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Zimbabwe marks 37 years of independence – Chronology of events

April 18, 2017 1:11 pm

Zimbabwe marks 37 years of independence today. The 37 years are the post British colonial rule. The country has progressed in some aspects, however, it hasn’t progressed to the liking of some Zimbabweans. It’s mixed reactions in celebrating freedom. Nevertheless, freedom is priceless.

There will be an Independence Day parade and a speech by Mugabe at the National Sports Stadium on Tuesday.

People will attend and there is a big football match afterwards. President Mugabe attended the annual children’s party to mark independence in Harare on Monday afternoon. President Robert Mugabe has told schoolchildren that they needed to celebrate Zimbabwe’s achievements in education.

He was addressing an annual, pre-independence children’s party that he and his wife are always guests of honour at.

On this day

On this day in 1980, Southern-Rhodesia gained independence from the British, taking the name Zimbabwe. From 12 December 1979 to 17 April 1980, Zimbabwe Rhodesia was again the British colony of Southern Rhodesia. On 18 April 1980, Southern Rhodesia became the independent Republic of Zimbabwe.

A chronology of key events

1200-1600s

  • Rise and decline of the Monomotapa domain, thought to have been associated with Great Zimbabwe and to have been involved in gold mining and international trade.
  • Zimbabwe was colonised by Cecil John Rhodes in the late 1800s. The country was named Southern Rhodesia after him.
  • 1830s – Ndebele people fleeing Zulu violence and Boer migration in present-day South Africa move north and settle in what becomes known as Matabeleland.
  • 1830-1890s – European hunters, traders and missionaries explore the region from the south. They include Cecil John Rhodes.
  • 1889 – Rhodes’ British South Africa Company (BSA) gains a British mandate to colonise what becomes Southern Rhodesia.

Whites settle

  • 1890 – Pioneer column of white settlers arrives from south at site of future capital Harare.
  • 1893 – Ndebele uprising against BSA rule is crushed.

Ian Smith

  • White minority leader declared independence from Britain and fought off a bid for black majority rule.

Obituary: Ian Smith

  • 1922 – BSA administration ends, the white minority opts for self-government.
  • 1930 – Land Apportionment Act restricts black access to land, forcing many into wage labour.
  • 1930-1960s – Black opposition to colonial rule grows. Emergence in the 1960s of nationalist groups – the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu) and the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu).
  • 1953 – Britain creates the Central African Federation, made up of Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi).
  • 1963 – Federation breaks up when Zambia and Malawi gain independence.

Smith declares UDI

  • 1964 – Ian Smith of the Rhodesian Front (RF) becomes prime minister, tries to persuade Britain to grant independence.
  • Rhodesia’s military was heavily involved in resisting the independence movement
  • 1965 – Smith unilaterally declares independence under white minority rule, sparking international outrage and economic sanctions.
  • 1972 – Guerrilla war against white rule intensifies, with rivals Zanu and Zapu operating out of Zambia and Mozambique.
  • 1978 – Smith yields to pressure for negotiated settlement. Elections for transitional legislature boycotted by Patriotic Front made up of Zanu and Zapu. New government of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa, fails to gain international recognition. Civil war continues.
  • 1979 – British-brokered all-party talks at Lancaster House in London lead to a peace agreement and new constitution, which guarantees minority rights.

Independence

  • 1980 – Veteran pro-independence leader Robert Mugabe and his Zanu party win British-supervised independence elections. Mugabe is named prime minister and includes Zapu leader Joshua Nkomo in his cabinet. Independence on 18 April is internationally recognised.

Happy Independence Day Zimbabwe!

Author: Gesture Chidhanguro

 

 

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