Brief Historical Context

Harare is the capital City of Zimbabwe. The city was founded in 1890 by a Pioneer Column, which was a military volunteer force organized by Cecil Rhodes. Harare was given the status of a fort at that time. It was then known by the name of 'Fort Salisbury'. Fort Salisbury was the capital of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland from 1953 to 1963 (Zimbabwe and Malawi respectively).

After sometime, the place was known only as 'Salisbury'. In 1897, Salisbury was declared as a municipality. It was in the year of 1935, that Harare was declared as a city. Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980 and during the second anniversary of Zimbabwean independence (April 18th, 1982) the city’s name was changed to Harare. The City borrows its name from the first Shona inhabitants of the marshy flats near The Kopje (inselberg) on which it stands today who were called Ne-Harawa after the regional chief - Haarare (one who does not sleep).

As Zimbabwe's largest or capital city, Harare is therefore the country's administrative, commercial, and communications centre. The city is set on a high-lying plateau, above the sweltering river lowlands of the Zambezi in the north and the Limpopo River in the south. It is a trade centre for tobacco, maize, cotton, and citrus fruits. Manufactures include textiles, steel, and chemicals.

Harare has one of the most ideal climates in the world and one of the most developed infrastructures in sub Saharan Africa. It is called "Sunshine City" because of its year-round good weather. It has many beautiful parks and gardens. The city is multi-racial and ethnic, making a rich culture of different people and languages. For a greater part of the year the sun shines on Harare from unclouded deep blue skies and the temperature remains pleasantly warm with the altitude of 1,492 metres above sea level which ensures that it remains cooler than most parts of Africa.



According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT), results of the 2012 Census indicate that the national population of Zimbabwe has increased by 10, 9% over the past decade, Zimbabwe now has a total population of 13 061 239 people up from the 2002 Census which stood at 11 634 663. 

Greater Harare or Harare Province which includes Harare Urban (1.5 million), Harare Rural, Chitungwiza and Epworth has a population of about 2.1 million people. Of this population, 1 million are males and 1.1 million are female.

City Management

City of Harare is ordinarily run by 46 elected Councillors including an elected Non-Executive Mayor and Deputy Mayor. The 46 Councillors represent the residents of the wards in which they are elected at policy level. City Of Harare provides local government services such as education, health, recreation, housing, water and sanitation, fire and ambulance, road construction and maintenance, burial and cremation services among others through its departments which are headed by Directors. All the Directors report to the Town Clerk.