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Gweru is a city near the centre of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

 at 19°25′S 29°50′E. It has a population of about 146,073 (2009), making it the third largest city in the nation. Gweru is the capital of Midlands Province. Gweru was founded in 1894 by Dr. Leander Starr Jameson
Leander Starr Jameson
Sir Leander Starr Jameson, 1st Baronet, KCMG, CB, , also known as "Doctor Jim", "The Doctor" or "Lanner", was a British colonial statesman who was best known for his involvement in the Jameson Raid....

. The first bank opened in Gweru in 1896, and the stock exchange in 1898. The railway arrived in 1902. It became a municipality in 1914 and achieved city status in 1971. The name changed from Gwelo to Gweru in 1982.

It is also home to Thornhill Air Base, an airforce garrison, the Zimbabwe Military Museum and the Antelope Game Park. The Nalatale and Danangombe archaeological enclosures lie nearby, the first known for its patterned brickwork, the second for its Portuguese
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...


In 1928 Gweru resident and pioneer
A settler is a person who has migrated to an area and established permanent residence there, often to colonize the area. Settlers are generally people who take up residence on land and cultivate it, as opposed to nomads...

 widow Mrs Jean Boggie erected a memorial clock tower
Clock tower
A clock tower is a tower specifically built with one or more clock faces. Clock towers can be either freestanding or part of a church or municipal building such as a town hall. Some clock towers are not true clock towers having had their clock faces added to an already existing building...

 in memory of her late husband. The Boggie Clock Tower has become a landmark in Gweru.


Industries include Zimbabwe Alloys, a chrome smelting plant, Bata
Bata Shoes
Bata Shoes is a large, family owned shoe company based in Bermuda but currently headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, operating 3 business units worldwide – Bata Metro Markets, Bata Emerging Markets and Bata Branded Business. It has a retail presence in over 50 countries and production...

 Shoe Company (established in 1939) and Anchor Yeast the sole manufacturer of yeast (established in 1952). Both are leading employers in Gweru. Gweru is situated in one of Zimbabwe's finest cattle rearing areas: the surrounding agricultural activity revolves around the cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

 industry (both beef and dairy). Bata has its own tanning
Tanning is the making of leather from the skins of animals which does not easily decompose. Traditionally, tanning used tannin, an acidic chemical compound from which the tanning process draws its name . Coloring may occur during tanning...

 plant for cattle hides and the Cold Storage Commission CSC has an abattoir in Gweru. Flowers are also grown in the area for the export market, and Zimbabwe's largest distiller, Afdis, has extensive vineyard
A vineyard is a plantation of grape-bearing vines, grown mainly for winemaking, but also raisins, table grapes and non-alcoholic grape juice...

s in Gweru for the production of wine. Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

 is also prevalent: mainly chromite
Chromite is an iron chromium oxide: FeCr2O4. It is an oxide mineral belonging to the spinel group. Magnesium can substitute for iron in variable amounts as it forms a solid solution with magnesiochromite ; substitution of aluminium occurs leading to hercynite .-Occurrence:Chromite is found in...

 ore from rich deposits along the Great Dyke
Great Dyke
The Great Dyke is a linear geological feature that trends nearly north-south through the centre of Zimbabwe passing just to the west of the capital, Harare. It consists of a band of short, narrow ridges and hills spanning for approximately . The hills become taller as the range goes north, and...

 to the east of Gweru.


The National Railways of Zimbabwe
National Railways of Zimbabwe
The National Railways of Zimbabwe is the parastatal railway of Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe railway system was largely constructed during the time of British colonial rule, and part of it represents a segment of the Cape-Cairo railway...

 have the country's largest marshalling yard, Dabuka, on the south side of Gweru. Dabuka plays a pivotal role in rail movement in the country as it is the central hub of the rail links to Mozambique in the east, South Africa in the south and Botswana and Namibia in the south west, lying on the Bulawayo - Harare Line.


As a central city (hub), it has direct links to all the other cities and towns of Zimbabwe. It is 164 km from Bulawayo, 183 km from Masvingo, 471 km from Beitbridge, and 275 km from Harare.

Road names used are by destination only, for example the Harare - Gweru Road. There are only mainroads, no highways or freeways.


Like other urban areas of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

, the majority supports the MDC.

Mayor Tedious Chimombe was accused of splashing on a $42,000 Toyota Prado, even though council workers salaries have not been paid for months.

International relations

Gweru shares an international relationship with the town of Basildon
Basildon is a town located in the Basildon District of the county of Essex, England.It lies east of Central London and south of the county town of Chelmsford...

, (Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...



