Black Economic Empowerment, Employment Creation and Resilience: The Economic and Social Contribution of Lennox Mine to the Development of Zimbabwe, 1970-2016

Davidson Mabweazara Mugodzwa

Abstract

This research sets out to unravel the history of Lennox Mine from its inception in 1970 tracing the contribution of the mine to the economic development of Zimbabwe from its colonial beginnings up to the current period when the new visionary owner, Honourable Gandiwa Moyo, Deputy Minister of Mines who inherited a dysfunctional mining enterprise set it on course again as a pillar for economic production, under the erstwhile management of the Lennox General Mine Manager, Edgar Mashindi. The research seeks to explore how the mine management, operating under harsh economic conditions prevailing in Zimbabwe has empowered African entrepreneurs and employees and resuscitated life to the dying town of Mashava. Mashava is back on its former footing as a lively booming bedroom town of Masvingo City, forty kilometres away: supermarkets, bars, salons, housing projects, new shops are sprouting up once again as Mashava claims its proud place as a gold producing enclave of the Zimbabwean economy. Hundreds of unemployed youths from all over Zimbabwe have descended on Mashava, seeking employment and investment opportunities resulting in an unprecedented economic boom which is being felt country wide. Only recently hordes of flea female market traders opened shop at Mashava to sell clothes, shoes, household furniture and related paraphernalia to local residents and they reported that business was excellent and confirmed business plans to return every month end to sell their wares. A few years back Mashava was an abandoned mining town with all services shut down after the Capitalist oligarchic organization which owned Mashava ceased all operations and expropriated capital to Australia and Europe and started out new commercial ventures in those respective European countries. The Zimbabwean Electricity Supply Association [ZESA] shut down electricity supplies to Lennox Mine after the mine incurred a debt of close to a quarter of a million. Today, Lennox has agreed on a payment plan and electricity has been reopened triggering high gold productivity as the mine returns to its normal production levels.

Keywords

Empowerment; production; prostitution; brutalization; environment; accommodation and proletariat

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