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Top 10 Largest Cities or Towns of Zimbabwe

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1. Harare
2. Bulawayo
3. Chitungwiza
4. Mutare
5. Epworth
6. Gweru
7. Kwekwe
8. Kadoma
9. Masvingo
10. Chinhoyi
Music: Green Hills,Jingle Punks; YouTube Audio Library
Zimbabwe, officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. The capital and largest city is Harare.
What is now Zimbabwe was historically the site of many prominent kingdoms and empires, as well as a major route for migration and trade. The present territory was first demarcated by Cecil Rhodes' British South Africa Company during the 1890s, becoming the self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia in 1923. In 1965 the conservative white minority government unilaterally declared independence as Rhodesia. The unrecognized state endured international isolation and a 15-year civil war between the government and black nationalist forces; this culminated in a peace agreement that established universal enfranchisement and de jure sovereignty in April 1980.
An ethnically diverse country of roughly 13 million people, Zimbabwe has 16 official languages, with English, Shona and Ndebele being most common. President Robert Mugabe is head of state and government, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Renowned as a champion for the anti-colonial cause, Mugabe is also viewed as authoritarian responsible for Zimbabwe's problematic human rights record and substantial economic decline. He has held power since 1980: as head of government until 1987, and head of both state and government since then.
Proto-Shona speaking societies first emerged in the middle Limpopo valley in the 9th century before moving on to the Zimbabwean highlands. The Zimbabwean plateau eventually became the centre of subsequent Shona states, beginning around the 10th century. Around the early 10th century, trade developed with Arab merchants on the Indian Ocean coast, helping to develop the Kingdom of Mapungubwe in the 11th century. This was the precursor to the more impressive Shona civilisations that would dominate the region during the 13th to 15th centuries, evidenced by ruins at Great Zimbabwe, near Masvingo, and other smaller sites. The main archaeological site uses a unique dry stone architecture.
The Kingdom of Mapungubwe was the first in a series of sophisticated trade states developed in Zimbabwe by the time of the first European explorers from Portugal. They traded in gold, ivory and copper for cloth and glass.
From about 1300 until 1600, Mapungubwe was eclipsed by the Kingdom of Zimbabwe. This Shona state further refined and expanded upon Mapungubwe's stone architecture, which survives to this day at the ruins of the kingdom's capital of Great Zimbabwe. From c. 1450–1760, Zimbabwe gave way to the Kingdom of Mutapa. This Shona state ruled much of the area that is known as Zimbabwe today, and parts of central Mozambique. It is known by many names including the Mutapa Empire, also known as Mwene Mutapa or Monomotapa as well as "Munhumutapa," and was renowned for its strategic trade routes with the Arabs and Portugal. Eventually, however, the Portuguese sought to monopolise this influence and began a series of wars which left the empire in near collapse in the early 17th century.
As a direct response to increased European presence in the interior, a new Shona state emerged, known as the Rozwi Empire. Relying on centuries of military, political and religious development, the Rozwi (meaning "destroyers") expelled the Portuguese from the Zimbabwean plateau by force of arms. They continued the stone building traditions of the Zimbabwe and Mapungubwe kingdoms while adding muskets to their arsenal and recruiting a professional army to defend recent conquests.
Around 1821, the Zulu general Mzilikazi of the Khumalo clan successfully rebelled against King Shaka and created his own clan, the Ndebele. The Ndebele fought their way northwards into the Transvaal, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake and beginning an era of widespread devastation known as the Mfecane. When Dutch trekboers converged on the Transvaal in 1836, they drove the tribe even further northward. By 1838, the Rozwi Empire, along with the other petty Shona states were conquered by the Ndebele and reduced to vassaldom.
After losing their remaining South African lands in 1840, Mzilikazi and his tribe permanently settled the southwest of present-day Zimbabwe in what became known as Matabeleland, establishing Bulawayo as their capital. Mzilikazi then organised his society into a military system with regimental kraals, similar to those of Shaka, which was stable enough to repel further Boer incursions. Mzilikazi died in 1868 and, following a violent power struggle, was succeeded by his son, Lobengula.
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