Newspapers in Zimbabwe
The daily distribution in Zimbabwe is relatively small (18 newspaper excl.
Per 1,000 residents, 2000). There are two major daily newspapers, The Herald in
Harare (edition: about 120,000 copies) and The Chronicle in Bulawayo (about
45,000 copies), both founded in the 1890s and since the country's independence
in 1980 owned by a state publishing house that also owns a number of other
newspapers. Freedom of the press is considered somewhat limited, but the public
debate is relatively open.
Radio and TV are operated by the state, partially advertising-financed
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), founded in 1957. The radio
broadcasts in four national channels, in English, Shona, Ndebele and other local
languages, and TV in two. Radio and TV news usually reflects the government's
view. There are 362 radio and 30 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).
Zimbabwe is known for its stone sculptures.
However, the country has no ancient sculpture tradition;
before the 20th century it was unusual to work in stone.
There are long oral storytelling traditions in both
Shona and Ndebele, but the written languages were
first developed in the 19th century.
The sculpture art gained momentum in the early 1900s
when missionaries wanted their chapels adorned. The real
success came first in the 1950s. Frank McEwen became the
new director of the Harare Art Museum in 1956. He then
opened a museum workshop where anyone who wanted to try
sculpting had access to stone and tools. Several
artists, such as Nicholas Mukomberanwa, Joram Mariga,
and John and Bernard Takawira, have testified about how
McEwen played a major role in their artistic
Latest population statistics of Zimbabwe, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
A new direction in stone sculpture emerged in 1966,
when farmer Tom Blomefield was forced to dismiss farmers
on his farm in northern Zimbabwe after the tobacco
harvest failed. The workers instead had to break and
process stones near his Tengenenge farm in Sipolilo.
Several famous artists, such as Bernard Matemera,
Sylvester Mubayi, Fanizani and Henry Munyaradzi,
developed in this school.
The scriptural languages for Shona and Ndebele were
developed by Christian missionaries. In 1956, the first
novel on the shona, Feso was published by Solomon
Mutswairos. Ten years later, the first more significant
novel appeared in English, On Trial for my Country by
Stanlake Samkange. British Doris Lessing, who won the
Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007, grew up in Southern
Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and has, for example, critically
described the children of the Violence in the segregated
colony. In addition to Stanlake Samkange, the important
black writers include Wilson Katiyo.
Among a later generation of writers are Charles
Mungoshi (Waiting for the rain, 1975; in Swedish, among
others, the short collection The Empty House), Dambudzo
Marechera (House of hunger, 1978) and Tsitsi Dangarembga
(Nervous conditions, 1988). Among the more well-known
contemporary authors are Chenjerai Howe, Charles
Mungoshi and Yvonne Vera, all of which are translated
into Swedish. British Alexander McCall Smith, who wrote
the success books on the Women's Detective Agency, grew
up in Zimbabwe.
The Shona people have a well-developed music life.
The bass consists of different types of drums and
rattles with associated dances. Mbiran (tump piano) is a
snap instrument made of bamboo or metal enamels, mounted
on a block over half a gourd. Also special are the
stringed instrument bow and xylophone marimba. The
instruments are mainly presented on special occasions
such as traditional weddings or chieftaincy
There is also contemporary pop music that is
characterized by traditional music. The so-called
chimurenga music (revolutionary music) has become
internationally known. For Zimbabwe public policy,
Equity law is toned down
The Government presents proposals to mitigate the law that was adopted in
June 2007, which states that foreign companies must transfer shares to domestic
interests so that they own at least 51 percent of the shares in the company. The
implementation of the law has previously been postponed and now the government
wants to give the companies another five years to implement the change. It
should also be possible for companies to pay a fee instead of following the law.
Mugabe presidential candidate again
The ruling Zanu-PF appoints President Mugabe as the party's candidate in the
presidential election to be held in 2018. The appointment does not receive much
attention. Greater interest revolves around speculation as to who might succeed
the 91-year-old Mugabe who has recently shown signs of faltering health.
Agreement with China
Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Zimbabwe and is welcomed by an overjoyed
President Mugabe. It has been many years since Mugabe was visited by such a
highly regarded foreign leader. The countries sign several agreements on
economic cooperation. China is the largest importer of tobacco from Zimbabwe and
has - as in many other African countries - made major investments in Zimbabwe's
mines, industry and infrastructure.
A property owned by the Zimbabwean state in South Africa is being sold at
auction, so that white landowners who are removed from their properties will
receive compensation. The sale yields just under US $ 300,000, which will mainly
cover the costs of the legal process. The former landowners' lawyers call it a
"symbolic victory" and say they are now moving on to get money through the sale
of other state property.
