Zimbabwe timeline & chronology of events
1200-1600s – Rise and decline of the Monomotapa Great Empire, which was associated with the Great Zimbabwe Monument and to have been involved in gold mining and international trade.
1830s – Ndebele people fleeing Zulu wars and Boer invasion in present-day South Africa move north and settle in what becomes known as Matabeleland.
1830-1890s – European hunters, traders and missionaries explore the region from the south. They include Cecil John Rhodes.
1889 – Rhodes’ British South Africa Company (BSA) gains a British mandate to colonise what becomes Southern Rhodesia.
1890 – Pioneer Column of white settlers arrives from south at site of future capital Harare.
1893 – Ndebele uprising / Umvukela against BSA rule is crushed.
1896 – 1897 – First Chimurenga / Umvukela (Ndebele-Shona) revolt against the British South Africa Company’s administration of the territory. The First Chimurenga is now celebrated in Zimbabwe as the First War of Independence. Mlimu, the Matabele spiritual/religious leader, is credited with fomenting much of the anger that led to this confrontation.
1896 – In June 1896, Mashayamombe led the uprising of the Zezuru Shona people located to the south-west of the capital Salisbury. Mashayamombe worked with the local spiritual leader Kaguvi, and during this period a British farmer, Norton and his wife were killed at Porta Farm in Norton.
1896 – The third phase of the First Chimurenga was joined by the Hwata Dynasty of Mazoe. They succeeded in driving away the British settlers from their lands on 20 June 1896. Three months later, the British South Africa Police (BSAP) regrouped and established control over the Hwata people after their Mambo (King) Hwata surrendered together with his spirit medium, Nehanda Nyakasikana. Hwata and Nehanda Nyakasikana were sentenced to death and executed.
1897 – Mlimo was eventually assassinated in his temple in Matobo Hills forcing people to lay down their arms. The First Chimurenga thus ended in October 1897. Matabeleland and Mashonaland were unified under company rule and the territory named Southern Rhodesia.
1922 – BSA administration ends, the white minority opts for self-government.
1930 – Land Apportionment Act restricts black access to land, forcing many into wage labour.
1930-1960s – Black opposition to colonial rule grows. Emergence in the 1960s of nationalist groups – the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu) and the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu).
1953 – Britain creates the Central African Federation, made up of Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi).
1963 – Federation breaks up when Zambia and Malawi gain independence.
1964 – Ian Smith of the Rhodesian Front (RF) becomes prime minister, tries to persuade Britain to grant independence.
1965 – Smith unilaterally declares independence under white minority rule, sparking international outrage and economic sanctions.
1966 – 1979 – The Second Chimurenga, also known as the Zimbabwe liberation war, or guerrilla war, intensifies from 1972, with Zanu and Zapu operating out of Zambia and Mozambique, leading to the end of white-minority rule in Rhodesia and to the independence of Zimbabwe in 1980.
1978 – Smith yields to pressure for negotiated settlement. Elections for a transitional legislature are boycotted by the Patriotic Front made up of Zanu and Zapu. A new government of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa, fails to gain international recognition. Civil war continues.
1979 – British-brokered all-party talks at Lancaster House in London lead to a peace agreement and new constitution, which guarantees minority rights.
1980 – Veteran struggle leader Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party win British-supervised independence elections. Mugabe is named prime minister and includes Zapu leader Joshua Nkomo in his cabinet. Independence on 18 April is internationally recognised.
1982 – disturbances begin in the southwestern region of the country which only end with the signing of the Unity Accord between Zanu and PF Zapu.
1987 – Mugabe, Nkomo merge their parties to form Zanu-PF, bring peace and stability in Zimbabwe.
1987 – Constitutional changes made, Mugabe becomes executive president.
1999 – Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is formed.
2000 – Zanu-PF loses referendum to appropriate land from white farmers without compensation, and limiting presidential terms to two.
2000 – Landless people seize hundreds of white-owned farms to reclaim their land which was stolen by settlers.
2000 June – Parliamentary elections: Zanu-PF narrowly fends off a challenge from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai, but loses its power to change the constitution.
2002 March – Mugabe re-elected in presidential elections condemned as seriously flawed by the opposition and foreign observers. Commonwealth suspends Zimbabwe from its councils for a year after concluding that elections were marred by violence.
2002 May – Land Acquisition Act enacted. The stated aim of the fast track programme is to take land from rich white commercial farmers for redistribution to poor and landless black Zimbabweans. June – White farmers given 45-day ultimatum to vacate farms
2003 November – Canaan Banana, Zimbabwe’s first black ceremonial president, dies aged 67.
2003 December – Zimbabwe pulls out of Commonwealth after the organisation decides to extend suspension of the country indefinitely.
2005 March – Ruling Zanu-PF party wins two-thirds of the votes in parliamentary polls. Main opposition party says election was rigged against it.
2005 November – Ruling Zanu-PF party wins an overwhelming majority of seats in a newly-created Upper House of parliament, the Senate, which lead to the first split of the opposition MDC over its leader’s decision to boycott the poll.
2006 May – Year-on-year inflation exceeds 1,000%. New banknotes, with three noughts deleted from their values, are introduced in August.
2007 – 2008 Zimbabwe experiences galloping inflation and difficult economic patch
2006 December – Ruling ZANU-PF party approves a plan to move presidential polls from 2008 to 2010 to align them with parliamentary elections, effectively extending Mr Mugabe’s rule by two years.
