Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Politics from the pits: artisanal gold mining, politics and the limits of hegemonic state domination in Zimbabwe


Nkomo, Melusi; Nkomo, Lotti (2023). Politics from the pits: artisanal gold mining, politics and the limits of hegemonic state domination in Zimbabwe. Journal of Southern African Studies, 49(1):137-153.

Abstract

In post-2000s Zimbabwe, artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) has become one of the major economic activities that provides income and livelihood opportunities to millions of people. The article attempts to make sense of how such mining activities intertwined with the country’s political economy and became implicated in shaping the dynamics of local and national politics. Taking the case of Kwekwe district, situated at the heart of the country, the article argues that ASGM as a socio-economic and political activity and a general way of life became the core of contemporary local Zimbabwean political relations, interactions and participation, and indeed a potent motor in party–state expansion and power consolidation. The new arrangements of politics, while facilitating the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union(Patriotic Front) (ZANU[PF])’s strong hold on power and territory in the face of powerful opposition politics represented by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), also encouraged local actors to expand their own statuses and influence away from political marginality towards the traditional political and elite centres such as the capital, Harare. The article shies away from literature that has emphasised state domination and subordination; this is in order to demonstrate that the relationship between the new political actors (buoyed by gold extraction) and the state is a flexible network of bargains and negotiated fusions, exchanges and appropriations. Largely ethnographical, it engages with an aspect of artisanal mining and politics in Zimbabwe that has yet to receive systematic scholarly attention.

Abstract

In post-2000s Zimbabwe, artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) has become one of the major economic activities that provides income and livelihood opportunities to millions of people. The article attempts to make sense of how such mining activities intertwined with the country’s political economy and became implicated in shaping the dynamics of local and national politics. Taking the case of Kwekwe district, situated at the heart of the country, the article argues that ASGM as a socio-economic and political activity and a general way of life became the core of contemporary local Zimbabwean political relations, interactions and participation, and indeed a potent motor in party–state expansion and power consolidation. The new arrangements of politics, while facilitating the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union(Patriotic Front) (ZANU[PF])’s strong hold on power and territory in the face of powerful opposition politics represented by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), also encouraged local actors to expand their own statuses and influence away from political marginality towards the traditional political and elite centres such as the capital, Harare. The article shies away from literature that has emphasised state domination and subordination; this is in order to demonstrate that the relationship between the new political actors (buoyed by gold extraction) and the state is a flexible network of bargains and negotiated fusions, exchanges and appropriations. Largely ethnographical, it engages with an aspect of artisanal mining and politics in Zimbabwe that has yet to receive systematic scholarly attention.

Statistics

Citations

Altmetrics

Downloads

1 download since deposited on 09 Mar 2023
0 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sociology and Political Science, Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous), Geography, Planning and Development
Language:English
Date:6 March 2023
Deposited On:09 Mar 2023 15:42
Last Modified:29 Apr 2024 01:36
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0305-7070
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070.2023.2182982