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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Coat of Arms of Zimbabwe

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 Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms of Zimbabwe was adopted on September 21, 1981, one year and five months after the national flag was adopted.

The Coat of Arms depicts two kudus on the left and right, each standing on top of an earthly mound composed of stalks of wheat, a pile of cotton, and a head of maize. At their feet there is also a banner emblazoned with the Zimbabwe national motto (Unity, Freedom, Work). The shield itself is green, featuring 14 waves of alternating white and blue waved lines at top (chief argent), and also at the center of the shield a representation of the ancient Kingdom of Great Zimbabwe is shown. Placed behind the shield are an agricultural hoe (to the left) and an AK-47 automatic rifle (to the right), both of which are tied with twisted strips of green and gold silk. On the crest, the red star and the Great Zimbabwe Bird, which are also depicted in the national flag, are shown.

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Lobengula

Lobengula Kumalo (d. 1894) was the second and last king of the Ndebele people, now known as the Ndebele (or, linguistically more correctly, the nDebele). Both names, in the sinDebele language, mean "The people of the long shields," a reference to the Matabele warriors' use of the Zulu shield and spear.

Mzilikazi (a.k.a., Umsaingaas), the first king of the Matabele nation, died in 1869 and the throne was to go Nkulumani, son of the king and his royal wife. But the young chief was mysteriously missing and this led the izinduna, or chiefs, to give the crown to Lobengula, another of Mzilikazi's sons but from an inferior wife. Several impis (i.e., regiments) disputed Lobengula's assent and the question was ultimately decided by the arbitrament of the assegai, with Lobengula and his impis crushing the rebels. Lobengula's courage in this battle led to his unanimous selection as king.

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