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Invictus Energy identifies 13 potential hydrocarbon zones – Chronicle

The Chronicle

Business Reporter

AUSTRALIA oil and gas exploration firm, Invictus Energy, says it has identified 13 potential hydro-carbon-bearing zones across the Pebbly Arkose and Upper Angwa formations that could create a new petroleum province in northern Zimbabwe.

Invictus is on a mission to explore for oil and gas in the Muzarabani area and recently concluded drilling operations at Mukuyu-ST1, which it described as a tremendous success.

The Invictus oil rig in Muzarabani

In a trading update on Monday, managing director Mr Scott Macmillan said the Mukuyu-1 and ST1 drilling campaign has been a great success resulting in the identification of 13 potential hydrocarbon-bearing zones across, which are promising.

The firm is still interpreting all the data collected, with results to be integrated into the seismic data and basin models to guide future well locations and exploration prospect selection.

“Significantly, a combined 225-metres of gross potential hydrocarbon bearing zones have been identified in the primary target Upper Angwa, which still contains a deeper untested potential,” he said.

“This is an outstanding result and virtually unprecedented for the first well in a frontier basin, establishing a new petroleum province and substantially de-risking the company’s wider acreage in the Cabora Bassa Basin.”

Recently, the Australian independent energy explorer indicated that although it has concluded drilling operations at Mukuyu-ST1, technical challenges forced operations to be halted as plant equipment has been placed under maintenance and upgrades prior to recommencing drilling.

Anticipation is high that Invictus will announce a commercial discovery of either or both oil and gas after initial tests indicated the presence of a working hydrocarbon system in the well.

Soon after drilling Mukuyu 1, a second well, the Baobab, will be sunk down to 1.5 km, with both exercises set to give a better idea of the full extent of the reserves in the Muzarabani prospect following the collection of more than 800 km of seismic data in 2021.

Initial exploration work has been promising, and points to a significant resource, setting Zimbabwe on course to becoming an oil and gas-producing nation.

In 2020, the Government classified the Muzarabani project as one of the priority development projects, which can provide a significant economic benefit to the economy in pursuit of an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

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economy

Zimbabwean Central Bank admits collapse of local currency – The Zimbabwe Mail




The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has said about 70% of domestic expenditure is in US dollars.

This was announced by RBZ Governor John Mangudya in the 2023 Monetary Policy Statement seen by Pindula News.

Mangudya also said as of December 31, 2022, the Foreign Currency Accounts (FCA) deposits in the banking system accounted for 64.2% of total deposits, with the remainder being ZW$ deposits. Said Mangudya:

Transactional activities in the retail and wholesale sectors also points to the same structure of currency composition as shown by recent Confederation of Zimbabwe Industry (CZI) surveys, which reported that on average USD sales contribute 66% to foreign currency generation for the businesses. The dual currency structure of the economy is corroborated by estimates by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) at Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) division level.


Mangudya also noted that domestic inflation reflects the significant foreign currency inflows in the economy by adopting blended inflation as the country’s reference inflation and reflects the dual currency structure for the following reasons:

1). Total forex receipts at US$11.6 billion in 2022 were the highest FX inflows ever received in the country.

2). About 70% of domestic expenditure is in US dollars; and

3). Foreign currency deposits and loans constitute about 65% of total banking sector deposits.

The central bank also said the inflation developments largely reflect movements in the exchange rate as prices in USD have been relatively stable and, in some instances, declining.

RBZ Forex Auction 31/01/2023: Zimbabwe Dollar Continues To Lose Value Against USD
Mangudya said this points to the need to sustain exchange rate stability to anchor inflation expectations and stabilize prices under the dual currency environment.

The Zimbabwean economy has been informally re-dollarising in recent years as the local currency has continued to shed value against other currencies, mainly the USD.

More Pindula News


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economy

Zimbabwe: Inflation continues to fall, responds to prudent policies – african markets

The country’s month–on–month and annual inflation cooled down in the month of January with food inflation accounting for the biggest drop, according to the Zimbabwe Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT). 

Month-on-month inflation rate in January 2023 was 1,1 percent shedding 1,3 percentage points on the December 2022 rate of 2,4 percent. This means that prices as measured by the all items Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by an average rate of 1,1 percent from December 2022 to January 2023. 

According to ZIMSTAT on a year to year basis, inflation slowed to 229,8 percent in January 2023 from 243,8 percent in December 2022 and 255 percent in November 2022. 

This is the sixth consecutive month that the monthly inflation rate has been on a downward trend and Treasury projects it to continue being below the 3 percent mark for the rest of the year as it responds to Government policy interventions. 

“The Food Poverty Line (FPL) represents the amount of money that an individual will require to afford the required daily minimum energy intake of 2 100 calories. The Food Poverty Line for one person in January 2023 was $22 385,00,” said ZIMSTAT. 

