Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

Overview
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent
Continent
A continent is one of several very large landmasses on Earth. They are generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, with seven regions commonly regarded as continents—they are : Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.Plate tectonics is...

, between the Zambezi
Zambezi
The Zambezi is the fourth-longest river in Africa, and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa. The area of its basin is , slightly less than half that of the Nile...

 and Limpopo
Limpopo River
The Limpopo River rises in central southern Africa, and flows generally eastwards to the Indian Ocean. It is around long, with a drainage basin in size. Its mean annual discharge is 170 m³/s at its mouth...

 rivers. It is bordered by South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 to the south, Botswana
Botswana
Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana , is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens are referred to as "Batswana" . Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966...

 to the southwest, Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 and a tip of Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

 to the northwest and Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

 to the east. Zimbabwe has three official languages: English
South African English
The term South African English is applied to the first-language dialects of English spoken by South Africans, with the L1 English variety spoken by Zimbabweans, Zambians and Namibians, being recognised as offshoots.There is some social and regional variation within South African English...

, 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...

 and 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....

. With a Human Development Index
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

 of 0.376, Zimbabwe is scored as 15th least developed country in the world.

Zimbabwe began as the British
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 crown colony of Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia was the name of the British colony situated north of the Limpopo River and the Union of South Africa. From its independence in 1965 until its extinction in 1980, it was known as Rhodesia...

, created from land held by the British South Africa Company
British South Africa Company
The British South Africa Company was established by Cecil Rhodes through the amalgamation of the Central Search Association and the Exploring Company Ltd., receiving a royal charter in 1889...

.
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Encyclopedia
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent
Continent
A continent is one of several very large landmasses on Earth. They are generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, with seven regions commonly regarded as continents—they are : Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.Plate tectonics is...

, between the Zambezi
Zambezi
The Zambezi is the fourth-longest river in Africa, and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa. The area of its basin is , slightly less than half that of the Nile...

 and Limpopo
Limpopo River
The Limpopo River rises in central southern Africa, and flows generally eastwards to the Indian Ocean. It is around long, with a drainage basin in size. Its mean annual discharge is 170 m³/s at its mouth...

 rivers. It is bordered by South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 to the south, Botswana
Botswana
Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana , is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens are referred to as "Batswana" . Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966...

 to the southwest, Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 and a tip of Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

 to the northwest and Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

 to the east. Zimbabwe has three official languages: English
South African English
The term South African English is applied to the first-language dialects of English spoken by South Africans, with the L1 English variety spoken by Zimbabweans, Zambians and Namibians, being recognised as offshoots.There is some social and regional variation within South African English...

, 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...

 and 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....

. With a Human Development Index
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

 of 0.376, Zimbabwe is scored as 15th least developed country in the world.

Zimbabwe began as the British
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 crown colony of Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia was the name of the British colony situated north of the Limpopo River and the Union of South Africa. From its independence in 1965 until its extinction in 1980, it was known as Rhodesia...

, created from land held by the British South Africa Company
British South Africa Company
The British South Africa Company was established by Cecil Rhodes through the amalgamation of the Central Search Association and the Exploring Company Ltd., receiving a royal charter in 1889...

. President Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980...

 is the head of State and Commander in Chief of the armed forces
Military of Zimbabwe
The Zimbabwe Defence Forces are composed of the Zimbabwe National Army and the Air Force of Zimbabwe . As a landlocked country, Zimbabwe has no navy...

. Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Richard Tsvangirai is the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. He is the President of the Movement for Democratic Change - Tsvangirai and a key figure in the opposition to President Robert Mugabe. Tsvangirai was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe on 11 February 2009...

 is the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Zimbabwe
The Prime Minister of Zimbabwe is the head of government in Zimbabwe. From 1980 to 1987, Robert Mugabe was the first person to hold the position following independence from the United Kingdom. He took office when Rhodesia became the Republic of Zimbabwe on 18 April 1980...

. Mugabe has been in power since the country's internationally recognized independence in 1980
Lancaster House Agreement
The negotiations which led to the Lancaster House Agreement brought independence to Rhodesia following Ian Smith’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965. The Agreement covered the Independence Constitution, pre-independence arrangements, and a ceasefire...

.

Etymology


Zimbabwe was formerly known as Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia was the name of the British colony situated north of the Limpopo River and the Union of South Africa. From its independence in 1965 until its extinction in 1980, it was known as Rhodesia...

 (1923), Rhodesia
Rhodesia
Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Rhodesia from 1970, was an unrecognised state located in southern Africa that existed between 1965 and 1979 following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965...

 (1965), and Zimbabwe Rhodesia
Zimbabwe Rhodesia
Zimbabwe Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, was an unrecognized state that existed from 1 June 1979 to 12 December 1979...

 (1979).
The name Zimbabwe was introduced from ca. 1960 in the context of the unilateral declaration of independence, and used by the African nationalist
African independence movements
The African Independence Movements took place in the 20th century, when a wave of struggles for independence in European-ruled African territories were witnessed....

 faction in the Rhodesian Bush War
Rhodesian Bush War
The Rhodesian Bush War – also known as the Second Chimurenga or the Zimbabwe War of Liberation – was a civil war which took place between July 1964 and December 1979 in the unrecognised country of Rhodesia...

, the Zimbabwe African National Union
Zimbabwe African National Union
The Zimbabwe African National Union was a militant organization that fought against the standing government in Rhodesia, formed as a split from the Zimbabwe African People's Union...

 of Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980...

, and the Zimbabwe African People's Union
Zimbabwe African People's Union
The Zimbabwe African People's Union was a militant organization and political party that fought for the national liberation of Zimbabwe from its founding in 1961 until it merged with the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front in December 1987....

 of Joshua Nkomo
Joshua Nkomo
Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo was the leader and founder of the Zimbabwe African People's Union and a member of the Kalanga tribe...

.

The name is based on the 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...

 name for the ruined city now known as Great Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe is a ruined city that was once the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which existed from 1100 to 1450 C.E. during the country’s Late Iron Age. The monument, which first began to be constructed in the 11th century and which continued to be built until the 14th century, spanned an...

, first recorded as Symbaoe in 1531 by Vicente Pegado, Captain of the Portuguese Garrison of Sofala
Sofala
Sofala, at present known as Nova Sofala, used to be the chief seaport of the Monomotapa Kingdom, whose capital was at Mount Fura. It is located on the Sofala Bank in Sofala Province of Mozambique.-History:...

.

There are two theories on the origin of the word "Zimbabwe": Various sources hold that the word is derived from dzimba-dza-mabwe, translated from the Karanga dialect of 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...

 as "large houses of stone" (dzimba = plural of imba, "house"; mabwe = plural of bwe, "stone"). The Karanga-speaking Shona people are found around Great Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe is a ruined city that was once the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which existed from 1100 to 1450 C.E. during the country’s Late Iron Age. The monument, which first began to be constructed in the 11th century and which continued to be built until the 14th century, spanned an...

 in the modern-day province
Provinces of Zimbabwe
|Zimbabwe is divided into 8 provinces and 2 cities with provincial status:-See also:*Districts of Zimbabwe*Municipalities of Zimbabwe*List of provincial governors of Zimbabwe*ISO 3166-2:ZW-External links:*...

 of Masvingo. Archaeologist Peter Garlake
Peter Garlake
Peter Garlake is a Zimbabwean archaeologist, who worked for the National Museums and Monuments Commission and the University of Zimbabwe and also carried out excavations at Manekweni in Mozambique. He came into conflict with the Rhodesian government while Inspector of Monuments, due to his refusal...

 claims that "Zimbabwe" is a contracted form of dzimba-hwe which means "venerated houses" in the Zezuru dialect of Shona, and is usually applied to chiefs' houses or graves.

Geography and environment



Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in southern Africa, lying between latitudes 15°
15th parallel south
The 15th parallel south is a circle of latitude that is 15 degrees south of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Australasia, the Pacific Ocean and South America....

 and 23°S
23rd parallel south
The 23rd parallel south is a circle of latitude that is 23 degrees south of the Earth's equatorial plane, about 50km north of the Tropic of Capricorn...

, and longitudes 25°
25th meridian east
The meridian 25° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 34°E
34th meridian east
The meridian 34° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Turkey, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

. Most of the country is elevated in the central plateau (high veld) stretching from the southwest to the northwest at altitudes between 1200 and 1600m. The country's east is mountainous with Mt. Nyangani as the highest point at 2,592 m. About 20% of the country consists of the low veld under 900m. Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls
The Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya is a waterfall located in southern Africa on the Zambezi River between the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe.-Introduction:...

, one of the world's biggest and most spectacular waterfalls, is located in the country's northwest as part of the Zambezi river. The country has a tropical climate with a rainy season usually from late October to March. The climate is moderated by the altitude.

Flora and Fauna


The country is mostly savanna, although the moist and mountainous east supports tropical evergreen and hardwood forests. Trees include teak and mahogany, knobthorn, msasa, and baobab. Among the numerous flowers and shrubs are hibiscus, spider lily, leonotus, cassia, tree wisteria, and dombeya.

Mammals include Hippopotamus, Rhinoceros, Baboon, Okapi, Giraffe, Kudu, Sable, Zebra, Warthog, Porcupine, Badger, Otter, Hare, and many more. In all, there are around 350 species of mammal.

Snakes and lizards abound. The largest lizard, the water monitor, is found in many rivers, as are several species of crocodile. More than 500 species of birds like the Ant-thrush, Barbet, Bee-eater, Bishop bird, Bulbul, Bush-warbler, Guineafowl, Emerald cuckoo, Grouse, Gray lourie, and Pheasant. Not forgetting the Insect kingdom.

Zimbabwe has quite an incredible biodiversity. However, it contains a large amount of the conventional tropical flora and the African fauna. Mostly blanketed with savanna grasslands, its mountains nevertheless consist of evergreen forests. The chief animals of the country are the Big Five
Big Five game
The phrase Big Five game was coined by white hunters and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. The term is still used in most tourist and wildlife guides that discuss African wildlife safaris. The collection consists of the lion, African elephant, cape buffalo,...

, a few Primate
Primate
A primate is a mammal of the order Primates , which contains prosimians and simians. Primates arose from ancestors that lived in the trees of tropical forests; many primate characteristics represent adaptations to life in this challenging three-dimensional environment...

s and Antelope . A diverse variety of marine and avian fauna is also to be found amongst the 131 species of Fish; the tiger fish is a speciality. (For further reading, go to 'Zimbabwe Profile' under See Also near the bottom of this Page )

Environmental issues


Large parts of Zimbabwe were once covered by forest, the African bush
The Bush
"The bush" is a term used for rural, undeveloped land or country areas in certain countries.-Australia:The term is iconic in Australia. In reference to the landscape, "bush" describes a wooded area, intermediate between a shrubland and a forest, generally of dry and nitrogen-poor soil, mostly...

, with an abundant wildlife. Poverty, population growth and lack of fuel have led to extensive deforestation, which, along with poaching, has reduced the wildlife considerably. Deforestation and woodland degradation are a major concern and have led to erosion and land degradation which diminish the amount of fertile soil. Despite all this, Zimbabwe's climate, along with Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

's, has been ranked highly on the index for the best climate to live in by some prestigious organisations.

Pre-colonial era (1000–1887)




Proto-Shona speaking societies first emerged in the middle Limpopo valley in the 9th century before moving on to the Zimbabwean highlands. The Zimbabwean plateau eventually became the center of subsequent Shona states, beginning in ca. the 10th century.
Around the early 10th century, trade developed with Arab merchant
Shirazi era
The "Shirazi era" refers to a period in the history of East Africa , between the 13th century and 15th century, when Persian city-states were founded on the eastern coast of Africa as well as on its islands...

s on the Indian Ocean coast, helping to develop the Kingdom of Mapungubwe in the 11th century. This was the precursor to the more impressive Shona civilizations that would dominate the region during the 13th to 15th centuries, evidenced by ruins at Great Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe is a ruined city that was once the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which existed from 1100 to 1450 C.E. during the country’s Late Iron Age. The monument, which first began to be constructed in the 11th century and which continued to be built until the 14th century, spanned an...

, near Masvingo
Masvingo
Masvingo is a town in south-eastern Zimbabwe and the capital of Masvingo Province. The town is close to Great Zimbabwe, the national monument from which the country takes its name.- History :...

, and other smaller sites. The main archaeological site is a unique dry stone architecture.

The Kingdom of Mapungubwe was the first in a series of sophisticated trade states developed in Zimbabwe by the time of the first European explorers from Portugal. They traded in gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, ivory
Ivory
Ivory is a term for dentine, which constitutes the bulk of the teeth and tusks of animals, when used as a material for art or manufacturing. Ivory has been important since ancient times for making a range of items, from ivory carvings to false teeth, fans, dominoes, joint tubes, piano keys and...

 and copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 for cloth and glass
Glass
Glass is an amorphous solid material. Glasses are typically brittle and optically transparent.The most familiar type of glass, used for centuries in windows and drinking vessels, is soda-lime glass, composed of about 75% silica plus Na2O, CaO, and several minor additives...

.

From about 1300 until 1600, Mapungubwe was eclipsed by the Kingdom of Zimbabwe
Kingdom of Zimbabwe
The Kingdom of Zimbabwe was a kingdom located in the territory of modern-day Zimbabwe. It is famous for its capital, Great Zimbabwe, the largest stone structure in Southern Africa until recent times.- Name :...

. This Shona state further refined and expanded upon Mapungubwe's stone architecture, which survives to this day at the ruins of the kingdom's capital of Great Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe is a ruined city that was once the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which existed from 1100 to 1450 C.E. during the country’s Late Iron Age. The monument, which first began to be constructed in the 11th century and which continued to be built until the 14th century, spanned an...

. From circa 1450–1760, Zimbabwe gave way to the Kingdom of Mutapa. This Shona state ruled much of the area that is known as Zimbabwe today, and parts of central Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

. It is known by many names including the Mutapa Empire, also known as Mwene Mutapa or Monomotapa as well as "Munhumutapa," and was renowned for its gold trade routes with Arabs and the Portuguese. Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

 settlers destroyed the trade and began a series of wars which left the empire in near collapse in the early 17th century.

As a direct response to the Portuguese presence in the interior, a new Shona state emerged called the Rozvi Empire. Relying on centuries of military, political and religious development, the Rozvi (which means "destroyers") removed the Portuguese from the Zimbabwe plateau by force of arms. The Rozvi continued the stone building traditions of the Zimbabwe and Mapungubwe kingdoms while adding guns to its arsenal and developing a professional army to protect its trade routes and conquests.

Around 1821, the Zulu general Mzilikazi
Mzilikazi
Mzilikazi , also sometimes called Mosilikatze, was a Southern African king who founded the Matabele kingdom , Matabeleland, in what became Rhodesia and is now Zimbabwe. He was born the son of Matshobana near Mkuze, Zululand and died at Ingama, Matabeleland...

 (meaning The Great Road) of the Khumalo clan successfully rebelled from King Shaka
Shaka
Shaka kaSenzangakhona , also known as Shaka Zulu , was the most influential leader of the Zulu Kingdom....

 and set up his own tribe, the 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....

. The tribe fought its way northwards into the Transvaal
South African Republic
The South African Republic , often informally known as the Transvaal Republic, was an independent Boer-ruled country in Southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century. Not to be confused with the present-day Republic of South Africa, it occupied the area later known as the South African...

 leaving a trail of destruction in its wake and beginning an era of widespread killings and devastation known as the Mfecane
Mfecane
Mfecane , also known by the Sesotho name Difaqane or Lifaqane, was a period of widespread chaos and warfare among indigenous tribes in southern Africa during the period between 1815 to about 1840....

. When the Boer
Boer
Boer is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for farmer, which came to denote the descendants of the Dutch-speaking settlers of the eastern Cape frontier in Southern Africa during the 18th century, as well as those who left the Cape Colony during the 19th century to settle in the Orange Free State,...

 settlers (descendants of Dutch
Dutch people
The Dutch people are an ethnic group native to the Netherlands. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Suriname, Chile, Brazil, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United...

 and other Europeans) arrived in the Transvaal in 1836 during the Great Trek
Great Trek
The Great Trek was an eastward and north-eastward migration away from British control in the Cape Colony during the 1830s and 1840s by Boers . The migrants were descended from settlers from western mainland Europe, most notably from the Netherlands, northwest Germany and French Huguenots...

 they attacked the Ndebele and drove the tribe even further northward. In 1837–38, the Rozvi Empire along with other Shona states were conquered by the Ndebele and forced to pay tribute and concentrate in the northeast of present-day Zimbabwe.

After losing the Transvaal in 1840, Mzilikazi and his tribe settled the southwest of present-day Zimbabwe in what became known as Matabeleland
Matabeleland
Modern day Matabeleland is a region in Zimbabwe divided into three provinces: Matabeleland North, Bulawayo and Matabeleland South. These provinces are in the west and south-west of Zimbabwe, between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. The region is named after its inhabitants, the Ndebele people...

 and established Bulawayo
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...

 as their capital. Mzilikazi then organized his followers into a military system with regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

al kraal
Kraal
Kraal is an Afrikaans and Dutch word for an enclosure for cattle or other livestock, located within an African settlement or village surrounded by a palisade, mud wall, or other fencing, roughly circular in form.In the Dutch language a kraal is a term derived from the Portuguese word , cognate...

s, similar to those of Shaka, which became strong enough to repel the Boer attacks of 1847–1851 and persuade the government of the South African Republic
South African Republic
The South African Republic , often informally known as the Transvaal Republic, was an independent Boer-ruled country in Southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century. Not to be confused with the present-day Republic of South Africa, it occupied the area later known as the South African...

 to sign a peace treaty with him in 1852. Mzilikazi died in 1868 and after a brief, violent power struggle was succeed by his son, Lobengula
Lobengula
Lobengula Khumalo was the second and last king of the Ndebele people, usually pronounced Matabele in English. Both names, in the Sindebele language, mean "The men of the long shields", a reference to the Matabele warriors' use of the Zulu shield and spear.- Background :The Matabele were related to...

