Portal:Zimbabwe

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The ZIMBABWE PORTAL

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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The first Matabele War was fought in 1893 between the British South Africa Company military forces and the Ndebele nation. Lobengula, king of the Ndebele, avoided outright war with the British settlers because he and his advisors were mindful of the destructive power of the European weapons on traditional Matabele impis attacking in massed ranks. Lobengula had 80 000 spearmen and 20 000 riflemen, armed with nine pound Martini-Henrys which were modern arms at that time. However, poor training meant that these were not effective weapons. The British South Africa Company had no more than 750 BSA Police troops with an undetermined number of possible colonial volunteers and an additional 700 Bechuana allies. Cecil Rhodes, who was Prime Minister of the Cape Colony and Leander Starr Jameson, the Administrator of Mashonaland also avoided war to prevent loss of confidence in the future of the territory. Matters came to a head when Lobengula approved a raid to forcibly extract tribute from a Mashona chief in the district of the town of Fort Victoria, which inevitably led to a clash with the BSA Company.

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Birchenough Bridge is the name for both a bridge across the Save River (pronounced Sa've) and a village next to the bridge. Birchenough Bridge is located 62 km from Chipinge in the Manicaland province of Zimbabwe linking Mutare with Masvingo. The bridge was funded and planned by the Beit Trust, a foundation chaired at the time by Sir Henry Birchenough, it was completed in 1935. At a length of 1080 feet (329 meters) it was the third longest single-arch suspension bridges in the world at the time.

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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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Frederick Selous

Frederick Courteney Selous (or Courtney) (31 December 1851 - 4 January 1917) was a British explorer, hunter, and conservationist famous for his exploits in Southern Africa. His real-life adventures inspired Sir H. Rider Haggard to create the fictional Allan Quatermain character. Selous was also a good friend of Theodore Roosevelt and Frederick Russell Burnham. He was the older brother of ornithologist and writer Edmund Selous.

Selous was born in London, and was educated at Rugby and in Germany. His love for natural history led to the resolve to study the ways of wild animals in their native haunts. Going to South Africa when he was nineteen, he travelled from the Cape of Good Hope to Matabeleland, reached early in 1872, and was granted permission by Lobengula to shoot game anywhere in his dominions.

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