Zimbabwe: VP Chiwenga Attends Cabinet Meeting

President Emmerson Mnangagwa with his deputies Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi (file photo).
27 November 2019

Cabinet met in Harare yesterday and President Mnangagwa welcomed Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who attended his first meeting in almost five months.

VP Chiwenga had been receiving treatment in China and has fully recovered.

He resumed official duties on Monday following his return over the weekend.

According to ZBC News last night, President Mnangagwa expressed gratitude to Chinese President Xi Jinping for the medical attention given to VP Chiwenga.

"I wish to welcome our VP who is back at work after an absence of nearly four to five months," he said.

"Our VP initially left Zimbabwe for South Africa before going to China in June and after some time, I sent Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda and some other officials to go and make an assessment on his condition in South Africa.

"And when they gave me their assessments, I decided to send him to the People's Republic of China to get medical attention so that he could access the best possible medical attention and care . . . and I am happy with the involvement of the People's Republic of China."

Meanwhile, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told journalists during a post-Cabinet briefing that 435 doctors have been fired for continuously refusing to report for work.

"Pertaining to disciplinary hearings for striking doctors, the Minister (of Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo) informed Cabinet that 508 disciplinary cases on doctors that have not been coming to work have so far been heard, out of which 498 doctors were found guilty," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

"It will be recalled that from the previous report, 435 doctors had been discharged, and since then an additional 13 doctors have been found guilty and discharged, bringing the cumulative total of doctors discharged to 448.

"In addition to the 508 disciplinary cases heard by the 25th November 2019, an additional 43 doctors from the provinces are awaiting hearing. Serving of charge letters for 57 senior doctors at central hospitals commenced on the 25th November, 2019."

Minister Mutsvangwa said Government will soon advertise the posts that have fallen vacant following the dismissal of the doctors.

"Regarding the recruitment of doctors, the Ministry of Health and Child Care will publish before the end of this week an advert in the press for all posts that have become vacant as a result of the disciplinary process," she said.

She added that nurses at Harare City Council clinics were returning to work.

"On the situation at Harare City Council clinics, the Minister (of Health Dr Moyo) indicated that 99 out of the expected 179 nurses turned up for duty as of 25th November, 2019. The recent opening of the Edith Opperman Clinic in Mbare has since eased the challenge of home-based deliveries," she said.

Dr Moyo said 57 senior doctors who had joined the industrial action would also face disciplinary hearings.

"From the information I have from the Health Services Board, those doctors have been charged and will be facing disciplinary action," said Dr Moyo.

Turning to the recent violent storms, Minister Mutsvangwa said 19 people had been killed while property worth thousands of dollars had been destroyed across the country.

Eight provinces and 28 districts have reported considerable damage since the start of rains.

"To date a total of 543 homesteads have suffered various levels of damage, scores of internally displaced persons are living with neighbours or relatives while hundreds of schools have part of their roofs blown off.

"Shops and buildings belonging to private companies were also affected and sadly a total of 19 lives have been lost due to falling trees, debris from buildings or lightning strikes," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She said assistance would be handled by the respective urban and rural councils, which have also been directed to act with speed and submit all requests for further assistance.

Cabinet has also directed the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development (Professor Amon Murwira) and relevant organisations to conduct a scientific study to establish the exact mapping of the impact of the rainfall-induced disasters which seem to be assuming a regular pattern.

"This will facilitate timely interventions to avert loss of lives and destruction of property," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

On the implementation of the 100-day cycle priority projects that seek to improve people's lives, Minister Mutsvangwa said Professor Murwira gave a detailed report covering Zimbabwe's geo-spatial, aeronautical and space science capability and the establishment of the Zimbabwe National Geo-Spatial and Space Agency offices.

Prof Murwira also gave an update on the need for funds for the procurement of wildlife satellite collars by the Research Council of Zimbabwe.

Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet noted that the process of procuring equipment at all the innovation hubs at the University of Zimbabwe, Midlands State University, the National University of Science and Technology and Chinhoyi University of Technology had been initiated, bringing overall progress of the project to 80 percent.

Minister Mutsvangwa presented a report on the projects being implemented by her ministry.

"Regarding installation of FM radio transmission gap fillers in Matabeleland South and Masvingo, Cabinet noted that fabricated containers havebeen procured and equipment has been delivered to Madhlambuzi in Plumtree, which is in Matabeleland South, and Tugwi-Mukosi in Masvingo province," she said.

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