Chronography of Zimbabwe
Page last modified 13/5/2022
See also Africa
6/9/2019, Robert Gabriel
Mugabe, former President of Zimbabwe (born 21/2/1924) 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
bowed to the inevitable and officially resigned as Preident of Zimbabwe. He was
succeeded by President
An army coup in Zimbabwe deposed 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.
Tsvangirai became the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe under a
power-sharing agreement with President Mugabe, signed in September 2008.
15/9/2008, 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
Morgan Tsvangirai was badly beaten up
by the police.
As economic sanctions on Zimbabwe bit, inflation exceeded 1,000%.
20/3/2002, In Zimbabwe, opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai was charged
19/3/2002, Zimbabwe was suspended
from the Commonwealth.
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.
16/10/2000. Food riots hit
Harare, capital of Zimbabwe.
Hand grenade attack on the offices of the Movement for Democratic Change in
Zimbabwe. The Government was widely suspected of complicity.
16/2/2000. 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 15/4/2000. By 15/5/2000 1,000 farms had been invaded and
19 people killed in political violence.
6/1999, A new Opposition Party was founded
by Trades Unionist Morgan Tsvangirai, called the Movement for Democratic Change.
18/1/1999, 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.
10/1/1999, 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.
19/1/1998, 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.
17/3/1996, Mugabe was re-elected President of
22/12/1987, 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.
8/8/1984, In Zimbabwe, Robert
plans for a one-Party State
9/3/1983, Joshua Nkomo fled Zimbabwe.
17/4/1982. Salisbury, capital of Zimbabwe, was renamed
18/4/1980. Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, formally
became independent. See 25/9/1976. Robert Mugabe
had become Prime Minister of Zimbabwe on 4/3/1980.
11/3/1980. Robert Mugabe
became Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, formerly Southern Rhodesia.
4/3/1980. Robert Mugabe
was elected Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. Southern Rhodesia had been a British
colony since 1889.
to Majority Black rule.
27/1/1980, 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
12/12/1979. Lord Soames
arrived in southern Rhodesia as the official governor, ending 14 years of
rebellion and UDI.
10/9/1979, The Lancaster
House Conference in the future of Rhodesia opened.
Prime Minister Margaret
Thatcher urged rebel leaders in Rhodesia to hold talks.
1/6/1979, Rhodesia officially changed its name to
29/5/1979. Bishop Abel
Muzorewa became Rhodesia�s first Black Prime Minister.
30/1/1979, White voters in Rhodesia voted to ratify the new
10/9/1978, Martial law was
imposed in parts of Rhodesia.
4/9/1978, 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�.
16/5/1978, Rhodesian forces
killed 94 at a Black political meeting.
21/3/1978. The first Black Ministers joined the
government of Rhodesia. However Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo were excluded.
3/3/1978, Rhodesian forces
15/2/1978, Rhodesia�s Ian Smith and three Black leaders agreed on a
transfer to Black majority rule.
24/11/1977, Ian Smith
said he accepted the idea of universal adult suffrage in Rhodesia, which would
mean a Black Government.
proposals for a transition to legal rule in Rhodesia were published.
31/8/1977. In Rhodesia, Ian Smith�s Rhodesian Front Party won an
24/1/1977, The second round of Rhodesian talks failed; Ian Smith rejected British proposals for a
transfer of power to Black majority rule.
28/10/1976, A conference on Rhodesia opened in Geneva.
25/9/1976. The government of Rhodesia, led by Mr Ian Smith,
announced its acceptance of African rule within two years. Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, became independent on 18/4/1980.
23/3/1976, Ian Smith
rejected Harold Wilson�s conditions for a Rhodesian settlement.
3/8/1973, Race riots at the University of Rhodesia
2/3/1970. Rhodesia was declared a republic. Formerly the
colony of Southern Rhodesia, Prime Minister Ian
Smith declared UDI.
12/2/1969, 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.
9/10/1968, Harold Wilson, British PM, met Ian Smith for further talks
about Rhodesian independence aboard HMS Fearless moored off
Gibraltar.� The talks failed to resolve
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 constitution�.
22/12/1966, Rhodesia left the Commonwealth.
6/12/1966. Ian Smith of
Rhodesia refused UK government proposals to end UDI. Rhodesia left the
Commonwealth on 22/12/1966.
2/12/1966, 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
9/4/1966, The UN authorised
Britain to seize by force any oil being shipped to Rhodesia.
2/3/1966, Britain protested
about oil supplies reaching Rhodesia via Mozambique.
17/2/1966, The UK protested
to South Africa about petrol supplies to Rhodesia.
31/1/1966, Britain banned all
trade with Rhodesia.
18/12/1965, Nine African
States broke off relations with the UK for not using force against Rhodesia.
17/12/1965, Britain imposed
an oil embargo on Rhodesia.
5/12/1965, 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 forthcoming.
Rhodesian UDI under Ian Smith 1964-65
12/11/1965, The UN called for
all nations to refuse to recognise Rhodesian independence under Ian Smith.
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.
25/10/1965. Harold Wilson went to Rhodesia for talks with Ian Smith. But see 11/11/1965.
7/10/1965. Ian Smith met Harold Wilson for talks at 10 Downing Street; the
talks failed to avert UDI by Rhodesia on 11/11/1965.
warned Rhodesia that a declaration of UDI would be treason.
6/9/1964, Ian Smith
arrived in the UK for talks on independence.
13/4/1964. 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.
11/10/1962, Hugh Foot resigned as British representative at the UN in
protest at the British Government�s support for the regime in Southern Rhodesia
Prime Ministers Ian Smith banned the
Black opposition party.
18/5/1960. The Queen Mother opened the Kariba dam on the
6/1959, The wall of the Kariba
Dam (Zambia-Zimbabwe border) was completed.
26/2/1959, State of Emergency in Southern Rhodesia.
6/11/1956. Work began on the Kariba High Dam on the River Zambesi, between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
1953, Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (Zamia) and Nysaland
(Malawi) were united as the Federation of Rhodesia and Nysaland. See 1963.
30/5/1925, The British colony of Southern Rhodesia became self-governing as its assembly met for the
21/2/1924, Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, was
10/10/1923. Rhodesia, formerly administered by the British
South African Company, became a self-governing British colony. A vote had gone
against union with South Africa.
27/10/1922, A referendum in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)
decided against a union with South Africa.
8/4/1919. Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia, was
born in Selukwe, then Southern Rhodesia.
1911, Rhodesia was divided into Northern and Southern portions.
1/4/1905, The Victoria Falls Bridge (Zimbabwe � Zambia) was
18/11/1904, Gold was discovered in Rhodesia.
6/6/1904, 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.
4/11/1893. The British defeated the Matabele in battle in
Zimbabwe and occupied the capital, Bulawayo.
12/9/1890. 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
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.
fpr more details.
1200 � 1300, Peak of the
State of Mapungubwe, in what is now South Africa.
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