Zimbabwe History Timeline

Zimbabwe History Timeline

According to Extrareference, the Republic of Zimbabwe, formerly Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia and Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, is a republic in southern Africa. Zimbabwe borders Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa and Botswana. The country is named after Great Zimbabwe, an ancient city in southern Africa that was the center of a great empire known as the Munhumuta Empire. “Zimbabwe” comes from Dzimbadzemabwe, which means “big stone house” in the Shona language.

The country consists mainly of hilly plateaus. The majority of the population lives in Alto Veld, where the soil is fertile, the rainfall appropriate, and where mining is possible. The climate is tropical but moderate due to the altitude. The torture of the earth is severe. Especially on the common lands where subsistence farming is practiced.

The earliest residents of the area were Khoisans, who lived as hunters and gatherers. They were largely displaced by Bantu tribes in a series of migrations. The southern part of the country was named Matabeleland after the Ndebele tribe, who occupied the area in the early 1800s during a loose confederation of Ndebele-speaking tribes, led by the Khumalo tribe under their leader Mzilikazi. There has been tension all the way up to our time between this ethnic group and the Shona-speaking tribes in Mashonaland, the northern part of Zimbabwe.

In recent years, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and assembly have been severely curtailed. The extent of human rights violations is significant. Although Western media have had much coverage of the forced expulsion of the white big farmers, there are undoubtedly many ordinary, often poor, Zimbabweans who have suffered the greatest abuses – which has made their situation even more difficult with the collapse of the economy.


16th century – The Portuguese presence in the coastal areas facing the Indian Ocean destroyed the fruitful trade with the East, which led to economic decline – also in Zimbabwe. The Shona miners quickly recognized the greed that gold generated among Europeans, therefore hid the gold mines and limited themselves to working with iron. The consequence of Africa’s contact with European “civilization” was a societal setback of 10 centuries.

1834 – The Zulus arrive in the region. The Rotsi people emigrated to the west, leaving their fields, cities, palaces and irrigation systems. The ancient walls of the city of Zimbabwe began to be covered with grass and shrubs. In the first half of the 19th century, the area was divided between the Shona people in the northeast and the Matabele Zulu kingdom in the southwest.

1855 – Victoria Falls or Victoria Falls is a waterfall located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The waterfall is considered one of the most spectacular in the world and is 1.6 km wide and has a fall of 128 m. The first European to see the waterfall was David Livingstone, who then named it after Queen Victoria.

1893-94 – First Mabatele War.

1896–1897 – The Ndebels and Shonas failed to revolt against the white colonists’ plunder of their native land. This later became known as the first chimurenga (“war of liberation”). Nehanda Nyakasikana, Chaminuka, Muponda and other Shona spirit media and rulers were the leaders of this revolt, and were later captured and executed. The Shonas and Ndebels with their spears and clubs were out of luck against heavily armed British South Africa Police (as the Rhodesian police force was called) who had horses, firearms and cannons.

1965 – November 11. After the dissolution of the federation in 1963, the white minority administration in Southern Rhodesia (called Rhodesia from 1964) demanded independence, but the British government had established a policy of not offering independence before an African majority government could be formed. Prime Minister Ian Smith declared Rhodesia independent on 11 November 1965, but five years later in 1970 he upgraded the country to a Republic but without international recognition.

1975 – With the end of Portuguese rule in neighboring Mozambique, the Liberation Front in Mozambique ( Frelimo ), led by President Samora Machel, supports ZANLA, and resistance intensifies into a large-scale uprising called the Second Chimurenga.

1979 – However, Ian Smith was also instrumental in negotiating the agreement that in 1979 gave blacks the same rights to power as whites. Due to the massive predominance of this population group, the black Abel Muzorewa was now elected new Prime Minister at the head of a coalition government, and the country changed its name to Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. Smith then became an ordinary member of parliament until he retired in 1987 to enjoy his retirement, initially in Zimbabwe, as the country had meanwhile come to be called, and later in Cape Town, South Africa.

1980 – In the February free elections, Robert Mugabe and his Zimbabwe won the African National Union ( ZANU ) by a landslide, and Mugabe has won every election since, although most elections have not been considered “free and fair” according to international standards. It has been claimed that voters have been threatened and members of the opposition have been harassed.

1982-1985 – Mugabe launches a secret war of extermination against his former allies Zapu. Up to 10,000 ZAPU supporters were killed. The white upper class was tolerated as long as they had no objections but continued to make the country richer.

1987 – A peace agreement leads to the merger of ZAPU and ZANU into the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) in 1988.

1994 – UFO MYTH: On September 14, a UFO flew into the sky in southern Africa. Two days later, something landed in the Ariel schoolyard in Ruwa, where about 62 children are witnessing the strange vessel and an alien having telepathic conversation with them. Cynthia Hind interviewed them and asked them to draw what they had seen.

2005 – The Government of Zimbabwe launches Operation Murambatsvina in May. Homes were to be destroyed and large numbers of people forcibly relocated from urban areas to the countryside. On May 19, the demolition and burning of the slums of Harare began. The action spread to the whole country. Within a few weeks, tens of thousands of people were arrested, while hundreds of thousands became homeless, and just as many lost their livelihoods. Several children perished because house walls were torn down and fell over them. The EU and the UN condemned the demolition of the poor areas. In addition to the autumn, several actions were carried out against these areas. According to UN special envoy Tibaijuka, 700,000 people lost either their homes or livelihoods, many both. In total, over two million were affected by the action.

Zimbabwe History Timeline

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