This was said by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in his weekly column in the Sunday Mail which resumed today after more than a month’s break when the President went on leave.
Mnangagwa said his government had banned the export of raw minerals, including lithium, because the country was losing millions.
He said artisanal miners were selling lithium for US$150 a tonne when that lithium fetched US$7 000 across the border.
“Zimbabwe is not a horse to be ridden; rather, it is a sovereign country looking to engage and re-engage with other sovereign nations of the world, all on the principle of equality and mutual gain. Above all, it is a young, ambitious nation anxious and ready to leapfrog, so it industrialises and modernises itself rapidly,” Mnangagwa wrote..
“We must use all our finite mineral resources to build our capacity to transform and industrialise our economy. Only that way do we develop and modernise our people and society.
“We can never do so for as long as we see ourselves as suppliers of raw materials to other countries and continents, for their exclusive processing, so, in turn, they turn us into mere buyers and consumers of expensive goods made out of raw materials they will have secured from us for pittance.
“In the end, we lose finite resources; we lose value; we lose jobs and skills, simply because we have agreed to be frozen for endless time as producers and exporters of raw materials, including mineral ores! We have to break that colonially-derived legacy.
“The time has now come to break false and artificial enclaves created by the colonial mode of production in our economies. Our mining sector must talk to industry, indeed trigger industrialisation in our country where mining takes place. This cannot happen for as long as raw, unprocessed ores are being sent abroad. The time, too, has come to use our comparative advantage as sources of finite raw materials to cause global capital to relocate to where the resource exists, namely in our country and on our continent.”
Introducing his 2014 publication “Empire of Cotton: A New History of Global Capitalism”, Sven Beckert, the award-winning Harvard History Professor, wrote: “The movement of capital, people, goods and raw materials around the globe and the connections forged between distant areas of the world are at the very core of the grand transformation of capitalism …”
Mid-December last year (2022), I officiated at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Buhera-based Sabi Star Mine in Manicaland province.
Sabi Star is set to mine lithium, and is owned by the Hong Kong-based Max Mind Investments (Pvt) Ltd.
As I officiated at this investment event, several 30-tonne trucks were either on our roads towards border crossing points, or had already beelined at various border posts to take our raw lithium ore out of the country.
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