City of Bulawayo
City of Bulawayo.jpg
FormationJune 1, 1894; 128 years ago (1894-06-01)
HeadquartersMunicipal Buildings
Official language
Solomon Mguni
Town Clerk
Christopher Dube
Parent organization
Ministry of Local Government, Public Works, and National Housing

City of Bulawayo is the second largest city in Zimbabwe after Harare. The council is controlled by the main opposition party Movement for Democratic Change, and the council has managed to stand out as the leading municipality in Zimbabwe in service delivery to its residents, through campaigns engineered by the city council such as the #mycitymypride campaign and #keepbyoclean on social media. In recent years, Bulawayo has been widely perceived as the cleanest city in Zimbabwe due to the council's effective waste management strategy. In 2015 the city of Bulawayo was praised for its town planning that, unlike major urban areas such as Harare and Chitungwiza, has not been marred by corruption and problems such as illegal settlements.


Bulawayo was founded on an area selected by Lobengula, the last of the Matabeleland Kings as his capital, hence the name “City of Kings”.The City is located on a site selected by King Lobengula, for his personal Kraal, and became the capital in 1870 when he emerged as successor to King Mzilikazi, his father founder of the Ndebele state. Initially named “Gibixhegu” the capital was later named “ko Bulawayo” and the king lived there until 1881. Colonialists made Bulawayo their gateway to settle in Zimbabwe. It attained town status on 1st June 1894 and had the first Municipal Council of 9 elected members in November 1897. By 1943 Bulawayo had attained city status. Bulawayo is the second largest city in Zimbabwe and the centre of both Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South Provinces.


  1. Bulawayo has traditionally been the industrial hub of the country with textile, tyre manufacturing, food processing, leather industries, heavy and light engineering concerns, to name a few.
  2. Through forward planning, the City has maintained a steady reservoir of serviced and unserviced industrial, commercial and residential stands of varying sizes at very attractive prices.
  3. The City has infrastructure of roads, water, sewer, electricity and telecommunications.
  4. Bulawayo offers a wide range of incentives for development that include rebates on rates, development costs and concessionary tariffs on water charges during the construction period.
  5. It is the home of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair which is the major international shopping window for Zimbabwe.
  6. Headquarters of the National Railways of Zimbabwe.


Bulawayo is itself a tourist centre with a number of game and bird sanctuaries and nature reserves as well as being the gateway to the Country’s prime tourist resorts at the Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park and Great Zimbabwe no more than three hours drive from the City Centre through picturesque countryside. In addition, the city hosts the Natural History Museum, Railway Museum, National Art Gallery, Art and Craft, Amakhosi Cultural Centre, Khame Ruins, Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage, Tshabalala Game Sanctuary and many more.

  • Climate: Winter time temperatures range between 13 and 20 Degrees Celsius and In Summer temperatures range between 25 and 30 Degrees Celsius
  • Altitude: 1 250m above sea level
  • Surface Area: 630 square kilometres
  • Population: 655 675 (2012 Preliminary Results) Males- 304 446, Females- 351 229

Council Structure

The City is run by a Council of 29 elected members headed by the Mayor and his Deputy for policy and broad decision - making. Council meets once per month to consider recommendations of Standing Committees viz:

  • The General Purposes Committee
  • Finance and Development
  • Health, Housing and Education
  • Environmental Management and Engineering Services
  • Business Committee
  • Town Lands and Planning
  • Audit

The Chairmen of Standing Committees (with the exception of Audit) then make up the General Purposes Committee which is chaired by the Mayor with the Deputy Mayor as his Deputy. It is responsible for the management of the city including overall organisation, Human Resources and any Matters of urgency. This effectively eliminates bureaucracy. From time to time Sub-committees, ad-hoc Committtees composed of Councillors and senior staff is constituted to deal with specific issues.

