Zimbabwe on course to be a major player in oil, gas and petrochemical, says Mnangagwa

President Mnangagwa
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ZIMBABWE will draw from its heroic past, human capital, and mineral resources to confront and triumph against any form of adversity including sustained attempts to weaken the country’s currency and drive up inflation, President Mnangagwa has said.

Addressing thousands of people who attended yesterday’s Independence Day celebrations in Murambinda, the President said the country, that was birthed through blood and fire, will never be a colony again but rather shall assert itself in the comity of nations, marching inexorably towards Vision 2030, to become an upper-middle class economy.

This comes as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe recently introduced a new currency, ZiG, that is anchored on gold and other precious minerals.

It also comes as President Mnangagwa recently declared a state of disaster following the El Nino-induced drought that led to below-normal rainfall this past season.

Government however, remains on top of the situation, rolling out a Food Deficit Mitigation Programme following the identification of vulnerable communities and households in every district and ward.

Zimbabwe turned 44 yesterday, and celebrated under the theme, “Zim@40, Unity, Peace and Development Towards Vision 2030”, with the President declaring that the country, which recently discovered oil, will use its resources to confront any challenges and win, just as it was able to defeat the Western-backed and racist white settler government.

“Government is alive to the adverse impact suffered by our people as a result of currency volatility and inflation. Last week, my Administration launched a new structured gold-backed currency, the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG). Nyika yedu irikuenderera mberi. Ilizwe lethu liya phambili.

“Our ZiG currency is anchored by our God-given gold and other strategic mineral resources, as well as foreign currency reserves. This development will boost our confidence and pride in our own national currency and further help protect our currency from attack by the country’s detractors,” said the President.

He said all Zimbabweans must support the new currency which is being supported by a cocktail of measures that include nurturing a culture of savings and a reduction in excessive bank fees.

Despite the attacks on the country’s currency, climate change and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic which saw most businesses operating way below their capacity for almost two years, the President said Zimbabwe continues to register economic growth.

“The overall economic outlook remains bright. Our country’s GDP is now exceeding US$47 billion up from US$16 billion in 2018. This shows that we, the descendants of the Great Munhumutapa, are a resilient, focused, determined and hardworking people. Zimbabwe is winning,” he said.

Mnangagwa outlined major milestones that have been achieved by the Second Republic in infrastructural development, saying the transformative works that have been rolled out in every part of the country will continue.

Zimbabwe, through investment-led economic recovery, continues to register positive growth notably in mining where new multi-million dollar projects are being commissioned regularly.

“In the wake of recent discoveries, Zimbabwe is on course to be a player in the oil, gas and petrochemical industry. The country’s lithium mining and processing portfolio is growing, including here in Buhera District.

“This will see Zimbabwe sustainably exploiting this strategic new energy resource, for the socio-economic development of our people. We are also contributing to addressing the global climate change crisis”.

The President also noted that capacity utilisation levels are constantly increasing in the manufacturing sector, with new industries being opened.

For instance, in 2023, exports of value-added products increased by 22 percent and the tourism sector registered a 34 percent increase in the same period, boosted by increased domestic tourism in an independent Zimbabwe.

“Signature infrastructure projects involving key economic enablers in power generation, dam construction, road networks, water and sanitation as well as ICTs continue to improve service delivery, create jobs and transform our socio-economic landscape as we modernise our great motherland, Zimbabwe”.

On social services, the President said the Second Republic is unrelenting in efforts to bring quality healthcare closer to every citizen, noting tremendous improvement in the availability of life-saving drugs and specialist medical healthcare.

At the same time, he highlighted the importance of sports and recreation, which is also critical in fighting drug and substance abuse, particularly among young people.

“We all have a duty to protect our freedom, Independence and sovereignty, by deliberately protecting the young people of our great country.

“The long-awaited re-introduction of the Youth Service in Zimbabwe Programme will see our nation mould youth who are patriotic, disciplined and productive citizens”.

President Mnangagwa said his administration continues to avail resources to promote women and community empowerment, by funding Small and Medium Enterprises.

“Many are being facilitated to grow, professionalise and modernise their businesses as well as to access both local and international markets. The safety and security of our women and children is integral to the overall well-being of our society.

“All forms of violence against women and children are not acceptable in our nation. Under the new Marriages Act, those found guilty of arranging child marriages and pledging children for marriage now face deterrent punishment. Let us protect our children from retrogressive traditions and practices”. The President added that the welfare of civil servants remains a priority and their conditions of service will be reviewed from time to time in line with economic sustainability. The country’s 44th Independence Day were held in Murambinda in line with the Second Republic’s decentralisation policy, with the event set to be held in the Midlands next year.

“Nhasi tirikuno kumakomo, kuBuhera District, Manicaland Province. This follows the decision by the Second Republic to rotate the National Independence Day Commemorations. Our gathering here must, therefore, serve as a reminder that despite our differences in language, culture and traditions; despite where we live in the four corners of Zimbabwe, we are one people; one unitary and united nation; with one rich and illustrious history. Tiri nyika imwe chete; Tiri vanhu vamwechete.

“Sililizwe linye; Singabantu banye.We remain united, living in peace and harmony, developing our country, emboldened by our philosophy that; ‘Nyika inovakwa, inotongwa, inonamatirwa nevene vayo. Ilizwe lakhiwa, libuswe, likhulekelwe ngabanikazi balo’. We are boldly building, governing and praying for our country, brick by brick, stone upon stone and step by step.

“The freedom we enjoy today is priceless and irreversible. On this special day, let us once again make a pledge and promise to stand firm and resolute in defence of our rich liberation heritage. The values that saw us attain freedom, territorial integrity, sovereignty, and Independence must be promoted for the realisation of Vision 2030”.

Manicaland is the home of many heroes of the country’s liberation struggle that include the late National Heroes, Cde Ndabaningi Sithole, Cde Herbert Wiltshire Chitepo, Chief Rekai Tangwena, Cde Edgar “Two Boy” Tekere, Cde Maurice Nyagumbo, Cde William Ndangana, Cde Kumbirai Kangai and others.

Thousands of people attended yesterday’s Uhuru Celebrations including First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, Vice -President Kembo Mohadi, Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri, Cabinet Ministers, senior Government officials and service chiefs. – Chronicle