.

Colonial era (1888–1965)



In the 1880s, the British arrived with colonialist Cecil Rhodes's British South Africa Company
British South Africa Company
The British South Africa Company was established by Cecil Rhodes through the amalgamation of the Central Search Association and the Exploring Company Ltd., receiving a royal charter in 1889...

. In 1888, Rhodes obtained a concession for mining rights
Rudd Concession
The Rudd Concession was a written mining concession or agreement that Charles Rudd secured from Lobengula, King of Matabeleland on 13 October 1888. Rudd was a business associate of Cecil John Rhodes and he obtained the concession as his agent....

 from King Lobengula of the 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....

 peoples. He presented this concession to persuade the government of the United Kingdom to grant a royal charter
Royal Charter
A royal charter is a formal document issued by a monarch as letters patent, granting a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organizations such as cities or universities. Charters should be distinguished from warrants and...

 to his British South Africa Company (BSAC) over Matabeleland
Matabeleland
Modern day Matabeleland is a region in Zimbabwe divided into three provinces: Matabeleland North, Bulawayo and Matabeleland South. These provinces are in the west and south-west of Zimbabwe, between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. The region is named after its inhabitants, the Ndebele people...

, and its subject states such as Mashonaland
Mashonaland
Mashonaland is a region in northern Zimbabwe. It is the home of the Shona people.Currently, Mashonaland is divided into three provinces, with a total population of about 3 million:* Mashonaland West* Mashonaland Central* Mashonaland East...

.

Rhodes used this document in 1890 to justify sending the Pioneer Column
Pioneer Column
The Pioneer Column was a force raised by Cecil Rhodes and his British South Africa Company in 1890 and used in his efforts to annex the territory of Mashonaland, later part of Southern Rhodesia ....

, a group of white settlers protected by well-armed British South Africa Police
British South Africa Police
The British South Africa Police was the police force of the British South Africa Company of Cecil Rhodes which became the national police force of Southern Rhodesia and its successor after 1965, Rhodesia...

 (BSAP) through Matabeleland and into Shona territory to establish Fort Salisbury (now Harare
Harare
Harare before 1982 known as Salisbury) is the largest city and capital of Zimbabwe. It has an estimated population of 1,600,000, with 2,800,000 in its metropolitan area . Administratively, Harare is an independent city equivalent to a province. It is Zimbabwe's largest city and its...

). In 1893 and 1894, with the help of their new maxim
Maxim gun
The Maxim gun was the first self-powered machine gun, invented by the American-born British inventor Sir Hiram Maxim in 1884. It has been called "the weapon most associated with [British] imperial conquest".-Functionality:...

 guns, the BSAP would go on to defeat the Ndebele in the First Matabele War
First Matabele War
The First Matabele War was fought in 1893-1894 between the British South Africa Company military forces and the Ndebele people. Lobengula, king of the Ndebele, avoided outright war with the British settlers because he and his advisors were mindful of the destructive power of the European weapons...

, a war which also resulted in the death of King Lobengula. Rhodes sought permission to negotiate similar concessions covering all territory between the Limpopo River
Limpopo River
The Limpopo River rises in central southern Africa, and flows generally eastwards to the Indian Ocean. It is around long, with a drainage basin in size. Its mean annual discharge is 170 m³/s at its mouth...

 and Lake Tanganyika
Lake Tanganyika
Lake Tanganyika is an African Great Lake. It is estimated to be the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, and the second deepest, after Lake Baikal in Siberia; it is also the world's longest freshwater lake...

, then known as "Zambesia".

In accordance with the terms of aforementioned concessions and treaties, Rhodes promoted the colonisation of the region's land, with British control over labour as well as precious metals and other mineral resources. In 1895 the BSAC adopted the name "Rhodesia" for the territory of Zambesia, in honour of Rhodes. In 1898 "Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia was the name of the British colony situated north of the Limpopo River and the Union of South Africa. From its independence in 1965 until its extinction in 1980, it was known as Rhodesia...

" became the official denotation for the region south of the Zambezi, which later became Zimbabwe. The region to the north was administered separately by the BSAC and later named Northern Rhodesia
Northern Rhodesia
Northern Rhodesia was a territory in south central Africa, formed in 1911. It became independent in 1964 as Zambia.It was initially administered under charter by the British South Africa Company and formed by it in 1911 by amalgamating North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia...

 (now Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

).

Shortly after the disastrous Jameson Raid
Jameson Raid
The Jameson Raid was a botched raid on Paul Kruger's Transvaal Republic carried out by a British colonial statesman Leander Starr Jameson and his Rhodesian and Bechuanaland policemen over the New Year weekend of 1895–96...

 on the South African Republic
South African Republic
The South African Republic , often informally known as the Transvaal Republic, was an independent Boer-ruled country in Southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century. Not to be confused with the present-day Republic of South Africa, it occupied the area later known as the South African...

, the Ndebele were led by their spiritual leader Mlimo against the white colonials and thus began the Second Matabele War
Second Matabele War
The Second Matabele War, also known as the Matabeleland Rebellion and in Zimbabwe as the First Chimurenga, was fought in 1896–97 between the British troops and the Ndebele people....

 (1896–97). The Shona also staged unsuccessful revolts (known as Chimurenga
Chimurenga
Chimurenga is a Shona word for 'revolutionary struggle'. The word's modern interpretation has been extended to describe a struggle for human rights, political dignity and social justice, specifically used for the African insurrections against British colonial rule 1896–1897 and the guerrilla war...

) against encroachment upon their lands, by clients of BSAC and Cecil Rhodes in 1896 and 1897. Following the failed insurrections of 1896–97 the Ndebele and Shona groups became subject to Rhodes's administration thus precipitating European
European ethnic groups
The ethnic groups in Europe are the various ethnic groups that reside in the nations of Europe. European ethnology is the field of anthropology focusing on Europe....

 settlement en masse which led to land distribution disproportionately favouring Europeans, displacing the Shona, Ndebele, and other indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

.

Southern Rhodesia became a self-governing
Self-governing colony
A self-governing colony is a colony with an elected legislature, in which politicians are able to make most decisions without reference to the colonial power with formal or nominal control of the colony...

 British colony
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 in October 1923, subsequent to a 1922 referendum. Rhodesians served on behalf of the United Kingdom during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, mainly in the East African Campaign
East African Campaign (World War II)
The East African Campaign was a series of battles fought in East Africa during World War II by the British Empire, the British Commonwealth of Nations and several allies against the forces of Italy from June 1940 to November 1941....

 against Axis forces in Italian East Africa
Italian East Africa
Italian East Africa was an Italian colonial administrative subdivision established in 1936, resulting from the merger of the Ethiopian Empire with the old colonies of Italian Somaliland and Italian Eritrea. In August 1940, British Somaliland was conquered and annexed to Italian East Africa...

. Proportional to (European-descended) population, Southern Rhodesia contributed more to both the First and Second World Wars than any other part of the Empire, including Britain itself.

In 1953, in the face of African opposition, Britain consolidated the two colonies of Rhodesia with Nyasaland
Nyasaland
Nyasaland or the Nyasaland Protectorate, was a British protectorate located in Africa, which was established in 1907 when the former British Central Africa Protectorate changed its name. Since 1964, it has been known as Malawi....

 in the ill-fated Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, also known as the Central African Federation , was a semi-independent state in southern Africa that existed from 1953 to the end of 1963, comprising the former self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia and the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia,...

 which was dominated by Southern Rhodesia. Growing African nationalism
African nationalism
African nationalism is the nationalist political movement for one unified Africa, or the less significant objective of the acknowledgment of African tribes by instituting their own states, as well as the safeguarding of their indigenous customs...

 and general dissent, particularly in Nyasaland, persuaded Britain to dissolve the Union in 1963, forming three colonies. As colonial rule was ending throughout the continent and as African-majority governments assumed control in neighboring Northern Rhodesia
Northern Rhodesia
Northern Rhodesia was a territory in south central Africa, formed in 1911. It became independent in 1964 as Zambia.It was initially administered under charter by the British South Africa Company and formed by it in 1911 by amalgamating North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia...

 (Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

) and in Nyasaland (Malawi
Malawi
The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Its size...

), the white-minority Rhodesian government led by Ian 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...

's Rhodesian Front
Rhodesian Front
The Rhodesian Front was a political party in Southern Rhodesia when the country was under white minority rule. Led first by Winston Field, and, from 1964, by Ian Smith, the Rhodesian Front was the successor to the Dominion Party, which was the main opposition party in Southern Rhodesia during the...

 (RF) dropped the designation "Southern" in 1964 and issued a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (commonly abbreviated to "UDI") from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965, effectively repudiating the British plan that the country should become a multi-racial democracy. It was the first declaration of independence by a British colony since the American declaration
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

 of 1776, which was indeed claimed by the Rhodesian government to provide a precedent.

Independence and civil war (1965–1979)


After UDI, the British government requested United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 economic sanctions
Economic sanctions
Economic sanctions are domestic penalties applied by one country on another for a variety of reasons. Economic sanctions include, but are not limited to, tariffs, trade barriers, import duties, and import or export quotas...

 against Rhodesia
Rhodesia
Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Rhodesia from 1970, was an unrecognised state located in southern Africa that existed between 1965 and 1979 following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965...

 as negotiations with the Smith administration in 1966 and 1968 ended in stalemate. The United Kingdom deemed the Rhodesian declaration an act of rebellion, but did not re-establish control by force. A civil war
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

 ensued, with Joshua Nkomo
Joshua Nkomo
Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo was the leader and founder of the Zimbabwe African People's Union and a member of the Kalanga tribe...

's Zimbabwe African People's Union
Zimbabwe African People's Union
The Zimbabwe African People's Union was a militant organization and political party that fought for the national liberation of Zimbabwe from its founding in 1961 until it merged with the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front in December 1987....

 (ZAPU) and Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980...

's Zimbabwe African National Union
Zimbabwe African National Union
The Zimbabwe African National Union was a militant organization that fought against the standing government in Rhodesia, formed as a split from the Zimbabwe African People's Union...

 (ZANU) using assistance from the governments of Zambia and Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

 (the latter following its independence from Portugal in 1975).

Smith's declaration of a republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

 in 1970 was recognized only by South Africa, then governed by its apartheid administration. Over the years, the fighting against Ian Smith's government intensified. As a result, the Smith government opened negotiations with the leaders of ZAPU and ZANU.


In March 1978, with his regime near the brink of collapse, Smith signed an accord with three African leaders, led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa
Abel Muzorewa
Bishop Abel Tendekayi Muzorewa served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia from the Internal Settlement to the Lancaster House Agreement in 1979...

, who offered safeguards for white civilian
Civilian
A civilian under international humanitarian law is a person who is not a member of his or her country's armed forces or other militia. Civilians are distinct from combatants. They are afforded a degree of legal protection from the effects of war and military occupation...

s. As a result of the Internal Settlement
Internal Settlement
The Internal Settlement was the agreement between Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith and Abel Muzorewa in 1978.-Negotiations:Fed up with the sanctions leveled against Rhodesia by the international community and outright political pressure from South Africa, Great Britain and the United States, the...

, elections
Zimbabwe Rhodesia general election, 1979
The Zimbabwe Rhodesia general election of April 1979 was held under the internal settlement negotiated by the Rhodesian Front government of Ian Smith intended to provide a peaceful transition to majority rule on terms not harmful to Rhodesians of European descent...

 were held in April 1979. The United African National Council
United African National Council
The United African National Council is a political party in Zimbabwe.In 1979, led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa, the UANC Party held formal power in Zimbabwe during the short-lived period of the Internal Settlement...

 (UANC) party won a majority in this election. On 1 June 1979, the leader of UANC, Abel Muzorewa
Abel Muzorewa
Bishop Abel Tendekayi Muzorewa served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia from the Internal Settlement to the Lancaster House Agreement in 1979...

, became the country's prime minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 and the country's name was changed to Zimbabwe Rhodesia
Zimbabwe Rhodesia
Zimbabwe Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, was an unrecognized state that existed from 1 June 1979 to 12 December 1979...

. The internal settlement left control of the country's police
Police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

, security forces, civil service
Civil service
The term civil service has two distinct meanings:* A branch of governmental service in which individuals are employed on the basis of professional merit as proven by competitive examinations....

 and judiciary
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 in white hands. It assured whites of about one-third of the seats in parliament. On 12 June, the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 voted to end economic sanctions against Zimbabwe Rhodesia.

Following the fifth Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 1979
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 1979 was the fifth Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations. It was held in Lusaka, Zambia, between 1 August 1979 and 7 August 1979, and was hosted by that country's President, Kenneth Kaunda.The Lusaka Declaration was issued at...

 (CHOGM), held in Lusaka
Lusaka
Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. It is located in the southern part of the central plateau, at an elevation of about 1,300 metres . It has a population of about 1.7 million . It is a commercial centre as well as the centre of government, and the four main highways of Zambia head...

, Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 from 1 August to 7 August in 1979, the British government invited Muzorewa and the leaders of the Patriotic Front
Patriotic Front (Zambia)
The Patriotic Front movement is the Zambian ruling political party. It is currently the most widely supported political party in Zambia. The Party was formed by Michael Sata as a breakaway party of the MMD in 2001. This was after the then-president Frederick Chiluba nominated Levy Mwanawasa as the...

 to participate in a constitutional conference at Lancaster House
Lancaster House
Lancaster House is a mansion in the St. James's district in the West End of London. It is close to St. James's Palace and much of the site was once part of the palace complex...

. The purpose of the conference was to discuss and reach an agreement on the terms of an independence constitution and that elections should be supervised under British authority to enable Rhodesia to proceed to legal independence and the parties to settle their differences by political means.

Lord Carrington, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, commonly referred to as the Foreign Secretary, is a senior member of Her Majesty's Government heading the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and regarded as one of the Great Offices of State...

 of the United Kingdom, chaired the conference. The conference took place from 10 September to 15 December in 1979 with 47 plenary session
Plenary session
Plenary session is a term often used in conferences to define the part of the conference when all members of all parties are to attend.These sessions may contain a broad range of content from keynotes to panel discussions and are not necessarily related to a specific style of delivery.The term has...

s. On 1 December 1979, delegations from the British and Rhodesian governments and the Patriotic Front signed the Lancaster House Agreement
Lancaster House Agreement
The negotiations which led to the Lancaster House Agreement brought independence to Rhodesia following Ian Smith’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965. The Agreement covered the Independence Constitution, pre-independence arrangements, and a ceasefire...

, ending the civil war
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

.

Post-Independence (1980–1999)


Britain's Lord Soames was appointed governor to oversee the disarming of revolution
Revolution
A revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.Aristotle described two types of political revolution:...

ary fighters, the holding of elections and the granting of independence to an uneasy coalition
Coalition
A coalition is a pact or treaty among individuals or groups, during which they cooperate in joint action, each in their own self-interest, joining forces together for a common cause. This alliance may be temporary or a matter of convenience. A coalition thus differs from a more formal covenant...

 government with Joshua Nkomo
Joshua Nkomo
Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo was the leader and founder of the Zimbabwe African People's Union and a member of the Kalanga tribe...

, head of ZAPU. In the elections of February 1980
Zimbabwean parliamentary election, 1980
General elections were held in Southern Rhodesia in February 1980 in order to elect a government which would govern the country after it was granted independence as Zimbabwe, in accordance with the conclusions of the Lancaster House Agreement...

, Mugabe and his ZANU won a landslide victory.

There was opposition to a Shona win in Matabeleland
Matabeleland
Modern day Matabeleland is a region in Zimbabwe divided into three provinces: Matabeleland North, Bulawayo and Matabeleland South. These provinces are in the west and south-west of Zimbabwe, between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. The region is named after its inhabitants, the Ndebele people...

. In November 1980 Enos Nkala
Enos Nkala
Enos Nkala is one of the founders of the Zimbabwe African National Union. During the war, he served on the ZANU high command, or Dare reChimurenga...

 made remarks at a rally in Bulawayo
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...

, in which he warned ZAPU that ZANU would deliver a few blows against them. This started the first Entumbane uprising, in which ZIPRA
ZIPRA
Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army was the armed wing of the Zimbabwe African People's Union, a political party in Rhodesia. It participated in the Second Chimurenga against white minority rule in the former Rhodesia....

 and ZANLA fought for two days.

In February 1981 there was a second uprising, which spread to Glenville and also to Connemara in the Midlands. ZIPRA troops in other parts of Matabeleland headed for Bulawayo
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...

 to join the battle, and ex-Rhodesian units had to come in to stop the fighting. Over 300 people were killed.
These uprisings led to what has become known as Gukurahundi ( chaff
Chaff
Chaff is the dry, scaly protective casings of the seeds of cereal grain, or similar fine, dry, scaly plant material such as scaly parts of flowers, or finely chopped straw...

 before the spring rains") or the Matabeleland Massacres, which ran from 1982 until 1985. Mugabe used his North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

n trained Fifth Brigade
Zimbabwean Fifth Brigade
The Fifth Brigade was an elite unit of specially trained Zimbabwean soldiers. The Fifth Brigade was formed in 1981 and disbanded in 1988 after allegations of brutality and murder during the Brigade's occupation of Matabeleland...

 to crush any resistance in Matabeleland. It has been estimated that at least 20,000 Matabele were murdered and tens of thousands of others were tortured in camps such as the Valagwe camp, where 2-3000 people could be detained for torture and interrogation at any one time. The violence ended after ZANU and ZAPU reached a unity agreement in 1988 that merged the two parties, creating ZANU-PF.

