; and
safeguarding cultural heritage, expressions and diversity.
The treaty will, therefore, go a long way in uplifting the plight of the audio-visual performer and addressing the major concerns relating to their welfare and infringement of their rights.
3. Principles of the Administrative Justice Amendment Bill
Cabinet approved the Principles for the Amendment of the Administrative Justice Act (Chapter 10:28), which were presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
The principles seek to render the Act compliant with the provisions of the Constitution. Key features of the proposed amendments include the following:
providing for a definition of “administrative conduct” as stipulated in Section 332 of the Constitution;
Amendment of Section 3(1)(a) of the Act to reflect that every person has a right to administrative conduct that is lawful, prompt, efficient, reasonable, proportionate, impartial and both substantively and procedurally fair; and
Inserting in Section 4 of the Act a provision that guarantees recourse to the Constitutional Court on administrative cases that are constitutional or connected thereto.
4. Principles for the Radiation Protection Amendment Bill
Cabinet considered and approved the Principles of the Radiation Protection Amendment Bill which were presented by the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes.
The amendments to the Radiation Protection Act (Chapter 15:15) have been prompted by the need to ensure full alignment with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safety standards and other international agreements.
Areas of focus for the amendment of the Act will, inter alia, be as follows:
broadening the scope of the provisions of the Act to include protection against non-ionising radiation which has adverse effects on health e.g. magnetic resonance imaging, telecommunications, high voltage electricity transmission and laser technology;
ensuring that workers exposed to radiation in the workplace are protected as part of their occupational and safety rights;
safe management of radioactive waste, disused and orphan sources;
import and export control of nuclear and radioactive sources;
safe transport of radioactive material;
regulatory control of ionising and non-ionising radiation; and
emergency preparedness and response to nuclear incidents and accidents.
Zimbabwe is a signatory to several international conventions and treaties related to nuclear and radiation safety and security, hence the need to align its laws accordingly.
5. Report on the Food Deficit Mitigation Programme
Cabinet received the Food Deficit Mitigation Programme report from the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
The report showed that, to date, a total of 189 042,52 tonnes of grain have been distributed to vulnerable households in both the country’s rural and urban provinces.
In Harare, the areas covered were Zengeza, Seke, Budiriro, Glen View, Kuwadzana, Dzivaresekwa, Kambuzuma, Rugare and Glen Norah.
In Bulawayo, the areas covered were Njube, Magwegwe, Nketa, Tshabalala, Nkulumane and Silwane.
The full breakdown of the grain distributed on a province-by-province basis is provided in the table which I will not bother to go through, but will be availed to the media after this briefing:
6. Marriages Amendment Bill
Cabinet members sought clarification from the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the import of Section 40 of the Marriages Amendment Bill currently before Parliament.
Following the explanation by the minister, Cabinet observed that the concept of a “Civil Union” or “partnership” is foreign and not consistent with Zimbabwe’s cultural norms as well as its Christian values.
Accordingly, Cabinet directed that Section 40, which bears reference to “Civil Partnerships” be removed forthwith from the proposed Marriages Amendment Bill.
7. Report Back on the 9th Zimbabwe-Namibia Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation held from July 22-24, 2019
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade briefed Cabinet on the 9th Zimbabwe-Namibia Joint Commission of Cooperation held in Windhoek, Namibia from July 22 to 24, 2019.
At the joint commission, the following Memoranda of Understanding were signed:
Memorandum of Understanding on the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises;
Memorandum on Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation;
Memorandum of Understanding on the Practical Implementation of the Bilateral Trade Agreement;
Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Cooperation;
The Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of information, media and broadcasting; and
Memorandum of Understanding between the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the Namibia Customs and Excise on mutual administrative assistance.
The minister also briefed Cabinet on the commissioning of the dry port facility at Walvis Bay. The dry port is built on 18 332 square metres and is issued based on a 50-year renewable lease agreement.
Management Recruitment is currently underway. The National Handling Services is to operationalise the port. Discussions will be held with the revenue authorities to facilitate pre-clearance of freight, thereby helping in de-congesting of other ports.
Following the commissioning of the dry port, there is now scope for Zimbabwe to establish an open merchant ship registry and to register ocean-going ships.
Following His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa’s interaction with Zimbabweans in Namibia, Cabinet resolved that invitations for appointments in commissions, boards of public enterprises and Government ministries and agencies be also extended to nationals in the Diaspora.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage will actively engage its counterparts in the region to speedily resolve issues affecting Zimbabweans in those countries.
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