Oil Deal Strategic: President of Zimbabwe Says
Harmony Agere for the Sunday Mail
The ZANU PF-led Government has made considerable progress in delivering on developmental projects and other election promises outlined in its manifesto despite disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, President Mnangagwa has said.
In his keynote address to the first session of the 115th ZANU PF Central Committee in Harare yesterday, the President said one of the notable achievements is the signing of the US$30 million oil and gas exploration deal, which will see the country become the fifth-largest oil producer in the world if deposits in Muzarabani, Mashonaland Central, prove to be commercially exploitable.
Two oil and gas wells will be drilled by October this year, while production might start as early as March next year.
“The Second Republic is on a permanent and irreversible path of modernising, industrialising and growing our economy,” he said.
“Yesterday (Friday), I witnessed the signing ceremony of a US$30 million oil and gas exploration agreement between my Government, Geo-Associates Private Limited Company and Invictus Energy, an Australian Stock Exchange-listed company. This strategic project has far-reaching positive prospects to transform the livelihoods of the people of Muzarabani District in particular and boost the (Gross Domestic Product) GDP of Mashonaland Central Province.”
He said investors are confident “they will find oil”.
“If that happens, according to estimates, Zimbabwe will be the fifth-largest oil producer, and that is a unique position.”
Agriculture, he added, was poised to register gains anchored by a bumper harvest, while the Presidential Horticulture Programme is reportedly taking root.
“The recent launch of community-based export-led garlic production in our country has exciting prospects.
“This initiative will undoubtedly contribute to the achievement of sustainable, broad-based empowerment and the growth of rural industry systems.
“Provinces and districts are expected to urgently adopt and replicate these and other horticulture projects in their areas.”
President Mnangagwa said landmark successes continue to be recorded in mining, infrastructure development, manufacturing and social service delivery.
“Progress is being made in the construction and rehabilitation of our national infrastructure, benchmarked with world-class standards,” he said.
“Following the incessant rains which damaged our roads throughout the country, Government has approved the urgent rehabilitation of all roads, through the use of our own resources and local manpower.”
He reiterated that the fight against corruption continues.
The Government is currently seized with addressing issues arising from illegal settlements and poor service delivery in urban local authorities.
“Determined to overcome the challenges being faced by our urban residents, the party must seize every available opportunity to engage the urban residents,” said the President.
“The ground is fertile for us to vote out the corrupt and squabbling opposition.
“On the Information Communication Technology front, I commissioned an ICT device factory courtesy of our Government’s joint venture with Inspur Group of the People’s Republic of China.
“The factory enables us to locally produce various ICT devices.”
President Mnangagwa called upon ZANU PF to ensure that all sectors of the economy benefit from e-Government systems and ICT-enabling infrastructure.
The roll-out of the national Covid-19 vaccination programme by the Government, he said, will continue until everyone is safe from the disease.
“Earlier this week (last week), I launched the second phase of the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme in Victoria Falls.
“This second phase will now include, teachers, security service sector, the Judiciary, the elderly and people with chronic conditions.
“The third phase will be later rolled out for the rest of the society, until we achieve herd immunity. We can only be safe when everyone is safe from Covid-19.”
He urged the Central Committee, which is the party’s highest decision-making organ, to remain true to the expectations of forbearers who left them the sacred responsibility to economically empower the people.
The President emphasised the importance of unity, including galvanising party structures such as District Co-ordinating Committees to help develop and grow the economy.
Implementing provisions of the party constitution, policies, programmes and the realisation of the promises made in the 2018 election manifesto are expected to be at the centre of DCC activities.
President Mnangagwa said: “DCC posts should not be seen as stepping stones for canvassing support for parliamentary and other positions.
“The respect of the party constitution, loyalty, discipline and servant leadership must always be our guiding principles.
“We are a party that serves the people and serving does not entail having a post. There is no room for unbridled ambitions in the party.”
He challenged veterans of the liberation struggle to display their war-time vibrancy and mobilisation acumen in preparation for the 2023 elections.
“In our political mobilisation matrix, our women and youth leagues must not be left behind. I commend the Youth League for their recent successful mobilisation efforts.
“However, much more needs to be done by Youth League structures, at provincial, district, branch and cell and village levels to encourage their peers to join the party and register as voters.”
The President invited those “who are still in the political wilderness” to “come home”.
“Our arms remain outstretched and there is room for everyone in ZANU PF.”
The religious community was applauded for their continued prayers and intercessions for the country.
“Yesterday (Friday), I hosted a National Thanksgiving Service which was attended by various religious leaders and stakeholders.
“The National Thanksgiving Service and National Vaccination Programme in Victoria Falls reinforced the culture that promotes unity of purpose, national cohesion and oneness in our country.
“As leaders in various provinces, we are exhorted to further entrench unity, peace, love and harmony among our people,” he said.