Elections in March 1990 resulted in another victory for Mugabe and his party, which won 117 of the 120 election seats. Election observers estimated voter turnout
Voter turnout
Voter turnout is the percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot in an election . After increasing for many decades, there has been a trend of decreasing voter turnout in most established democracies since the 1960s...

 at only 54% and found the campaign neither free nor fair.

During the 1990s student
Student
A student is a learner, or someone who attends an educational institution. In some nations, the English term is reserved for those who attend university, while a schoolchild under the age of eighteen is called a pupil in English...

s, trade unionists and workers often demonstrated to express their discontent with the government. Students protested in 1990 against proposals for an increase in government control of universities and again in 1991 and 1992 when they clashed with police. Trade unionists and workers also criticised the government during this time. In 1992 police prevented trade unionists from holding anti-government demonstrations. In 1994 widespread industrial unrest weakened the economy. In 1996 civil servants, nurses, and junior doctor
Junior doctor
Junior doctors in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland are those in postgraduate training, starting at graduation with a medical degree and culminating in a post as a Consultant, a General Practitioner, or some other non-training post, such as a Staff grade or Associate Specialist...

s went on strike
Strike action
Strike action, also called labour strike, on strike, greve , or simply strike, is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances. Strikes became important during the industrial revolution, when mass labour became...

 over salary
Salary
A salary is a form of periodic payment from an employer to an employee, which may be specified in an employment contract. It is contrasted with piece wages, where each job, hour or other unit is paid separately, rather than on a periodic basis....

 issues. The general health of the civilian population also began to significantly flounder. By 1997 an estimated 25% of the population of Zimbabwe had been infected by HIV
HIV
Human immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive...

, the AIDS virus.

Economic difficulties and hyperinflation (1999–2008)


Land issues, which the liberation movement had promised to solve, re-emerged as the main issue for the ruling party around 1997. Despite majority rule and the existence of a "willing-buyer-willing-seller" land reform programme since the 1980s, whites
Whites in Zimbabwe
White Zimbabweans are people from the southern African country Zimbabwe who identify themselves as white...

 made up less than 1% of the population but held about 70% of the most arable land
Arable land
In geography and agriculture, arable land is land that can be used for growing crops. It includes all land under temporary crops , temporary meadows for mowing or pasture, land under market and kitchen gardens and land temporarily fallow...

. Mugabe began to redistribute land
Land reform in Zimbabwe
Land reform in Zimbabwe officially began in 1979 with the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement, an effort to more equitably distribute land between the historically disenfranchised blacks and the minority-whites who ruled Zimbabwe from 1890 to 1979...

 to blacks in 2000 with a compulsory land redistribution.

Eventually a wide range of sanctions were imposed by the US government and European Union against the person of Mugabe, individuals, private companies, parastatals
Government-owned corporation
A government-owned corporation, state-owned company, state-owned entity, state enterprise, publicly owned corporation, government business enterprise, or parastatal is a legal entity created by a government to undertake commercial activities on behalf of an owner government...

, and the government of Zimbabwe.

The legality and constitutionality of the process has regularly been challenged in the Zimbabwean High and Supreme Courts. The confiscation of the farmland was affected by continuous droughts and lack of inputs and finance led to a sharp decline in agricultural exports, which was traditionally the country's leading export producing sector. Mining
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...

 and tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 have surpassed agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

. As a result, Zimbabwe experienced a severe hard-currency shortage that led to hyperinflation
Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe
Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe began shortly after destruction of productive capacity in Zimbabwe's civil war and confiscation of white-owned farmland. Food output capacity fell 45%, manufacturing output 29% in 2005, 26% in 2006 and 28% in 2007, and unemployment rose to 80%...

 and chronic shortages in imported fuel
Fuel
Fuel is any material that stores energy that can later be extracted to perform mechanical work in a controlled manner. Most fuels used by humans undergo combustion, a redox reaction in which a combustible substance releases energy after it ignites and reacts with the oxygen in the air...

 and consumer goods. In 2002, Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 on charges of human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 abuses during the land redistribution and of election tampering
Electoral fraud
Electoral fraud is illegal interference with the process of an election. Acts of fraud affect vote counts to bring about an election result, whether by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates or both...

. In 2003, the Zimbabwe government withdrew its Commonwealth membership.

Following elections in 2005, the government initiated "Operation Murambatsvina
Operation Murambatsvina
Operation Murambatsvina , also officially known as Operation Restore Order, is a large-scale Zimbabwean government campaign to forcibly clear slum areas across the country...

", an effort to crack down on illegal markets and homes that had seen slums emerge in towns and cities. This action has been widely condemned by opposition and international figures, who charge that it has left a substantial section of urban poor homeless. The Zimbabwe government has described the operation as an attempt to provide decent housing to the population although they have yet to deliver any new housing for the forcibly removed people.


Zimbabwe's current economic and food crisis, described by some observers as the country's worst humanitarian crisis since independence, has been attributed in varying degrees to the government's price controls and land confiscations, the HIV
HIV
Human immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive...

/AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

 epidemic, and a drought affecting the entire region.

Life expectancy at birth for males in Zimbabwe has dramatically declined since 1990 from 60 to 42 years, among the lowest in the world. The amount of time a Zimbabwean citizen is expected to live healthily from birth is 39 years. Concurrently, the infant mortality rate has climbed from 53 to 81 deaths per 1,000 live births in the same period. , 1.2 million Zimbabweans live with HIV
HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe
Recent estimates from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS indicate that approximately 1.6 million adults 15 years and older were living with HIV/AIDS in 2005...

.

On 29 March 2008, Zimbabwe held a presidential election
Zimbabwean presidential election, 2008
The Republic of Zimbabwe held a presidential election along with a parliamentary election on 29 March 2008. The three major candidates were incumbent President Robert Mugabe of the Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front , Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change , and...

 along with a parliamentary election
Zimbabwean parliamentary election, 2008
A parliamentary election was held in Zimbabwe on March 29, 2008 to elect members to both the House of Assembly and the Senate of the Zimbabwean parliament...

. The three major candidates were Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980...

 of the Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front
Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front
The Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front has been the ruling party in Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, led by Robert Mugabe, first as Prime Minister with the party simply known as ZANU, and then as President from 1988 after taking over ZAPU and retaining the name ZANU-PF...

 (ZANU-PF), Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Richard Tsvangirai is the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. He is the President of the Movement for Democratic Change - Tsvangirai and a key figure in the opposition to President Robert Mugabe. Tsvangirai was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe on 11 February 2009...

 of the Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai
Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai
The Movement for Democratic Change Zimbabwe is a political party and the largest party in the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe. It is the main formation formed from the split of the original Movement for Democratic Change in 2005.-Foundation:...

 (MDC-T), and Simba Makoni
Simba Makoni
Simbarashe Herbert Stanley Makoni is a Zimbabwean politician and was a candidate for the March 2008 presidential election against incumbent Robert Mugabe. He was Minister of Finance and Economic Development in President Robert Mugabe's cabinet from 2000 to 2002...

, an independent. The results of this election
Zimbabwean parliamentary election, 2008
A parliamentary election was held in Zimbabwe on March 29, 2008 to elect members to both the House of Assembly and the Senate of the Zimbabwean parliament...

 were withheld for two weeks, following which it was generally acknowledged that the MDC had achieved a majority of one seat in lower house of parliament. Mugabe retained control because after the "recount" which was done behind close doors without independent monitors Tsvangirai no longer had the margin required by Zimbabwean law. Hence, the doctored election results that would otherwise put Mugabe out of power, failed the opposition.

In late 2008, problems in Zimbabwe reached crisis proportions in the areas of living standards, public health (with a major cholera outbreak in December) and various public considerations. Mining of diamond
Diamond
In mineralogy, diamond is an allotrope of carbon, where the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face-centered cubic crystal structure called a diamond lattice. Diamond is less stable than graphite, but the conversion rate from diamond to graphite is negligible at ambient conditions...

s at Marange
Marange diamond fields
The Marange diamond fields are an area of widespread small-scale diamond production in Chiadzwa, Mutare West, Zimbabwe. 'The hugely prolific Chiadzwa fields are regarded as the world's biggest diamond find in more than a century'...

 in Chiadzwa
Chiadzwa
Chiadzwa is a ward in Mutare District and Mutare West constituency in Zimbabwe and home to the Marange diamond fields....

 became the subject of international attention as the World Diamond Council
World Diamond Council
The World Diamond Council is an organization consisting of representatives from diamond manufacturing and diamond trading companies...

 called for a clampdown on smuggling and illegal miners were reported killed by the military.

2008–present


In September 2008, a power-sharing agreement
2008–2009 Zimbabwean political negotiations
The 2008–2009 Zimbabwean political negotiations between the opposition Movement for Democratic Change , its small splinter group, the Movement for Democratic Change - Mutambara , and the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front are intended to negotiate an end to the partisan...

 was reached between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, in which Mugabe remained president and Tsvangirai became prime minister. Due to ministerial differences between their respective political parties, the agreement was not fully implemented until 13 February 2009, two days after the swearing in of Tsvangirai as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe
Prime Minister of Zimbabwe
The Prime Minister of Zimbabwe is the head of government in Zimbabwe. From 1980 to 1987, Robert Mugabe was the first person to hold the position following independence from the United Kingdom. He took office when Rhodesia became the Republic of Zimbabwe on 18 April 1980...

.

In November 2010, the IMF described the Zimbabwean economy as "completing its second year of buoyant economic growth after a decade of economic decline", mentioning "strengthening policies" and "favorable shocks" as main reasons for the economic growth.

In December 2010 President Mugabe threatened to further expropriate privately-owned companies unless "western sanctions" were lifted. He said: "Why should we continue having companies and organizations that are supported by Britain and America without hitting back? Time has come for us to [take] revenge. We can read the riot act and say this is 51 percent we are taking and if the sanctions persist we are taking over 100 percent."

Journalist Nicholas D. Kristof
Nicholas D. Kristof
Nicholas Donabet Kristof is an American journalist, author, op-ed columnist, and a winner of two Pulitzer Prizes. He has written an op-ed column for The New York Times since November 2001 and is known for bringing to light human rights abuses in Asia and Africa, such as human trafficking and the...

 reports that despite slight improvements since the beginning of the power-sharing government, life continues to be considerably worse for the majority of its people than under the Rhodesian Front
Rhodesian Front
The Rhodesian Front was a political party in Southern Rhodesia when the country was under white minority rule. Led first by Winston Field, and, from 1964, by Ian Smith, the Rhodesian Front was the successor to the Dominion Party, which was the main opposition party in Southern Rhodesia during the...

 government.

Administrative divisions



Zimbabwe has a centralised government and is divided into eight provinces
Provinces of Zimbabwe
|Zimbabwe is divided into 8 provinces and 2 cities with provincial status:-See also:*Districts of Zimbabwe*Municipalities of Zimbabwe*List of provincial governors of Zimbabwe*ISO 3166-2:ZW-External links:*...

 and two cities with provincial status, for administrative purposes. Each province has a provincial capital from where official business is usually carried out.
Province Capital
Bulawayo
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...

Bulawayo
Harare
Harare
Harare before 1982 known as Salisbury) is the largest city and capital of Zimbabwe. It has an estimated population of 1,600,000, with 2,800,000 in its metropolitan area . Administratively, Harare is an independent city equivalent to a province. It is Zimbabwe's largest city and its...

Harare
Manicaland
Manicaland
Manicaland is a province of Zimbabwe. It has an area of and a population of approximately 1.6 million . Mutare is the capital of the province. -Background:...

 
Mutare
Mutare
Mutare is the fourth largest city in Zimbabwe, with a population of around 170,000. It is the capital of Manicaland province.-History:...

Mashonaland Central
Mashonaland Central
Mashonaland Central is a province of Zimbabwe. It has an area of 28,347 km² and a population of approximately 998,265 , representing about 8.5% of the total Zimbabwe population.- Background :Bindura is the capital of the province...

 
Bindura
Bindura
Bindura is a town in the province of Mashonaland Central, Zimbabwe. It is located in the Mazowe Valley about 88 km north-east of Harare. According to the 1982 Population Census, the town had a population of 18,243. This rose to 21,167 in the 1992 census. It is the administrative capital of the...

Mashonaland East
Mashonaland East
Mashonaland East is a province of Zimbabwe. It has an area of 32,230 km² and a population of approximately 1.1 million . Marondera is the capital of the province.-Districts:Mashonaland East is divided into eight districts:* Chikomba* Goromonzi...

 
Marondera
Marondera
Marondera is a town in Mashonaland East, Zimbabwe, located about 72 km east of Harare; population 39,384...

Mashonaland West
Mashonaland West
Mashonaland West is a province of Zimbabwe. It has an area of 57,441 km² and a population of approximately 1.2 million . Chinhoyi is the capital of the province.Mashonaland West is divided into 6 districts:* Chegutu* Hurungwe* Kadoma* Kariba...

 
Chinhoyi
Chinhoyi
Chinhoyi is a large provincial town and is the capital of Mashonaland West province in Zimbabwe. Sinoia was established in 1906 as a group settlement scheme by a wealthy Italian called Lieutenant Margherito Guidotti who encouraged 10 Italian families to settle there.- Overview :Chinhoyi is located...

Masvingo  Masvingo city
Masvingo
Masvingo is a town in south-eastern Zimbabwe and the capital of Masvingo Province. The town is close to Great Zimbabwe, the national monument from which the country takes its name.- History :...

Matabeleland North
Matabeleland North
Matabeleland North is a province in western Zimbabwe. It borders the provinces of Midlands and Mashonaland West to the east and northeast respectively, and the province of Matabeleland South and the city of Bulawayo to the south. Its northern border is defined by the Zambezi river, while its...

 
Lupane District
Matabeleland South
Matabeleland South
Matabeleland South is a province of Zimbabwe. It has an area of 54,172 km² and a population of approximately 650,000 . Gwanda is the capital of the province.-Geography:...

 
Gwanda
Gwanda
Gwanda is the capital of the province of Matabeleland South in Zimbabwe. It is located on the Bulawayo-Beitbridge road and railway. Gwanda was founded in 1900. According to the 1982 Population Census, the town had a population of 4,874...

Midlands  Gweru
Gweru
Gweru is a city near the centre of Zimbabwe at . It has a population of about 146,073 , 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. The first bank opened in Gweru in 1896, and the stock exchange...



The names of most of the provinces were generated from the Mashonaland
Mashonaland
Mashonaland is a region in northern Zimbabwe. It is the home of the Shona people.Currently, Mashonaland is divided into three provinces, with a total population of about 3 million:* Mashonaland West* Mashonaland Central* Mashonaland East...

 and Matabeleland
Matabeleland
Modern day Matabeleland is a region in Zimbabwe divided into three provinces: Matabeleland North, Bulawayo and Matabeleland South. These provinces are in the west and south-west of Zimbabwe, between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. The region is named after its inhabitants, the Ndebele people...

 divide at the time of colonisation: Mashonaland
Mashonaland
Mashonaland is a region in northern Zimbabwe. It is the home of the Shona people.Currently, Mashonaland is divided into three provinces, with a total population of about 3 million:* Mashonaland West* Mashonaland Central* Mashonaland East...

 was the territory occupied first by the British South Africa Company Pioneer Column and Matabeleland
Matabeleland
Modern day Matabeleland is a region in Zimbabwe divided into three provinces: Matabeleland North, Bulawayo and Matabeleland South. These provinces are in the west and south-west of Zimbabwe, between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. The region is named after its inhabitants, the Ndebele people...

 the territory conquered during the First Matabele War
First Matabele War
The First Matabele War was fought in 1893-1894 between the British South Africa Company military forces and the Ndebele people. Lobengula, king of the Ndebele, avoided outright war with the British settlers because he and his advisors were mindful of the destructive power of the European weapons...

. This corresponds roughly to the precolonial territory of the Shona people
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 the Matabele people, although there are significant ethnic minorities in most provinces. Each province is headed by a Provincial Governor, appointed by the President. The provincial government is run by a Provincial Administrator, appointed by the Public Service Commission. Other government functions at provincial level are carried out by provincial offices of national government departments.

The provinces are subdivided into 59 districts
Districts of Zimbabwe
The provinces of Zimbabwe are divided into 59 districts and 1,200 municipalities. The districts are listed below, by province:-Bulawayo :* Bulawayo-Harare :* Harare-Manicaland Province:* Buhera* Chimanimani* Chipinge* Makoni* Mutare...

 and 1,200 wards
Municipalities of Zimbabwe
|The Districts of Zimbabwe are divided into 1,200 municipal wards. The wards are listed below, by district:-Beitbridge:*Beitbridge*Chipise*Dendele*Dite Ii*Machuchuta*Maramani*Masera*Mtetengwe I*Mtetengwe Ii*Mtetengwe Iii*Siyoka I*Siyoka Ii...

 (sometimes referred to as municipalities). Each district is headed by a District Administrator, appointed by the Public Service Commission. There is also a Rural District Council, which appoints a Chief Executive Officer. The Rural District Council is composed of elected ward councillors, the District Administrator and one representative of the chiefs (traditional leaders appointed under customary law) in the district. Other government functions at district level are carried out by district offices of national government departments.

At the ward level there is a Ward Development Committee, comprising the elected ward councillor, the kraalheads (traditional leaders subordinate to chiefs) and representatives of Village Development Committees. Wards are subdivided into villages, each of which has an elected Village Development Committee and a Headman (traditional leader subordinate to the kraalhead).