The Total Consumption Poverty Line is derived by computing the non-food consumption expenditures of poor households whose consumption expenditures were just equal to the FPL.


According to the statistical agency, if the amount was added to the FPL, if an individual does not consume more than the TCPL, he or she is deemed poor Resultantly, the Total Consumption Poverty Line (TCPL) for one person stood at $29 500 in January 2023.

Economist, Mr Tinevimbo Shava said; “The review and enhancement by Government of its procurement processes and practices to ensure value for money have resulted in the stability of the exchange rate and a decline in inflationary pressures, so this is not a surprise.”

According to another economist, Mr Namatai Maeresera: “The country has been on a monetary policy tightening stance and these are the benefits of such activities, the gold coins, high interest rates and Government payment stance have led us to this point and all should be commended.”

Conversations and arguments have been brought up regarding the level of lending rates currently in the market as Treasury reaffirmed that the prevailing rates will pass through into the next year. 

Bankers and industry have been calling for interest rate cuts, but economists have said, the industrialists were now used to cheap money which was also part of the problem the economy was facing. 

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe raised interest rates from 80 percent to 200 percent in June as inflation soared. Large businesses have called for a cut on rates, but Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Prof Mthuli Ncube said these will remain until annual inflation slows down to acceptable levels and when there will be durable stability. 

In support of the monetary policy stance, Minister Ncube is on record telling reporters that: “I think once we see that downtrend in month-on-month inflation being sustainable, maybe over a three-to four-month period, then we can begin to think about lowering interest rates. But for now, the tough monetary-regime stance and the tough fiscal stance also stands.

“That’s what it takes to bring stability and bring things under control.”

Economist, Dr Prosper Chitambara, said the interest rates are at the right level and Treasury is correct to say we need sustained period of stability until we think of a rate cut. He, however, acknowledges that it will come with its consequences such as failure to meet growth targets.

Dr Chitambara accepts that higher rates may push up non-performing loans (NPLs), but he insists, “it is also imperative to strike a balance and determine an optimum interest rate policy that complements the policy measures that have been put in place.”

Economist, Prof Tony Hawkins, argued that the interest rates were at optimal levels and the Treasury is holding the correct line. According to him lowering interest rates will see the parallel market running away again and more money searching value. 

“In the end, this will perpetuate financial disintermediation and probable market bubbles on the stock market, as customers will look for alterative, non-bank based, investment options,” Prof Hawkins said.

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economy

Zimbabwe approves ‘draconian’ law targeting civil society – eNCA

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s upper house of parliament has approved legislation that critics say will gag civil society groups, placing them under the threat of harsh sanctions and strict government control.

The senate voted late Wednesday in favour of the Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill, which needs to be ratified by the president before passing into law.

The text sailed through the country’s other chamber of parliament, the National Assembly, late last year.

Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the law was a “necessary measure to improve the administration, accountability and transparency” of charities working in the country.

He accused some of “directing money to favoured political parties.” 

“We cannot run the risk of charities of a public character being used as a cover for theft, embezzlement, tax evasion, money laundering or partisan political activities,” Ziyambi told the senate on Wednesday.

Rights groups and opposition parties complain of an increased government clampdown on dissent as the country heads towards general elections later this year. 

The bill bans civil society organisations from engaging in politics and allows the state to interfere in their governance and activities, such as making changes to their internal management and funding.

Those found in breach of its provisions risk up to a year in jail and the closure of their organisation.

 ‘Obscene’ law 

Only one senator voted against the law. The chamber is dominated by the ruling ZANU party, with the main opposition group – the Citizens Coalition for Change – holding no seats.

The lone dissenter, Senator Morgen Komichi, called the bill “obscene”, saying NGOs provide key support in areas including health, education and food security.  

“Zimbabwe is a country that does not have a strong economy which can cater for every Zimbabwean,” Komichi said.

Critics argue that the law’s broad scope risks de facto criminalising the activity of any organisation disliked by the government.

Some warned it could lead to drastic cuts in foreign aid, which comes through non-governmental organisations, and is estimated to be Zimbabwe’s third-largest revenue stream.

Prominent journalist and activist Hopewell Chin’ono, said on Twitter the “draconian” legislation was similar to an apartheid-era law in South Africa that barred certain civil organisations from receiving foreign aid or funds.

“This is the lowest any modern state can get to. Especially a state that was born through struggle for freedom, independence and democracy,” Peter Mutasa, director of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, a civil society umbrella group, told AFP.

“We never expected that we could sink this low”.

Up to 18,000 people working for non-governmental organisations in the country risk losing their jobs, he said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who replaced long-time ruler Robert Mugabe in 2017, faces widespread discontent as he struggles to ease entrenched poverty, end chronic power cuts and brake inflation. 

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