The first residents of the upper Zambezi seem to have been the Bushmen, then pushed back to the SW by the Bantu invasions. At the beginning of the Christian era, the populations learned the iron industry and created important centers in the century. III and IV, especially in the Barotse and Mashona (or Shona), and around the famous Zimbabwe, capital of a vast kingdom, which through various events lasted until the beginning of the century. XVIII and disappeared completely in the following century. The populations already forced to undergo the Bantu raids from N and S were victims, in the century. XIX, of the bloody invasions of the Zulu, pushed, in turn, by the extension of the Boer occupation. The Ndebele, their relatives, overwhelmed the followers of Zimbabwe (1840), imposing their own name on the territory (Matabele) and subjugating even the more eastern populations, the Shona. English missionaries and pioneers from the Cape Colony began at that time to venture along the Zambezi, whose upper course was explored by Livingstone in 1851. A few years later the Matabele gold was discovered and, on the initiative of Sir Cecil J. Rhodes (from whom Zimbabwe took the name of Rhodesia), the British subsequently obtained treaties from the king of the region which ensured them exclusive positions, political and economic: the ill-defined parts in these treaties provoked a war that lasted 13 years. However, the advance of the whites towards the gold mines was unstoppable. In 1890 the Mashona was occupied and three years later the Matabele, which together formed, in 1898, Southern Rhodesia with the capital Salisbury, the main center of the first pioneers. In 1923, following a referendum, the administration of the region passed to the British government, which granted the white settlers internal autonomy, making them a semi- Dominion. After the establishment of the British protectorate on Nyasaland a federation of that territory with the two Rhodesias was also thought of; however the Federation of Central Africa could only be implemented in 1953 and lasted only 10 years: in 1964, Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia became two independent states, respectively with the name of Malawi and Zambia. Meanwhile, the white minority of Southern Rhodesia was pursuing an increasingly racist policy that relegated the vast African majority to the margins of life and government responsibilities. From 1960 London began lobbying for a constitutional reform favorable to Africans, who were organizing themselves into nationalist movements and demanding immediate participation in the running of the country. Their claims, however, found no reasonable acceptance by the Salisbury government. I. Smith, elected prime minister in 1964. Following the serious controversy that arose with the London government, the Rhodesian government presented an official request for political independence in 1964, which was then unilaterally proclaimed on 11 November 1965. Upon pressing urges of the British government, the UN adopted a set of economic sanctions against the former colony, while moral condemnations against the Rhodesian government were renewed in all international fora. However, not even a new Constitution (1969) was able to mark progress in solving the serious problem. Together with the African National Council (ANC), the only authorized African nationalist party, other liberation movements were formed in the meantime, the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), J. Nkomo in 1961, and the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), born in 1963 from the split of the previous group, led by N. Sithole, with R. Mugabe as general secretary (the latter assumed leadership in 1975). In the early 1970s, armed struggle intensified (and the country was the scene of a civil war) by these groups, supported by Tanzania and Zambia and, since 1975, by independent Mozambique. Smith was induced to negotiate: in September 1976 he declared that he accepted an African majority government and in March 1978 he signed an agreement with moderate leaders N. Sithole and A. Muzorewa for the transfer of powers to the black majority. However, the agreement was rejected by the most intransigent wing of the liberation movement, that of J. Nkomo and R. Mugabe. A conference convened in London in September 1979 led to the signing of an agreement (December 17, 1979), according to which the country returned as a British colony until the general elections. These, held in February 1980, recorded the overwhelming victory of ZANU and its leader R. Mugabe, elected prime minister.
In April 1980 the independence of the country was officially proclaimed, which assumed the ancient name of Zimbabwe. According to 3rjewelry, Zimbabwe is a country located in Africa. Mugabe’s government initially supported a reconciliation between political groups and ambitious economic development plans with a view to reviving the country after the years of civil war. The whites,more efficient farms, mines, industries and banks and also being able to count on adequate representation in the “black” Parliament of Harare-Salisbury through the Rhodesian Front (RF) of former premier I. Smith. In September 1987, through constitutional reforms, the automatic allocation of 30 seats in parliament to white candidates was abolished and executive power passed into the hands of the president. In the years following independence the political struggle was articulated, for almost a decade, on the contrast between the ZANU of Prime Minister R. Mugabe, representing the Shona ethnic group, and the ZAPU of J. Nkomo (for a certain period also forced to exile), linked to the Ndebele tribes. After years of contrasts and laborious negotiations, during which the Matabeleland was controlled with difficulty by the government authorities, when the political formation of Nkomo in December 1987 merged into the ZANU, which in fact became a single party, Mugabe acquired the presidential office unchallenged (December 30). Subsequently, he unscrupulously maintained power by establishing himself in all electoral competitions (1990, 1996, 2002, 2008) despite the steady decline in his popularity, the continuous accusations of fraud and repeated international condemnations. The president, determined to eliminate any serious rival, had Sithole arrested in October 1996, accusing him of having organized a plot to assassinate the head of state and overthrow the government. The presidential elections that were held in 2002 were considered irregular: the report of fraud provoked the Zimbabwe’s exit from the Commonwealth (made official in 2003) on charges of electoral fraud and persecution of opponents. Later also Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the new main opposition party, was officially accused of high treason for taking part in a plot to kill President Mugabe. In 2003, the repression against the opposition intensified and several members of the MDC, including M. Tsvangirai, were arrested. In July 2005, Mugabe signed with Hu Jintao in Beijing an economic and technological cooperation agreement, in an attempt to get out of international isolation. In the meantime, however, the internal situation of the country worsened and a 2006 United Nations report stated that Zimbabwe was in serious economic and social difficulties and that the survival of many people depended on food aid. The 2008 elections took place in a climate of terror, intimidation and persecution: officially, in the first round, they gave an equal result between the party of the president and that of the opposition; while waiting for a ballot, the problem of violence was once again presented also against whites by the police forces loyal to the president. In June M. Tsvangirai, arrested several times, he decided to withdraw from the electoral competition and took refuge in the Dutch embassy. Mugabe was reconfirmed at the ballot despite strong criticism from the African Union and a large part of the international community. In September Mugabe and Tsvangirai reached an agreement for the formation of a national unity government, in which the opposition leader would assume the post of premier (office assumed in February 2009). The effects of this political stability favored, in 2010, a timid economic recovery. In 2013 Mugabe was re-elected president with 61% of the vote, while his party obtained an absolute majority; opposition and international observers denounced fraud and irregularities.