By Blessings Chidakwa
Cabinet yesterday approved an integrated National Infrastructure Development Master Plan that will ensure that development of the country’s infrastructure and utilities will be done in a coordinated manner in line with Government’s policy.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the plan would be achieved primarily through the formulation of an integrated national infrastructural development master plan covering requirements of various sectors of the economy.
Minister Mutsvangwa said this while briefing journalists on the 36th Cabinet meeting decisions matrix in the capital.
“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 (Joel Biggie Matiza) as the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Utilities and Infrastructure Development,” she said.
“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.”
Responding to questions from journalists, Minister Matiza said each ministry will have a separate infrastructure development master plan.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet was also briefed by the Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Kazembe Kazembe 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,” she said.
“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 Mnangagwa’s clarion call to prioritise actual implementation of policies.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said following presentation by the Attorney-General Prince Machaya, 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,” she said.
“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.”