Mined in certain areas for over 24 years, the black granite of Mutoko has not yielded meaningful benefits for the community.
If one visits Mutoko area on any typical day, it is impossible to fail to take note of the many trucks transporting black granite to Harare and beyond. Mutoko is in Mashonaland East Province of Zimbabwe.  Quarrying companies are extracting the ‘black granite’ in Mutoko for export. The black granite has now been classified as a mineral by the Zimbabwe government. This is mainly due to its semi-precious nature and high value it fetches on the market. Mutoko is home to quarries of granite rock, a highly valued stone that is treasured for its shininess as well as its easy crafting into artifacts such as tombstones, multi-story building surfacing materials and other important uses. The rock has been heavily mined in the country, especially by foreign nationals, chief among them the Chinese and Croats who own granite quarries in the area. The 13 companies have employed about 3000 workers collectively and majority of the workers are unskilled and lowly paid. The extraction activities have seen the disappearance of landmark hills due to granite mining. The quarrying work itself is very noisy and disruptive to the serene atmosphere which this community was accustomed to. The working conditions are also deplorable as many workers have suffered injuries whilst others have died on duty. The community is angry that despite being the victims of environmental hazards created by the companies, nothing tangible is ploughed back to the community by the companies. There is therefore a growing sense of activism among the Mutoko residents who are demanding economic and environmental justice. The Environmental Management Agency has also weighed in by accusing the mining companies of deforestation, noise pollution, destruction of farm land through rock waste depositing in the fields, cracks in houses through rock blasting effects, and destruction of mountains.
Dolorosa Mubvumbi was a native of Mutoko village in Zimbabwe’s Mashonaland East Province.  Trucks loaded with the precious granite and leave the poor rural village of Mutoko with little benefit. Moreover the mining leaves a trail of destruction to the environment. Worse still, houses and schools are being damaged as a result of the impact of dynamite blasting that takes place daily. Having been affected by all this injustice Dolorosa decided to set up a trust, Budya Environment Conservation Trust (BECT), in 2009. BECT has been instrumental in rebuilding the environment after the damage caused by granite mining, as well as empowering the Mutoko community to fight for a just share of the profits from granite mining.
“I started this in 2009 after realizing that the environment is being ravaged by the mining that is taking place at an alarming rate here in Mutoko.Granite is part of our heritage and it is very disturbing that the mining companies are only concerned with the mining whilst the environment is being damaged. Wild animals are also being chased away from Mutoko and our land is being mortgaged to foreigners who do not even care about the people,” she said.But all that was not an “easy walk in the park” since Mutoko is a heavily politicized area with the ruling ZANU PF members threatening her and her colleagues to desist from interfering with granite mining. “There are some ZANU PF members who are benefiting a lot from the mining of the granite rock and I have been threatened several times. They are saying I am an agent of the Imperialists but that is not the case. My duty is to safeguard the environment and to advocate for the total benefit of the people of Mutoko from granite mining,” she said. Dolorosa Mubvumbi died in March, 2015.