Background: Britain annexed Southern Rhodesia from the ‘South Africa Company’ monopoly in 1923. The 1961 constitution was specifically designed to preserve white power. In 1965, the government unilaterally declared the country’s independence, but Great Britain did not recognize this act as valid and demanded suffrage for the black African majority of the country (then called Rhodesia). UN sanctions and a guerrilla uprising eventually forced the government to hold free elections in 1979; in 1980 the country gained independence and changed its name to Zimbabwe. Robert MUGABE, the country’s first black prime minister, has since remained its permanent head (became president in 1987).
Location: South Africa, between the Republic of South Africa and Zambia.
Geographical coordinates: 20° 00′ S. latitude, 30° 00′ E
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 390,580 km2; land surface area: 386,670 square kilometers; water surface area: 3,910 km2
Comparative area: slightly larger than the state of Montana.
Land borders: total length: 3,066 km; with neighboring states: with Botswana 813 km, with Mozambique 1,231 km, with South Africa 225 km, with Zambia 797 km.
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked).
Maritime claims: none (landlocked).
Climate: tropical; changes with height above sea level; rainy season from November to March.
Terrain: mostly high plateau with an even higher plateau (high veld) in the central region.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: confluence of the Runde and Save rivers 162 m; highest point: Mount Inyangani 2,592 m.
Natural resources: coal, chrome ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin, platinum group metals.
Land use: arable land: 7%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 13%; forests and plantations: 23%; others: 57% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 1,930 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural Hazards: regular droughts; rare floods and severe storms.
Current environmental issues: deforestation; soil erosion and degradation; air and water pollution; poaching, which significantly reduced the population of black rhinos – at one time the largest in the world.
International agreements on environmental protection: member: Biodiversity, Climate change, Desertification, Endangered species, Law of the sea, Protection of the ozone layer. signed but not ratified: no.
Note to the section “Geography”: has no access to the sea.
Population: 11,365,366; note: estimates for this country take into account rising AIDS deaths; due to the spread of AIDS, life expectancy, population size and population growth may actually be lower, and child mortality and overall mortality rates correspondingly higher; there may also be changes in age structure and sex ratios (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 38.68% (male 2,223,332; female 2,172,479); 15 to 64 years old: 57.69% (male 3,319,982; female 3,236,286); over 65: 3.63% (male 208,785; female 204,502) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 0.15% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 24.68 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 23.22 deaths/1000 people (2001 est.).
Migration: 0 people /1000 people (2001 est.); note: there is a small but constant migration to the Republic of South Africa of Zimbabweans seeking better paid jobs.
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.02 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.02 male/female; over 65: 1.03 male/female; for the general population: 1.02 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 62.61 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 37.13 years; men: 38.51 years; women: 35.7 years (2001 est.).
Total fertility rate: 3.28 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adult population infected with HIV: 25.06% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 1.5 million (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 160,000 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Zimbabwean; adjective: Zimbabwean.
Ethnic groups: African 98% (Shona 71%, Ndebele 16%, other 11%), White 1%, Mestizo and Asian 1%.
Believers: Syncretists (mixture of Christian and indigenous beliefs) 50%, Christians 25%, indigenous beliefs 24%, Muslims and other 1%.
Language(s): English (official), Shona, Sin-Debele (Ndebele language, sometimes called Ndebele), numerous less common tribal dialects.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write in English; for the general population: 85%; men: 90%; women: 80% (1995 est.).
Common long form: Republic of Zim-
Common short form: Zimbabwe; former: Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia
State structure: parliamentary democracy. See politicsezine.com to know more about Zimbabwe Political System.
Administrative divisions: 8 provinces and 2 provincial cities*: Bulawayo*, Manicaland, Masvingo, Matabeleland South, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central, Midlands, Harare*.
Independence: since April 18, 1980
National holiday: Independence Day, April 18 (since 1980).
Constitution: adopted December 21, 1979
Legal system: mixture of Romano-Germanic and English common law.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: Executive President Robert Gabriel MUGABE (since 31 December 1987); Vice Presidents Simon Vengai MUZENDA (since December 31, 1987) and Joseph MSIKA (since December 23, 1999); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
head of government: Executive President Robert Gabriel MUGABE (since 31 December 1987); Vice Presidents Simon Vengai MUZENDA (since December 31, 1987) and Joseph MSIKA (since December 23, 1999); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
Government: the Cabinet of Ministers, appointed by the President and responsible to the House of Assembly; elections: a candidate for the presidency is a person who has the support of at least 10 (one from each province) registered electors elected by popular vote; elections last held 16-17 March 1996 (next to be held in March 2002); vice presidents are appointed by the president; election results: Robert Gabriel MUGABE re-elected president; percentage of electoral college votes – Robert Gabriel MUGABE 92.7%, Abel MUZOREWA (Abel MUZOREWA) 4.8%, Ndabaningi SITHOLE (Ndabaningi SITHO-LE) 2.4%.
Legislature: a unicameral parliament called the House of Assembly (150 members, 120 of which are elected by popular vote for a six-year term, 12 are appointed by the president, 10 are tribal leaders and are elected by the leaders, 8 seats are occupied by provincial governors); elections: last held 24-25 June 2000 (next to be held in 2006); election results: distribution of votes by parties – ZANU-PF 47.2%, MDC 45.6%, ZANU-Ndonga 0.7%, United Parties 0.7%; distribution of seats by party – ZANU-PF 63, MDC 56, ZANU-Ndonga 1.
Judiciary: Supreme Court.
Political parties and leaders: Movement for Democratic Change (MOC) (Morgan TSVANGIRAYI); People’s Democratic Front (PDF) (Austin CHAKAODZA); United Parties (Abel MUZOREVA); Zimbabwe-Ndonga African National Union (ZANU-Ndonga) (Ndabaningi SITHOLE); Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) (Robert MUGABE); Zimbabwe Unity Movement (ZUM) (Edgar TEKERE).
Political pressure groups and their leaders: National Constitutional Assembly (NCA).
Participation in international organizations: ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-15, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM ( observer), ISO, ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIK, UNTAET, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Simbi Veke MUBAKO; office: 1608 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009; phone:  (202) 332-7100; fax:  (202) 483-9326.
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador’s position is vacant; chargé d’affaires Earl M. IRVING; embassy: 172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue, Harare; mailing address: R. O. Box 3340, Harare; phone:  (4) 250-593; fax:  (4) 796488.
Flag description: seven equal horizontal stripes of green, yellow, red, black, red, yellow and green with a white isosceles triangle edged in black, with a base at the pole; a yellow bird, the symbol of Zimbabwe, superimposed on a red five-pointed star in the center of the triangle.