Mercy Manyuchi

Mercy Manyuchi

Job title (at time of interview)Director of Mining Development at Ministry of Mines, Zimbabwe


I always wanted a career that makes a huge social impact to my country … the mining sector, due to the versatility of its value chain, has potential to change the lives of people through employment creation and infrastructure development

June 2020

Mercy Manyuchi is the Acting Chief Director for Mining Development in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Zimbabwe. She is a registered Professional Engineer who holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering. Her personal vision is focused on her role in contributing to the vision of her country to have a USD 20 billion mining sector by 2030.

By Kathy Sole

  • How did mining come to you? How did you choose mining as a career?

    I have always wanted a career that makes a huge social impact to my country [Zimbabwe] and, for me, the mining sector, due to the versatility of its value chain, has potential to change the lives of people through employment creation and infrastructure development.

  • Please describe your current role.

    Currently, I am the Acting Chief Director in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development in Zimbabwe. I am responsible for the Mining Development Directorate, with a major focus on Energy Minerals, Non-Energy Minerals, Mining Research, Value Addition, and Beneficiation.

  • What is your experience of being a woman working in the mining sector?

    The sector is male-dominated: most of the times, you are only the female in the room. However, I have always made it a point that my male counterparts see my contribution, rather than the woman I am.

  • What are you passionate about in your work?

    I am passionate about the change I have brought in my country and will bring through mining. Mining is the major foreign currency earner in terms of exports and I know my efforts contribute to this.

  • Have you had mentors and sponsors that helped you on the way?

    Yes, I have had people who made me grow in the sector and believed in my potential to bring about change and positive impact. I have also had people who provided a shoulder for me to lean on. It’s very hard to succeed without support and a good team.

  • What challenges have you experienced by virtue of working in an industry that is predominantly male? Do you feel you have had to adapt to ‘fit’ the industry?

    As a female, in this male-dominated sector, it’s very critical to adapt. Be part of the men, think like them, socialize with them. I have grown better because of this.

  • What would you love to do next?

    As the mining sector in Zimbabwe, we have a vision to have a USD 20 billion mining industry by 2030. For my next steps, I want to contribute towards this vision, such that when it happens I will say I was there and I played my part.

  • What is one thing you wish you’d been told when you were starting out that you know now?

    Always be the best that you can be.

  • What is the biggest mistake that you’re really happy you made?

    Trusting colleagues who then failed me at the end. I then really learnt to build my team wisely.

  • Do you sit on a board? If not, would you like to?

    Yes. I have served and am currently serving on various boards of mining, energy and infrastructure development companies, such as the Minerals Marketing Cooperation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ), the National Oil Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe (NOIC), and the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA).

  • What is your opinion in the women on boards’ debate? Are you pro quotas or against them?

    Women are gifted with emotional intelligence, a skill that is required in decision making, so, yes, we need women in the boardroom. However, I also think there are women out there who are capable and must be on boards for their skills and knowledge — not because they are women.

  • Do you believe women in mining groups can help to change the image of the industry and make the sector more attractive to women?

    Yes, definitely. We also get to share our stories, inspire, and build each other up.

  • Any advice to young women starting out in their careers? What do you wish you’d know when you were 25?

    Set targets, achieve them. Build up your leadership skills.

  • What is your secret to work–life balance?

    Do everything on its scheduled time. I am an early bird. By the time I get to the office, my emails are done. My subordinates know what they are supposed to do. I am Catholic and I ensure that Sunday mornings are dedicated to my mass for spiritual growth and guidance. In the mornings and after work, I ensure I bond with my babies, get to know how their day has been, assist with homework, and also plan for their birthdays.

  • What books are you currently reading? Do you have any books that you can recommend for professional development?

    Currently, I am reading John Maxwell’s Laws of Leadership. I have recently been reading a lot around leadership. I would recommend this book to fellow women: as you climb up the corporate ladder, your leadership skills will impact your rate of growth.

  • Have you any hobbies, pastimes, or secret talents that you would like to tell us about?

    Generally, I love reading and I am an academic writer, so when I have time I write articles. By reading and writing you also learn a lot.


Mercy Manyuchi (PhD, PrEng) is the Acting Chief Director for Mining Development in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Zimbabwe. She holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (South Africa) and MScEng from Stellenbosch University (South Africa). Before her appointment as the Acting Chief Director–Mining Development, Mercy was the Director responsible for Mining Research, Value Addition and Beneficiation in the Ministry of Mines. She previously served as Head of Department of Chemical and Process Systems Engineering at Harare Institute of Technology (Zimbabwe) for five years, and has held academic positions in the School of Mining, Metallurgy and Chemical Engineering at the University of Johannesburg, at Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences in Zimbabwe, and at the Biomass Research Institute in Germany. Mercy has worked for more than ten years across various mining sector value chains, including cement extraction and processing, coal conversion to value-added products, Environmental Impact Assessments and Environmental Management Plans, research, and capacity building. Mercy is the Vice Chairperson for Women in Engineering in Zimbabwe. She is a registered Professional Chemical Engineer and holds memberships of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations, the World Energy Council, Professional Women Executives and Business Women’s Forum, and the Zimbabwe Institute of Management. Mercy is an alumnus of the prestigious German Green Talents Fellowship, the JF Kapnek Trust Fellowship, a recipient of the Old Mutual Mathematics Olympiad Zimbabwe, and participated in the Young African Leaders Initiatives Leadership Program.