Zimbabwe’s capital city is Harare. Harare is Zimbabwe’s leading financial, commercial, and communications center, and a trade center. The city was founded in 1890 by a Pioneer Column, which was a military volunteer force organized by Cecil Rhodes. Harare was given the status of a fort at that time. It was then known by the name of ‘Fort Salisbury’. The city was the capital of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland from 1953 to 1963, and from then was the capital of Southern Rhodesia. The name of the city was changed to Harare on 18 April 1982, the second anniversary of Zimbabwean independence, taking its name from the village near Harare Kopje of the Shona chief Neharawa, whose nickname was “he who does not sleep.
- The City, now called Harare began as a settlement in 1890;
- Proclaimed a municipality in 1897 and a City in 1935;
- Cleveland Dam, constructed upstream supplied the City up to 1923; outgrew the dam capacity;
- First municipal houses were occupied in 1952 in Mabvuku, Mufakose 1959, Dzivarasekwa and Tafara 1961 and Marimba – high income 1961.
Geographical and Topographical:
- Coverage Area of Greater Harare – 872km2;
- Height above sea level – 1 500m;
- Total Population for Greater Harare – 2.1million;
- Traffic population – 160 000 enter CBD per day during business hours;
- Registered vehicles – 800 000 all classes;
- Parking bays in CBD – 7 000 bays;
- Licensed vehicles – 16 000 average per year.
- Length of road – 4 000kms;
- Controlled intersections – 185 with traffic lights.
- Length of water pipes – 4 000kms (primary and secondary);
- Length of sewer pipes – 3 000kms;
- Number of water reservoirs – 5 namely: Cleveland Dam – 1923, Seke dam – 1929, Lake Chivero – 1952, Harava dam – 1972 and Lake Chivero – 1976;
Total Capacity – 752 900.
As the capital City of Zimbabwe, Harare is the hub of the country’s activities. Most visitors to the country’s major tourist attractions arrive in Harare and spend some time in the capital before traveling to Victoria Falls, Lake Kariba, the Eastern highlands or the Great Zimbabwe historical monument which is in Masvingo and from which the country takes its name.
Greater Harare or Harare Province includes Harare Urban (1.5 million), Harare Rural, Chitungwiza and Epworth which has a population of about 2.1 million. The current Mayor is Bernard Gabriel Manyenyeni.
City Statistics Courtesy of City of Harare