2007 June – Ruling Zanu-PF and opposition MDC hold preliminary talks in South Africa.
2008 March – Presidential and parliamentary elections. Opposition MDC claims victory.
2008 May – Electoral body says Tsvangirai won most votes in presidential poll, but not enough to avoid a run-off against Mugabe.
2008 June – Run-off goes ahead. Mugabe declared winner. Tsvangirai pulled out days before poll, complaining of intimidation.
2008 Sept – Mugabe, Tsvangirai sign power-sharing agreement. Implementation stalls over who gets top ministerial jobs. *Agreement ends months of deadlock over the disputed 2008 election result *Robert Mugabe retained presidency *Morgan Tsvangirai made prime minister
2008 December – Zimbabwe declares national emergency over a cholera epidemic and the collapse of its health care system.
2009 January – Government allows use of foreign currencies to try and stem hyperinflation. End of February Government announces adoption of American currency, US dollar.
2009 February – Tsvangirai is sworn in as prime minister, after protracted talks over formation of government.
2009 March – Tsvangirai’s wife is killed in a car crash. He is injured.
Retail prices fall for the first time after years of hyperinflation.
2009 June – Constitutional review begins.
2010 March – New “indigenisation” law forces foreign-owned businesses to sell majority stake to locals.
2010 December – Ruling Zanu-PF party nominates President Mugabe as candidate for next presidential race.
2013 January – Talks involving President Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai reach a deal over a new draft constitution.
2013 March – New constitution approved by an overwhelming majority in a referendum. Future presidents will be limited to two five-year terms.
2013 July – Presidential and parliamentary elections. Mr Mugabe gains a seventh term in office and his Zanu-PF party wins three-quarters of the seats in parliament. The opposition MDC dismisses the polls as a fraud.
2014 August – Grace Mugabe, the president’s wife and a political novice, is unexpectedly nominated as the next leader of the governing Zanu-PF’s Women’s League, fuelling speculation that she may succeed her husband one day.
2014 December – President Mugabe sacks Vice-President Joice Mujuru and seven other ministers after accusing them of being involved in a plot to kill him. Mrs Mujuru denies the allegation, but is later expelled from the Zanu-PF party.
2015 January – President Mugabe is chosen as chairman of the African Union for the year.
2015 June – Central Bank formally phases out the Zimbabwe dollar, formalising the multi-currency system introduced to counter hyper-inflation.
2016 November – A new national currency – called Bond notes – is introduced to be used alongside the multicurrency system.
OPERATION RESTORE LEGACY
06 November 2017 – After a campaign of public insults against Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the military leadership, Mugabe fires his long-time deputy and struggle comrade of nearly 50 years, accusing him of underming his authority. Mnangagwa flees the country.
13 November 2017 – Army Commander General Constantino Chiwenga calls a press conference and warns politicians to stop denigrating the army. Says the army will not hesitate to step in if the revolution is being threatened.
15 November 2017 – The Zimbabwe Defence Forces steps in under Operation Restore Legacy and tells the nation in a televised address that it is “targeting criminals around President Mugabe” who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering.
15 November to 20 November 2017 – Catholic Cleric Father Fidelis Mukonori is one of the mediators as President Robert Mugabe negotiates his exit with the military after 37 years in power.
18 November 2017 – A majority of Harare’s roughly 4 million people pour into the streets in an unprecedented demonstration calling on Mugabe to step down.
19 November 2017 – The ruling party Central Committee expels Mugabe as party leader and tells him to step aside or face impeachment. In a speech on national television, he does not announce his resignation as expected.
20 November 2017 – The ruling party’s Central Committee says it will begin impeachment proceedings. The military says Mugabe and Mnangagwa have made contact and the fired deputy will return to Zimbabwe “shortly.”
21 November 2017 – Mnangagwa calls on Mugabe to heed the will of Zimbabwe’s people and resign immediately. The ruling party begins impeachment proceedings, which are halted so Mugabe’s resignation letter can be read, to cheers.
21 November 2017– Parliament begins the legal process to impeach President Mugabe at a joint sitting of the Senate and House of Assembly.
21 November 2017 –The Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda announces President Mugabe’s resignation. Mr Mugabe resigns days after the military intervention.
22 November 2017 – Mnangagwa emerges from hiding, returns to Zimbabwe and announces a “new and unfolding democracy.”
23 November 2017 – A ruling party official says the party assured Mugabe he would not be prosecuted if he stepped down: “His status as a hero of his country is assured.”
24 November 2017 – Mnangagwa is sworn in as the second executive President. He pledges to revive the country’s economy and create jobs for its unemployed masses in a speech to mark his inauguration. He also says the 2018 election will go ahead as scheduled and promises to restore relations with the West, and to restore financial and economic stability.
18 January 2018 – President Mnangagwa promises “free and fair” elections in four to five months’ time – the first since the end of Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule last year. President Mnangagwa also reaffirmed a pledge that the elections would be “free, credible, fair and indisputable”.
14 February 2018 – Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai dies after a battle with cancer of the colon, leaving behind a disintegrating party and contested leadership.
April 2 – 6, 2018 – President Emmerson Mnangagwa goes on a five-day state visit to China giving a fresh impetus to future cooperation between the two nations. The visit is at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, marking his first State visit outside Africa since he assumed office last November.