A Brief History of Zimbabwe
• 1000: Shona people established on Zimbabwean plateau.
• 1821: Ndebele people split from S. African Zulu tribe, under Chief Mzilikazi migrate north, enslaving the Shona. They eventually assembled in modern day Matabeleland, with Bulawayo as their capital.
• 1888: Chief Lobengula signs a trade agreement with British South Africa Company (under Cecil Rhodes), granting extensive mineral rights.
• 1893: BSAC occupies the region, naming the territory ‘Rhodesia’.
• 1897: Great Britain recognizes Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), and Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) as separate territories.
• 1923: Southern Rhodesia becomes a self-governing British colony
• 1964: Federation of Rhodesia dissolved. Northern Rhodesia becomes Zambia, Southern Rhodesia becomes Rhodesia.
• 1965: Prime Minister Ian Smith declares Unilateral Independence from Britain.
• 1966: UN imposes trade sanctions on Rhodesia
• 1969: Rhodesia introduces new Consitution which would prevent Blacks from ever gaining control of Government.
• 1966-79: 2nd Chimurenga, or Rhodesian Bush War.
• 1979: Lancaster House talks lead to a peace agreement and new Consitution
• 1980: Robert Mugabe and ZANU win ﬁrst independent elections. New Zimbabwe is oﬃcially recognized worldwide on 18th April.
• 1982-85: Gukurahundi (The early rain that washes away the chaﬀ before the ﬁrst rains). ZANU troops systematically murder approximately 30,000 Ndebele in Matabeleland (including Lupane).
• 1987: ZANU and ZAPU merge to form a new party, ZANU-PF. Mugabe changes the Constitution, becomes executive president.
• 1998-99: Economic situation worsens, accompanied by riots and strikes. Opposition party MDC formed.
• 2000: ‘Jambanja’ begins. This involved the forcible and violent taking by ‘War Veterans of farms from White farmers, eﬀectively demolishing the country’s economy. Thus began a long period of hunger and deprivation.
• 2005: ZANU-PF ‘wins’ a two thirds majority in parliamentary polls, against a background of violence and cheating. ‘Murambatsvina’ leaves 700,000 homeless.
• 2006: Currency inﬂation exceeds 1000%.
• 2008: Morgan Tsvangirai wins Presidential election. ZANU-PF refuses to release exact results, and demands a run-oﬀ. After a sustained campaign of violence, Tsvangirai withdraws his candidacy, Mugabe is declared winner. Tsvangirai, in a power-sharing agreement, is given the post of Prime Minister, with no powers.
• 2009: Zimbabwean Dollar ceases to trade, following the worst case of hyperinﬂation ever seen in a country not at war. Government adopts US dollar. Assassination attempt on Tsvangirai causes death of his wife.
• 2013: Following gradual easing of International Sanctions, GNU announces Constitutional Referendum. New Constitution limits future presidencies to a maximum of 10 years (Mugabe was 89 at the time…) Fraudulent elections backed by ZANU-PF violence resulted in a 7th Presidential term for Mugabe, and a three quarters ZANU-PF majority in Parliament.