President Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans will be the main beneficiaries of the recent oil and gas discoveries in Muzrabani, and to this end, the Second Republic is establishing mechanisms to ensure that the country gets maximum value from its mineral wealth.

This follows the recent confirmation of the presence of gas, light oil, condensate and helium deposits by Geo Associates last month.

The oil discovered falls under the classification of light oil and will see Zimbabwe produce diesel, petrol and Jet A1, thus reducing the country’s oil import bill.

In an interview with Brick by Brick magazine, President Mnangagwa said that after confirming oil and gas reserves, the country is moving towards putting in place measures to ensure value addition and enrichment.

He added: “We must find a way or mechanism to ensure that we benefit from oil reserves. We do not have the technology, skills, or global capital to exploit and process oil. We must find a way to do this to the maximum benefit of Zimbabwe.

“We realize that we have enormous oil reserves. That’s point number one. Point number two is, before we discovered that we had oil, we didn’t plan for them in terms of how we would extract the oil and process it.

He added: “Now that experts have told us that we have huge oil reserves, we must say what we do to ensure that this resource benefits our country first. Now we know that we have huge oil reserves.”

Asked whether Zimbabwe would use its vast mineral wealth as a weapon as some Western countries do, the president said Zimbabwe was “not part of the scheme.”

“What I am saying is that the position that Zimbabwe has taken is good for Zimbabwe. The minerals are ours and we said to ourselves what is the maximum benefit we can get from our minerals? The simple logic is that we should utilize the minerals to the maximum value. That is our view.

He added: “There are other people who are planning to attack us, we are not part of their plan. Our plan is to benefit them and our country,” the president said, adding: “What others are planning regarding our minerals, we are not involved in their planning against us.”

President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe does not want any conflicts over its natural resources. Instead, all the country wants is to make the most of its mineral wealth.

“At the local level, whatever minerals we have, the government policy is that we get the most out of the local minerals we have. At the international level, there are, as you say yourself, people who say there are strategic minerals and they will do everything they can to get them; Including causing war.

“We, who own those minerals, did not say we wanted war. No, all of our minerals that are in our country, locally, that we have, we want to make the most of those resources that we have.

“By maximum benefit, we mean we do our best to utilize those minerals so we get maximum value,” he said.

President Mnangagwa has solemnly said that African countries must assert ownership of their natural resource wealth and always take a firm stance when negotiating with foreigners seeking to invest in their countries to ensure they receive maximum benefit.

To this end, Zimbabwe has implemented a policy prohibiting the export of unexploited minerals, which aims to promote local processing and extract greater value from its natural resources.

As a result, the export of unutilized base metal ore has been banned without written permission from the government. Announce

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