Chronography of Zimbabwe
Page last modified 20 August 2023
Map of railway changes of
Demography of Zimbabwe
See also Africa
6 September 2019, Robert
Gabriel Mugabe, former President of Zimbabwe (born 21 February 1924)
died aged 95. He became Prime Minister of Zimbabwe in 1980 and President from
1987. However his authoritarian rule alienated many people, especially during
the last decade of his rule.
21 November 2017, Mugabe
bowed to the inevitable and officially resigned as Preident of Zimbabwe. He was
succeeded by President
15 November 2017, An army coup in Zimbabwe deposed 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.
11 February 2009, Morgan
Tsvangirai became the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe under a
power-sharing agreement with President Mugabe, signed in September 2008.
15 September 2008, In Zimbabwe, negotiations
resulted in a power-sharing agreement between President
Robert Mugabe and opposition leaders Morgan
Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara;
Tsvangirai to be the new Prime
11 March 2007, Zimbabwe opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai was arrested as he
held a political rally.
As economic sanctions on Zimbabwe bit, inflation exceeded 1,000%.
20 March 2002, In Zimbabwe, opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai was charged
19 March 2002, Zimbabwe was suspended
from the Commonwealth for one year, because of violence during the recent
11 March 2002.
Mugabe of Zimbabwe �won� presidential elections, widely held to have
2000, The number of White settlers in Zimbabwe stood at
70,000, down from 278,000 in 1975. By 2004 almost all the White farmers had
departed. Expropriationof White farmers�
lands led to food shortages and inflation.
16 October 2000.
hit Harare, capital of Zimbabwe.
11 September 2000, Hand grenade attack on the offices of the Movement for Democratic
Change in Zimbabwe. The Government was widely suspected of complicity.
16 February 2000. President Mugabe of
Zimbabwe held a
Referendum asking for additional powers, primarily to seize White-owned farms.
This was a move to boost his popularity. White
farmers still controlled 4,500 farms covering a thord of the country�s arable
land area. They also produced 70% of the agricultural output of Zimbabwe, and
employed 300,000 Black workers. The elctorate rejected the Referendum
proposal. Mugabe then declared these White farmers �enemies of Zimbabwe� and encouraged
veterans from the war of liberation (against White rule) to seize the farms,
drive out the owners, and intimiadet and kill any White owners or Black workers
who resisted. The first white farmer to be murdered by Mugabe�s war veterans
was David Stevens, on 15 April� 2000. By
15 May 2000 1,000 farms had been invaded and 19 people killed in political
6/1999, A new Opposition Party was founded
by Trades Unionist Morgan Tsvangirai, called the Movement for Democratic Change.
18 January 1999, Canaan Banana, former President of Zimbabwe, was
convicted in absentia of sodomy and
sentenced to 10 years prison. However he had already fled the country.
10 January 1999, Robert Mugabe arrested 32 soldiers and accused
them of plotting a coup, along with two journalists. There were doubts over the
validity of this legal process.
11/1998, Workers groups in Zimbabwe
protested agaionst corruption, and the intervention in the Congo.
8/1998, Mugabe sent 11,000 troops to fight in the
Congo, a cost his country couild not afford.
19 January 1998, Food riots broke out in Zimbabwe as
the price of maize meal rose by over 20%. Land confiscations and general
mismanagement by Mugabe had crippled the economy. Despite government
repression, there was a General Strike � March 1998.
17 March 1996, Mugabe was re-elected President of
22 December 1987, Prime Minister Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Joshua
Nkomo agreed to
unite the ZANU (PF) and ZAPU parties.
1986, The city of Great Zimbabwe wasa
declared a World Heritage site.
8 August 1984, In Zimbabwe, Robert
plans for a one-Party State
9 March 1983, Joshua Nkomo fled Zimbabwe.
17 April� 1982. Salisbury,
capital of Zimbabwe, was renamed Harare.
18 April� 1980. Zimbabwe,
formerly Rhodesia, formally became independent. See 25 September 1976. Robert Mugabe had become Prime Minister of
Zimbabwe on 4 March 1980.
11 March 1980.
Mugabe became Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, formerly Southern
4 March 1980.
Mugabe was elected Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. Southern Rhodesia had
been a British colony since 1889.
to Majority Black rule.
