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Cabinet proposes rent deferrals

by Staff reporter
29 Apr 2020 at 07:44hrs | Views
CABINET has proposed that President Mnangagwa should consider promulgating Presidential Regulations to give relief to tenants and landlords during the lockdown period. The lockdown period began on March 30 and is set to end on Sunday.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said this while briefing journalists on the 13th Cabinet meeting decision matrix in Harare yesterday.

"Cabinet received and adopted a report on the national preparedness and response to the Covid-19 outbreak, which was presented by Honourable Vice-President Kembo Mohadi, chairman of the Ad Hoc Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Covid-19. In view of the foregoing, Cabinet resolved that His Excellency the President consider the promulgation of Presidential Regulations to give relief to both tenants and landlords during the lockdown period," she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet resolved that both residential and commercial properties be afforded a moratorium on evictions in respect of applicable lease obligations due for the period from April to the end of the lockdown, including the payment of rentals due for those months.

"Cabinet resolved that any unpaid rentals due for the period from April to end of the lockdown be paid in equal instalments after the declaration of the end of the lockdown period together with the rental payments due for those months," she said.

"That all rent deferrals shall be free of any interest charges or penalties of whatever nature and that homeowners or landlords obliged to relief mutatis mutandis which will apply to tenants in respect of their mortgage obligations." Cabinet was also informed that as at April 26, a cumulative total of 6 935 Covid-19 tests had been carried out.

"Of these tests, 31 were confirmed positive cases, inclusive of five recoveries and four deaths.

In order to reach the testing target, the joint testing teams will immediately conduct tests in all the provinces," said Minister Mutsvangwa. She said Covid-19 testing will be conducted in phases with all health workers, security personnel and their families, patients at all central hospitals, returnees in designated mandatory quarantine facilities and all contacts of confirmed cases being covered under the first phase.

Also included in the first phase will be all people in communities around a cluster of cases, immigration officials operating at Robert Gabriel Mugabe, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo and Victoria Falls international airports as well as those at Beitbridge and Forbes border posts and truck drivers at truck stops.

The second phase entails the expansion of sample collection and testing to all categories under the first phase across all provinces and districts. Further measures taken by Government in the fight against Covid-19 include the disbursement by Treasury of $100 million towards the mopping up of all available local personal protective clothing.

Other measures include the identification by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development of strategic truck stops along the country's regional corridors to be designated by way of Government Gazette as Sadc transit truck stops for use by regional transit traffic when traversing Zimbabwe during the lockdown.

"The setting up of isolation facilities at Rowa Training Centre and Vhuti High School for those entering the country using the Forbes Border Post, and Kariba and Chirundu Border Posts, respectively. The drilling of 13 boreholes at priority centres identified by Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, including one at Wilkins Hospital and two at Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital; and the disbursement by Treasury of $667 million of the budgeted $758 million towards the fight against Covid-19," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She said Cabinet also resolved that the proposed truck stops be gazetted in terms of Statutory Instrument 93/2020.

Cabinet received and appreciated progress reports in the implementation of the 5th 100-Day Cycle Priority Projects, which the Ministers presented. The meeting noted that most of the projects, had been affected by the Covid-19 lockdown measures. President Mnangagwa is set to present a Covid-19 Economic Recovery and Stimulus package in due course. Pertaining to re-engaging the West, Cabinet was informed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade will continue to re-engage the European Union (EU) and the United States until sanctions are totally removed.

Cabinet considered and approved a concept note on the National Development Strategy (NDS) 2021-2025, a successor to the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), which was presented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube. The NDS which commences soon after the expiry of the TSP at the end of December, will run from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2025.

The Minister informed Cabinet on enhancing the country's image with President Mnangagwa having hosted an interactive New Year Reception for diplomats. Regarding the connection of health centres to the Telemedicine platform, Cabinet noted that the Memorandum of Understanding between Zimbabwe and ITU had been signed, Telemedicine equipment had been procured, technicians had been trained and equipment installed at 16 clinics.

Source - chroncile