Harare (formerly Salisbury) is the capital of Zimbabwe. It is the seat of Government, the industrial hub and commercial centre for Zimbabwe. The city was founded by the Cecil John Rhodes of the BSAC who sent the Pioneer Column in 1890. The name was changed to Harare in 1982, a name taken from the regional chief Neharawa of the Kopje area where the city stands. The city's favourable climate earned it the name 'Sunshine City'.


Before colonisation, the place was known as Harawa and it was ruled by Chief Neharawa who moved from present day Seke area. He settled around the Kopje. He was reportedly killed by Mbani, who was in turn killed by two brothers, Chiweshe and Wata. Hararwa was eventually corrupted to Harare. [1]
On arrival in 1890, (at National Unity Square), the Pioneer Column established Salisbury. A fort was built, so it was sometimes called Fort Salisbury. In 1897, it become a municipality. Salisbury was declared a city in 1935. [2] On 18 April 1982, two years after the country gained independence, Salisbury was renamed Harare.
See Distances in Zimbabwe.


As a province, the city includes Harare Urban, Harare Rural, Chitungwiza, Ruwa, Norton and Epworth. In 2013, the city had a population of about 4.2 million people which was expected to reach 5 million by 2025.[3]

See List of Primary Schools in Zimbabwe and Contact Numbers.
See High Schools Of Zimbabwe.
See Tafara 1 High School.
See Vainona High School.


Harare is in Harare Metropolitan Province.
Harare Local Government is Harare Municipality.
The city is represented by a Non-Executive Mayor (elected by the Councillors), Deputy Mayor, 46 elected Councillors and 12 Councillors.[4]
They represent residents of the wards they are elected in. These are all Special Appointments made by the Minister of Local Government Urban and Rural Development. Harare also provides local government services such as local health (clinics), recreation, housing, water and sanitation, fire and ambulance, burial and cremation services among others through its 10 departments which are headed by Directors. The 2013 to 2018 mayor was Bernard Manyenyeni who was sworn in after the 31 July 2013 elections.[5]
The City is run by the Town Clerk, Directors (Heads of Department) and staff, appointed by the Local Government Board, appointed by the central government Minister of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development. In 2018, Herbert Gomba was elected as mayor.
See Mayor of Harare.


Harare has one of the most favourable climates in the whole world. Temperatures range from 6.25 to 28.7 degrees Celsius while rainfall varies from 0.0 to 645.0 (mm/month).[6] Harar's climate facilitated, Zimbabwe's climate to be voted 'the best climate on Earth' by the International Living magazine’s 2011 Quality of Life Index.[7]

Tourist Attractions and Accommodation

  • The city is home to National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe's museum for contemporary art and visual heritage; the Zimbabwe Museum of Human Sciences. The Chapungu Sculpture Park with works of Zimbabwean stone sculptors is near the city. The National Botanical Gardens in the suburb of Alexandra Park also houses the National Herbarium. The gardens show plants typical to Zimbabwe and the African continent including rare and endangered species.

See Distances in Zimbabwe
See The N1 Hotel

International Coverage

Harare has been mentioned in international media. In 2011 The Economist rated Harare as the world’s least livable city on earth. During the same time, some surveys conducted ranked it the 4th worst city on earth in 2012.[8]


  1. [Chief Information Officer, Lore and Legend of Southern Rhodesia Place Names] (Southern Rhodesia Information Service, Salisbury, 1960) Retrieved 8 November 2021"
  2. Hre, Brief Historical Context, 'Harare', Published: ND, Retrieved: 24 Apr 2014
  3. Helen Kadirire, Population growth worries Harare, 'DailyNews', Published: 29 Oct 2013, Retrieved: 24 Apr 2014
  4. Hre, NEW COUNCIL SWORN-IN, 'Harare City', Published: 16 Sept 2013, Retrieved:
  5. Municipal Reporter, Manyenyeni installed as Harare mayor, 'Herald', Published: 19 Dec 2013, Retrieved: 24 Apr 2014
  6. Wrld 66, Climate, 'World 66', Publihed: ND, Retrieved: 24 Apr 2014
  7. Cheryl Robertson, Malta and Zimbabwe share best climate in the world, 'Eturbo News', Published: 11 Mar 2011, Retrieved: 24 Apr 2014
  8. Andre Vltchek, Harare: Is It Really the Worst City on Earth?, 'CounterPunch', Published: 15 Mar 2013, Retrieved: 24 Apr 2014