‘Our own law is making us beggars’– Understanding the marginal experiences of governed, mine-side communities in Mutoko district, Zimbabwe.

Last changed: 24 May 2021
Image of scientific poster. Author: Saymore Kativu

Saymore Ngonidzashe Kativu, Rural Development and Natural Resource Management - Master´s Programme


Short description of your pro: Across many countries in the Global South, there is an emerging interest in governing extraction to ensure that natural and mineral resources benefit local communities from which they are extracted. The shared Africa Minig Vision and economic aspirations in Zimbabwe to integrate equity in governing and extracting mineral resources is a step in the direction of progress. Despite these aspirations and commitments to mining development that does not continue to disenfranchise communities, voices of communities remain peripheral to commitments to improve the mining industry that has historically been illustrated as a natural resource curse and recently as an affair of unequal ecological exchange. I begin this research by asking how people in Mutoko district experience black granite mining and its governance. I embark on an inquiry that seeks to bring to the fore voices from below, those affected first-hand by extraction and produce an ethnocentric account of mining anthropology rooted in the Habermasian concept of the lifeworld and how its colonization by the system (government-corporation complex in mining) shapes socioeconomic and environmental affairs at the margins. My key findings show that the system renders the lifeworld powerless and limits spaces for socieocenomic growth to the extent that the business-as-usual structure makes it impossible to address the scourge of mining capitalism which enables the resource curse or unequal exchange. I conclude that in the marginalised lifeworld resides knowledge, capacity and experiences that need to be fully accounted for in reshaping governance of extraction to untether society from the burdens of extractivism.


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Image of scientific poster. Author: Saymore Kativu

About me

Saymore Ngonidzashe Kativu

Saymore Ngonidzashe Kativu

I am hybrid leader, researcher, seasoned multimedia communicator and versatile development practitioner (civil and business) strongly passionate about addressing sustainability issues focusing on the triple bottom line. I found Zarawi Trust (Zimbabwe), empowering agricultural, rural and socioeconomically marginal communities to combat poverty and growing inequalities amidst grand old and emerging sustainability challenges. I preside the organization’s research arm, The Nexus Think Tank. I worked extensively in Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) analysis, have developed models and frameworks for improving development practice. My proudest work is the Canvasses of Inequality Model, an empathy-centred tool for mapping socioeconomic inequalities and addressing their root causes; towards people-centred, sustainable, root solutions, defiant of symptomatic solutions dominating contemporary development interventions in developing countries. I am interested in navigating the borders between research and its practical use, with an interdisciplinary focus across: Sustainable Human Development, Poverty Alleviation and Marginality; Social Innovation; The Political Economy; Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Entrepreneurship Development, Food and Nutrition Security; Climate Change Mitigation, Disaster Risk Reduction, Environmental Protection; Sustainable Natural Resources Management; Gender Equality; Agri-Innovation; Youth Employment, Mentorship and Education.