The urban population of Gweru is thought to be around 300,000 people, but could well be more than that as most urban Zimbabweans maintain a rural home as well. Because it falls between the Shona
Shona people
Shona is the name collectively given to two groups of people in the east and southwest of Zimbabwe, north eastern Botswana and southern Mozambique.-Shona Regional Classification:...

 and Ndebele
Ndebele people (Zimbabwe)
The Ndebele are a branch of the Zulus who split from King Shaka in the early 1820s under the leadership of Mzilikazi, a former general in Shaka's army....

 regions a sizeable percentage can speak both of the major local languages although Shona
Shona language
Shona is a Bantu language, native to the Shona people of Zimbabwe and southern Zambia; the term is also used to identify peoples who speak one of the Shona language dialects: Zezuru, Karanga, Manyika, Ndau and Korekore...

 is spoken by the majority with approximately 30% speaking Ndebele
Northern Ndebele language
The Northern Ndebele language, isiNdebele, or Ndebele is an African language belonging to the Nguni group of Bantu languages, and spoken by the Ndebele or Matabele people of Zimbabwe. It is commonly known as Sindebele....


Residential areas

Like all other cities in Zimbabwe, Gweru is divided into high-, medium- and low-density residential areas. During the colonial era, cities were also segregated according to race with the black Africans living only in the high-density areas. Coloureds (those of mixed heritage) lived in separate medium-density areas, while the whites (Europeans) occupied most of the medium- and all of the low-density areas. Although now racially integrated the demarcation between low, medium and high density still remains.

The biggest original "black" suburb in Gweru is Mkoba: it is divided into sections. Mkoba started as a village so it still has village 1, village 2 up to village 20. It is the only suburban area in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

 to have the village suffix. Mtapa, Senga,Nehosho, Mambo, Ascot are some of the high-density suburbs around Gweru. Southdowns, Northlea, Lundi Park, Riverside etc. are among the "middle-class" residential areas of Gweru.

Harben park, St Annes drive, Kopje, Brackenhurst, Windsor Park are some of the "elite" residential areas of Gweru.


The primary and secondary system of education has not changed much in structure for several decades. Schools in Gweru subscribe to the same British system of education as the rest of the nation. Students spend seven years in primary education
Primary education
A primary school is an institution in which children receive the first stage of compulsory education known as primary or elementary education. Primary school is the preferred term in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth Nations, and in most publications of the United Nations Educational,...

 and four (Ordinary Level) or six (Advanced Level) years in secondary
Secondary education
Secondary education is the stage of education following primary education. Secondary education includes the final stage of compulsory education and in many countries it is entirely compulsory. The next stage of education is usually college or university...

 depending on the level of education they choose to reach. Until the 1990s 'O' and 'A' level exams were administered by two major British examination bodies, the Associated Examination Body (AEB) and Cambridge University. These are now examined locally by the Zimbabwe Education Board.

Before 1980 schools were divided into two groups. Group A schools were the former all-white or mixed-race schools and Group B schools the former black schools. The difference lay mainly in the curriculum
See also Syllabus.In formal education, a curriculum is the set of courses, and their content, offered at a school or university. As an idea, curriculum stems from the Latin word for race course, referring to the course of deeds and experiences through which children grow to become mature adults...

 and facilities available. Group A schools generally had more facilities, particularly in the non-core teaching areas such as art, music and sport. Of particular emphasis is the sporting area in which former Group B schools taught mainly athletics, football and netball whilst the Group A schools had a wider range of sporting activities including athletics, tennis, swimming, diving, lacrosse, gymnastics, hockey, rugby, cricket, netball, basketball and cross-country. There has not been much change in this provision since independence.

It is incorrect to state that schools were divided on racial grounds before "Independence"; although that was the perceived situation. Blacks who chose to send a child to what became "Group A" schools could do so provided that the child passed a test in which he demonstrated a reasonable profiency in the English language. Also black children who demonstrated academic excellence in what became "Group B" schools were placed in the school best equipped to further their studies.

Cambridge University did not unilaterally cease marking Zimbabwean school certificate examinations. Mugabe claimed that the poor results obtained were due to racial prejudice and set up the Zimbabwe Education Board.

Nursery school
Nursery school
A nursery school is a school for children between the ages of one and five years, staffed by suitably qualified and other professionals who encourage and supervise educational play rather than simply providing childcare...

  • Mimosa Nursery School
  • Dominican Nursery School
  • Gweru Nursery School
  • Midlands Pre-School

Primary schools
Group A
  • Cecil John Rhodes School
  • Stanley School
  • Riverside School
  • Lundi Park School
  • Midlands Christian School (Private)
  • Anderson Adventist (Private)

Group B
  • Bata School (Financed and Maintained by the Bata Shoe Company)
  • Sandara School
  • St Paul's School (Catholic)
  • Chikumbiro School
  • Bumburwi School
  • Muwunga School
  • St. Micheals Primary School (Catholic)
  • Senga Primary School
  • Matongo Primary School
    Matongo Primary School
    Matongo Primary School is a public school in the township of Senga, Zimbabwe. The school educates pupils from first grade to seventh grade.The school day starts at 7:30am and finishes at 1:15pm every weekday...

  • Mpumelelo Primary School
  • Takunda Primary School
  • Mkoba 4 Primary School
  • Takwirira Primary school
  • Thornhill Airforce

Secondary school
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

Group A
  • Chaplin High School (former school of Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Douglas Smith
    Ian Smith
    Ian Douglas Smith GCLM ID was a politician active in the government of Southern Rhodesia, the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Rhodesia, Zimbabwe Rhodesia and Zimbabwe from 1948 to 1987, most notably serving as Prime Minister of Rhodesia from 13 April 1964 to 1 June 1979...