27 January 1980,
Robert Mugabe, guerrilla chief, returned from three years exile
to Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) to participate in elections that would transfer the country to Black
majority rule, under the Lancaster House Agreement. Mugabe, who was expected to win
the elections, said that, just because White people oppressed Black people when
they had the power, it should not mean that now Black people would oppress
12 December 1979. Lord Soames
arrived in southern Rhodesia as the official governor, ending 14 years of
rebellion and UDI.
10 September 1979, The
Lancaster House Conference in the future of Rhodesia opened.
5 August 1979,
Prime Minister Margaret
Thatcher urged rebel leaders in Rhodesia to hold talks.
1 June 1979, Rhodesia officially changed its name to
29 May 1979. Bishop Abel
Muzorewa became Rhodesia�s first Black Prime Minister.
21 April 1979, Methodist Bishop Abel
Muzorewa�s United African National Council won 51 of the 100
parliamentary seats, in a turnout of 63.9%. Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole�s Zimbabwe
African National Union came second with 12 seats. The United National Federal party
won 9 seats. The remaining 28 seats were reserved for White candidates.
30 January 1979, White voters in Rhodesia voted to ratify the new
10 September 1978, Martial
law was imposed in parts of Rhodesia.
4 September 1978, In
Rhodesia, guerrillas fighting the Ian Smith regime shot down an airliner with a
Russian SAM-7 missile, then massacred the survivors of the crash; they claimed
the aeroplane was a �legitimate military target�.
16 May 1978, Rhodesian forces
killed 94 at a Black political meeting.
21 March 1978. The first Black Ministers joined the
government of Rhodesia. However Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo were excluded.
3 March 1978, Rhodesian
forces attacked Zambia.
15 February 1978, Rhodesia�s Ian Smith and three Black leaders agreed on a
transfer to Black majority rule.
24 November 1977, Ian Smith
said he accepted the idea of universal adult suffrage in Rhodesia, which would
mean a Black Government.
1 September 1977, Anglo-American
proposals for a transition to legal rule in Rhodesia were published.
August 1977. In Rhodesia, Ian Smith�s
Rhodesian Front Party won an overwhelming victory.
January 1977, The second round of
Rhodesian talks failed; Ian Smith
rejected British proposals for a transfer of power to Black majority rule.
October 1976, A conference on
Rhodesia opened in Geneva.
September 1976. The government of Rhodesia, led by Mr
Ian Smith, announced its acceptance of African rule within two
years. Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia,
became independent on 18 April� 1980.
March 1976, Ian Smith rejected Harold Wilson�s conditions for
a Rhodesian settlement.
February 1974, Terrorists killed two
White farmers and a woman in Rhodesia�
August 1973, Race riots at the University
of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
March 1970. Rhodesia was declared a republic. Formerly
the colony of Southern Rhodesia, Prime Minister
Ian Smith declared UDI.
February 1969, Ndabaningi Sithole, leader of
the Zimbabwe African National Union, was convicted of incitement to murder Ian Smith.
6/1969, The UK severed all diplomatic ties with Rhodesia.
October 1968, Harold Wilson, British
PM, met Ian
Smith for further talks about Rhodesian independence aboard HMS Fearless
moored off Gibraltar.� The talks failed
to resolve the situation.
October 1968. Rhodesia�s leader Ian Smith announced that there would be no
majority rule in Rhodesia in his lifetime. He continued with talks between himself
and Prime Minister Harold Wilson; but Mr Smith said that �ordinary
Africans were incapable of answering the simplest question regarding a
December 1966, Rhodesia left the
6 December 1966. Ian Smith of
Rhodesia refused UK government proposals to end UDI. Rhodesia left the
Commonwealth on 22 December 1966.
2 December 1966, British Prime Minister Harold Wilson met Ian Smith
on HMS Tiger off Gibraltar, for talks on the independence of Rhodesia.
Britan asked to use force againsr
Rhodesia; can only impose trade embargo 1965-66
9 April� 1966, The UN authorised Britain to seize by force any oil
being shipped to Rhodesia.
2 March 1966, Britain
protested to Portugal about oil supplies reaching
Rhodesia via Mozambique.
17 February 1966, The UK
protested to South Africa about petrol supplies to Rhodesia.
31 January 1966, Britain
banned all trade with Rhodesia.
18 December 1965, Nine
African States broke off relations with the UK for not using force against
17 December 1965, Britain
imposed an oil embargo on Rhodesia.
5 December 1965, The
Organisation of African Unity demanded the UK use military force against
Rhodesia. However the UK did not have the military capability to do this unless
the Portuguese colonies or South Africa provided bases, which were not
Rhodesian UDI under Ian Smith 1964-65
12 November 1965, The UN
called for all nations to refuse to recognise Rhodesian independence under Ian Smith.
