Zimbabwe - Former Rhodesia
Zimbabwe - the former Rhodesia - is a landlocked country in Southeast Africa
and covers an area of 390,580 km². In English the country is called Zimbabwe.
In recent times, the news of the drastic measures taken by the dictator
Robert Gabriel Mugabe (born 1924) has shaped the image of the country in the
world. In an election that election observers did not consider to be free and
fair, he secured power for a further six years in 2002. In the mid-1990s, his
campaign against homosexuals, and in 2005 the destruction of slum areas and the
displacement of around 700,000 alleged opponents of the regime, aroused
In 2000, Mugabe's government implemented land reforms aimed at eliminating
the unequal distribution of large estates; previously, the 40,000 white farmers
owned as much agricultural land as the land-owning 4 million blacks. The land
reform that expropriated the white landlords, however, had catastrophic
consequences because, on the one hand, the resettlement of small farmers did not
work as desired and, on the other hand, the newly appointed landowners lacked
the money, knowledge and employees to be able to cultivate the land assigned to
them. The result was famines and a decline in exports, including the main export
good, tobacco, which placed an additional burden on the state.
In the presidential runoff election on June 27, 2008, Mugabe was the only
candidate. The leader of the opposition Tsvangirai had withdrawn his candidacy
shortly before the election out of fear for his life and that of his
supporters. On June 29, 84-year-old Robert Gabriel Mugabe was sworn in again as
Around 1.6 million people in the country are HIV positive and several million
people are hungry. At the end of November 2008, a severe cholera epidemic broke
out in the country, killing thousands of people.
Zimbabwe has significant UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the 2 km wide
Victoria Waterfalls on the border with Zambia, where the Zambezi River plunges
down to 110 meters. The ruins of the former colonial city of Greater Zimbabwe
are the largest building complex south of the Sahara that has survived from this
period. In addition, numerous areas of Zimbabwe have been declared national
parks. They form the habitat for many rare animal and plant species and have
special scenic beauties such as huge bizarre granite formations (in the
Rhodes-Matopos National Park).
|Name of the country
||Republic of Zimbabwe
|Form of government
||Landlocked in southern Africa
||Blessed be the land of Zimbabwe
||approx. 16.5 million (Credit:
||English as well as Shona, Fanalago, Cishona u. Isindebele
||Inyangani with a height of 2,592 m
||Zambezi with a length of 2,660 km
||Kariba Lake with an area of 7,770 km²
|International license plate
||US dollars, South African rand and the renminbi
|Time difference to CET
||+ 1 h
|International phone code
||220/230 volts and 50 Hertz
(an adapter is recommended.)
|Internet TDL (Top Level Domain)
Until the 18th century
The first empires of the Shona people emerged in the early 13th century and
now constitute the largest group of the population. In the 15th century this
epoch reached its climax with the heyday of the city of Zimbabwe.
Abbreviationfinder website, since the 15th century, the influence of the Portuguese colonialists
increased. From the beginning of the 15th century they controlled the coastal
sections of the African east coast and thus the trade with the Arab states, the
empires of the Shona and the subsequent Torwa and Rotse through the sale of the
rich treasures of gold, copper and gold in the region Made ivory rich. Later,
the Portuguese penetrated into the interior of what is now Zimbabwe, and from
1629 to 1693 the area was under Portuguese protectorate.
In the 19th century
From 1824 the country was conquered by the Ndebele, who fled from the Zulu
and subjugated the local population.
In 1888 the Briton Cecil Rhodes from the British South Africa Company (BSAC)
came to the territory of the Ndebele, where he assumed it was like gold. From
1889 British settlers occupied the country with the help of soldiers after Great
Britain had authorized the BSAC to do so. Ten years later the area was renamed
to Rhodes in Southern Rhodesia. Northern Rhodesia was south of the Zambezi and
is today's Zambia.
20th century until today
Southern Rhodesia became a self-governing British colony in 1923. In 1953
both parts of Rhodesia were united with Nyassaland (Malawi) to form the
Central African Federation, which lasted ten years. In 1965, a white minority
government declared the independence of Southern Rhodesia, which was not
recognized by Great Britain.
In 1970 the white minority government proclaimed the Republic of Southern
Rhodesia, which was not recognized by any other nation. Guerrilla resistance by
the black population and a civil war that lasted until 1979 with 40,000 dead and
80,000 refugees were the result.
1979-1980 the Lancaster House Agreement was signed, which resulted in the
disarmament of the revolutionary guerrillas, the holding of elections and the
release of independence. Thereupon Robert Gabriel Mugabe (born 1924), who had
brought the majority of the Shona on his side, won the election. In the
following years about half of the more than 200,000 whites left the country.
In 1987 the Mugabe government ordered punitive expeditions with numerous
civilian victims in Matabeleland due to unrest. In 1990 a one-party government
voted for a socialist development path. In order to prevent an international
flight of capital, the government decided instead to adopt IMF-supported
economic measures. One of the main reasons for this was the severe damage that
Zimbabwe's agriculture suffered as a result of the 1992 drought.
The government under President Mugabe increasingly assumed the features of a
personal dictatorship, combined with serious corruption in the party and
administration. In the mid-1990s, Mugabe began a campaign against homosexuals
that can now be punished with ten years in prison. From 1999 the expropriation
of the whites began, who, although less than 1% of the population, held 70% of
the arable land in their hands.
After the expropriation of numerous white farmers, the formerly agricultural
exporting country even had to import food. An unprecedented impoverishment
process has since spread in the country. In addition, according to UN estimates,
around 1.6 million people in Zimbabwe suffer from AIDS or are infected with the
After Zimbabwe's Commonwealth membership was suspended in 2002 in response to
Mugabe's apparent electoral fraud, Mugabe himself declared the country's exit in
In May 2005, Mugabe started the so-called "Drive Out Waste" campaign. As a
result of this action against the supposed opponents of the ruling clique under
Mugabe, around 700,000 people were expelled from the slums of the cities and
their houses were destroyed within two months. As a result, they lost their
shelter and mostly also their livelihoods. International protests followed, but
- as always in such cases - they paid lip service and had no effect.
The elections at the end of March 2008 likely resulted in defeat for Mugabe
and his ZANU-PF party. But he then simply did not have the election results
published and his thugs put the opposition under massive pressure. Since then,
supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have suffered
from ever worsening persecution.
Following the announcement of the results of the March 2008 presidential
election, it emerged that opposition candidate Morgan rRchard Tsvangirai (born
1952) had won the election but did not achieve an absolute majority, so that a
runoff between him and Mugabe was required he agreed on May 9th and which took
place on June 27th. In this runoff election, Robert Gabriel Mugabe was the only
candidate. The opposition candidate Tsvangirai withdrew his candidacy shortly
before the election out of fear for his life and that of his supporters. On June
29, 2008, Mugabe was sworn in again as President.