International Recognition of Bulawayo

  1. Twice won the United Nations Urban Housing Merit Award for its housing programme.
  2. Was one of 12 finalists world wide in the special global competition to honour local initiatives for addressing environmental and development challenges of the 21st Century which culminated in the United Nations Conference on Environmental and Development that was held in Rio de Jameiro in 1992.
  3. Won 2nd prize in the 1996 Healthy Cities Competition sponsored by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  4. Partnered the Institute of Housing and Urban Development of the Netherlands in its research on local economic development initiative
  5. Member of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiative (ICLEI) and one of the only 9 Cities in Africa selected for the Africa Sustainable Cities Network.
  6. Chosen as one of the six implementing local authorities and beneficiary of the Sustainable Urban Resilient Water for Africa: Developing Local Climate Solutions (SURE Water for Africa) a five year project under ICLEI.
  7. Twin City with Aberdeen, Scotland.
  8. Twin City with the City of Durban, Ethekwini, South Africa.
  9. Signed Memorandum of Understanding with Polokwane Municipality in South Africa.
  10. Signed Statement of intent with Siping City in China.
  11. Nominated as Africa’s first ResponsABLE City by the United Kingdom based on ResponseABILITY and EnvironMENTAL Leadership Alliance, through which environmental challenges were tackled.
  12. Came first in the Public Sector Category in the Customer Service Award in 2012, 2013,2014 organised by Contact Centre Association of Zimbabwe.
  13. First Municipality in Zimbabwe to launch a Customer Service Call Centre (2012).
  14. First municipality in Zimbabwe to develop a Water and Waste Water Master Plan (2012).


Bulawayo is home to the Queens Sports Club and Bulawayo Athletic Club, two of the three grounds in Zimbabwe where test match cricket has been played. Bulawayo Golf Club, the first golf club in the city and country was established in 1895. The Matsheumhlope Stream cuts through the 18 hole course in the suburbs.

It is home to Hartsfield Rugby grounds where many international Test matches have been played. Hartsfield was developed by Reg Hart, after whom the grounds were named and on which field many of southern Africa's greatest rugby players have competed. The City is home to two large football teams: Highlanders Football Club and Zimbabwe Saints. Other football teams include Bulawayo Chiefs Football Club, Chicken Inn Football Club, and Bulawayo City Football Club.

Other important sporting and recreational facilities include:


Bulawayo is home to a large number of hospitals and other medical facilities. The United Bulawayo Hospitals, a public hospital network, operates Bulawayo Central Hospital, Richard Morris Hospital, Lady Rodwell Maternity Hospital, and Robbie Gibson Infectious Diseases Hospital. Mpilo Central Hospital, is the largest hospital in Bulawayo, and the second-largest in Zimbabwe, and features a nursing school and midwifery school on its campus. Bulawayo is also home to Ingutsheni Hospital, which at 700 beds is the largest psychiatric hospital in Zimbabwe. Other hospitals in Bulawayo include All Saints Children's Hospital, Hillside Hospital, Mater Dei Hospital, the Nervous Disorders Hospital, St Francis Hospital, and Thorngrove Isolation Hospital.


Bulawayo is estimated to have 128 primary and 48 secondary schools.

Higher Education

Bulawayo is home to a number of colleges and universities. The National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe, (NUST), the second largest university in Zimbabwe, was established in Bulawayo in 1991. Solusi University, a Seventh-day Adventist institution established in Bulawayo in 1894, gained university status in 1994.

The Bulawayo Polytechnic College offers tertiary training for students who have completed GCE O Level and A Level education. It issues national certificates NC, Diplomas and higher national diplomas HND certificates. Bulawayo has two specialist teacher training colleges: Hillside Teachers College for secondary education and the United College of Education for primary education.

Bulawayo is home to a number of institutes of technology and vocational colleges, including Zimbabwe School of Mines, Westgate Industrial Training College, and the Zimbabwe Theological College. In addition companies such as the National Railways of Zimbabwe NRZ and Zimbabwe Electricity and Supply Authority ZESA offer apprenticeship training for qualifying students who then become certified artisans upon completion.



The Chronicle, a state-owned daily newspaper, and its Sunday edition, The Sunday News, are published in Bulawayo. The Chronicle is the second-oldest newspaper in Zimbabwe, and along with The Herald, published in Harare, it is one of two major state-owned newspapers in the country. UMthunywa, a state-owned Ndebele-language newspaper, is also published in Bulawayo, where the majority of the population belongs to the Ndebele people. Private online publications like Bulawayo24 News and B-Metro are also based in Bulawayo.