Post-Independence Years in the History of Harare

Jameson Avenue, Salisbury (now Samora Machel Avenue, Harare) in 1970.

Harare (formerly Salisbury until 1982 CE) is the most populous city and capital of Zimbabwe. The city has an area of 371 mi2 (960.6 km2. Situated in northeastern Zimbabwe in the nation’s Mashonaland province, Harare is a metropolitan territory, which also includes the municipalities of Epworth and Chitungwiza. The town sits on a plateau at an elevation of 4,865 feet (1,483 meters ) above sea level.

The Pioneer Column, an armed volunteer force of immigrants organized by Cecil Rhodes, established the city on 12 September 1890 CE as a fort.

Post-Independent History of Harare

The town first boomed under a wave of investment and optimism that followed the nation’s independence in 1980 CE. The city’s name was changed to Harare on 18 April 1982 CE, the second anniversary of Zimbabwean freedom, taking its name from the community near Harare Kopje of the Shona chief Neharawa, whose reported nickname was “he who does not sleep Before.” independence, “Harare” was the name of the black residential region now identified as Mbare.

An important investment in healthcare and education produced a growing and confident middle class, evidenced by the evolution of companies such as Econet Global and innovative architecture and design, illustrated by the Eastgate Centre. A well-known symbol of this era in Harare’s history is the New Reserve Bank Tower, one of the city’s significant landmarks.

However, by 1992 CE, Harare started to encounter an economic downturn. The government replied by establishing neoliberal reforms, which led to a boom in finance, banking, and farming, while leading to notable job losses in manufacturing, thereby significantly increasing unemployment income disparity. Domestic firms failed to compete with foreign imports leading to the fall of numerous institutions, especially in the textile industry.

In the first half twenty-first century, Harare has been unfavorably affected by the economic and political crisis that is tormenting Zimbabwe after the disputed 2002 CE presidential election and 2005 CE parliamentary elections. The chosen elected council was ousted by a government-appointed committee for alleged inefficiency. Still, essential services such as street repairs and rubbish collection rapidly worsened and are now practically non-existent in more inferior parts of the town. In May 2006 CE, the Zimbabwean newspaper the Financial Gazette reported the city in an editorial as a “sunshine city-turned-sewage farm.”

In 2009 CE, Harare was voted to be the most brutal city to live in, according to the EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit’s) livability poll. According to the same poll, the situation was unchanged in 2011 CE, which is based on healthcare, stability, environment and culture, infra, and education.

Was it worth reading? Let us know.