The Trade Union movement in Zimbabwe dates back to the period of colonialism (1890) and the establishment of capitalist relations of production.
The central role played by capitalism in the colonialisation of the country, and the creation of a capitalist mode of production in Zimbabwe did underlie the privilege role capitalism was able to carve out for itself in the country.
The British South Africa (BSA) Company, under the Cecil John Rhodes, came to Zimbabwe in search of a second gold rand, following the extensive discovery and exploitation of the mineral in South Africa. The country only became a British colony in 1923, after 33years of company rule.
During the initial phase of colonization, the focus of economic policy was on the mining sector. The settlers had been inspired to move to the north of the Limpopo river in the hope of finding a second Gold Rand.
When it became clear the expected huge gold deposits were not there, the value of BSA Company’s shares on the London Stock Exchange collapsed. As away of minimizing the loss, the BSA Company shifted its attention from mining towards agriculture.