Gweru

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Gweru
Boggies clock Gweru.jpg
Flag of Gweru
Flag
Coat of arms of Gweru
Coat of arms
Motto: Progress
Gweru is located in Zimbabwe
Gweru
Gweru
Coordinates: 19°27′41″S 29°48′08″E / 19.46139°S 29.80222°E / -19.46139; 29.80222Coordinates: 19°27′41″S 29°48′08″E / 19.46139°S 29.80222°E / -19.46139; 29.80222
Country Zimbabwe
Province Midlands
Founded 1894
City status 1971
Elevation 1,424 m (4,672 ft)
Population (2013)
 • Total 141,862
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+1)
Climate Cwb

Gweru (called Gwelo until 1982) is a city near the centre of Zimbabwe. It has a population of about 146,073 (2009), making it the fifth largest city in the nation. It became a municipality in 1914 and achieved city status in 1971. The name changed from Gwelo to Gweru in 1982.

The Nalatale and Danangombe archaeological enclosures lie nearby, the former known for its patterned brickwork, the latter for its Portuguese remains.

Industry[edit]

Industries include Zimbabwe Alloys, a chrome smelting plant, Bata Shoe Company (established in 1939), Anchor Yeast the sole manufacturer of yeast (established in 1952), Kariba Batteries, Zimglass and Zimcast . All are leading employers in Gweru. Gweru is situated in one of Zimbabwe's finest cattle rearing areas: the surrounding agricultural activity revolves around the cattle industry (both beef and dairy). Bata has its own tanning plant for cattle hides and the Cold Storage Commission CSC has an abattoir in Gweru. Flowers are also grown in the area for the export market, and Zimbabwe's largest distiller, Afdis, has extensive vineyards in Gweru for the production of wine. Mining is also prevalent: mainly chromite ore from rich deposits along the Great Dyke to the east of Gweru. The town derives its name from a former Lozwi/Rozvi chief known as Kwelu [Kalanga for pheasant]. The English could not say Kwelu and name it Gwelo. Sadly it has been named Gweru by the Karanga, a corrupted version of its original name. That the original name was Kalanga is supported by other names of surrounding areas such as Dimba Mihwa [Thorn Hill], Senga [Kalanga for carry], Mkoba [pronounced mukova Kalanga for entrance], Mambo. One of Netjasike's grandsons Malisa settled around that area.

Transportation[edit]

Railway[edit]

The National Railways of Zimbabwe have the country's largest marshalling yard, Dabuka, on the south side of Gweru. Dabuka plays a pivotal role in rail movement in the country as it is the central hub of the rail links to Mozambique in the east, South Africa in the south and Botswana and Namibia in the south west, lying on the Bulawayo - Harare Line.

Roads[edit]

As a central city (hub), it has direct links to all the other cities and towns of Zimbabwe. It is 164 km from Bulawayo, 183 km from Masvingo, 471 km from Beitbridge, and 275 km from Harare.

Road names used are by destination only, for example the Harare - Gweru Road. There are only mainroads, no highways or freeways.[1]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Gweru (1961–1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 26.3
(79.3)
25.8
(78.4)
25.8
(78.4)
24.7
(76.5)
22.9
(73.2)
20.6
(69.1)
20.5
(68.9)
23.3
(73.9)
26.8
(80.2)
28.3
(82.9)
27.4
(81.3)
26.3
(79.3)
24.9
(76.8)
Average low °C (°F) 15.3
(59.5)
15.1
(59.2)
13.8
(56.8)
11.3
(52.3)
7.6
(45.7)
4.9
(40.8)
4.5
(40.1)
6.5
(43.7)
10.0
(50)
13.1
(55.6)
14.5
(58.1)
15.1
(59.2)
11.0
(51.8)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 139.1
(5.476)
124.8
(4.913)
55.9
(2.201)
29.0
(1.142)
7.7
(0.303)
1.9
(0.075)
1.0
(0.039)
1.9
(0.075)
9.3
(0.366)
35.1
(1.382)
96.2
(3.787)
159.4
(6.276)
661.3
(26.035)
Average rainy days 12 10 7 3 1 1 0 0 1 4 9 12 60
Source: World Meteorological Organization[2]


International relations[edit]

Gweru shares an international relationship with the town of Basildon, (Essex, United Kingdom).[3]

Population[edit]

The urban population of Gweru is thought to be around 300,000 people, but could well be more than that as most urban Zimbabweans maintain a rural home as well. Because it falls between the Shona and Ndebele regions a sizeable percentage can speak both of the major local languages although Shona is spoken by the majority with approximately 30% speaking Ndebele.

Residential areas[edit]

Like all other cities in Zimbabwe, Gweru is divided into high-, medium- and low-density residential areas. The biggest original suburb in Gweru is Mkoba: it is divided into sections. Mkoba started as a village so it still has village 1, village 2 up to village 20. It is the only suburban area in Zimbabwe to have the village suffix. Mtapa, Senga, Nehosho,Cliffton park, Mambo, Ascot and newly developed Woodlands are some of the high-density suburbs around Gweru. Southdowns, Northlea, Lundi Park, Riverside etc. are among the "middle-class" residential areas of Gweru.

Gweru East, Kopje, Harben park, St Annes drive, Brackenhurst, Windsor Park are some of the "elite" residential areas of Gweru.

Education[edit]

The primary and secondary system of education has not changed much in structure for several decades.

Secondary schools

Group A

Group B

Tertiary Schools


Commercial colleges

Commercial education was not easily available to the majority of Gweru residents especially before independence. There was a surge of new colleges after 1980 when Zimbabwe gained independence and also when commercial courses became a popular requirement in industry.

Midlands College of Commerce It provided courses in most commercial and practical subjects popular during that era for example: typing, bookkeeping, dress-making and shorthand. These were examined by the UK-based Pitman Examinations Institute. This college stopped operating in the mid-1990s following the death of W.H Shumba in 1994.

After 1980 other colleges were soon established:

Correspondence / Distance Education Colleges
Tertiary education
  • Midlands Christian Training Centre - provided teacher training, and is also an examination centre for UNISA exams. This training centre is closely linked to the Midlands Christian School and College.
  • Midlands State University - formerly Gweru Teacher's College www.msu.ac.zw
  • Mkoba Teacher's College
  • Senka Technical Training Centre
  • Kaguvi National Technical College - formerly established to cater for freedom fighters who had gone to war against British colonial powers to reintegrate them into the community.

Hotels[edit]

Midlands Hotel was opened in 1927 by the Meikle brothers. It was about to be demolished but after much protest, it was spared. Chitukuko hotel (formerly known as the Cecil Hotel) is another local hotel located in the city centre area. Both hotels were later owned by the Patrick Kombayi, a prominent Gweru businessman, ex-mayor, and politician known for his highly publicised criticism of the current government. Fairmile Motel is just a mile from the city centre on Bulawayo road.

Other hotels and lodges in Gweru includes The Village Lodge(located along the Harare road next to Regina Mundi High School),Antelope Park and Fairmile Hotel(along Bulawayo Road.

Sights[edit]

In 1928 Gweru resident and pioneer widow Mrs Jean Boggie erected a memorial clock tower in memory of her late husband. The Boggie Clock Tower has become a landmark in Gweru.

Pictures[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Automobile Association of Zimbabwe
  2. ^ "World Weather Information Service – Gweru". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 25 October 2015. 
  3. ^ Local Government International Bureau (LGIB) Database of "Twinning Towns