At the end of the 30s, Bata opened its first store in the country. In 1939, a sister company and a shoe factory were founded. The production grew significantly later in Zimbabwe and the company has gained a prominent position within the Bata World Organization. Its business in the country continues today.

  • In 1938 the Bata Company statistics recorded 20 outlets and sales points in Rhodesia; in 1939 there were 3 stores in Rhodesia
  • In February 1939, a sister company Rhodesian Bata Shoe Comp. Ltd., Gwello was founded in Southern Rhodesia .
  • In May 1939, the production of footwear began – the factory was established in a temporary building in Gwello (Gwero); machines dispatched from Zlin in October 1938 were installed there; Soon after stores in Gwello, Bulawayo, Salisbury (Harare) opened; near the factory a tannery was established.
  • In 1943, a new factory was opened, which employed 700 workers; their number in 1945 exceeded 2,000
  • 1962 – on the list of historically existing Bata companies The Rhodesian Bata Shoe Company Limited (Rhodesia) is listed for Zimbabwe
  • The number of employees in the Gwello factory gradually increased during the following decades: 2,700 persons (1971), 2,800–3,000 (1982), 5,000 (1991)
  • In 1992, the following businesses were operating in the country:
    • Zimbabwe Bata, Gweru
    • Harare Office, Harare
    • Branch Factory, Move
    • JIT Industries, Kwekwe


  • Moravský zemský archiv v Brně – Státní okresní archiv Zlín, Česko
  • Bohumil Lehár, Dějiny Baťova koncernu, Praha 1960
  • Jaroslav Olša, Jennifer Robinson, Early History of the Rhodesian Bata Shoe Company Limited, In: Heritage of Zimbabwe, No. 27, 2008
  • Jaroslav Olša, Zlínští obuvníci u řeky Zambezi, In: Zvuk, 2006/léto
  • Jaroslav Pospíšil – Hana Pospíšilová, Rub a líc baťovských sporů, Zlín 2012, ISBN 978-80-7473-037-5
  • Alain Gatti, Chausser les hommes qui vont pieds nus, Metz 2004, ISBN 2-87692-619-9
  • Thomas J. Bata, Remmembered, Zlín 2016, ISBN 978-80-7473-398-7
The factory in Gwello, 1970
The factory in Gwello, 1970