Gift Mugano, a professor of economics, has urged the Government to improve on governance and accountability of Zimbabwe’s natural resources following Invictus Limited Energy’s confirmation of the presence of “light oil, gas-condensate and helium” in its Cabora Bassa Basin (Muzarabani).
The Australia-listed firm announced its find on Monday, 08 May 2023. Invictus Managing Director Scott Macmillan said that mud gas analysis from the Mukuyu-1 well drilled last year had proved the presence of hydrocarbons in multiple reservoir pay zones.
Speaking to NewsDay on Monday following Invictus’s announcement, Mugano challenged the Government to put in place systems that will not ensure that Zimbabweans benefit from the find unlike what allegedly happened with the Chiadzwa diamonds where “US$15 billion vanished”. Said Mugano:
This is good news, but the worry rests on our approach to our accountability of natural resources.
To be honest with you, we should not be holding our breath over oil and gas as if that is the only thing which we have in this country.
We have over 60 minerals, which are being plundered every day.
There is chaos in the lithium and gold industry. There’s chaos in precious metals like diamonds.
Zimbabweans want answers about what is going on with their resources.
As for me, I will hold on to my celebrations personally.
What are we celebrating because this was the same story with diamonds?
It’s not more about the availability of gas and oil, but it’s more about what we are going to do in terms of governance and accountability of our minerals.
Good news, but we cannot go to a party because we are used to this whole good news and we have not got anything out of it.
We are challenging the government that, in as much as this is good news, their systems and policies must not disappoint us.
In a shareholder update yesterday, MacMillan said:
Results from the mudgas compositional analysis definitively prove the presence of hydrocarbons in multiple reservoir pay zones at Mukuyu-1 consistent with the wireline log interpretation, fluorescence and elevated mudgas readings.
… We are extremely pleased with the results from the mudgas analysis which confirm our geological modelling of the Cabora Bassa Basin and the presence of both light oil and gas condensate provides us with confidence as we prepare for the drilling of Mukuyu-2 in Q3 this year. – (Pindula)