Portal:Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe (/zɪmˈbɑːbw/ zim-BAHB-way; officially the Republic of Zimbabwe) is a landlocked country of southern Africa. It shares a 125-mile (200-kilometre) border on the south with the Republic of South Africa and is bounded on the southwest and west by Botswana, on the north by Zambia, and on the northeast and east by Mozambique. The capital is Harare (renamed from Salisbury in 1982). Zimbabwe achieved recognised independence from Britain in April 1980, following a 14-year period as an unrecognised state under the predominantly white minority government of Rhodesia, which unilaterally declared independence in 1965. Rhodesia briefly reconstituted itself as black-majority ruled Zimbabwe Rhodesia in 1979, but this order failed to gain international acceptance.

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Zimbabwe has three official languages: English, Shona and Ndebele. The country today equivalent to Zimbabwe was first demarcated by the British South Africa Company in the late 19th century; it became the self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia in 1923. President Robert Mugabe is the head of State and Commander in Chief of the armed forces. Morgan Tsvangirai is the Prime Minister. Mugabe has been in power since the country's internationally recognised independence in 1980. Under his leadership the economy of Zimbabwe has declined from one of the strongest in Africa to the weakest.

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Mbare township after Operation Murambatsvina

Operation Murambatsvina (English: Operation Drive Out Trash), also officially known as Operation Restore Order, is a large scale Zimbabwean government campaign to forcibly clear slum areas across the country. The campaign started in 2005 and according to United Nations estimates has affected at least 2.4 million people. Robert Mugabe and other government officials characterize the operation as a crackdown against illegal housing and commercial activities, and as an effort to reduce the risk of the spread of infectious disease in these areas.

However, the campaign has met with harsh condemnation from Zimbabwean opposition parties, church groups, non-governmental organizations, and the wider international community. The United Nations has described the campaign as an effort to drive out and make homeless large sections of the urban and rural poor, who comprise much of the internal opposition to the Mugabe administration.

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Zimbabwe Bird.svg

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 (first on Rhodesian pound and then Rhodesian dollar). It probably represents the bateleur eagle.

The famous soapstone bird carvings stood on walls and monoliths of the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe built, it is believed, sometime between the 12th and 15th centuries by ancestors of the Shona. The ruins, which gave their name to modern Zimbabwe, cover some 1,800 acres (7.3 km²) and are the largest ancient stone construction in Zimbabwe.

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Canaan Sodindo Banana (5 March 1936-10 November 2003) served as the first President of Zimbabwe from 18 April, 1980 until 31 December, 1987. A Methodist minister, he held the largely ceremonial office of the presidency while his eventual successor, Robert Mugabe, served as Prime Minister.

During his lifetime, Banana brought together two of the country's political parties (the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU)), became a diplomat for the Organisation of African Unity, and headed the religious department of the University of Zimbabwe. His later life is tainted by charges of sodomy, which he denied and for which he was later imprisoned.

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