  • Thornhill High School
    Thornhill High School
    Thornhill High School opened on the air force base in Gwelo, Rhodesia in January 1955. In January 1958, the school moved to its present site....

  • Midlands Christian College
    Midlands Christian College
    Midlands Christian College is a co-educational high school of about 450 pupils ranging from form 1 to form 6, located in the city of Gweru, Zimbabwe. The college has boarding facilities as well as providing for day-scholars. Its name refers to its location in the Midlands Province in central...

  • Anderson Adventist High School (private)
  • Nashville Secondary School
    Nashville Secondary School
    Nashville Secondary School is a secondary school located approximately 4 kilometers north of Gweru CBD, with a student population of around 800 pupils. It is primarily a day school....

  • Guinea Fowl High School

Group B
  • Mkoba 3 High School
  • Ascot Secondary School
  • Matinunura Secondary school
  • Senka Secondary School
  • Mkoba 1 Secondary School
  • Mambo Secondary School
  • Fletcher High School (this school produced some of the country's top professionals)

*Tertiary Schools
  • Gweru Polytechnic College
  • Mkoba Teachers College
  • Midlands State University
    Midlands State University
    Midlands State University is a University in Zimbabwe offering different courses mainly in the commercial and arts sector. The University was previously called Gweru Teachers' College, which was primarily a teacher training college under the University of Zimbabwe...

Church/Mission schools
  • Loreto Secondary School (Catholic)
  • Lower Gweru Mission (Seventh Day Adventist)
  • St Patricks High School (Anglican)
  • Regina Mundi High School (Catholic)

Commercial colleges
Commercial education was not easily available to the majority of Gweru residents especially before independence. There was a surge of new colleges after 1980 when Zimbabwe gained independence and also when commercial courses became a popular requirement in industry.

Midlands College of Commerce - The first black commercial college was founded in the early 1970s by Wilbert H. Shumba. It provided courses in most commercial and practical subjects popular during that era for example: typing, bookkeeping, dress-making and shorthand. These were examined by the UK-based Pitman
Pitman may refer to:* Pitman, New Jersey* Pitman, Pennsylvania* Pitman, Saskatchewan* Pitman Shorthand, a system of shorthand* Pitman arm, a vehicle steering component* A connecting rod in an engine* Pitman , a videogame for the Game Boy...

 examination institute. This college stopped operating in the mid-1990s following the death of W.H Shumba in 1994.

After 1980 other colleges were soon established:
  • Educare College
  • Ambassador College
  • Commercial Studies Centre
  • Solars College
  • TopFlight Secretarial College
  • Herentals College

Correspondence / Distance Education Colleges
  • Zimbabwe Distance Education College (Zdeco). Founded by Dr Skhanyiso Ndlovu who is now the Minister of Information for Zimbabwe. ZDECO was formed soon after independence and is now one of the country's largest adult education colleges. This college runs commercial and academic programmes including ZJC (Zimbabwe Junior Certificate), 'O' and 'A' levels and degree programmes
  • Central Africa Correspondence College established in 1954
  • Rapid Results College established in 1962
  • International Correspondence Schools
    International Correspondence Schools
    International Correspondence Schools, also known as ICS Learn and ICS, is an educational institute established in 1890 that provides correspondence and distance learning courses...

  • Zimbabwe Open University
    Zimbabwe Open University
    The Zimbabwe Open University is a distance education university in Zimbabwe. Established in 1999, it is the only distance education university in the country. Student enrollment at ZOU has been growing steadily from the time of its formation and in terms of enrollment it is the largest university...


Tertiary education
  • Midlands Christian Training Centre - provided teacher training, and is also an examination centre for UNISA exams. This training centre is closely linked to the Midlands Christian School and College.
  • Midlands State University - formerly Gweru Teacher's College
  • Mkoba Teacher's College
  • Senka Technical Training Centre
  • Kaguvi National Technical College - formerly established to cater for freedom fighters who had gone to war against British colonial powers to reintegrate them into the community.


Midlands Hotel was opened in 1927 by the Meikle
*Meikle Loch in Aberdeenshire, North East Scotland*Meikle Millyea, a mountain in South West Scotland*Meikle Pap, a mountain in North East ScotlandPeople:*Andrew Meikle, the Scots engineer, inventor of the Threshing machine...

 brothers. It was about to be demolished but after much protest, it was spared. Chitukuko hotel (formerly known as the Cecil Hotel) is another local hotel located in the city centre area. Both hotels were later owned by the Patrick Kombayi
Patrick Kombayi
Patrick Kombayi was a Zimbabwean businessman, a former mayor of Gweru and an active member of the Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai faction in the Midlands Province...

, a prominent Gweru businessman, ex-mayor, and politician known for his highly publicised criticism of the current government. Fairmile Motel is just a mile from the city centre on Bulawayo
Bulawayo is the second largest city in Zimbabwe after the capital Harare, with an estimated population in 2010 of 2,000,000. It is located in Matabeleland, 439 km southwest of Harare, and is now treated as a separate provincial area from Matabeleland...


External links