Government and politics




Zimbabwe is a semi-presidential
Semi-presidential system
The semi-presidential system is a system of government in which a president and a prime minister are both active participants in the day-to-day administration of the state...

 republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

, which has a parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 of government. Under the constitutional changes in 2005, an upper chamber, the Senate
Senate of Zimbabwe
The Senate of Zimbabwe is the upper chamber of the country's bicameral Parliament. It existed from 1980 to 1989, and was re-introduced in November 2005....

, was reinstated. The House of Assembly
House of Assembly of Zimbabwe
The House of Assembly of Zimbabwe is the lower chamber of the country's bicameral Parliament. It was the unicameral legislative body from 1989 until late November 2005, when the Senate was re-introduced....

 is the lower chamber of Parliament.

President Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980...

's Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (commonly abbreviated ZANU-PF) has been the dominant political party in Zimbabwe since independence. In 1987 then-prime minister Mugabe revised the constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

, abolishing the ceremonial presidency
Parliamentary republic
A parliamentary republic or parliamentary constitutional republic is a type of republic which operates under a parliamentary system of government - meaning a system with no clear-cut separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches. There are a number of variations of...

 and the prime ministerial posts to form an executive president, a Presidential system
Presidential system
A presidential system is a system of government where an executive branch exists and presides separately from the legislature, to which it is not responsible and which cannot, in normal circumstances, dismiss it....

. His ZANU party has won every election since independence, in 1990 election the second-placed party, Edgar Tekere
Edgar Tekere
Edgar Zivanai Tekere was a Zimbabwean politician. He was a president of the Zimbabwe African National Union who organised the party during the Lancaster House talks and served in government before his popularity as a potential rival to Robert Mugabe caused their...

's Zimbabwe Unity Movement, winning only 20% of the vote. During the 1995 parliamentary elections most opposition parties, including the ZUM, boycotted the voting, resulting in a near-sweep by the ruling party. When the opposition returned to the polls in 2000, they won 57 seats, only five fewer than ZANU.

Presidential elections were again held in 2002 amid allegations of vote-rigging, intimidation and fraud. The 2005 Zimbabwe parliamentary elections
Zimbabwe parliamentary elections, 2005
A parliamentary election was held in Zimbabwe on March 31, 2005 to elect members to the Zimbabwe House of Assembly. All of the 120 elected seats in the 150-seat House of Assembly were up for election. A parliamentary election was held in Zimbabwe on March 31, 2005 to elect members to the Zimbabwe...

 were held on 31 March and multiple claims of vote rigging, election fraud and intimidation were made by the MDC and Jonathan Moyo
Jonathan Moyo
Jonathan Nathaniel Moyo is a controversial political figure in Zimbabwe. He was Minister of Information from 2000 to 2005 and is currently a Member of Parliament. He is considered the core architect of AIPPA and POSA....

, calling for investigations into 32 of the 120 constituencies. Jonathan Moyo participated in the elections despite the allegations and won a seat as an independent member of Parliament.

General elections were again held in Zimbabwe on 30 March 2008. The official results required a runoff between Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Richard Tsvangirai is the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. He is the President of the Movement for Democratic Change - Tsvangirai and a key figure in the opposition to President Robert Mugabe. Tsvangirai was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe on 11 February 2009...

, the opposition leader; the MDC challenged these results, claiming widespread election fraud by the Mugabe government. The runoff was scheduled for 27 June 2008. On 22 June, citing the continuing unfairness of the process and refusing to participate in a "violent, illegitimate sham of an election process", Tsvangirai pulled out of the presidential run-off, the ZEC held the run-off and President Mugabe received a landslide majority.

The MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Richard Tsvangirai is the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. He is the President of the Movement for Democratic Change - Tsvangirai and a key figure in the opposition to President Robert Mugabe. Tsvangirai was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe on 11 February 2009...

 is now the majority in the Lower chamber of Parliament. The MDC split into two factions. One faction (MDC-M), now led by Arthur Mutambara
Arthur Mutambara
Arthur Guseni Oliver Mutambara is a Zimbabwean politician. He became the President of the Movement for Democratic Change-Mutambara faction in February 2006. He has worked as the Managing Director and CEO of Africa Technology and Business Institute since September 2003...

 contested the elections to the Senate, while the other, led by Morgan Tsvangirai, opposed to contesting the elections, stating that participation in a rigged election is tantamount to endorsing Mugabe's claim that past elections were free and fair. The opposition parties have resumed participation in national and local elections as recently as 2006. The two MDC camps had their congresses in 2006 with Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Richard Tsvangirai is the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. He is the President of the Movement for Democratic Change - Tsvangirai and a key figure in the opposition to President Robert Mugabe. Tsvangirai was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe on 11 February 2009...

 being elected to lead MDC-T, which has become more popular than the other group.

Mutambara, a robotics professor and former NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 robotics specialist has replaced Welshman Ncube
Welshman Ncube
Welshman Ncube is a Zimbabwean politician. He is the President of the Movement for Democratic Change – Mutambara, and since February 2009 has been the Minister of Industry and Commerce. He was elected as a member of the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe for Bulawayo North East in the 2000 election and...

 who was the interim leader of MDC-M after the split. Morgan Tsvangirai did not participate in the Senate elections, while the Mutambara faction participated and won five seats in the senate. The Mutambara formation has been weakened by defections from MPs and individuals who are disillusioned by their manifesto. As of 2008, the Movement for Democratic Change
Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai
The Movement for Democratic Change Zimbabwe is a political party and the largest party in the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe. It is the main formation formed from the split of the original Movement for Democratic Change in 2005.-Foundation:...

 has become the most popular, with crowds as large as 20,000 attending their rallies as compared to between 500–5,000 for the other formation.

On 28 April 2008, Tsvangirai and Mutambara announced at a joint news conference in Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg or Egoli, is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa...

 that the two MDC formations were cooperating, enabling the MDC to have a clear parliamentary majority. Tsvangirai said that Mugabe could not remain President without a parliamentary majority. On the same day, Silaigwana announced that the recounts for the final five constituencies had been completed, that the results were being collated and that they would be published on 29 April.

In mid-September 2008, after protracted negotiations overseen by the leaders of South Africa and Mozambique, Mugabe and Tsvangirai signed a power-sharing deal which would see Mugabe retain control over the army. Donor nations have adopted a 'wait-and-see' attitude, wanting to see real change being brought about by this merger before committing themselves to funding rebuilding efforts, which are estimated to take at least five years. On 11 February 2009 Tsvangirai was sworn in as Prime Minister by President Mugabe.

In November, 2008, the government of Zimbabwe spent $7.3 million donated by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. A representative of the organization declined to speculate on how the money was spent, except that it was not for the intended purpose, and the government has failed to honor requests to return the money.

Human rights



There are widespread reports of systematic and escalating violations of human rights in Zimbabwe under the Mugabe administration
Robert Mugabe
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980...

 and his party, the ZANU-PF
Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front
The Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front has been the ruling party in Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, led by Robert Mugabe, first as Prime Minister with the party simply known as ZANU, and then as President from 1988 after taking over ZAPU and retaining the name ZANU-PF...

.

According to human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 organisations such as Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 and Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 the government of Zimbabwe violates the rights to shelter, food, freedom of movement
Freedom of movement
Freedom of movement, mobility rights or the right to travel is a human right concept that the constitutions of numerous states respect...

 and residence, freedom of assembly
Freedom of assembly
Freedom of assembly, sometimes used interchangeably with the freedom of association, is the individual right to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests...

 and the protection of the law
Rule of law
The rule of law, sometimes called supremacy of law, is a legal maxim that says that governmental decisions should be made by applying known principles or laws with minimal discretion in their application...

. There have been alleged assaults on the media
News media
The news media are those elements of the mass media that focus on delivering news to the general public or a target public.These include print media , broadcast news , and more recently the Internet .-Etymology:A medium is a carrier of something...

, the political opposition, civil society
Civil society
Civil society is composed of the totality of many voluntary social relationships, civic and social organizations, and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society, as distinct from the force-backed structures of a state , the commercial institutions of the market, and private criminal...

 activists, and human rights defenders.

Opposition gatherings are frequently the subject of brutal attacks by the police
Police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

 force, such as the crackdown on a 11 March 2007 Movement for Democratic Change
Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai
The Movement for Democratic Change Zimbabwe is a political party and the largest party in the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe. It is the main formation formed from the split of the original Movement for Democratic Change in 2005.-Foundation:...

 (MDC) rally and several others during the 2008 election campaign. In the attacks of 2007, party leader Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Richard Tsvangirai is the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. He is the President of the Movement for Democratic Change - Tsvangirai and a key figure in the opposition to President Robert Mugabe. Tsvangirai was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe on 11 February 2009...

 and 49 other opposition activists were arrested and severely beaten by the police. After his release, Morgan Tsvangirai told the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 that he suffered head injuries and blows to the arms, knees and back, and that he lost a significant amount of blood.
Police action was strongly condemned by the UN Secretary-General
United Nations Secretary-General
The Secretary-General of the United Nations is the head of the Secretariat of the United Nations, one of the principal organs of the United Nations. The Secretary-General also acts as the de facto spokesperson and leader of the United Nations....

, Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon is the eighth and current Secretary-General of the United Nations, after succeeding Kofi Annan in 2007. Before going on to be Secretary-General, Ban was a career diplomat in South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the United Nations. He entered diplomatic service the year he...

, the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and the United States. While noting that the activists had suffered injuries, but not mentioning the cause of them, the Zimbabwean government-controlled daily newspaper The Herald
The Herald (Zimbabwe)
The Herald is a government owned daily newspaper published in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe.-Origins:The newspaper's origins date back to the 19th century. Its forerunner was launched on June 27 1891 by W E Fairbridge for the Argus group of South Africa...

claimed the police had intervened after demonstrators "ran amok looting shops, destroying property, mugging civilians, and assaulting police officers and innocent members of the public". The newspaper also argued that the opposition had been "willfully violating the ban on political rallies".

There are also abuses of media rights and access. The Zimbabwean government suppresses freedom of the press and freedom of speech. It has also been repeatedly accused of using the public broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation is the state-controlled broadcaster in Zimbabwe. It succeeded the Voice of Zimbabwe Rhodesia in 1980, which in turn had succeeded the Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation in 1979...

, as a propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 tool. Newspapers critical of the government, such as the Daily News
Daily News (Harare)
The Daily News was a Zimbabwean independent newspaper published in Harare. Its presses were bombed and it was banned in 2003.-History:The Daily News was first launched on July 31, 1999, and controversially banned in defiance of a court ruling in 2003. Its founder, Geoffrey Nyarota, was a journalist...

, closed after bombs exploded at their offices and the government refused to renew their license. BBC News
BBC News
BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

, Sky News
Sky News
Sky News is a 24-hour British and international satellite television news broadcaster with an emphasis on UK and international news stories.The service places emphasis on rolling news, including the latest breaking news. Sky News also hosts localised versions of the channel in Australia and in New...

, and CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 were banned from filming or reporting from Zimbabwe. In 2009 reporting restrictions on the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 and CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 were lifted. Sky News
Sky News
Sky News is a 24-hour British and international satellite television news broadcaster with an emphasis on UK and international news stories.The service places emphasis on rolling news, including the latest breaking news. Sky News also hosts localised versions of the channel in Australia and in New...

 continue to report on happenings within Zimbabwe from neighbouring countries like South Africa.

Armed forces




The existence of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) is enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Chapter X, 96 (1), which states that,

The ZDF was set up by the integration of three belligerent forces, – the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army
Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army
Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army was the military wing of the Zimbabwe African National Union, a militant African nationalist organization, and participated in the Rhodesian Bush War against Republican Rule in Rhodesia....

 (ZANLA), the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA), and the Rhodesian Security Forces (RSF) – after the Rhodesian Bush War
Rhodesian Bush War
The Rhodesian Bush War – also known as the Second Chimurenga or the Zimbabwe War of Liberation – was a civil war which took place between July 1964 and December 1979 in the unrecognised country of Rhodesia...

 and Zimbabwean independence in 1980. The integration period saw the formation of The Zimbabwe National Army
Zimbabwe National Army
The Zimbabwe National Army is the land warfare branch of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. The ZNA currently has an active duty strength of 30,000.-History:...

 (ZNA) and Air Force of Zimbabwe
Air Force of Zimbabwe
The Air Force of Zimbabwe is the air force of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. It was known as the Rhodesian Air Force until 1980. The Air Force of Zimbabwe saw service in the Mozambican Civil War in 1985 and the Second Congo War of 1998–2001....

 (AFZ) as separate entities under the command of Rtd General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 Solomon Mujuru
Solomon Mujuru
Solomon Mujuru, also known as Rex Nhongo was a Zimbabwean military officer and politician who led Robert Mugabe's guerrilla forces during the Rhodesian Bush War. He was from the Zezuru clan. In post-independence Zimbabwe, he went on to become army chief before leaving government service in 1995...

 and Air Marshal Norman Walsh who retired in 1982, and was replaced by Air Marshal Azim Daudpota who handed over command to the late Rtd Air Chief Marshal
Air Chief Marshal
Air chief marshal is a senior 4-star air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

 Josiah Tungamirai
Josiah Tungamirai
Air Chief Marshal Josiah Tungamirai , born Thomas Mberikwazvo, was a Zimbabwean military officer and politician...

 in 1985.

Although integration took place in the ZNA, there was no integration in the Air Force of Zimbabwe. Ex ZIPRA and ex ZANLA members who joined the Air Force particularly between 1980 and early 1982 did so as individuals. Consequently, many did not make the so-called "grade" and were dismissed from the Force unlike their colleagues in the ZNA who were protected by the integration directive. Before Norman Walsh left the Air Force, military aircraft were destroyed through sabotage at Thornhill Air Base in Gweru, in an operation believed to have been conducted by South African special forces. An number of white officers were arrested and tortured and this led to an exodus of white commissioned officers from the AFZ.

The Government responded by transferring Major General Josiah Tungamirai from the ZNA to the AFZ, becoming an Air Vice Marshal, who later deputized Air Marshal Daudpota, seconded from the Pakistan Air Force. The integration commanders handed over the Zimbabwean flags to then Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

 Vitalis Zvinavashe
Vitalis Zvinavashe
Lt. Gen. Vitalis Zvinavashe was a retired former Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and politician. He was also a member of the Politburo of the ZANU-PF...

, who later became the first Commander Defence Forces (1993), and Air Marshal
Air Marshal
Air marshal is a three-star air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

 Perrance Shiri in 1992, and subsequently in the ZNA to then Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

 Constantine Chiwenga in 1993.

The approval of the Defence Amendment Bill saw the setting up of a single command for the Defence Forces in 1995. The late General Vitalis Zvinavashe became the first commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, with the commanders of both the Army and the Air Force falling under his command. Following his retirement in December 2003, General Constantine Chiwenga, was promoted and appointed Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. Lieutenant General P. V. Sibanda replaced him as Commander of the Army.

The ZNA currently has an active duty strength of 30,000. The Air Force has about 5,139 men assigned. The Zimbabwe Republic Police
Zimbabwe Republic Police
The Zimbabwe Republic Police is the national police force of Zimbabwe, known until July 1980 as the British South Africa Police. -Structure:...

 (includes Police Support Unit, Paramilitary Police) is also part of the defence force of Zimbabwe and numbers 25,000.

In 1999, the Government of Zimbabwe sent a sizable military force into the Democratic Republic of Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

 to support the government of President Laurent Kabila during the Second Congo War
Second Congo War
The Second Congo War, also known as Coltan War and the Great War of Africa, began in August 1998 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo , and officially ended in July 2003 when the Transitional Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo took power; however, hostilities continue to this...

. Those forces were largely withdrawn in 2002.

Zimbabwe National Army




The Zimbabwe National Army or ZNA was created in 1980 from elements of the Rhodesian Army, integrated to a greater or lesser extent with combatants from the ZANLA and ZIPRA
ZIPRA
Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army was the armed wing of the Zimbabwe African People's Union, a political party in Rhodesia. It participated in the Second Chimurenga against white minority rule in the former Rhodesia....

 guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 movements (the armed wings of, respectively, ZANU and ZAPU).

Following majority rule in early 1980, British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 trainers oversaw the integration of guerrilla fighters into a battalion
Battalion
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

 structure overlaid on the existing Rhodesian armed forces. For the first year a system was followed where the top-performing candidate became battalion
Battalion
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

 commander. If he or she was from ZANLA, then his or her second-in-command was the top-performing ZIPRA candidate, and vice versa. This ensured a balance between the two movements in the command structure. From early 1981 this system was abandoned in favour of political appointments, and ZANLA/ZANU fighters consequently quickly formed the majority of battalion commanders in the ZNA.

The ZNA was originally formed into four brigade
Brigade
A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of two to five battalions, plus supporting elements depending on the era and nationality of a given army and could be perceived as an enlarged/reinforced regiment...

s, composed of a total of 28 battalions. The brigade support units were composed almost entirely of specialists of the former Rhodesian Army, while unintegrated battalions of the Rhodesian African Rifles
Rhodesian African Rifles
The Rhodesian African Rifles, or RAR, was the oldest regiment in the Rhodesian Army, dating from the formation of the 1st Rhodesian Native Regiment in 1916 during the First World War. This was followed by the creation of the Matabeleland Native Regiment, and the 2nd Rhodesian Native Regiment,...

 were assigned to the 1st, 3rd and 4th Brigades. The notorious Fifth Brigade
Zimbabwean Fifth Brigade
The Fifth Brigade was an elite unit of specially trained Zimbabwean soldiers. The Fifth Brigade was formed in 1981 and disbanded in 1988 after allegations of brutality and murder during the Brigade's occupation of Matabeleland...

 was formed in 1981 and disbanded in 1988 after allegations of brutality and murder during the Brigade's occupation of Matabeleland
Matabeleland
Modern day Matabeleland is a region in Zimbabwe divided into three provinces: Matabeleland North, Bulawayo and Matabeleland South. These provinces are in the west and south-west of Zimbabwe, between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. The region is named after its inhabitants, the Ndebele people...

 in what has become known as Gukurahundi
Gukurahundi
The Gukurahundi refers to the suppression by Zimbabwe's 5th Brigade in the predominantly Ndebele regions of Zimbabwe most of whom were supporters of Joshua Nkomo. A few hundred disgruntled former ZIPRA combatants waged armed banditry against the civilians in Matabeleland, and destroyed government...

