Portal:Zimbabwe

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Introduction

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Zimbabwe (/zɪmˈbɑːbw, -wi/), officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, bordered by South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. The capital and largest city is Harare. A country of roughly 16 million people, Zimbabwe has 16 official languages, with English, Shona, and Ndebele the most commonly used.

Since the 11th century, present-day Zimbabwe has been the site of several organised states and kingdoms as well as a major route for migration and trade. The British South Africa Company of Cecil Rhodes first demarcated the present territory during the 1890s; it became the self-governing British colony of Southern Rhodesia in 1923. In 1965, the conservative white minority government unilaterally declared independence as Rhodesia. The state endured international isolation and a 15-year guerrilla war with black nationalist forces; this culminated in a peace agreement that established universal enfranchisement and de jure sovereignty as Zimbabwe in April 1980. Zimbabwe then joined the Commonwealth of Nations, from which it was suspended in 2002 for breaches of international law by its then government and from which it withdrew from in December 2003. It is a member of the United Nations, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). It was once known as the "Jewel of Africa" for its prosperity.

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Mutare (known as Umtali until 1982) is the fourth largest city in Zimbabwe, with a population of approximately 189,000. It is the capital of Manicaland Province. It is located at 18°58′S 32°38′E / 18.967°S 32.633°E / -18.967; 32.633. Mutare was founded in 1897 as a fort, about 8 km from the border with Mozambique, and is just 290 kilometres from the Mozambican port of Beira, earning Mutare the title of "Zimbabwe's Gateway to the Sea".

Sometimes also called "Gateway to the Eastern Highlands".

A border railway station on the railway line from Harare to Beira (Mozambique) with a railways mechanical work shop.

The view from the top of Christmas Pass down onto Mutare is breathtaking.

The town lies north of the Bvumba Mountains and south of the Imbeza Valley. It is home to the Mutare Museum, the Utopia House Museum dedicated to Kingsley Fairbridge, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Murahwa Hill, known for its rock paintings and Iron Age village, Cross Kopje with a memorial to Zimbabweans and Mozambiqueans killed in World War I and a nature reserve. It is also home to the Africa University, a pan-African university of about 1,200 students.

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Birchenough Bridge is the name for both a bridge across the Save River (pronounced Sa've) and a village next to the bridge. Birchenough Bridge is located 62 km from Chipinge in the Manicaland Province of Zimbabwe linking Mutare with Masvingo. The bridge was funded and planned by the Beit Trust, a foundation chaired at the time by Sir Henry Birchenough, it was completed in 1935. At a length of 1080 feet (329 meters) it was the third longest single-arch suspension bridges in the world at the time.

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Blessed be the Land of Zimbabwe (Shona: "Simudzai Mureza wedu WeZimbabwe"; Northern Ndebele: "Kalibusiswe Ilizwe leZimbabwe") is the national anthem of Zimbabwe. It was introduced in March 1994 after a nationwide competition to replace "Ishe Komborera Africa" as a distinctly Zimbabwean song. The winning entry was a song written by Professor Solomon Mutswairo and composed by Fred Changundega. It has been translated into all three of the main languages of Zimbabwe.

The Shona variant is most commonly sung, specifically the first verse:

Simudzai mureza wedu weZimbabwe
Yakazvarwa nomoto wechimurenga;
Neropa zhinji ramagamba
Tiidzivirire kumhandu dzose;
Ngaikomborerwe nyika yeZimbabwe.

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Cecil John Rhodes, PC (5 July 1853 – 26 March 1902) was a British-born South African businessman, mining magnate, and politician. He was the founder of the diamond company De Beers, which today markets 60% of the world's rough diamonds and at one time marketed 90%. He was an ardent believer in colonialism and was the founder of the state of Rhodesia, which was named after him. Rhodesia, later Northern and Southern Rhodesia, eventually became Zambia and Zimbabwe respectively.

Rhodes famously declared: "To think of these stars that you see overhead at night, these vast worlds which we can never reach. I would annex the planets if I could; I often think of that. It makes me sad to see them so clear and yet so far."

Rhodes was born in 1853 in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England. He was the fifth son of the Reverend Francis William Rhodes, a Church of England vicar who prided himself on never having preached a sermon longer than 10 minutes, and his wife Louisa Peacock Rhodes. He had many siblings, including Frank Rhodes, an army officer.

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