Henrietta Rushwaya is the current serving President of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF). Rushwaya assumed office in June 2021 after being resoundingly endorsed by all Provinces in an election she ran unopposed.
A miner in her own right, Henrietta Rushwaya is one of the only five female Presidents to run the mining industry world over.
Her election into office has seen exponential women participation in the Zimbabwe mining sector leading to the momentous rise of “Women can do it” sentiment in the Zimbabwe mining industry.
The rise of Rushwaya at ZMF has seen the ASM sector accounting for the largest chunk of the country’s gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refineries (FPR) after overtaking their counterparts in the primary production sector which is dominated by Conglomerates.
Leading the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF)
In 2018 Henrietta Rushwaya won her first ZMF elections and the same year gold deliveries to the country’s sole gold buyer and exporter Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) by small scale miners hit a record high of over 21 tonnes.
As the President of the ZMF, amidst fuel and power challenges in the country, Henrietta Rushwaya in 2019 spearheaded a partnership with Glow Petroleum ensuring that miners get cheaper and reliable fuel to improve operations viability leading to over 17 tonnes of gold deliveries by small scale and artisanal miners.
During the last quarter of 2019 amidst poor forex retention policy Rushwaya’s led executive partnered Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) leading the initiative to resoundingly lead small scale miners to improve deliveries from the comparable quarter of 2018 by over 73 per cent.
ZMF is Zimbabwe’s largest mining body with over 1 500 000 members comprising of Artisanal and Small-scale Miners (ASM).
Rushwaya has also promoted the involvement of war vets and people with disabilities to invest in the mining industry. She has donated essential equipment like compressors and gold processing mills to war vets, women and the disabled in an endeavour to see them taking centre stage in issues of national development.
In 2020 Henrietta Rushwaya signed three strategic partnerships aimed at capacitating small scale miners in their quest to ramp up production in line with the Government’s vision of growing mining to a US$12 billion industry by 2023.
Henrietta Rushwaya also made efforts to encourage miners to consider mining and processing of minerals other than gold through spearheading the creation of chrome, gemstones, prospectors national associations to promote the achievement of the US$12 Billion mining industry by 2023.
She has been working tirelessly to see rural district council levies for miners reduced as miners are subjected to exorbitant fees out of reach of many.
Rushwaya engaged the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development so that they could meet with local engineers and the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to see an improvement in locally manufactured mining equipment as most of the imported ones had a short life span.
Over 100 service providers in the mining sector have signed a strategic partnership with the ZMF aimed at capacitating small scale and artisanal miners in their quest to improve mining production in line with President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa’s vision of growing the mining sector to a US$12 Billion industry by 2023.
Working with the Ministry of Mines
Henrietta Rushwaya and her ZMF executive have been continuously working hand in hand with the government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to develop a chrome policy, semi-precious and base mineral policy, mines and minerals act, gold trade act, and Mines and Minerals amendment bill which will facilitate growth and address small scale miner challenges recognising both local tributary and independent miners.
Since ZMF seeks technological collaborations for the development and access of market indicators for certain minerals and sales platforms, expert and technical advice on geology, reliable supply of equipment and parts, Henrietta Rushwaya partnered with the Zimbabwe India Trade Council (ZITC) to promote trade, investment and beneficiation to strengthen artisanal and small scale mining growth and development. ZITC has pledged to invite 100 ASMiners to India for exposure to that country’s mining ways of operations.
Henrietta Rushwaya has been hailed by Mines and Mining Development Minister Hon Winston Chitando for steering the ZMF towards a professional business approach as the Federation had been operating informally. Prior to Rushwaya assuming office the Federation had no fixed offices but now the organisation operates in Msasa employing over ten people at its head office. In an endeavour to keep miners and investors informed on the organizations’ business under the guidance of Rushwaya the ZMF launched an interactive website www.zimminersfed.org. The website also has a live WhatsApp chat option which has seen distressed miners getting quick assistance in times of accidents or disputes.
Earlier in 2021 Henrietta Rushwaya successfully negotiated a reduction of Mining fees which had been increased by over 10 000% by the government.
In June 2021, Henrietta Rushwaya was re-elected as the Federation’s President for the next five years. Minister of Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Hon Winston Chitando together with his Deputy Hon Polite Kambamura graced and endorsed the election. Rushwaya pledged to rebuild the backbone of the nation and make sure that the ASM sector is aligned in the mainstream economy.
Henrietta Rushwaya was named as one of the Women making huge strides in the Zimbabwe mining industry by an internationally recognized leading local Mining publication and is by far the most popular figure in the Zimbabwe Mining Industry.
Henrietta Rushwaya is currently in her fifties and has 3 children.