 . The Brigade had been reformed by 2006, with its commander, Brigadier-General John Mupande praising its "rich history".

Economy




Mineral exports, agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, and tourism are the main foreign currency earners of Zimbabwe. The mining sector remains very lucrative, with some of the world's largest platinum
Platinum
Platinum is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Pt and an atomic number of 78. Its name is derived from the Spanish term platina del Pinto, which is literally translated into "little silver of the Pinto River." It is a dense, malleable, ductile, precious, gray-white transition metal...

 reserves being mined by Anglo-American and Impala Platinum. The Marange diamond fields
Marange diamond fields
The Marange diamond fields are an area of widespread small-scale diamond production in Chiadzwa, Mutare West, Zimbabwe. 'The hugely prolific Chiadzwa fields are regarded as the world's biggest diamond find in more than a century'...

, discovered in 2006, are considered the biggest diamond find in over a century. They have the potential to improve the fiscal situation of the country considerably, but almost all revenues from the field have disappeared in to the pockets of army officers and ZANU-PF politicians. Zimbabwe is the biggest trading partner of South Africa on the continent.

Zimbabwe maintained positive economic growth throughout the 1980s (5.0% GDP growth per year) and 1990s (4.3% GDP growth per year). The economy declined from 2000: 5% decline in 2000, 8% in 2001, 12% in 2002 and 18% in 2003. The government of Zimbabwe faces a variety of economic problems after having abandoned earlier efforts to develop a market-oriented economy. Problems include a shortage of foreign exchange
Foreign exchange market
The foreign exchange market is a global, worldwide decentralized financial market for trading currencies. Financial centers around the world function as anchors of trading between a wide range of different types of buyers and sellers around the clock, with the exception of weekends...

, soaring inflation, and supply shortages. Zimbabwe's involvement from 1998 to 2002 in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

 drained hundreds of millions of dollars from the economy.

The downward spiral of the economy has been attributed mainly to mismanagement and corruption of the Mugabe regime and the eviction of more than 4,000 white farmers in the controversial land redistribution of 2000. Zimbabwe was previously an exporter of maize
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

 but has become a net importer. Tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

 exports and other exports of crops have also declined sharply. The fate of the white farmers was publicized in a documentary film Mugabe and the White African
Mugabe and the White African
Mugabe and the White African is a 2009 documentary film by Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson. The film documents the lives of a white family who run a farm in Chegutu, Zimbabwe, as they challenge the land redistribution programme that seizes white-owned farms beginning in 2000...

.

Tourism was an important industry for the country, but has been failing in recent years. The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force released a report in June 2007, estimating 60% of Zimbabwe's wildlife has died since 2000 due to poaching and deforestation. The report warns that the loss of life combined with widespread deforestation
Deforestation
Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a nonforest use. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use....

 is potentially disastrous for the tourist industry.

On November 2010, the IMF described the Zimbabwean economy as "completing its second year of buoyant economic growth".

Hyperinflation 2003–2009


Inflation rose from an annual rate of 32% in 1998, to an official estimated high of 11,200,000% in August 2008 according to the country's Central Statistical Office. This represented a state of hyperinflation
Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe
Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe began shortly after destruction of productive capacity in Zimbabwe's civil war and confiscation of white-owned farmland. Food output capacity fell 45%, manufacturing output 29% in 2005, 26% in 2006 and 28% in 2007, and unemployment rose to 80%...

, and the central bank introduced a new 100 billion dollar note. As of November 2008, unofficial figures put Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate at 516 quintillion per cent, with prices doubling every 1.3 days. Zimbabwe's inflation crisis was in 2009 the second worst inflation spike in history, behind the hyperinflationary crisis of Hungary in 1946, in which prices doubled every 15.6 hours. By 2005, the purchasing power of the average Zimbabwean had dropped to the same levels in real terms as 1953. Local residents have largely resorted to buying essentials from neighbouring Botswana
Botswana
Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana , is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens are referred to as "Batswana" . Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966...

, South Africa, and Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

.

In 2005, the government, led by central bank governor Gideon Gono
Gideon Gono
Gideon Gono is the current Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and former CEO of the Jewel Bank, formerly known as the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe...

, started making overtures that white farmers could come back. There were 400 to 500 still left in the country, but much of the land that had been confiscated was no longer productive. In January 2007, the government even let some white farmers sign long term leases. But, the government reversed course again and started demanding that all remaining white farmers leave the country or face jail.

In August 2006, a revalued Zimbabwean dollar
Zimbabwean dollar
The Zimbabwean dollar was the official currency of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 12 April 2009....

 was introduced, equal to 1000 of the prior Zimbabwean dollars. The exchange rate fell from 24 old Zimbabwean dollars per U.S. dollar (USD) in 1998 to 250,000 prior or 250 new Zimbabwean dollars per USD at the official rate, and an estimated 120,000,000 old or 120,000 revalued Zimbabwean dollars per US dollar on the parallel market, in June 2007.

In January 2009, Zimbabwe introduced a new Z$100 trillion banknote. On 29 January, in an effort to counteract his country's runaway inflation, acting Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa
Patrick Chinamasa
Patrick Antony Chinamasa is a Zimbabwean politician, currently serving as the Minister of Justice.-Career:A leading member of the ruling ZANU-PF party, Chinamasa became first deputy Agriculture Minister, and then Attorney General of Zimbabwe; he also holds the role of Leader of the Zimbabwean...

 announced that Zimbabweans will be permitted to use other, more stable currencies (e.g. Sterling, Euro
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

, South African Rand
South African rand
The rand is the currency of South Africa. It takes its name from the Witwatersrand , the ridge upon which Johannesburg is built and where most of South Africa's gold deposits were found. The rand has the symbol "R" and is subdivided into 100 cents, symbol "c"...

, and the United States Dollar
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

) to do business, alongside the Zimbabwe dollar.

On 2 February 2009, the RBZ announced that a further 12 zeros were to be taken off the currency, with 1,000,000,000,000 (third) Zimbabwe dollars being exchanged for 1 new (fourth) dollar. New banknotes were introduced with a face value of Z$1, Z$5, Z$10, Z$20, Z$50, Z$100 and Z$500.The banknotes of the fourth dollar were to circulate alongside the third dollar, which remained legal tender
Legal tender
Legal tender is a medium of payment allowed by law or recognized by a legal system to be valid for meeting a financial obligation. Paper currency is a common form of legal tender in many countries....

 until 30 June 2009.

Economic recovery


Since the formation of the Unity Government in 2009, the Zimbabwean economy has been on the rebound. GDP grew by more than 5% in the year 2009 and 2011. Growth is forecast to reach 8% in 2010, buoyed by high mineral prices and the improving agriculture sector. Zimbabwe produced 119 million kg of tobacco in the 2009/10 season, double the previous year’s output. Zimplats, the nation's largest platinum company, has proceeded with US$500 million in expansions, and is also continuing a separate US$2 billion project, despite threats by Mugabe to nationalize the company. The pan-African investment bank IMARA
Imara
Imara is a village in Salme Parish, Saare County in western Estonia....

 released a favorable report in February 2011 on investment prospects in Zimbabwe, citing an improved revenue base and higher tax receipts.

Government view and international sanctions


Mugabe points to foreign governments and alleged "sabotage" as the cause of the fall of the Zimbabwean economy, as well as the country's 80% formal unemployment rate. Critics of Mugabe's administration, including the majority of the international community, blame Mugabe's controversial programme which sought to seize land from white commercial farmers. Mugabe has repeatedly blamed sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and the United States for the state of the Zimbabwean economy. According to the United States, these sanction
Economic sanctions
Economic sanctions are domestic penalties applied by one country on another for a variety of reasons. Economic sanctions include, but are not limited to, tariffs, trade barriers, import duties, and import or export quotas...

s target only seven specific businesses owned or controlled by government officials and not ordinary citizens. During a meeting of the Southern African Development Community
Southern African Development Community
The Southern African Development Community is an inter-governmental organization headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana. Its goal is to further socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 15 southern African states...

 in 2007, a call was issued for the sanctions to be removed.

Taxes and tariffs are high for private enterprises, while state enterprises are strongly subsidized. State regulation is costly to companies; starting or closing a business is slow and costly. Government spending was predicted to reach 67% of GDP in 2007. It used to be partly financed by printing money, which led to hyperinflation
Hyperinflation
In economics, hyperinflation is inflation that is very high or out of control. While the real values of the specific economic items generally stay the same in terms of relatively stable foreign currencies, in hyperinflationary conditions the general price level within a specific economy increases...

. The labor market is highly regulated; hiring a worker is cumbersome, firing a worker is difficult, and unemployment has risen to 80% (2005).
Since January 1, 2002, the government of Zimbabwe has had it's lines of credit at international financial institutions frozen, through U.S. legislation called the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001
Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001
The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act is an act passed by the United States Congress sanctioned to provide for a transition to democracy and to promote economic recovery in Zimbabwe....

 (ZDERA). Section 4C instructs the Secretary of the Treasury to direct directors at international financial institutions to veto the extension of loans and credit to the Zimbabwean government.

SEC. 4. SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY.

(c) MULTILATERAL FINANCING RESTRICTION- Until the President makes the certification described in subsection (d), and except as may be required to meet basic human needs or for good governance, the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against--

(1) any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit, or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe; or
(2) any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United States or any international financial institution.
In an effort to combat inflation and foster economic growth the Zimbabwean Dollar was suspended indefinitely on 12 April 2009. Zimbabwe now allows trade in the United States Dollar and various other currencies such as the South African rand
South African rand
The rand is the currency of South Africa. It takes its name from the Witwatersrand , the ridge upon which Johannesburg is built and where most of South Africa's gold deposits were found. The rand has the symbol "R" and is subdivided into 100 cents, symbol "c"...

, euro, Sterling, and Botswana pula
Botswana pula
The pula is the currency of Botswana. It has the ISO 4217 code BWP and is subdivided into 100 thebe. Pula literally means "rain" in Setswana, because rain is very scarce in Botswana - home to much of the Kalahari Desert - and therefore valuable. Pula also means "blessing" as rain is considered a...

.

Demographics



Zimbabwe's total population is 12 million. According to the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 World Health Organisation, the life expectancy for men was 37 years and the life expectancy for women was 34 years of age, the lowest in the world in 2006. An association of doctors in Zimbabwe has made calls for President Mugabe to make moves to assist the ailing health service.
The HIV infection rate in Zimbabwe
HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe
Recent estimates from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS indicate that approximately 1.6 million adults 15 years and older were living with HIV/AIDS in 2005...

 was estimated to be 14% for people aged 15–49 in 2009. UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 reported a decline in HIV prevalence among pregnant women from 26% in 2002 to 21% in 2004.

Some 85% of Zimbabweans are Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

; 62% percent of the population attends religious services regularly. The largest Christian churches are Anglican, Roman Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist
Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week, as the Sabbath, and by its emphasis on the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ...

 and Methodist. As in other African countries, Christianity may be mixed with enduring traditional beliefs. Besides Christianity, ancestral worship is the most practiced non-Christian religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

, involving spiritual
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

 intercession; the Mbira Dza Vadzimu, which means "Voice of the Ancestors", an instrument related to many lamellophones ubiquitous throughout Africa, is central to many ceremonial proceedings. Mwari simply means "God the Creator" (musika vanhu in Shona). Around 1% of the population is Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

.

Black ethnic groups make up 98% of the population. The majority people, 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:...

, comprise 80 to 84%. The 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....

 are the second most populous with 10 to 15% of the population. The Ndebele descended from Zulu migrations in the 19th century and the other tribes with which they intermarried. Up to one million Ndebele may have left the country over the last five years, mainly for South Africa. Other Bantu ethnic groups make up the third largest with 2 to 5%. These are Venda
Venda
Venda was a bantustan in northern South Africa, now part of Limpopo province. It was founded as a homeland for the Venda people, speakers of the Venda language. It bordered modern Zimbabwe and South Africa, and is now part of Limpopo in South Africa....

, Tonga
Tonga
Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga , is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over of ocean in the South Pacific...

, Shangaan
Shangaan
The Tsonga people inhabit the southern coastal plain of Mozambique, parts of Zimbabwe and Swaziland, and the Limpopo Province of South Africa...

, Kalanga, Sotho, Ndau
Ndau language
Ndau is one of the Shona dialects. It is spoken by people from the region of Chipinge...

 and Nambya
Nambya
The Nambya are a tribe of about one hundred thousand people, based in the north-west of Zimbabwe. They are clustered around the coal mining town of Hwange formally Wankie named after a revered local chief called Hwange....

.
Minority ethnic groups include white Zimbabweans, who make up less than 1% of the total population. White Zimbabweans are mostly of British origin, but there are also Afrikaner
Afrikaner
Afrikaners are an ethnic group in Southern Africa descended from almost equal numbers of Dutch, French and German settlers whose native tongue is Afrikaans: a Germanic language which derives primarily from 17th century Dutch, and a variety of other languages.-Related ethno-linguistic groups:The...

, Greek
Greeks in Zimbabwe
The Greek community in Zimbabwe comprises about 2,500 of Greek origin, almost half of them from Cyprus. Zimbabwe currently hosts eleven Greek Orthodox churches and fifteen Greek associations and humanitarian organizations.-History:...

, Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

, French
Franco-Mauritian
Franco-Mauritians are people of mainly French origin who reside in Mauritius. They number more than 24,000.-Origins:The first French settlers arrived in Mauritius in 1722, after the previous attempts of settlement by the Dutch had failed, and the island had once again become abandoned...

 and Dutch
Dutch people
The Dutch people are an ethnic group native to the Netherlands. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Suriname, Chile, Brazil, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United...

 communities. The white population dropped from a peak of around 278,000 or 4.3% of the population in 1975 to possibly 120,000 in 1999 and was estimated to be no more than 50,000 in 2002, and possibly much less. Most emigration has been to the United Kingdom (Between 200,000 and 500,000 Britons are of Zimbabwean origin), South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Mixed-race
Coloured
In the South African, Namibian, Zambian, Botswana and Zimbabwean context, the term Coloured refers to an heterogenous ethnic group who possess ancestry from Europe, various Khoisan and Bantu tribes of Southern Africa, West Africa, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaya, India, Mozambique,...

 citizens form 0.5% of the population and various Asian
Asian people
Asian people or Asiatic people is a term with multiple meanings that refers to people who descend from a portion of Asia's population.- Central Asia :...

 ethnic groups, mostly of Indian and Chinese
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

 origin, are also 0.5%.
Asian immigrants are influential in the economic sector.

Language



Shona, Ndebele and English are the principal languages of Zimbabwe. Despite English being the official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

, less than 2.5%, mainly the white and Coloured
Coloured
In the South African, Namibian, Zambian, Botswana and Zimbabwean context, the term Coloured refers to an heterogenous ethnic group who possess ancestry from Europe, various Khoisan and Bantu tribes of Southern Africa, West Africa, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaya, India, Mozambique,...

 (mixed race) minorities, consider it their native language. The rest of the population speak Bantu languages
Bantu languages
The Bantu languages constitute a traditional sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages. There are about 250 Bantu languages by the criterion of mutual intelligibility, though the distinction between language and dialect is often unclear, and Ethnologue counts 535 languages...

 such as 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...

 (76%), 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....

 (18%) and the other minority languages of Venda
Venda
Venda was a bantustan in northern South Africa, now part of Limpopo province. It was founded as a homeland for the Venda people, speakers of the Venda language. It bordered modern Zimbabwe and South Africa, and is now part of Limpopo in South Africa....

, Tsonga
Tsonga language
The Tsonga or Xitsonga language is spoken in southern Africa by the Tsonga people, also known as the Shangaan.- Classification :Tsonga belongs to the Bantu branch of the Niger–Congo languages...

, Shangaan
Shangaan
The Tsonga people inhabit the southern coastal plain of Mozambique, parts of Zimbabwe and Swaziland, and the Limpopo Province of South Africa...

, Kalanga, Sotho, Ndau
Ndau language
Ndau is one of the Shona dialects. It is spoken by people from the region of Chipinge...

 and Nambya
Nambya
The Nambya are a tribe of about one hundred thousand people, based in the north-west of Zimbabwe. They are clustered around the coal mining town of Hwange formally Wankie named after a revered local chief called Hwange....

. Shona has a rich oral tradition, which was incorporated into the first Shona novel, Feso by Solomon Mutswairo
Solomon Mutswairo
Solomon Mangwiro Mutswairo also spelt Mutsvairo, is a Zimbabwean novelist and poet. A member of the Zezuru people of central Zimbabwe, Mutswairo wrote the first novel in the Shona language, Feso....

, published in 1956. English is spoken primarily in the cities, but less so in rural areas. Radio and television news is now broadcast in 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...

, 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....

 and English.

Refugee crisis


The economic meltdown and repressive political measures in Zimbabwe have led to a flood of refugees into neighbouring countries. An estimated 3.4 million Zimbabweans, a quarter of the population, had fled abroad by mid 2007. Some 3 million of these have gone to South Africa and Botswana.

