Geographic and Governmental Profile of Zimbabwe

Background
The UK annexed Southern Rhodesia from the [British] South Africa Company in 1923. A 1961 constitution was formulated that favored whites in power. In 1965 the government unilaterally declared its independence, but the UK did not recognize 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 reelection. In April 2005, Harare embarked on Operation Restore Order, ostensibly an urban rationalization program, which resulted in the destruction of the homes or businesses of 700,000 mostly poor supporters of the opposition. President MUGABE in June 2007 instituted price controls on all basic commodities causing panic buying and leaving store shelves empty for months. General elections held in March 2008 contained irregularities but still amounted to a censure of the ZANU-PF-led government with the opposition winning a majority of seats in parliament. MDC opposition leader Morgan TSVANGIRAI won the most votes in the presidential polls, but not enough to win outright. In the lead up to a run-off election in late June 2008, considerable violence enacted against opposition party members led to the withdrawal of TSVANGIRAI from the ballot. Extensive evidence of violence and intimidation resulted in international condemnation of the process. Difficult negotiations over a power-sharing government, in which MUGABE remained president and TSVANGIRAI became prime minister, were finally settled in February 2009, although the leaders failed to agree upon many key outstanding governmental issues. MUGABE publicly called for early elections in 2011 - two years before his term ends - but no election was held.
Location
Southern Africa, between South Africa and Zambia
Geographic coordinates
20 00 S, 30 00 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Africa
Area
total:
390,757 sq km
rank:
61
land:
386,847 sq km
water:
3,910 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly larger than Montana
Land boundaries
total:
3,066 km
border countries:
Botswana 813 km, Mozambique 1,231 km, South Africa 225 km, Zambia 797 km
Coastline
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
none (landlocked)
Climate
tropical; moderated by altitude; rainy season (November to March)
Terrain
mostly high plateau with higher central plateau (high veld); mountains in east
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
junction of the Runde and Save Rivers 162 m
highest point:
Inyangani 2,592 m
Natural resources
coal, chromium ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin, platinum group metals
Land use
arable land:
8.24%
permanent crops:
0.33%
other:
91.43% (2005)
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Irrigated land
1,740 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
20 cu km (1987)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
4.21 cu km/yr (14%/7%/79%)
per capita:
324 cu m/yr (2002)
Natural hazards
recurring droughts; floods and severe storms are rare
Environment - current issues
deforestation; soil erosion; land degradation; air and water pollution; the black rhinoceros herd - once the largest concentration of the species in the world - has been significantly reduced by poaching; poor mining practices have led to toxic waste and heavy metal pollution
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
landlocked; the Zambezi forms a natural riverine boundary with Zambia; in full flood (February-April) the massive Victoria Falls on the river forms the world's largest curtain of falling water; Lake Kariba on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border forms the world's largest reservoir by volume (180 cu km; 43 cu mi)
Country name
conventional long form:
Republic of Zimbabwe
conventional short form:
Zimbabwe
former:
Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia
Government type
parliamentary democracy
Capital
name:
Harare
geographic coordinates:
17 49 S, 31 02 E
time difference:
UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
8 provinces and 2 cities* with provincial status; Bulawayo*, Harare*, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Midlands
Independence
18 April 1980 (from the UK)
Constitution
21 December 1979
Legal system
mixed legal system of English common law, Roman-Dutch civil law, and customary law
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
Executive President Robert Gabriel MUGABE (since 31 December 1987); Vice President John NKOMO (since December 2009) and Vice President Joice MUJURU (since 6 December 2004)
head of government:
Prime Minister Morgan TSVANGIRAI (since 11 February 2009); Deputy Prime Minister Arthur MUTAMBARA
cabinet:
Cabinet appointed by the president and prime minister; responsible to the House of Assembly
elections:
presidential candidates nominated with a nomination paper signed by at least 10 registered voters (at least one from each province) and elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); elections last held on 28 March 2008 followed by a run-off on 27 June 2008 (next to be held in 2013); co-vice presidents drawn from party leadership
election results:
Robert Gabriel MUGABE reelected president; percent of vote - Robert Gabriel MUGABE 85.5%, Morgan TSVANGIRAI 9.3%, other 5.2%; note - first round voting results - Morgan TSVANGIRAI 47.9%, Robert Gabriel MUGABE 43.2%, Simba MAKONI 8.3%, other 0.6%; first-round round polls were deemed to be flawed suppressing TSVANGIRAI's results; the 27 June 2008 run-off between MUGABE and TSVANGIRAI was severely flawed and internationally condemned
Legislative branch
bicameral Parliament consists of a Senate (93 seats - 60 members elected by popular vote for a five-year term, 10 provincial governors nominated by the president and the prime minister, 16 traditional chiefs elected by the Council of Chiefs, 2 seats held by the president and deputy president of the Council of Chiefs, and 5 members appointed by the president) and a House of Assembly (210 seats - members elected by popular vote for five-year terms)
elections:
last held on 28 March 2008 (next to be held in 2013)
election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - MDC 51.6%, ZANU-PF 45.8%, other 2.6%; seats by party - MDC 30, ZANU-PF 30; House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - MDC 51.3%, ZANU-PF 45.8%, other 2.9%; seats by party - MDC 109, ZANU-PF 97, other 4
Judicial branch
Supreme Court; High Court
Political parties and leaders
African National Party or ANP [Egypt DZINEMUNHENZVA]; Movement for Democratic Change or MDC [Morgan TSVANGIRAI]; Movement for Democratic Change - Ncube or MDC-N [Welshman NCUBE]; Peace Action is Freedom for All or PAFA; United Parties [Abel MUZOREWA]; United People's Party or UPP [Daniel SHUMBA]; Zimbabwe African National Union-Ndonga or ZANU-Ndonga [Wilson KUMBULA]; Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front or ZANU-PF [Robert Gabriel MUGABE]; Zimbabwe African Peoples Union or ZAPU [Agrippa MADLELA]; Zimbabwe Youth in Alliance or ZIYA
Political pressure groups and leaders
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition; National Constitutional Assembly or NCA [Lovemore MADHUKU]; Women of Zimbabwe Arise or WOZA [Jenny WILLIAMS]; Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions or ZCTU [Wellington CHIBEBE]
International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AU, COMESA, FAO, G-15, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Machivenyika MAPURANGA
chancery:
1608 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone:
[1] (202) 332-7100
FAX:
[1] (202) 483-9326
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Charles A. RAY
embassy:
172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue, Harare
mailing address:
P. O. Box 3340, Harare
telephone:
[263] (4) 250-593 through 250-594
FAX:
[263] (4) 796-488, or 722-618
Flag description
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 center of the triangle, which symbolizes peace; green represents agriculture, yellow mineral wealth, red the blood shed to achieve independence, and black stands for the native people
National symbol(s)
Zimbabwe bird symbol; African fish eagle
National anthem
name:
"Kalibusiswe Ilizwe leZimbabwe" [Northern Ndebele language] "Simudzai Mureza WeZimbabwe" [Shona] (Blessed Be the Land of Zimbabwe)
lyrics/music:
Solomon MUTSWAIRO/Fred Lecture CHANGUNDEGA
adopted 1994
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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