Zimbabwe Independence Day

Zimbabwe Independence Day

April 18
Independence Day is the major holiday in Zimbabwe, which means "stone dwelling" in Bantu. Like much of Africa, the area that is now Zimbabwe was long controlled by Europeans. Cecil Rhodes formed the British South Africa Company in 1889 to colonize the region, and European settlers began arriving in the 1890s. Rhodes's company governed the country until 1922 when the 34,000 European settlers chose to become a self-governing British colony, Southern Rhodesia. In 1923, Southern Rhodesia was annexed by the British Crown.
A fight for independence took place in the 1970s. An independent constitution was written for Zimbabwe in London in 1979.Independence followed on April 18, 1980. The white minority finally consented to multiracial elections in 1980, which Robert Mugabe won in a landslide.
Independence Day is celebrated in every city and district of the nation with political rallies, parades, traditional dances, singing, and fireworks.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of Zimbabwe
1608 New Hampshire Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
202-332-7100; fax: 202-438-9326
www.zimbabwe-embassy.us
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 63
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