Apart from the people who fled into the neighbouring countries, there are up to one million internally displaced persons (IDPs). There is no current comprehensive survey, although the following figures are available:
Survey Number Date Source
national survey 880–960,000 2007 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee
former farm workers 1,000,000 2008 UNDP
victims of Operation Murambatsvina
Operation Murambatsvina
Operation Murambatsvina , also officially known as Operation Restore Order, is a large-scale Zimbabwean government campaign to forcibly clear slum areas across the country...

570,000 2005 UN
people displaced by political violence 36,000 2008 UN

The above surveys do not include people displaced by Operation Chikorokoza Chapera or beneficiaries of the fast-track land reform programme but who have since been evicted.

Health



At independence, the policies of racial inequality were reflected in the disease patterns of the black majority. The first five years after independence saw rapid gains in areas such as immunization coverage, access to health care, and contraceptive prevalence rate. Zimbabwe was thus considered internationally to have an achieved a good record of health development. The country suffered occasional outbreaks of acute diseases (such as plague in 1994). The gains on the national health were eroded by structural adjustment in the 1990s, the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the economic crisis since the year 2000. Zimbabwe now has one of the lowest life expectancies on Earth – 44 for men and 43 for women, down from 60 in 1990. The rapid drop has been ascribed mainly to the HIV/AIDS pandemic
HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe
Recent estimates from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS indicate that approximately 1.6 million adults 15 years and older were living with HIV/AIDS in 2005...

. Infant mortality
Infant mortality
Infant mortality is defined as the number of infant deaths per 1000 live births. Traditionally, the most common cause worldwide was dehydration from diarrhea. However, the spreading information about Oral Re-hydration Solution to mothers around the world has decreased the rate of children dying...

 has risen from 5.9% in the late 1990s to 12.3% by 2004.

The health system has more or less collapsed: By the end of November 2008, three of Zimbabwe's four major hospital
Hospital
A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment. Hospitals often, but not always, provide for inpatient care or longer-term patient stays....

s had shut down, along with the Zimbabwe Medical School
Medical school
A medical school is a tertiary educational institution—or part of such an institution—that teaches medicine. Degree programs offered at medical schools often include Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Bachelor/Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Philosophy, master's degree, or other post-secondary...

, and the fourth major hospital had two ward
Hospital
A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment. Hospitals often, but not always, provide for inpatient care or longer-term patient stays....

s and no operating theatre
Operating theatre
An operating theater was a non-sterile, tiered theater or amphitheater in which students and other spectators could watch surgeons perform surgery...

s working. Due to hyperinflation
Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe
Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe began shortly after destruction of productive capacity in Zimbabwe's civil war and confiscation of white-owned farmland. Food output capacity fell 45%, manufacturing output 29% in 2005, 26% in 2006 and 28% in 2007, and unemployment rose to 80%...

, those hospitals still open are not able to obtain basic drugs and medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

s. The ongoing political and economic crisis also contributed to the emigration
Emigration
Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of political boundaries or within one state is termed migration. There are many reasons why people...

 of the doctors and people with medical knowledge.

In August 2008 large areas of Zimbabwe were struck by the ongoing cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 epidemic
Epidemic
In epidemiology, an epidemic , occurs when new cases of a certain disease, in a given human population, and during a given period, substantially exceed what is expected based on recent experience...

. By December 2008 more than 10,000 people had been infected in all but one of Zimbabwe's provinces and the outbreak had spread to Botswana
Botswana
Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana , is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens are referred to as "Batswana" . Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966...

, Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

, South Africa and Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

. On 4 December 2008 the Zimbabwe government declared the outbreak to be a national emergency
Emergency
An emergency is a situation that poses an immediate risk to health, life, property or environment. Most emergencies require urgent intervention to prevent a worsening of the situation, although in some situations, mitigation may not be possible and agencies may only be able to offer palliative...

, and has asked for international aid. By 9 March 2009 The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that 4,011 people had succumbed to the waterborne disease since the outbreak began in August 2008, and the total number of cases recorded had reached 89,018. In Harare
Harare
Harare before 1982 known as Salisbury) is the largest city and capital of Zimbabwe. It has an estimated population of 1,600,000, with 2,800,000 in its metropolitan area . Administratively, Harare is an independent city equivalent to a province. It is Zimbabwe's largest city and its...

, the city council offered free graves to cholera victims. There have been signs that the disease is abating, with cholera infections down by about 50 percent to around 4,000 cases a week.

Maternal and child health care


In June 2011, the United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Population Fund
The United Nations Population Fund is a UN organization. The work of the UNFPA involves promotion of the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. This is done through major national and demographic surveys and with population censuses...

 released a report on The State of the World's Midwifery. It contained new data on the midwifery workforce and policies relating to newborn and maternal mortality for 58 countries. The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Zimbabwe is 790. This is compared with 624.3 in 2008 and 231.8 in 1990. The under 5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 93 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5's mortality is 32. The aim of this report is to highlight ways in which the Millennium Development Goals
Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals are eight international development goals that all 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015...

 can be achieved, particularly Goal 4 – Reduce child mortality and Goal 5 – improve maternal death. In Zimbabwe the number of midwives per 1,000 live births is unavailable and 1 in 42 shows us the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women.

Education




Zimbabwe has an adult literacy rate
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

 of approximately 90%+/- which is amongst the highest in Africa. Since 1995 the adult literacy rate of Zimbabwe had steadily decreased, a trend shared by other African countries. In 2010, the United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Development Programme
The United Nations Development Programme is the United Nations' global development network. It advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP operates in 177 countries, working with nations on their own solutions to...

 (UNDP) found that Zimbabwe's literacy rate had climbed to a high of 92% and had, once again, become the highest in Africa. The education department has stated that 20,000 teachers have left Zimbabwe since 2007 and that half of Zimbabwe's children have not progressed beyond primary school.

The wealthier portion of the population usually send their children to independent school
Independent school
An independent school is a school that is independent in its finances and governance; it is not dependent upon national or local government for financing its operations, nor reliant on taxpayer contributions, and is instead funded by a combination of tuition charges, gifts, and in some cases the...

s as opposed to the government-run schools which are attended by the majority as these are subsidised by the government. School education was made free in 1980, but since 1988, the government has steadily increased the charges attached to school enrollment until they now greatly exceed the real value of fees in 1980. The Ministry of Education of Zimbabwe maintains and operates the government schools but the fees charged by independent schools are regulated by the cabinet of Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe's education system consists of 2 years of pre-school, 7 years of primary and 6 years of 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...

ing before students can enter university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 in the country or abroad. The academic year in Zimbabwe runs from January to December, with three terms, broken up by one month holidays, with a total of 40 weeks of school per year. National examinations are written during the third term in November, with "O" level
General Certificate of Education
The General Certificate of Education or GCE is an academic qualification that examination boards in the United Kingdom and a few of the Commonwealth countries, notably Sri Lanka, confer to students. The GCE traditionally comprised two levels: the Ordinary Level and the Advanced Level...

 and "A" level subjects also offered in June.

There are seven public universities as well as four church-related universities in Zimbabwe that are fully internationally accredited. The University of Zimbabwe
University of Zimbabwe
The University of Zimbabwe in Harare, is the oldest and largest university in Zimbabwe. It was founded through a special relationship with the University of London and it opened its doors to its first students in 1952. The university has ten faculties offering a wide variety of degree programmes...

, the first and largest, was built in 1952 and is located in the Harare suburb of Mount Pleasant
Mount Pleasant, Harare
Mount Pleasant is the name of a residential suburb in the northern part of Harare, Zimbabwe. It is the home of the University of Zimbabwe and Mount Pleasant School....

. Notable alumni from Zimbabwean universities include Welshman Ncube
Welshman Ncube
Welshman Ncube is a Zimbabwean politician. He is the President of the Movement for Democratic Change – Mutambara, and since February 2009 has been the Minister of Industry and Commerce. He was elected as a member of the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe for Bulawayo North East in the 2000 election and...

; Peter Moyo (of Amabhubesi); Tendai Biti
Tendai Biti
Tendai Laxton Biti is a Zimbabwean politician. He is the Secretary-General of the Movement for Democratic Change political party and a member of Parliament for Harare East; currently he is the Minister of Finance of Zimbabwe.-Early life:Biti was born in Dzivarasekwa, Harare...

, Secretary-General
Secretary-General
-International intergovernmental organizations:-International nongovernmental organizations:-Sports governing bodies:...

 for the MDC; Chenjerai Hove
Chenjerai Hove
Chenjerai Hove , is a Zimbabwean poet, novelist and essayist. He was educated at the University of South Africa and the University of Zimbabwe, and has worked as an educator and journalist...

, Zimbabwean poet, novelist and essayist; and Arthur Mutambara
Arthur Mutambara
Arthur Guseni Oliver Mutambara is a Zimbabwean politician. He became the President of the Movement for Democratic Change-Mutambara faction in February 2006. He has worked as the Managing Director and CEO of Africa Technology and Business Institute since September 2003...

, President of one faction of the MDC. Many of the current politicians in the government of Zimbabwe have obtained degrees from universities in USA or other universities abroad.

The highest professional board for accountant
Accountant
An accountant is a practitioner of accountancy or accounting , which is the measurement, disclosure or provision of assurance about financial information that helps managers, investors, tax authorities and others make decisions about allocating resources.The Big Four auditors are the largest...

s is the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe is a professional accountancy body in Zimbabwe. It is the sole organization in Zimbabwe with the right to award the Chartered Accountant designation....

 (ICAZ) with direct relationships with similar bodies in South Africa, Canada, the UK and Australia. A qualified Chartered Accountant
Chartered Accountant
Chartered Accountants were the first accountants to form a professional body, initially established in Britain in 1854. The Edinburgh Society of Accountants , the Glasgow Institute of Accountants and Actuaries and the Aberdeen Society of Accountants were each granted a royal charter almost from...

 from Zimbabwe is also a member of similar bodies in these countries after writing a conversion paper. In addition, Zimbabwean-trained doctors only require one year of residence to be fully licensed doctors in the United States. The Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers
Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers
The Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers is the professional organization of engineers in Zimbabwe. It has graded membership, including student, technician, graduate and corporate membership as well as the status of fellow....

 (ZIE) is the highest professional board for engineer
Engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

s.

Education in Zimbabwe became under threat since the economic changes in 2000 with teacher
Teacher
A teacher or schoolteacher is a person who provides education for pupils and students . The role of teacher is often formal and ongoing, carried out at a school or other place of formal education. In many countries, a person who wishes to become a teacher must first obtain specified professional...

s going on strike because of low pay, students unable to concentrate because of hunger and the price of uniforms soaring making this standard a luxury. Teachers were also one of the main targets of Mugabe's attacks because he thought they were not strong supporters.

Media



The media of Zimbabwe, once initially diverse, have come under tight restriction in recent years by the government, particularly during the growing economic and political crisis in the country. The Zimbabwean constitution promises freedom of the media and expression; the media is currently hampered by political interference and the implementation of strict media laws. In its 2008 report, Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders is a France-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press. It was founded in 1985, by Robert Ménard, Rony Brauman and the journalist Jean-Claude Guillebaud. Jean-François Julliard has served as Secretary General since 2008...

 ranked the Zimbabwean media as 151st out of 173. The government also bans many foreign broadcast
Broadcast
Broadcast or Broadcasting may refer to:* Broadcasting, the transmission of audio and video signals* Broadcast, an individual television program or radio program* Broadcast , an English electronic music band...

ing stations from Zimbabwe, including the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 (since 2001), CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

, CBC
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly known as CBC and officially as CBC/Radio-Canada, is a Canadian crown corporation that serves as the national public radio and television broadcaster...

, Sky News
Sky News
Sky News is a 24-hour British and international satellite television news broadcaster with an emphasis on UK and international news stories.The service places emphasis on rolling news, including the latest breaking news. Sky News also hosts localised versions of the channel in Australia and in New...

, Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

, American Broadcasting Company
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly referred to as "the ABC" , is Australia's national public broadcaster...

 and Fox News. News agencies and newspaper
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

s from other Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 countries and South Africa have also been banned from the country. In July 2009 the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 and CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 were able to resume operations and report legally and openly from Zimbabwe. CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 welcomed the move. The Zimbabwe Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity stated that, "the Zimbabwe government never banned the BBC from carrying out lawful activities inside Zimbabwe". The BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 also welcomed the move saying, "we're pleased at being able to operate openly in Zimbabwe once again".

Privately owned news outlets used to be common, since the 2002 Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) was passed, a number have been shut down by the government, including The Daily News whose managing director Wilf Mbanga went on to form the influential The Zimbabwean. As a result, many press organisations have been set up in both neighbouring and Western countries by exile
Exile
Exile means to be away from one's home , while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return...

d Zimbabweans. Because the internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 is currently unrestricted, many Zimbabweans are allowed to access online news sites set up by exiled journalists. Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders is a France-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press. It was founded in 1985, by Robert Ménard, Rony Brauman and the journalist Jean-Claude Guillebaud. Jean-François Julliard has served as Secretary General since 2008...

 claims the media environment in Zimbabwe involves "surveillance, threats, imprisonment, censorship
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

, blackmail
Blackmail
In common usage, blackmail is a crime involving threats to reveal substantially true or false information about a person to the public, a family member, or associates unless a demand is met. It may be defined as coercion involving threats of physical harm, threat of criminal prosecution, or threats...

, abuse of power and denial of justice
Justice
Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics; justice is the act of being just and/or fair.-Concept of justice:...

 are all brought to bear to keep firm control over the news." The main published newspapers are The Herald (Zimbabwe)
The Herald (Zimbabwe)
The Herald is a government owned daily newspaper published in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe.-Origins:The newspaper's origins date back to the 19th century. Its forerunner was launched on June 27 1891 by W E Fairbridge for the Argus group of South Africa...

 and The Chronicle (Zimbabwe)
The Chronicle (Zimbabwe)
The Chronicle is a popular daily newspaper in Zimbabwe. It is published in Bulawayo and mostly reports on news in the Matebeleland region in the southern part of the country. It is state-owned and therefore usually only publishes news that supports the government and its policies...

 which are printed in Harare and Bulawayo respectively.

In 2010 the Zimbabwe Media Commission was established by the inclusive, power-sharing government. In May 2010 the Commission licensed three new privately-owned newspapers, including the previously banned Daily News, for publication. Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders is a France-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press. It was founded in 1985, by Robert Ménard, Rony Brauman and the journalist Jean-Claude Guillebaud. Jean-François Julliard has served as Secretary General since 2008...

 described the decisions as a "major advance". In June 2010 NewsDay became the first independent daily newspaper to be published in Zimbabwe in seven years.

Culture and recreation



Zimbabwe has many different cultures which may include beliefs and ceremonies, one of them being 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:...

. Zimbabwe's largest ethnic group is Shona. The Shona people have many sculptures and carvings of gods (idols) which are made with the finest materials available.

Zimbabwe first celebrated its independence on 18 April 1980. Celebrations are held at either the National Sports Stadium or Rufaro Stadium
Rufaro Stadium
Rufaro Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Harare, Zimbabwe. It is currently used mostly for football matches. The stadium has a capacity of 35,000 people....

 in Harare. The first independence celebrations were held in 1980 at the Zimbabwe Grounds. At these celebrations dove
Dove
Pigeons and doves constitute the bird family Columbidae within the order Columbiformes, which include some 300 species of near passerines. In general terms "dove" and "pigeon" are used somewhat interchangeably...

s are released to symbolise peace and fighter jets fly over and the national anthem
National Anthem of Zimbabwe
Blessed be the Land of Zimbabwe is the national anthem of Zimbabwe. It was introduced in March 1994 after a nation-wide competition to replace with a distinctly Zimbabwean song. The winning entry was a song written by Professor Solomon Mutswairo and composed by Fred Changundega...

 is sung. The flame of independence is lit by the president after parades by the presidential family and members of the armed forces of Zimbabwe. The president also gives a speech to the people of Zimbabwe which is televised for those unable to attend the stadium.

Arts


Traditional arts in Zimbabwe include pottery
Pottery
Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

, basketry, textiles, jewelry and carving. Among the distinctive qualities are symmetrically patterned woven baskets and stools carved out of a single piece of wood. Shona sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

 has become world famous in recent years having first emerged in the 1940s. Most subjects of carved figures of stylised birds and human figures among others are made with sedimentary rocks such as soapstone
Soapstone
Soapstone is a metamorphic rock, a talc-schist. It is largely composed of the mineral talc and is thus rich in magnesium. It is produced by dynamothermal metamorphism and metasomatism, which occurs in the areas where tectonic plates are subducted, changing rocks by heat and pressure, with influx...

, as well as harder igneous rocks such as serpentine and the rare stone verdite. Some of these Zimbabwean artifacts being found in countries like Singapore, China and Canada. i.e Dominic Benhura
Dominic Benhura
Dominic Benhura is a Zimbabwean sculptor.Benhura was born in Murewa, to the northeast of Harare. His father died before his birth, and he was raised by his mother. As he was an excellent student, it was suggested that he be sent to Harare for further studies...

's statue in the Singapore botanic gardens

Shona sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

 in essence has been a fusion of African folklore
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

 with European influences. World renowned Zimbabwean sculptors include Nicholas, Nesbert and Anderson Mukomberanwa, Tapfuma Gutsa, Henry Munyaradzi and Locardia Ndandarika. Internationally, Zimbabwean sculptors have managed to influence a new generation of artists, particularly Black Americans, through lengthy apprenticeships with master sculptors in Zimbabwe. Contemporary artists like New York sculptor M. Scott Johnson and California sculptor Russel Albans have learned to fuse both African and Afro-diasporic aesthetics in a way that travels beyond the simplistic mimicry of African Art by some Black artists of past generations in the U.S.

