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Zimbabwe

Population: 13 771 721

GDP: 13 740 000 000.00 $

Description

 

The UK annexed Southern Rhodesia from the [British] South Africa Company in 1923. A 1961 constitution was formulated that favored whites in power. In 1965 the government unilaterally declared its independence, but the UK did not recognize the act and demanded more complete voting rights for the black African majority in the country (then called Rhodesia). UN sanctions and a guerrilla uprising finally led to free elections in 1979 and independence (as Zimbabwe) in 1980. Robert Mugabe, the nation's first prime minister, has been the country's only ruler (as president since 1987) and has dominated the country's political system since independence. His chaotic land redistribution campaign, which began in 1997 and intensified after 2000, caused an exodus of white farmers, crippled the economy, and ushered in widespread shortages of basic commodities. Ignoring international condemnation, Mugabe rigged the 2002 presidential election to ensure his reelection. In April 2005, the capital city of Harare embarked on Operation Restore Order, ostensibly an urban rationalization program, which resulted in the destruction of the homes or businesses of 700,000 mostly poor supporters of the opposition.

 

 

President Mugabe in June 2007 instituted price controls on all basic commodities causing panic buying and leaving store shelves empty for months; a period of increasing hyperinflation ensued. General elections held in March 2008 contained irregularities but still amounted to a censure of the ZANU-PF-led government with the opposition winning a majority of seats in parliament. MDC-T opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the most votes in the presidential polls, but not enough to win outright. In the lead up to a run-off election in late June 2008, considerable violence enacted against opposition party members led to the withdrawal of Tsvangirai from the ballot. Extensive evidence of violence and intimidation resulted in international condemnation of the process.

 

 

Difficult negotiations over a power-sharing "government of national unity," in which Mugabe remained president and Tsvangirai became prime minister, were finally settled in February 2009, although the leaders failed to agree upon many key outstanding governmental issues. Mugabe was reelected president in June 2013 in balloting that was severely flawed and internationally condemned. As a prerequisite to holding the elections, Zimbabwe enacted a new constitution by referendum, although many provisions in the new constitution have yet to be codified in law.

 

Population

 

Population: 13,771,721

 

Nationality: noun: Zimbabwean(s), adjective: Zimbabwean.

 

Ethnic groups: African 99.4% (predominantly Shona; Ndebele is the second largest ethnic group), other 0.4%, unspecified 0.2%.

 

Languages: Shona (official; most widely spoken), Ndebele (official, second most widely spoken), English (official; traditionally used for official business), 13 minority languages (official; includes Chewa, Chibarwe, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Shangani, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda, and Xhosa).

 

Religions: Protestant 75.9% (includes Apostolic 38%, Pentecostal 21.1%, other 16.8%), Roman Catholic 8.4%, other Christian 8.4%, other 1.2% (includes traditional, Muslim), none 6.1%.

GDP

 

GDP: $ 13 740 000 000.00 (2014).

Military Organization

 

Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF): Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ).

 

Conflicts and Disputes

 

Namibia has supported, and in 2004 Zimbabwe dropped objections to, plans between Botswana and Zambia to build a bridge over the Zambezi River, thereby de facto recognizing a short, but not clearly delimited, Botswana-Zambia boundary in the river; South Africa has placed military units to assist police operations along the border of Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique to control smuggling, poaching, and illegal migration.

 

Zimbabwe is transit point for cannabis and South Asian heroin, mandrax, and methamphetamines en route to South Africa.

Geographical Information and Map

 

Capital: Harare

 

Location: Southern Africa, between South Africa and Zambia. Landlocked; the Zambezi forms a natural riverine boundary with Zambia; in full flood (February-April) the massive Victoria Falls on the river forms the world's largest curtain of falling water; Lake Kariba on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border forms the world's largest reservoir by volume (180 cu km; 43 cu mi).

 

Geographic coordinates:

20 00 S, 30 00 E.

 

Area:

total: 390,757 sq km

land: 386,847 sq km

water: 3,910 sq km.

 

Land boundaries:

total: 3,229 km

border countries: Botswana 834 km, Mozambique 1,402 km, South Africa 230 km, Zambia 763 km.

 

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked).

 

Natural resources: coal, chromium ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin, platinum group metals.