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 was the Prime Minister from 2009-2013. 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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Zimbabwe held a presidential election along with a parliamentary election on March 29, 2008. The three major candidates were incumbent President Robert Mugabe of the Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and Simba Makoni, an independent. The election was expected, because of Zimbabwe's dire economic situation, to provide President Mugabe with his toughest electoral challenge to date. Mugabe's opponents have been critical of the handling of the electoral process, and the government has been accused of planning to rig the election; Human Rights Watch said that the election was likely to be "deeply flawed". However, after the election took place, Jose Marcos Barrica, the head of the Southern African Development Community observer mission, described the election as "a peaceful and credible expression of the will of the people of Zimbabwe."

No official results were announced for more than a month after the election. The failure to release results was strongly criticized by the MDC, which sought an order from the High Court that would force their release. An independent projection placed Tsvangirai in the lead, but without the majority needed to avoid a second round.

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Flame lily
Gloriosa is a genus of five species in the plant family Colchicaceae, from tropical Asia and Africa. They are tuberous rooted deciduous perennials, adapted to a monsoon climate with a dormant dry season. It is sometimes called gloriosa lily or climbing lily.

Gloriosa climb or scramble over other plants with the aid of tendrils at the ends of their leaves and can reach 3 meters in height. They have showy red or orange flowers, distinctive because of their pronouncedly reflexed petals, like a Turk's cap lily. The plant is sometimes called the glory lily or flame lily. G. rothschildiana is the national flower of Zimbabwe and was the national flower of Rhodesia.

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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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