Several authors are well known within Zimbabwe and abroad. Charles Mungoshi
Charles Mungoshi
Charles Lovemore Mungoshi is a writer from Zimbabwe.Mungoshi's works include short stories and novels in both Shona and English. He also writes poetry, but views it as a "mere finger exercise." He has a wide range, including anti-colonial writings and children's books...

 is renowned in Zimbabwe for writing traditional stories in English and in Shona and his poems and books have sold well with both the black and white communities. Catherine Buckle
Catherine Buckle
Catherine Buckle or Cathy Buckle is a Zimbabwean writer and blogger living in Marondera, Zimbabwe. She and her former husband bought "Stow Farm" in Marondera in 1990 and managed to make the farm productive and viable...

 has achieved international recognition with her two books African Tears and Beyond Tears which tell of the ordeal she went through under the 2000 Land Reform
Land reform in Zimbabwe
Land reform in Zimbabwe officially began in 1979 with the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement, an effort to more equitably distribute land between the historically disenfranchised blacks and the minority-whites who ruled Zimbabwe from 1890 to 1979...

. Prime Minister of Rhodesia
Prime Minister of Rhodesia
The Prime Minister of Rhodesia was the head of government in the colony of Rhodesia. Rhodesia's political system was modelled on the Westminster system and the Prime Minister's role was similar to that of the same position in other countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New...

, the late Ian 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...

, has also written two books The Great Betrayal
The Great Betrayal
The Great Betrayal: The Memoirs of Ian Douglas Smith is a 1997 autobiography written by Ian Smith covering his time as Premier of the British Crown Colony of Southern Rhodesia and Prime Minister of Rhodesia...

and Bitter Harvest. The book The House of Hunger
The House of Hunger
The House of Hunger is a short story collection by the late Dambudzo Marechera. Subtitled Short Stories, this work is actually a collection of one novella of 80-odd pages and nine sketches / stories...

by Dambudzo Marechera
Dambudzo Marechera
Dambudzo Marechera was a Zimbabwean novelist and poet.-Early life:...

 won an award in the UK in 1979 and the Nobel Prize-winning author Doris Lessing
Doris Lessing
Doris May Lessing CH is a British writer. Her novels include The Grass is Singing, The Golden Notebook, and five novels collectively known as Canopus in Argos....

's first novel The Grass Is Singing
The Grass Is Singing
The Grass Is Singing is the first novel, published in 1950, by British Nobel Prize-winning author Doris Lessing. It takes place in Rhodesia , in southern Africa, during the 1940s and deals with the racial politics between whites and blacks in that country...

is set in Rhodesia.

Internationally famous artists include Henry Mudzengerere and Nicolas Mukomberanwa. A recurring theme in Zimbabwean art is the metamorphosis
Metamorphosis
Metamorphosis is a biological process by which an animal physically develops after birth or hatching, involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal's body structure through cell growth and differentiation...

 of man into beast. Zimbabwean musicians like Thomas Mapfumo
Thomas Mapfumo
Thomas Tafirenyika Mapfumo is a Zimbabwean musician known as "The Lion of Zimbabwe" and "Mukanya" for his immense popularity and for the political influence he wields through his music, including his sharp criticism of the government of President Robert Mugabe...

, Oliver Mtukudzi, the Bhundu Boys
Bhundu Boys
The Bhundu Boys were a Zimbabwean band that played a mixture of chimurenga music with American rock and roll, disco, country, and pop influences...

 and Audius Mtawarira
Audius Mtawarira
Audius Mtawarira, is a multi-ARIA Award winning Australian record producer, composer, artist and songwriter more commonly known as "Audius".-Biography:...

 have achieved international recognition. Among members of the white minority community, Theatre has a large following, with numerous theatrical companies performing in Zimbabwe's urban areas.

Cuisine



Like in many African countries, the majority of Zimbabweans depend on a few staple foods. "Mealie meal", also known as cornmeal
Cornmeal
Cornmeal is flour ground from dried maize or American corn. It is a common staple food, and is ground to fine, medium, and coarse consistencies. In the United States, the finely ground cornmeal is also referred to as cornflour. However, the word cornflour denotes cornstarch in recipes from the...

, is used to prepare Sadza
Sadza
Sadza in Shona, Isitshwala in isiNdebele, pap in South Africa or nsima in the Chichewa language of Malawi, is a cooked corn meal that is the staple food in Zimbabwe and other parts of southern and eastern Africa. This food is cooked widely in other countries of the region.Sadza in appearance is a...

or Isitshwala and porridge
Porridge
Porridge is a dish made by boiling oats or other cereal meals in water, milk, or both. It is usually served hot in a bowl or dish...

 known asBota or ilambazi. Sadza is made by mixing the cornmeal with water to produce a thick paste/porridge. After the paste has been cooking for several minutes, more cornmeal is added to thicken the paste.

This is usually eaten as lunch or dinner
Dinner
Dinner is usually the name of the main meal of the day. Depending upon culture, dinner may be the second, third or fourth meal of the day. Originally, though, it referred to the first meal of the day, eaten around noon, and is still occasionally used for a noontime meal, if it is a large or main...

, usually with sides such as gravy, vegetables (spinach
Spinach
Spinach is an edible flowering plant in the family of Amaranthaceae. It is native to central and southwestern Asia. It is an annual plant , which grows to a height of up to 30 cm. Spinach may survive over winter in temperate regions...

, chomolia
CHOMOLIA
Chomolia is a vegetable widely farmed in Zimbabwe. It is usually prepared as a relish for porridge . Chomolia is green in colour and households grow it in their domestic gardens, watering them at least once a week. In the rainy season there is hardly any watering necessary...

, spring greens
Spring greens
Spring greens are a cultivar of Brassica oleracea in the cultivar Acephala Group, similar to kale, in which the central leaves do not form a head or form only a very loose one...

/collard greens
Collard greens
Collard greens are various loose-leafed cultivars of Brassica oleracea , the same species as cabbage and broccoli. The plant is grown for its large, dark-colored, edible leaves and as a garden ornamental, mainly in Brazil, Portugal, the southern United States, many parts of Africa, Montenegro,...

), beans and meat that has been stewed, grilled, roasted or sundried. Sadza
Sadza
Sadza in Shona, Isitshwala in isiNdebele, pap in South Africa or nsima in the Chichewa language of Malawi, is a cooked corn meal that is the staple food in Zimbabwe and other parts of southern and eastern Africa. This food is cooked widely in other countries of the region.Sadza in appearance is a...

 is also commonly eaten with curdled milk/(sour milk), commonly known as lacto/ (mukaka wakakora), or dried Tanganyika sardine, known locally as kapenta or matemba. Bota is a thinner porridge, cooked without the additional cornmeal and usually flavoured with peanut butter
Peanut butter
Peanut butter is a food paste made primarily from ground dry roasted peanuts, popular in North America, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and parts of Asia, particularly the Philippines and Indonesia. It is mainly used as a sandwich spread, sometimes in combination as in the peanut butter and jelly...

, milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

, butter
Butter
Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying...

, or, sometimes but rarely, jam. Bota is usually eaten for breakfast
Breakfast
Breakfast is the first meal taken after rising from a night's sleep, most often eaten in the early morning before undertaking the day's work...

.

Graduation
Graduation
Graduation is the action of receiving or conferring an academic degree or the ceremony that is sometimes associated, where students become Graduates. Before the graduation, candidates are referred to as Graduands. The date of graduation is often called degree day. The graduation itself is also...

s, wedding
Wedding
A wedding is the ceremony in which two people are united in marriage or a similar institution. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes...

s, and any other family gatherings will usually be celebrated with the killing of a goat
Goat
The domestic goat is a subspecies of goat domesticated from the wild goat of southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the Bovidae family and is closely related to the sheep as both are in the goat-antelope subfamily Caprinae. There are over three hundred distinct breeds of...

 or cow, which will be barbecue
Barbecue
Barbecue or barbeque , used chiefly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of...

d or roasted by the family.

Afrikaner
Afrikaner
Afrikaners are an ethnic group in Southern Africa descended from almost equal numbers of Dutch, French and German settlers whose native tongue is Afrikaans: a Germanic language which derives primarily from 17th century Dutch, and a variety of other languages.-Related ethno-linguistic groups:The...

 recipes are popular though they are a small group (0.2%) within the white minority group. Biltong
Biltong
Biltong is a kind of cured meat that originated in South Africa. Many different types of meat are used to produce it, ranging from beef through game meats to fillets of ostrich from commercial farms. It is typically made from raw fillets of meat cut into strips following the grain of the muscle, or...

, a type of jerky
Jerky (food)
Jerky is lean meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips, and then been dried to prevent spoilage. Normally, this drying includes the addition of salt, to prevent bacteria from developing on the meat before sufficient moisture has been removed. The word "jerky" is a bastardization of the...

, is a popular snack, prepared by hanging bits of spiced raw meat to dry in the shade. Boerewors
Boerewors
Boerewors is a sausage, popular in South African cuisine. The name comes from the Afrikaans words and , and is pronounced , with a trilled .-History:...

 is served with sadza. It is a long sausage, often well-spiced, composed of beef rather than pork, and barbecued.

Since Zimbabwe was a British colony, some people there have adopted some colonial-era English eating habits. For example, most people will have porridge in the morning, they will still have 10 o'clock tea (midday tea). They will have lunch, which can be left-overs from the night before, freshly cooked sadza, or sandwiches (which is more common in the cities). After lunch there is usually 4 o'clock tea that is served before dinner. It is not uncommon for tea to be had after a dinner.

Rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

, pasta
Pasta
Pasta is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine, now of worldwide renown. It takes the form of unleavened dough, made in Italy, mostly of durum wheat , water and sometimes eggs. Pasta comes in a variety of different shapes that serve for both decoration and to act as a carrier for the...

, and potato
Potato
The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family . The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species...

 based foods like (French fries and mashed potato)- also make up part of Zimbabwean cuisine. A local favourite is rice cooked with peanut butter which is taken with thick gravy, mixed vegetables and meat.
A potpourri of - Peanuts
Peanuts
Peanuts is a syndicated daily and Sunday American comic strip written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz, which ran from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000, continuing in reruns afterward...

 known as Nzungu, boiled and sundried Maize
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

, Black-eyed pea
Black-eyed pea
The black-eyed pea, also called black-eyed bean and chawalie or lobia in various languages in India and Pakistan, is a subspecies of the cowpea, grown around the world for its medium-sized, edible bean. The bean mutates easily, giving rise to a number of varieties. The common commercial one is...

 known as Nyemba, Bambara groundnut
Bambara groundnut
The Bambara groundnut is a member of the family Fabaceae. According to some authors it is Voandzeia subterranea, but others place it in Vigna. The plant originated in West Africa...

 known as Nyimo- makes a traditional dish called Mutakura. Mutakura can also be the above ingredients cooked individually.
One can also find local snacks such as Maputi (roasted/popped maize kernels similar to popcorn), roasted and/or salted peanuts, Sugar cane, sweet potato, pumpkin, indigenous fruit like -Horned melon
Horned melon
The horned melon , also called African horned cucumber or melon, jelly melon, hedged gourd, English tomato, melano, kiwano, or cherie, is an annual vine in the cucumber and melon family. It is considered to be the ancestor of the other cultivated melons...

-gaka, Adansonia
Adansonia
Adansonia is a genus of eight species of tree, six native to Madagascar, one native to mainland Africa and the Arabian Peninsula and one to Australia. The mainland African species also occurs on Madagascar, but it is not a native of that island....

-mawuyu, Uapaca kirkiana
Uapaca kirkiana
Uapaca kirkiana or sugar plum is a species of plant in the Phyllanthaceae family. This is one of the most popular wild fruits in the zone where eastern Africa meets southern Africa...

~Sugar plum/ Mazhanje and many others-.

Wild fruits are a cherished delicacy in Zimbabwe because of their nutritious nature for both man and animal. These fruits are widely abundant and very healthful.

See Also

Sports




Football is the most popular sport in Zimbabwe, although rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 and cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 also have a following, traditionally among the white minority. Zimbabwe has won eight Olympic medals, one in field hockey at the (boycotted) 1980 Summer Olympics
Zimbabwe at the 1980 Summer Olympics
Zimbabwe competed at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, USSR. The nation, previously known as Rhodesia, had competed at three Games under that name.- Gold:...

 in Moscow, and seven in swimming, three at the 2004 Summer Olympics
Zimbabwe at the 2004 Summer Olympics
Zimbabwe competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Swimmer Kirsty Coventry won three medals. Zimbabwe had only ever won one Olympic medal before .-Gold:...

 and four at the 2008 Summer Olympics
Zimbabwe at the 2008 Summer Olympics
Zimbabwe sent a team to compete at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.Zimbabwe sent thirteen athletes to Beijing, competing in swimming, athletics, tennis, cycling, triathlon, and rowing...

.

Zimbabwe has also done well in the Commonwealth Games
Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years....

 and All-Africa Games
All-Africa Games
The All-Africa Games, sometimes called the African Games or the Pan African Games, are a regional multi-sport event held every four years, organized by the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa...

 in swimming
Swimming (sport)
Swimming is a sport governed by the Fédération Internationale de Natation .-History: Competitive swimming in Europe began around 1800 BCE, mostly in the form of the freestyle. In 1873 Steve Bowyer introduced the trudgen to Western swimming competitions, after copying the front crawl used by Native...

 with Kirsty Coventry
Kirsty Coventry
Kirsty Leigh Coventry is a Zimbabwean swimmer and world record holder. She attended and swam competitively for Auburn University in Alabama, in the United States...

 obtaining 11 gold medals in the different competitions.
Zimbabwe has also competed at Wimbledon
The Championships, Wimbledon
The Championships, Wimbledon, or simply Wimbledon , is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, considered by many to be the most prestigious. It has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London since 1877. It is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, the other three Majors...

 and the Davis Cup
Davis Cup
The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis. It is run by the International Tennis Federation and is contested between teams of players from competing countries in a knock-out format. The competition began in 1900 as a challenge between Britain and the United States. By...

 in tennis, most notably with the Black family, which comprises Wayne Black
Wayne Black
Wayne Hamilton Black is a former professional male tennis player from Zimbabwe.Black is the son of Don and Velia Black and the brother of Cara Black and Byron Black, also professional tennis players. He attended the University of Southern California and was an All-American in singles and doubles...

, Byron Black
Byron Black
Byron Black is a former touring professional tennis and Davis Cup player for Zimbabwe.- Biography :He is the brother of Cara and Wayne Black, both professional tennis players...

 and Cara Black
Cara Black
Cara Black is a professional female tennis player from Zimbabwe. She has won 7 singles titles and 63 women's doubles titles. She has won all four Grand Slam mixed doubles titles and three of the four Grand Slam titles in women's doubles. She is currently ranked World No. 28 in women's doubles...

. Zimbabwe has also done well in golf.

Other sports pratised in Zimbabwe are Polo
Polo
Polo is a team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score goals against an opposing team. Sometimes called, "The Sport of Kings", it was highly popularized by the British. Players score by driving a small white plastic or wooden ball into the opposing team's goal using a...

, other Ball Games like -Basket Ball, Volley ball, Net ball, and Water Polo
Water polo
Water polo is a team water sport. The playing team consists of six field players and one goalkeeper. The winner of the game is the team that scores more goals. Game play involves swimming, treading water , players passing the ball while being defended by opponents, and scoring by throwing into a...

- Squash (sport)
Squash (sport)
Squash is a high-speed racquet sport played by two players in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball...

, Motorsport
Motorsport
Motorsport or motorsports is the group of sports which primarily involve the use of motorized vehicles, whether for racing or non-racing competition...

, Martial arts
Martial arts
Martial arts are extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat, practiced for a variety of reasons, including self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental and spiritual development....

, Chess
Chess
Chess is a two-player board game played on a chessboard, a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.Each player...

, Cycle racing, Water Rafting and Horse racing
Horse racing
Horse racing is an equestrian sport that has a long history. Archaeological records indicate that horse racing occurred in ancient Babylon, Syria, and Egypt. Both chariot and mounted horse racing were events in the ancient Greek Olympics by 648 BC...

. However, most of these sports don't have international representetives but instead stay at a junior or national level.

See Also
  • Sport in Zimbabwe
    Sport in Zimbabwe
    Zimbabwe has a great sporting tradition and has produced many world recognised sports names and personalities. Cricket is one of the most popular sports in Zimbabwe, although rugby union and field hockey also have a following, traditionally among the white minority. Football is also played widely...


*Sport in Zimbabwe,
*Zimbabwean sportspeople

Scouting


It was in the Matabeleland
Matabeleland
Modern day Matabeleland is a region in Zimbabwe divided into three provinces: Matabeleland North, Bulawayo and Matabeleland South. These provinces are in the west and south-west of Zimbabwe, between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. The region is named after its inhabitants, the Ndebele people...

 region in Zimbabwe that, during the Second Matabele War
Second Matabele War
The Second Matabele War, also known as the Matabeleland Rebellion and in Zimbabwe as the First Chimurenga, was fought in 1896–97 between the British troops and the Ndebele people....

, Robert Baden-Powell
Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell
Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, Bt, OM, GCMG, GCVO, KCB , also known as B-P or Lord Baden-Powell, was a lieutenant-general in the British Army, writer, and founder of the Scout Movement....

, the founder of Scouting, and Frederick Russell Burnham
Frederick Russell Burnham
Frederick Russell Burnham, DSO was an American scout and world traveling adventurer known for his service to the British Army in colonial Africa and for teaching woodcraft to Robert Baden-Powell, thus becoming one of the inspirations for the founding of the international Scouting Movement.Burnham...

