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By Farirai Machivenyika-
CABINET has adopted the principles of the Air Zimbabwe Debt Assumption Bill, which will allow for the clearance of the airline’s domestic and external debt, and the appointment of a new board and management to run the airline, thus permitting its exit from the reconstruction order that sees it under approved supervision while it cannot pay its debts.
The draft Bill was presented by Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube.
Speaking after the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the Bill would provide for the framework for debt assumption processes and procedures, validation and reconciliation of the liabilities, debt assumption modalities, terms and conditions of the debt settlement plan, and recovery plan for the debt paid by Government on behalf of the airline.
“The Bill is in terms of the Public Debt Management Act as read with the Statutory Instrument 79 of 2019.
“It is expected that the Bill will ensure revival of the airline and its associated companies from perennial loss-making entities, into enablers of growth in tourism, trade, commerce and the economy in general.
“The Bill also fulfils the airline’s reconstruction order requirement for restructuring of its balance sheet through assumption of the airline’s domestic and external debt, and settlement of same by the sole shareholder, the Government of Zimbabwe.”
Minister Mutsvangwa also said Cabinet considered and approved the principles for the Amendment of Sections 193 and 246 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, which were presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi.
The amendment of Section 193 gives accused deaf or mute people the absolute right to a sign language interpreter to be provided by the State.
The amendment was in line with the Constitution which provides that the State and all its institutions and agencies should recognise the rights of people with disabilities, said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Section 246 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act will be amended to reflect the proper terminology in tandem with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Constitution, cleaning out language no longer considered appropriate.
This will be accomplished through removal of the derogatory and offensive words or phrases “mental disorder, malady, idiocy”, and replacing them with “intellectual disability or mental disability”.