11 November 1965. Rhodesia
declared UDI from Britain under Ian Smith,
the Prime Minister. The opposition leaders Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe
were in jail. The British Prime Minister Harold Wilson imposed trade sanctions and an
oil embargo. However South Africa, and the neighbouring Portuguese
colonies of Mozambique and Angola, assisted Mr Smith in overcoming
sanctions, and large multinationals evaded them anyway. However the end of
Portuguese rule in Angola and Mozambique in 1975 undermined Mr Smith�s regime
and assisted the transfer to Black majority rule there.
25 October 1965. Harold Wilson went to Rhodesia for talks with Ian Smith. But see 11 November 1965.
7 October 1965. Ian Smith met Harold Wilson for talks at 10 Downing Street; the
talks failed to avert UDI by Rhodesia on 11 November 1965.
27 October 1964, Wilson
warned Rhodesia that a declaration of UDI would be treason.
6 September 1964, Ian Smith
arrived in the UK for talks on independence.
13 April� 1964. Ian Smith became Prime Minister of Southern
Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He succeeded Winston Field, who had resigned.
1963, African Nationalists in Northern Rhodesia and
Nysaland demanded, and got, the dissolution of the Federation of Rhodesia and
Nysaland. See 1953.
April� 1963, Joshua Nkomo was jailed in Southern Rhodesia.
October 1962, Hugh
Foot resigned as British
representative at the UN in protest at the British Government�s support for the
regime in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
September 1961. Rhodesian Prime Ministers Ian Smith banned the Black opposition party.
May 1960. The Queen Mother opened the Kariba
dam on the Zambesi River.
6/1959, The wall of the Kariba
Dam (Zambia-Zimbabwe border) was completed.
February 1959, State of Emergency in
November 1956. Work began on the Kariba High Dam on the River Zambesi,
between Zambia and Zimbabwe. See 18 May 1960.
1953, Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (Zamia) and Nysaland
(Malawi) were united as the Federation of Rhodesia and Nysaland. See 1963.
May 1925, The British colony of Southern Rhodesia became self-governing
as its assembly met for the first time.
February 1924, Robert Mugabe, President of
Zimbabwe, was born.
10 October 1923. Rhodesia, formerly administered by the British
South African Company, became a self-governing British colony. A vote had gone
against union with South Africa.
27 October 1922, A referendum in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)
decided against a union with South Africa.
April� 1919. Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia, was
born in Selukwe, then Southern Rhodesia.
1911, Rhodesia was divided into Northern and Southern portions.
April� 1905, The Victoria Falls Bridge (Zimbabwe � Zambia) was
18 November 1904, Gold was discovered in Rhodesia.
6 June 1904, Winston Joseph Field, Prime Minister of
Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) from 12/1962, was born in Bromsgrove, England.
by the Shona and Ndebele against British rule, quashed in 1897.
11 November 1893, King Lobengula of the Matabele abandoned his
capital Bulawayo and fled into exile, where he died in 1894.
November 1893. The British defeated
the Matabele in battle in Zimbabwe and occupied the capital, Bulawayo.
October 1893, Forces of the British
South African Company under James Starr suppressed a revolt by the Matabele
people in what is now southern and western Zimbabwe.
1891, Britain signed
a treaty with Portugal for a railway to be constructed from Southern Rhodesia
(Zimbabwe) to Beira in Mozambique, as that was a nearer port than Cape Town; in
return Portugal would receive a duty of not exceediong 3% of value of goods
September 1890. The British South
Africa Company founded the town of Salisbury, now Harare, after a pioneer march
from South Africa.� It was named after
the British Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury.
1835, The Shona people were being displaced and subjugated by incoming
Ndebele, who forced the Shona to pay them tribute.
1250-1600, Peak of the
Mwene Mutapa or Great Zimbabwe Empire. Its wealth was derived from gold
mining, cattle grazing, and trading with merchants from the African coast. The
capital of Great Zimbabwe had a population of 10,000 and covered some 3 square
miles, built with sophisticated drystone walling and drainage. Its suburbs
extended even further out. Archeological goods found here include artefacts
from Syria, the Indian Ocean islands and even China.
December 18/great-zimbabwe-archaeology fpr more details.
1200 � 1300, Peak of the
State of Mapungubwe, in what is now South Africa.
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