, the American born Chief of Scouts for the British Army, first met and began their life-long friendship. In mid-June 1896, during a scouting patrol in the Matobo Hills, Burnham began teaching Baden-Powell woodcraft
Woodcraft
Woodcraft is a recreational/educational program devised by Ernest Thompson Seton in 1902, for young people based on camping, outdoor skills and woodcrafts. Thompson Seton's Woodcraft ideas were incorporated into the early Scout movement, but also in many other organisations in many countries.In the...

. Baden-Powell and Burnham discussed the concept of a broad training programme in woodcraft for young men, rich in exploration
Exploration
Exploration is the act of searching or traveling around a terrain for the purpose of discovery of resources or information. Exploration occurs in all non-sessile animal species, including humans...

, tracking
Tracking (hunting)
Tracking in hunting and ecology is the science and art of observing animal tracks and other signs, with the goal of gaining understanding of the landscape and the animal being tracked...

, fieldcraft
Fieldcraft
Fieldcraft is a term used especially in American, Canadian and British military circles to describe the basic military skills required to operate stealthily and the methods used to do so, which can differ during day or night and due to weather or terrain...

, and self-reliance. It was also during this time in the Matobo Hills that Baden-Powell first started to wear his signature campaign hat
Campaign hat
A campaign cover is a broad-brimmed felt or straw hat, with a high crown, pinched symmetrically at the four corners .It is associated with the New Zealand Army, the Royal Canadian...

 like the one worn by Burnham.

Scouting in the former Rhodesia and Nyasaland started in 1909 when the first Boy Scout troop was registered. Scouting grew quickly and in 1924 Rhodesia and Nyasaland sent a large contingent to the second World Scout Jamboree
World Scout Jamboree
The World Scout Jamboree is a Scouting jamboree of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, typically attended by several tens of thousands of Scouts from around the world, aged 14 to 17....

 in Ermelunden, Denmark
Ermelunden, Denmark
Ermelunden is a small forest in Gentofte, Denmark. It is adjacent to the larger Jægersborg Dyrehave.In 1924 it was the site of the 2nd World Scout Jamboree, which brought together 4,549 Scouts and Guides from all over the world....

. In 1959, Rhodesia hosted the Central African Jamboree at Ruwa
Ruwa
Ruwa is a town in Mashonaland East, Zimbabwe, situated 22 km south-east of Harare on the main Harare-Mutare highway and railway line. It serves as a small administrative and trading centre for the surrounding mixed farming area...

. In 2009, Scouts celebrated 100 years of Scouting in Zimbabwe and hundreds of Scouts camped at Gordon Park, a Scout campground and training area, as part of these celebrations.

Besides scouting, there are also leadership, life skills and general knowledge courses and training experiences mainly for school children ranging from pre-school to final year high school students and some times bthose beyond High school. These courses and outings, are held at places like Lasting Impressions (Lasting Impressions ~Zimbabwe), Far and Wide Zimbabwe (Far and wide.) and Chimanimani Outward Bound (Outwardbound Zimbabwe), Just to name a few.

Tourism



Since the Land Reform programme in 2000, tourism in Zimbabwe has steadily declined. After rising during the 1990s, (1.4 million tourists in 1999) industry figures described a 75% fall in visitors to Zimbabwe in 2000. By December, less than 20% of hotel rooms had been occupied. This has had a huge impact on the Zimbabwean economy. Thousands of jobs have been lost in the industry due to companies closing down or simply being unable to pay staff wages due to the decreasing number of tourists.

Several airlines have also pulled out of Zimbabwe. Australia's Qantas
Qantas
Qantas Airways Limited is the flag carrier of Australia. The name was originally "QANTAS", an initialism for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services". Nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo", the airline is based in Sydney, with its main hub at Sydney Airport...

, Germany's Lufthansa
Lufthansa
Deutsche Lufthansa AG is the flag carrier of Germany and the largest airline in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried. The name of the company is derived from Luft , and Hansa .The airline is the world's fourth-largest airline in terms of overall passengers carried, operating...

 and Austrian Airlines
Austrian Airlines
Austrian Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Austria, headquartered in Office Park 2 on the grounds of Vienna International Airport in Schwechat, Wien-Umgebung and a subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Together with regional subsidiary Tyrolean Airways and charter arm Lauda Air, it operates...

 were among the first to pull out and most recently British Airways
British Airways
British Airways is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, based in Waterside, near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport. British Airways is the largest airline in the UK based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations...

 suspended all direct flights to Harare. The country's flagship airline Air Zimbabwe
Air Zimbabwe
Air Zimbabwe is the national airline of Zimbabwe, headquartered in Harare. From its hub at Harare International Airport, the carrier operates a network within southern Africa that also includes Asia and London-Gatwick. The company is a member of the International Air Transport Association, and of...

 still flies to the United Kingdom. Many light aircraft charter companies operate in Zimbabwe, providing a quick and safe means of travel in the region. The biggest of these companies is Executive Air.

Zimbabwe boasts several major tourist attractions. Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls
The Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya is a waterfall located in southern Africa on the Zambezi River between the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe.-Introduction:...

 on the Zambezi
Zambezi
The Zambezi is the fourth-longest river in Africa, and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa. The area of its basin is , slightly less than half that of the Nile...

, which are shared with Zambia, are located in the north west of Zimbabwe. Before the economic changes, much of the tourism for these locations came to the Zimbabwe side but now Zambia is the main beneficiary. The Victoria Falls National Park
Victoria Falls National Park
Open to visitors throughout the year, the Victoria Falls National Park in north-western Zimbabwe protects the south and east bank of the Zambezi River in the area of the world-famous Victoria Falls...

 is also in this area and is one of the eight main national parks in Zimbabwe, largest of which is Hwange National Park
Hwange National Park
Hwange National Park is the largest game reserve in Zimbabwe. The park lies in the west, on the main road between Bulawayo and the widely noted Victoria Falls.It was founded around 1928 by a 22-year-old game ranger, Ted Davidson...

.

The Eastern Highlands
Eastern Highlands
The Eastern or 'East African Highlands is a mountain range in the east of Zimbabwe and one of 4 distinct physiographic divisions on the African continent.-Location and description:...

 are a series of mountainous areas near the border with Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

. The highest peak in Zimbabwe, Mount Nyangani
Mount Nyangani
Mount Nyangani is the highest mountain in Zimbabwe at 2,592 m . The mountain is located within Nyanga National Park in Nyanga District, is about south east of Harare. The summit lies atop a small outcrop of rock around 40m above the surrounding area...

 at 2,593 m (8,507 ft) is located here as well as the Bvumba Mountains
Bvumba Mountains
The Bvumba Mountains or Vumba Mountains lie on the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border, approximately 25 km south east of Mutare. The Bvumba rise to Castle Beacon at 1911 metres, and are, together with the Chimanimani and Nyanga part of the Eastern Highlands in Zimbabwe bordering Mozambique...

 and the Nyanga National Park
Nyanga National Park
Nyanga National Park lies in the north of Zimbabwe's Eastern Highlands. One of the first national parks to be declared in the country, it contains the highest land in Zimbabwe, with green hills and perennial rivers. Most of its terrain consists of rolling downland, sometimes lightly wooded, lying...

. World's View
World's View, Nyanga
World's View is a spectacular vista viewed from the northern part of the Eastern Highlands mountain range, just North of Nyanga, in eastern Zimbabwe. The view point is popular with tourists. The view encompasses the plains and hills that rolls away from the range to the far west...

 is in these mountains and it is from here that places as far away as 60–70 km (37–43 mi) are visible and, on clear days, the town of Rusape
Rusape
Rusape is a town in the province of Manicaland, Zimbabwe with a population of around 20,000 , situated on the Harare-Mutare main road, approximately 170 km south east of Harare and 93 km north west of Mutare. Rusape is a large, sprawling town that has not quite reached city status...

 can be seen.


Zimbabwe is unusual in Africa in that there are a number of ancient ruined cities built in a unique dry stone
Dry stone
Dry stone is a building method by which structures are constructed from stones without any mortar to bind them together. Dry stone structures are stable because of their unique construction method, which is characterized by the presence of a load-bearing facade of carefully selected interlocking...

 style. The most famous of these are the Great Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe is a ruined city that was once the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which existed from 1100 to 1450 C.E. during the country’s Late Iron Age. The monument, which first began to be constructed in the 11th century and which continued to be built until the 14th century, spanned an...

 ruins in Masvingo
Masvingo
Masvingo is a town in south-eastern Zimbabwe and the capital of Masvingo Province. The town is close to Great Zimbabwe, the national monument from which the country takes its name.- History :...

. Other ruins include Khami Ruins, Zimbabwe
Khami
Khami is a ruined city located in what is now Zimbabwe. It was once the capital of the Kingdom of Butua of the Torwa dynasty. It is located 22 kilometers west of the modern city of Bulawayo, capital of the province of Matabeleland North. Its ruins are now a national monument in Zimbabwe. Khami is...

, Dhlo-Dhlo and Naletale
Naletale
Naletale are ruins are located about 25 kilometres east of Shangani in Matabeleland north, Zimbabwe and just north of the Dhlo Dhlo ruins....

, although none of these is as famous as Great Zimbabwe.

The Matobo Hills
Matobo National Park
The Matobo National Park forms the core of the Matobo or Matopos Hills, an area of granite kopjes and wooded valleys commencing some 35 kilometres south of Bulawayo, southern Zimbabwe...

 are an area of granite
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

 kopjes and wooded valleys commencing some 22 miles (35.4 km) south of Bulawayo
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...

 in southern Zimbabwe. The Hills were formed over 2,000 million years ago with granite being forced to the surface, then being eroded to produce smooth "whaleback dwalas" and broken kopjes, strewn with boulders and interspersed with thickets of vegetation. Mzilikazi
Mzilikazi
Mzilikazi , also sometimes called Mosilikatze, was a Southern African king who founded the Matabele kingdom , Matabeleland, in what became Rhodesia and is now Zimbabwe. He was born the son of Matshobana near Mkuze, Zululand and died at Ingama, Matabeleland...

, founder of the 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....

 nation, gave the area its name, meaning 'Bald Heads'. They have become famous and a tourist attraction due to their ancient shapes and local wildlife. Cecil John Rhodes
Cecil John Rhodes
Cecil John Rhodes PC, DCL was an English-born South African businessman, mining magnate, and politician. He was the founder of the diamond company De Beers, which today markets 40% of the world's rough diamonds and at one time marketed 90%...

 and other early white pioneers
Settler
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...

 like 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....

 are buried in these hills at a site named World's View.

National symbols, insignia, and anthems


The two main traditional symbols of Zimbabwe are the Zimbabwe Bird
Zimbabwe Bird
The stone-carved Zimbabwe Bird is a national emblem of Zimbabwe, appearing on the national flags and coats of arms of both Zimbabwe and Rhodesia, as well as on banknotes and coins...

 and the Balancing Rocks
Balancing Rocks
The Balancing Rocks are geomorphological features of igneous rocks found in many parts of Zimbabwe, and are particularly noteworthy in Matopos National Park and near the township of Epworth to the southeast of Harare. The formations are of natural occurrence in a perfectly balanced state without...

.

Other national symbols
National emblem
A national emblem symbolically represents a nation. Most national emblems originate in the natural world, such as animals or birds, but another object may serve. National emblems may appear on many things such as the national flag, coat of arms, or other patriotic materials...

 exist, but have varying degrees of official usage, such as the flame lily and the Sable Antelope
Sable Antelope
The Sable Antelope is an antelope which inhabits wooded savannah in East Africa south of Kenya, and in Southern Africa.-Subspecies:There are four subspecies:* H. n. niger which is considered low risk conservation dependent...

.

Zimbabwe Bird



The stone-carved Zimbabwe Bird appears on the national flags and the coats of arms of both Zimbabwe and Rhodesia
Rhodesia
Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Rhodesia from 1970, was an unrecognised state located in southern Africa that existed between 1965 and 1979 following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965...

, as well as on banknotes
Rhodesian dollar
The dollar was the currency of Rhodesia between 1970 and 1980. It was subdivided into 100 cents.-History:The dollar was introduced on February 17, 1970, less than a month before the declaration of a republic on March 2, 1970. It replaced the pound at a rate of 2 dollars to 1 pound...

 and coins (first on Rhodesian pound
Coins of the Rhodesian pound
The coins of the Rhodesian pound were part of the currency of Southern Rhodesia, which changed its name to Rhodesia, following the break-up of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, when the Rhodesian pound replaced the Rhodesia and Nyasaland pound....

 and then Rhodesian dollar). It probably represents the Bateleur eagle
Bateleur
The Bateleur is a medium-sized eagle in the bird family Accipitridae which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as buzzards, kites and harriers...

 or the African Fish Eagle
African Fish Eagle
The African Fish Eagle or – to distinguish it from the true fish eagles , the African Sea Eagle – is a large species of eagle that is found throughout sub-Saharan Africa wherever large bodies of open water occur that have an abundant food supply. As a result of its large range, it is known in many...

.

The famous soapstone
Soapstone
Soapstone is a metamorphic rock, a talc-schist. It is largely composed of the mineral talc and is thus rich in magnesium. It is produced by dynamothermal metamorphism and metasomatism, which occurs in the areas where tectonic plates are subducted, changing rocks by heat and pressure, with influx...

 bird carvings stood on walls and monoliths of the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe
Great Zimbabwe is a ruined city that was once the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which existed from 1100 to 1450 C.E. during the country’s Late Iron Age. The monument, which first began to be constructed in the 11th century and which continued to be built until the 14th century, spanned an...

, built, it is believed, sometime between the 13th and 16th centuries by ancestors of 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:...

. The ruins, which gave their name to modern Zimbabwe, cover some 1800 acres (7.3 km²) and are the largest ancient stone construction in Zimbabwe.

When the ruins of Great Zimbabwe were excavated by treasure-hunters in the late 19th century, five of the carved birds they discovered were taken to South Africa by Cecil Rhodes. Four of the statues were returned to Zimbabwe by the South African government at independence, while the fifth remains at Groote Schuur
Groote Schuur
Groote Schuur is an estate in Cape Town, South Africa.Cecil Rhodes took out a lease on the house in 1891. He later bought it in 1893, and had it converted and refurbished by the architect Sir Herbert Baker...

, Rhodes' former home in Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

.

Balancing Rocks



Balancing Rocks are geological formations all over Zimbabwe. The rocks are perfectly balanced without other supports. They are created when ancient granite intrusions are exposed to weathering, as softer rocks surrounding them erode away. They are often remarked on and have been depicted on both the paper money of the Zimbabwean dollar and the paper money of the Rhodesian dollar
Rhodesian dollar
The dollar was the currency of Rhodesia between 1970 and 1980. It was subdivided into 100 cents.-History:The dollar was introduced on February 17, 1970, less than a month before the declaration of a republic on March 2, 1970. It replaced the pound at a rate of 2 dollars to 1 pound...

. The ones found on the current notes of Zimbabwe, named the Banknote Rocks, are located in Epworth
Epworth, Zimbabwe
Epworth is a suburb in south-eastern Harare. It is home to some famous balancing rocks.- Background :The bustling suburb is located about twelve kilometers out of the Harare City Centre. It is a high density suburb populated by mainly poor residents of Harare. It is bisected by a stream into two...

, approximately 9 miles (14.5 km) south east of Harare. There are many different formations of the rocks, incorporating single and paired columns of 3 or more rocks. These formations are a feature of south and east tropical Africa from northern South Africa northwards to Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

. The most notable formations in Zimbabwe are located in the Matobo National Park
Matobo National Park
The Matobo National Park forms the core of the Matobo or Matopos Hills, an area of granite kopjes and wooded valleys commencing some 35 kilometres south of Bulawayo, southern Zimbabwe...

 in Matabeleland
Matabeleland
Modern day Matabeleland is a region in Zimbabwe divided into three provinces: Matabeleland North, Bulawayo and Matabeleland South. These provinces are in the west and south-west of Zimbabwe, between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. The region is named after its inhabitants, the Ndebele people...

.

National anthem



"Blessed be the Land of Zimbabwe" is the national anthem of Zimbabwe. It was introduced in March 1994 after a nation-wide competition to replace "" as a distinctly Zimbabwean song. The winning entry was a song written by Professor Solomon Mutswairo
Solomon Mutswairo
Solomon Mangwiro Mutswairo also spelt Mutsvairo, is a Zimbabwean novelist and poet. A member of the Zezuru people of central Zimbabwe, Mutswairo wrote the first novel in the Shona language, Feso....

and composed by Fred Changundega. It has been translated into all three of the main languages of Zimbabwe.







See also


Zimbabwe Profile

Further reading

  • Barclay, Philip. Zimbabwe: Years of Hope and Despair (2010)
  • Bourne, Richard. Catastrophe: What Went Wrong in Zimbabwe? (2011); 302 pages
  • JoAnn McGregor and Ranka Primorac, eds. Zimbabwe's New Diaspora: Displacement and the Cultural Politics of Survival (Berghahn Books; 2010) 286 pages. Scholarly essays on displacement as a result of Zimbabwe's continuing crisis, with a focus on diasporic communities in Britain and South Africa; also explores such topics as the revival of Rhodesian discourse.
  • Meredith, Martin.Mugabe: Power, Plunder, and the Struggle for Zimbabwe's Future (2007) excerpt and text search
  • Smith, Ian Douglas. Bitter Harvest: Zimbabwe and the Aftermath of its Independence (2008) excerpt and text search
  • Peter Orner and Annie HolmesHope Deferred: NARRATIVES OF ZIMBABWEAN LIVES(2011) excerpts

External links