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King Mine, Mashaba
King Mine, Mashaba
Mashava is located in Zimbabwe
Mashava in Zimbabwe map
Coordinates: 20°03′S 30°28′E / 20.050°S 30.467°E / -20.050; 30.467Coordinates: 20°03′S 30°28′E / 20.050°S 30.467°E / -20.050; 30.467
CountryZimbabwe Zimbabwe
ProvinceMasvingo Province
Time zoneUTC+2 (CAT)

Mashava (formerly known as Mashaba) is a mining village in Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe and is located 40 km from Masvingo. Asbestos was and still is being mined in this small Zimbabwean town. There are three mines in the town: Gath's Mine, King Mine and Temeraire Mine.


Gath's Mine: The mining operations have stopped at this mine, though some of the major buildings are located here such as the General Office – Administration, the hospital, the training centre and the high(Chemberi) and low(Gath's) density residential areas for the workers; however the area is now occupied by Great Zimbabwe University and the so-called General Office is now the Administration Block of the University. Most houses which were built for the miners were taken by the renovated and became Students Residence. Mining has been shattered down due to lack of funds and materials for mining to progress.

Temeraire Mine: This place has also stopped operations and was until recently a services area with some of the departments still operating from there such as transport including the garage, laboratories, the mechanical machine shop, the electrical and civil departments. High (Mupatagore) and low (Temeraire, Eastvale and Westonlee) density residential areas still exist for the workers.

King Mine: This is only place left with mining operations, 1 Shaft and 2 Shaft, the Mill, and the Stores Department are located here. There are also high (Mambo) and low (King) density residential areas are also found here . Due to economic meltdown it has ceased to produce since there is no equipment useful for miners to work.

The mines were up until the '90s part of Shabani and Mashaba Mines owned by Turner and Newell, who then sold both mines to Mutumwa Mawere for £60,000,000 in a deal sponsored by the World Bank. Both are now under government control after Mawere left the country; the two mines mine asbestos, with Gath's Mine producing the longer fibre.

There are other mines in the area which have now all ceased operations such as D.S.O. Mine, Boss Mine, and Reedbuck formerly Lennox (Rex) Mine. Bere Township is also in existence and Balmain which is the main shopping centre for the town with 1 petrol station, the police station, the post office and a supermarket.

The situation today is that Shabanie and Mashaba Mines have stopped operating, though the government-appointed administrator is still at work; however workers at Mashava are receiving low wages with a maximum of $US52 after two or three months of fruitless promises.[citation needed]

Sadly the company has failed to sustain its poorly living workers and has therefore resorted to leasing most of its properties to outsiders and the newcomers Great Zimbabwe University; the university acquired property which includes The General Office Buildings located at Gaths Mine, which were turned into university offices, lectures rooms etc., the Cottage clinic that is located 150 meters west of the campus. At Mambo township the university acquired an approx of 40–50 houses for its students, leaving the desperate workers with no choice but to be relocated to Temeraire and King Mine, where most of the houses were not electrified, roofless and had no proper plumbing system. Gaths Mine Club and the club house, Halls and library were also leased to the University.


Most of the local population belongs to the Karanga Shona ethnic group. According to the 1992 Population Census, the mining had a population of 15,507.


The name Mashava came from the local "Karanga" term – "Makomo Mashava" meaning the "red mountains". However, the most popular and widely used derivation today is "mavhu mashava", which means "red soil" – most people who live in surrounding villages and districts still call it by this long phrase even today.


Coming of the university has seen many workers fleeing the fruitless company to seek job opportunities at the university. Most qualified technicians have opted to work as general hands at the university. Rumors have circulated that investors are eying their arrows at the company but recent speculations (Jan 2014) are that the company will surrender its housing property to the workers it owes money in back logs. Residential areas include Low Density – Westonlee, Eastvale, Temeraire (Low and High Density), King (Low and High Density) and Gaths (Low and High Density).