Mugabe keeps old talk
President Mugabe draws attention when he gives the wrong speech at the
opening of Parliament. Parliamentarians will once again hear the whole speech
given by the president at the end of August. The confusion causes the opposition
to question whether Mugabe, 91, is capable of leading Zimbabwe. State TV stops
the live broadcast from Parliament.
Protests against Mugabe
The opposition is hampering President Mugabe by dropping protest songs as he
gives his annual speech in Parliament on the state of the nation.
Trade union protests are stopped
The police are preventing the country's largest trade union from conducting a
protest march by temporarily arresting the leaders just before the manifestation
is to take place. The union intended to protest that a number of companies have
dismissed thousands of employees in recent months, citing financial problems.
The economy is backing off
The Minister of Finance announces that the growth target for 2015 will not be
reached as agricultural production declines due to drought. Growth is now
projected to be 1.5 percent compared to the previous 3.2 percent. Zimbabwe's
economy has been in a more or less permanent crisis for more than a decade, with
a low growth rate, a lack of cash, a large borrowing burden and high
unemployment. The Minister of Finance says the government is working to reduce
its largest expenditure item, the salaries of civil servants, from 75 to 40
percent of the budget. Earlier this year, the IMF International Mortgage
Institution stated that the country is facing a financially difficult time.
Envoys are threatened from the country
President Mugabe threatens to evict US and UK envoy to Zimbabwe from the
country after accusing US and UK governments of sponsoring street vendors to
defy government's orders to leave the core of Zimbabwean cities.
A journalist is sentenced to one year in prison for starting a newspaper
without the government's permission.
The Zimbabwean dollar is abandoned
Zimbabwe abolishes its own currency, Zimbabwean dollars. Since the 2009
crisis, US dollars and the South African rand have been used extensively in the
country. The authorities justify the decision that one can no longer have two
currency systems. Anyone who wants to exchange bank assets in the old local
currency gets $ 5 for $ 175 billion Zimbabwean dollars. The last banknote
printed in local currency, one billion Zimbabwean dollars, is not even enough
for a bus ticket.
On June 10, election elections will be held to replace members who were
excluded from MDC-T earlier in the year (see March 2015) and
two who have been forced to leave Zanu-PF since taking office for Joice Mujuru.
The election elections are boycotted by the MDC-T, which accuses the government
side of harassing the party's supporters and criticizing the fact that the votes
have not been seen. In many constituencies, therefore, only Zanu-PF is running
and the party wins all the 16 seats that are at stake.
New free trade agreement
Zimbabwe and 25 other countries agree on a new free trade agreement, the
Tripartite Free Trade Area, which covers most of Africa between Egypt in the
north and South Africa in the south. However, before the agreement can come into
force, negotiations are required and the agreement is approved by the
parliaments of the countries.
Former Vice President apologizes
Former Vice President Joice Mujuru (see December 2014)
apologizes in early June for the role she played in Mugabe's government. Mujuru
is expected to challenge Mugabe's power holdings in the 2018 presidential
election. Earlier this spring, she accused the government of its economic
policies. Her followers urge Mujuru to form a new political party.
Deputy Vice President Joice Mujuru is excluded from the Zanu-PF government
but promises to fight the decision.
Members of Parliament excluded
Parliament's Speaker, Jacob Mudenda, excludes 21 of the MDC-T members from
the Legislative Assembly since they regularly resigned and formed a new party,
MDC Renewal (MDC Renewal). The outbreak occurs as a result of MDC-T's 2013
election loss which the jumpers believe was due to party leader Morgan
Tsvangirai's leadership. MDC-T has the right to appoint new members to seven of
the seats; the remainder should be added by filling choices.
Journalist and human rights activist Itai Dzamara is robbed on a street in a
suburb of Harare. He is taken away in a car with hidden license plates. Dzamara
has played a prominent role in several notable protests against Mugabe's regime
and there are strong suspicions that the CIO security service is behind the
abduction. Amnesty International calls on the government to investigate the
Expensive birthday celebrations
President Mugabe celebrates his 91st birthday by inviting thousands of
supporters to the party. The party, which takes place at a luxury hotel at a
holiday resort on Victoria Falls in northwestern Zimbabwe, is losing out on more
than SEK 8 million. The opposition calls the event "obscene" given the economic
crisis in the country.
Purges within the ruling party of supporters of deposed Deputy President
Joice Mujuru continue.
President Mugabe takes over the presidency of the African Union.