- Report on the Third Session of the Inter-Governmental Commission of Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation between Zimbabwe and Russia: 5 to 7 August, 2019.
Cabinet received a report by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade on the Third Session of the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Trade, Scientific and Cooperation between Zimbabwe and Russia which was held in Moscow, Russia, from 5 to 7 August 2019. The co-chairs of the Third Session were the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Zimbabwe and the Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment of Russia. The deliberations achieved the following in the specified sub-sectors of Bilateral Cooperation.
- a) The Legal Framework of Bilateral Cooperation
Agreement to conclude the following six Memoranda of Understanding before end of 2019: Mutual Protection of Classified Information; Cooperation in the Field of Geological Exploration and Mineral Resource Management; Cooperation in Platinum Group Metals; Cooperation in the field of Diamond Exploration and Mining and Cooperation in the Field of Energy;
Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. The MOU covers cooperation in the fight against violent crimes on human life, terrorism-related extremist activity, economic crimes and human and illicit weapons trafficking.
- b) Economic, Trade and Industrial Cooperation
Commitment by the two countries to support the upcoming September 2019 visit of the ZNCC to Moscow as a build-up to the October 2019 Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi; and
Russian companies offered to supply Civilian Passenger and Training Aircraft, KAMAZ trucks of different ranges, rail freight wagons, agricultural and power engineering equipment and waste-to-energy plants.
- c) Cooperation in Mining
Six Russian companies undertook to cooperate with Zimbabwean companies in the prospecting, exploration and appraisal of Zimbabwe’s mineral deposits;
Agreement between the two countries on the need to carry out joint research studies to confirm safety in the use of chrysotile asbestos;
- d) Cooperation in the Energy Sector
Agreement on the need to exchange information to meet the interest of five Russian companies to develop hydrological sites, to refurbish, build new power-generating facilities and to develop renewable energy in Zimbabwe;
- e) Cooperation in Science and Education
Agreement on the need to exchange information on National Education Systems and Approaches to Education Quality Assurance;
Agreement by the two countries to develop a legal framework on the Mutual Recognition of Educational Credentials and Degrees.
- f) Cooperation in Health Care
Agreement to cooperate in healthcare, with Zimbabwe expected to receive assistance in specialist training for nurses and doctors in the fields of Renal Medicine and Oncology from Russia.
- g) Cooperation in Agriculture
EKOROST, a Russian Company, will supply fertiliser and liquid feed additives to Zimbabwe;
BIONOVATIC, another Russian company, will supply plant-protecting bio-products and growth additives to Zimbabwe;
The two companies are expected to produce the above-stated products in Zimbabwe
- h) Cooperation in Communications and Mass Media
Zimbabwe will avail a Draft Memorandum of Understanding that will facilitate exchange of news in English between Russia’s SPUTNIK News Agency and Radio and Zimbabwe’s mass media organisations.
- i) Cooperation in Tourism
Zimbabwe expected to benefit from Russia’s massive US$31,1 billion 2018 out-bound tourism economy, through the implementation of the five-year plan of action as specified in the Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Tourism signed in 2017 between the two countries.
The two countries have established a follow-up mechanism to ensure full implementation of the agreed issues. The enhanced technical and economic cooperation will see Zimbabwe benefiting tremendously from Russian companies.
- Roadmap to the Development of a US$12 Billion Mining Industry in Zimbabwe by 2023
Cabinet considered a paper by the Minister of Mines and Mining Development on the roadmap for the achievement of a US$12 billion mining industry in Zimbabwe by 2023, a 344 percent increase from US$2,7 billion in 2017. A detailed document which will outline the achievement of the US$12 billion mining industry by 2023 will be launched very shortly.
Cabinet also considered some of the enablers towards the achievement of the 2023 mining milestone.
Cabinet agreed that provincial committees chaired by the respective provincial mining directors be set up and that they should include provincial heads of EMA, ZINWA, ZERA, and Directors of Physical Planning in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to coordinate mining-related developments.
- Update on Implementation of Selected Mining Projects
Cabinet received an update on progress in the implementation of the following mining projects:
Production of the first of four portals is on course for completion by the end of 2020 or first quarter of 2021.
Expansion of furnace capacity at Kwekwe in progress.
Joint venture with Tsingshan to develop furnace capacity in Zvishavane is at advanced stages
Work is underway on power generation from coal-bed methane gas.
Tsingshan Steel Project
Two furnaces being commissioned in September 2019 as part of expansion of required ferrochrome production.
Production of coke-site establishment done.
Teams will be on the ground in Mvuma area for resources evaluation.
Evaluation of resource underway.
Have invested heavily in drilling rigs.
Funding secured — construction about to start.
Kamativi Tailings Company
Construction in progress and should commence production in 2020.
South Mining Company
They are constructing a coke works plant which will produce about 300 000 tonnes per annum, generating about US$75 million.
The first section of the battery which produces 150 000 tonnes being turned on around 27th August 2019 and will start producing about 50 days later.
Second phase of 150 000 tonnes being turned on in December 2019.
They produce high carbon ferrochrome
They are the only producers of low carbon and ferrosilicon chrome which has high value.
They are commissioning in September 2019, what will be the first and so far, the only plant of electrode paste which is used in furnace operations.
Tshingshan – Afrochine
They were running three furnaces in Selous.
Two new furnaces which currently make them the highest producers of high carbon ferro-chrome, are ready for commissioning.
- Update on the Public Works Programme and the DDF Borehole Drilling Programme
Cabinet considered an update on the Public Works Programme and the DDF Borehole drilling programme, which was presented by the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes.
Cabinet expressed satisfaction over the progress in the programme, which has assumed urgency in view of the current drought situation.
Implementation of the programme will alleviate the plight of the country’s citizens and livestock in areas most affected by the drought.
- Report on the 39th Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government held from 17 to 18 August 2019 in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade briefed Cabinet on the deliberations of the 39th Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government held from 17 to 18 August, 2019 in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. The summit was held under the theme: “A Conducive Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Increased Intra-Regional Trade, and Job Creation”.
The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency Cde ED Mnangagwa assumed the Chairmanship of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence, Security Cooperation, while President John Magufuli of Tanzania assumed the Chairmanship of SADC.
A key outcome of the summit was the unanimous call for the immediate and unconditional lifting of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West. Furthermore, the summit agreed as follows:
That the SADC Chair and all SADC Heads of State and Government include the removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe in their statements to be delivered to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019, as a SADC position; and
That 25th October be declared the date on which SADC member states can collectively voice their disapproval and condemnation of the sanctions through various activities and platforms with the sanctions are lifted.
A Zimbabwean student, Vongai Svova was awarded the second prize of the 2019 SADC Secondary School Essay Competition while Butler Nhepure, a Zimbabwean journalist, received a SADC Media Award.
- Fuel and Energy Supply Situation
The Minister of Energy and Power Development informed Cabinet that the power supply situation has significantly improved on account of power imports from ESKOM.
The minister is soon to meet his Mozambican counterpart for negotiations relating to additional power imports from HCB of Mozambique.
A favourable outcome of these negotiations will further stabilise the country’s power supply situation.
The minister also informed Cabinet that the fuel supply situation continues to improve as reflected in shorter queues. The situation is expected to further improve as the arrangements for the financing of more fuel imports are due to be concluded very soon.