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Country Info > Zimbabwe> Visa Info > Travel Tips > Govt & Economy >Zimbabwe National Parks >History & People


  • Country Name: Republic of Zimbabwe
  • Government Type: parliamentary democracy
  • Capital: Harare
  • Administrative Divisions:
    8 provinces and 2 cities* with provincial status; Bulawayo*, Harare*, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Midlands
  • Independence: 18 April 1980 (from UK)
  • National Holiday: Independence Day, 18 April (1980)
  • Constitution: 21 December 1979
  • Legal System: Mixture of Roman-Dutch and English common law
  • Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
  • Executive Branch:
    Chief of state: Executive President Robert Gabriel MUGABE (since 31 December 1987); Co-Vice Presidents Simon Vengai MUZENDA (since 31 December 1987) and Joseph MSIKA (since 23 December 1999); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government.
    Head of government: Executive President Robert Gabriel MUGABE (since 31 December 1987); Co-Vice Presidents Simon Vengai MUZENDA (since 31 December 1987) and Joseph MSIKA (since 23 December 1999); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
  • Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president; responsible to the House of Assembly
  • Elections: presidential candidates nominated with a nomination paper signed by at least 10 registered voters (at least one from each province) and elected by popular vote; election last held 16-17 March 1996 (next to be held NA March 2002); co-vice presidents appointed by the president
  • Legislative Branch:
    Unicameral parliament, called House of Assembly (150 seats - 120 elected by popular vote for six-year terms, 12 nominated by the president, 10 occupied by traditional chiefs chosen by their peers, and 8 occupied by provincial governors)
  • Judicial Branch: Supreme Court; High Court
  • Flag Description: Seven equal horizontal bands of green, yellow, red, black, red, yellow, and green with a white isosceles triangle edged in black with its base on the hoist side; a yellow Zimbabwe bird is superimposed on a red five-pointed star in the center of the triangle


Economy - Overview
The government of Zimbabwe faces a wide variety of difficult economic problems as it struggles to consolidate earlier moves to develop a market-oriented economy. Its involvement in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, has already drained hundreds of millions of dollars from the economy. Badly needed support from the IMF suffers delays in part because of the country's failure to meet budgetary goals. Inflation rose from an annual rate of 32% in 1998 to 59% in 1999 and 60% in 2000.

The economy is being steadily weakened by excessive government deficits and AIDS; Zimbabwe has the highest rate of infection in the world. Per capita GDP, which is twice the average of the poorer sub-Saharan nations, will increase little if any in the near-term, and Zimbabwe will suffer continued frustrations in developing its agricultural and mineral resources.

  • Population below poverty line: 60% (1999 est.)
  • Inflation rate (consumer prices): 60% (2000 est.)
  • Labor force: 5.5 million (2000 est.)
  • Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 66%, services 24%, industry 10% (1996 est.)
  • Unemployment rate: 50% (2000 est.)
  • Budget: revenues: $2.5 billion
  • Expenditures: $2.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $279 million (FY96/97 est.)

Mining (coal, gold, copper, nickel, tin, clay, numerous metallic and nonmetallic ores), steel, wood products, cement, chemicals, fertilizer, clothing and footwear, foodstuffs, beverages

  • Electricity - production: 5.78 billion kWh (1999)
  • Electricity - consumption: 6.939 billion kWh (1999)
  • Agriculture - products: corn, cotton, tobacco, wheat, coffee, sugarcane, peanuts; cattle, sheep, goats, pigs
  • Exports: $1.8 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
  • Exports - commodities: tobacco 29%, gold 7%, ferroalloys 7%, cotton 5% (1999 est.)
  • Exports - partners: South Africa 10%, UK 9%, Malawi 8%, Botswana 8%, Japan 7%, (1999 est.)
  • Imports: $1.3 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
  • Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment 35%, other manufactures 18%, chemicals 17%, fuels 14% (1999 est.)
  • Imports - partners: South Africa 46%, UK 6%, China 4%, Germany 4%, US 3% (1999 est.)
  • Debt - external: $4.1 billion (2000 est.)
  • Economic aid - recipient: $200 million (2000 est.)
  • Currency: Zimbabwean dollar (ZWD)
  • Currency code: ZWD
  • Exchange rates: Zimbabwean dollars per US dollar - 54.9451 (January 2001), 43.2900 (2000), 38.3142 (1999), 21.4133 (1998), 11.8906 (1997), 9.9206 (1996)
  • Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 Jun
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