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Travel to Zimbabwe.
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The capital of Zimbabwe is Harare.
The flag of Zimbabwe is seven equal horizontal bands of green,
yellow, red, black, red, yellow, and green with a white isosceles triangle edged in black
with its base on the hoist side.
A yellow Zimbabwe bird representing the long history of the country is
superimposed on a red five-pointed star in the centre of the triangle, which symbolises
peace; green symbolises agriculture; yellow, mineral wealth; red, the blood shed to
achieve independence; and black stands for the native people.
The UK annexed Southern Rhodesia from the British South Africa
Company, in 1923.
A 1961 constitution was formulated that favoured whites in power. In
1965 the government unilaterally declared its independence, but the UK did not recognise
the act and demanded more complete voting rights for the black African majority in the
country (then called Rhodesia).
UN sanctions and a guerrilla uprising finally led to free elections in
1979 and independence (as Zimbabwe) in 1980.
Robert Mugabe, the nation's first prime minister, has been the
country's only ruler (as president since 1987) and has dominated the country's political
system since independence.
His chaotic land redistribution campaign, which began in 2000, caused
an exodus of white farmers, crippled the economy, and ushered in widespread shortages of
basic commodities. Ignoring international condemnation, Mugabe rigged the 2002
presidential election to ensure his re-election.
The ruling ZANU-PF party used fraud and intimidation to win a
two-thirds majority in the March 2005 parliamentary election; allowing it to amend the
constitution at will and recreate the Senate, which had been abolished in the late 1980s.
In April 2005, Harare embarked on Operation Restore Order, ostensibly
an urban rationalisation program, which resulted in the destruction of the homes or
businesses of 700,000 mostly poor supporters of the opposition, according to UN estimates.
In June 2007, President Mugabe instituted price controls on all basic
commodities causing panic buying and leaving store shelves empty for months. In October
2007, Constitutional Amendment 18 came into effect allowing for harmonised presidential
and parliamentary elections; shortening the length of the presidential term to five years,
and moving up the date for parliamentary elections.
General elections are expected in March 2008.
Southern Africa - between South Africa and Zambia.
2 cities with provincial status:
Manicaland; Mashonaland Central; Mashonaland East; Mashonaland West;
Masvingo; Matabeleland North; Matabeleland South; Midland.
18th April, 1980 (from UK).
Independence Day: 18th April.
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