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Zvishavane, about 97km SW of Masvingo, although it is in Midlands Province, was built around an asbestos mine. Gold, beryl, chrome and iron ore mined in the area. The major agricultural activity in the area is cattle ranching. Zvishavane is just south of Zimbabwe's geographic center. The name is said to be a corruption of shavani, meaning "finger millet".


Lat/Long: 20°20′S 30°2′E. Altitude ±920m. Zvishavane is located in Midlands Province.

Formerly called Shabani.


The asbestos mine started operations in 1916. In 1987, it was the largest asbestos mine in Zimbabwe.
A rail link was established in 1928, from Gweru.
A village management board was established in 1921, followed by a town management board in 1930. Municipal status was granted in 1968.
In late 1974 it was ranked eighth in the country's urban centers.

Cephas Msipa was born here.


The 1969 Rhodesia Census put the population at 14 170 African, 1 553 European, 36 Asian, 58 Coloured. Total = 15 820.
In 1974, the population was 17 000 (88% black).
In 1987, the population was 26 758.
It is now home to about 103,889 people.


In the Zimbabwe 1985 Parliamentary Election, Zvishavane returned to Parliament:

In the 1990 Parliamentary Election (see A History of Zimbabwean Elections) Zvishavane returned to Parliament:

Turnout - 26 461 voters or 58.00 %

Other information

Zvishavane District Hospital.

George Chipadza Secondary School.
Mandava High School.
Zvishavane Secondary School.

Further Reading





  1. [Katherine Sayce (Ed), Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe], Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe, (Quest Publishing, Harare, 1987), Retrieved: 25 July 2019
  2. [R. Kent Rasmussen (ed), Historical Dictionary of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia] (The Scarecrow Press, London, 1979) Retrieved 8 August 2019"
  3. [Mary Akers (ed.), Encyclopaedia Rhodesia] (The College Press, Salisbury, 1973) Retrieved 8 August 2019"

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