Zimbabwe is now manufacturing and procuring most equipment used to fight Covid-19 locally, which shows that the country is more prepared to contain a possible second wave of the pandemic, legislators heard yesterday.
Health and Child Care Deputy Minister, Dr John Mangwiro said unlike the period during the national lockdown where the country was importing the bulk of the equipment that include small items like sanitisers and personal protective equipment, the country was producing most of its requirements.
He said the country was now carrying out testing and other processes locally making it ready to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
Deputy Minister Mangwiro said this in the National Assembly while responding to inquiries from backbenchers during a Question and Answer session.
“The advantage we have is that we are now manufacturing most things locally. At least 95 percent of our requirements are manufactured locally and we are quite ready,” said Deputy Minister Mangwiro.
Earlier on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said they were dealing with the new infections in schools on a case-by-case basis.
He had been asked whether Government will close schools given that there were some that had recorded a number of infections.
“We have to adopt and live in a new normal where there is an outbreak, we have to contain it. We will look on a case-by-case basis. So we cannot close a school in Manicaland because there was an infection in Chinhoyi,” said Minister Ziyambi.
Responding to another question, Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira said they were working on a programme to raise allowances for students on apprenticeship as well as student teachers.
He said it was easier to review allowances for those on apprenticeship because they fall under the Ministry, while student teachers were paid by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
Legislators had complained that allowances for the students had not been reviewed in a long time.
“We have since signed papers to have allowances for those students on apprenticeship reviewed. Parliament should know that the country was no longer taking apprenticeship, but we resumed in 2018 and we now have 3 000 students. They are at school and not at work,” said Prof Murwira.
Meanwhile, leader of the opposition in Parliament, Dr Thokozani Khupe rebuked legislators from the opposition for disorderly conduct after they continuously disrupted the smooth flow of business.
She said there was a lot of expectations from the electorate to hear their concern responded to by Ministers yet legislators from the opposition were busy politicking.
This was after some members of the opposition led by Harare East MP Mr Tendai Biti continued to disrupt the smooth flow of business by interjecting whenever a Government minister intended to respond.