According to Localcollegeexplorer, Zimbabwe is a state in southern Africa. It borders to the NW with Zambia, to the West with Botswana, to the South with the Republic of South Africa and to the East with Mozambique. Populated by Bantu groups, the name Zimbabwe ideally refers to Great Zimbabwe, which was the center of a great kingdom (8th century ca.) populated by the ancestors of the Shona. Now in decline the Great Zimbabwe, emerged (15th century) among the odds. Zimbabwe and Mozambique the Monomotapa kingdom. It was probably the Portuguese António Fernandes who first explored the territory of the od. Zimbabwe at the end of the 15th century, but the Portuguese government’s attempt to subdue Monomotapa through the conversion of the ruling dynasty to Christianity then failed. From the penetration into the od. Zimbabwe of Ndebele groups fleeing the Zulu kingdom of Shaka, a powerful kingdom was born under the leadership of Mzilikazi that subdued the shona (1836-38). The Ndebele kingdom came under the influence of the British South Africa company of C. Rhodes with the establishment of Rhodesia (1894), where however the rebellions of the Ndebele and Shona groups continued until 1897.
Formed following the massive migrations of white settlers in seeking gold and new lands (since 1892), the Afrikaner community and the British opted in the referendum of 1922 for the self-government of Southern Rhodesia under the English Crown (1923), refusing the offer of General JC Smuts to become the fifth province in the Union of South Africa. After the Second World War, the power of the white minority was gradually challenged by African nationalism. In 1960 JN Nkomo founded the National Democratic Party (NDP), which was immediately banned. Nkomo then formed the Zimbabwe African people’s union (ZAPU), itself banned in 1962. In 1963 another nationalist leader, R. Mugabe, left the ZAPU to found (1963) in Tanzania with N. Sithole the Zimbabwe African national union (ZANU) with the indirect result of dividing the national movement along ethnic lines: Nkomo retained the representation of the Ndebele minority, while Mugabe that of the Shona majority. In 1962 the white government of the United federal party was defeated by the more conservative Rhodesian front (RF) of Ian Douglas Smith who in 1963 dissolved the federation with Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland (➔ Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Federation of). With all attempts at mediation with the British government having failed, Smith announced unilateral independence (1965). After Southern Rhodesia’s exit from the Commonwealth (1966), the white government voted for the transformation of Rhodesia into a Republic (1970). While ZAPU and ZANU, the Methodist bishop, remained outlawed AT Muzorewa he founded the United African national council (UANC) in 1971, which opened up to dialogue with the white government. Starting from the independence of Mozambique (1975), the armed attacks in the north of the country were intensified with the convergence of Nkomo and Mugabe in the Patriotic front (PF). Under internal and international pressure, Smith opened up to the hypothesis of a transitional government (1978) with Muzorewa.
UANC won the 1979 elections and Muzorewa became prime minister, changing the country’s name to Zimbabwe, but failed to gain international recognition without the support of the PF. The victory of ZANU in the new elections of 1980 led Mugabe to lead the government and then to the presidency of the Republic (1987), with the de facto establishment of the single party. The return to multi-partyism (1991) eroded Mugabe’s power, while the country has slipped into a serious socio-economic crisis, aggravated by the political question of the redistribution of the large estates of the white settlers to the landless peasants. Opposed in the international context for his authoritarian and unscrupulous policies and accused of serious violations of human rights, Mugabe has enjoyed substantial support among the army, state bodies and in rural areas. Beaten in the 2008 elections by M. Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, he nevertheless negotiated the maintenance of the presidency. The experience of the government of national unity that led Tsvangirai to share the leadership of the country (2009) remains highly confrontational and contrasted.