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The Midlands Hotel - Gweru city centre

Formerly Gwelo, Gweru is the capital of the Midlands Province and Zimbabwe's third largest city. It is the main import and export centre as well the most accessible industrial center that oversees markets through South Africa to the South and Mozambique to the east.


The city was discovered by Dr. Leander Starr Jameson in 1884 and became a military post. The first buildings to be built were lodges and hotels such as the Horseshoe Inn (now Midlands Hotel) and Latham Hotel now Gweru rural police station.[1] By June of the same year the first stands of what was to become Gweru City were surveyed. By then it was declared a Sanitary Board. It then progressed to gain a Municipal status on 18 June 1914 and it attained City Status in October 1971.[2] This saw the establishment of the city's first bank in 1896, followed by the opening of a stock exchange in 1898. The first railway was built in 1902. When Zimbabwe was colonised, the Pioneer Column renamed the city Gwelo. After independence, the city was given the name Gweru.


Gweru is located at 19°27′S 29°49′E.[3] and it has an area of 49,166 km².[4] The City of Progress as it was nicknamed, Gweru was built along the Gweru river(originally iKwelo). The latter derived its name after the after the river’s high banks, where umkwelo (a ladder) was used by those who fetched water from it. This subsequently became the name Gweru which the city is now known. It is situated along the road and railway between Harare and Bulawayo and near the rail spur to Maputo.

Population Distribution

In 2011, Gweru had a population of 48 959 comprising of 23 703 (48.5%) males and 25 256 (51.5%) females. The population was housed in about 12 642 households with an average house hold size of 3 people.[5]


In 2016, the Gweru Town Clerk, Mr Daniel Matawu was dismissed by Minister Saviour Kasukuwere. He was dismissed by the Council after he was found guilty of 15 counts of gross incompetence, inefficiency in the performance of his work, substantial neglect of duty, conduct that is inconsistent with the fulfilment of his job by a tribunal set by the Gweru Commission. He had worked for Gweru for 37 years.

High Court Judge, Justice Nicholas Mathonsi ruled in March that Mr Matawu be reinstated as town clerk. His suspension was nullified, and his subsequent disciplinary hearing, which resulted in his dismissal, was deemed illegal.

The local authority gave Mr Matawu a salary backpay of $4 500 per month backdating to 2016 and gave him the same amount for the months that were left to complete his tenure which was due to expire in 2021. He approached the Labour Court to nullify his salary reduction from $9 000 to $ 4 500. If successful, cumulatively his salaries plus annual benefits amount to more than $216 000. He will also get a vehicle, residential and commercial stands as part of the package. Cumulatively, Mr Matawu will get a $406 000 once-off payment (terminal benefits and salary backdating to 2016).

Gweru mayor councillor Josiah Makombe last week confirmed that Gweru City Council had resolved its long-standing impasse with Mr Matawu amicably and have agreed to buy out his contract and give him an exit package. [6]


  1. Brenna Matendere Munyati, Happy birthday, Gweru – the city that transformed itself, 'The Zimbabwean', Published: 15 Apr 2014, Retrieved: 28 Apr 2014
  2. Gweru
  3. Gweru Map, Gweru Map, 'Maplandia', Published: ND, Retrieved: 28 Apr 2014
  4. SC, Gweru & Masvingo|city gallery|zimbabwe, 'Skyscape City', Published: ND, Retrieved: 28 Apr 2014
  5. Parliament Research Department, [Gweru Urban Constituency Profile, 'Parliament of Zimbabwe', Published: 2011, Retrieved: 28 Apr 2014
  6. $400k golden handshake for ex-Gweru town clerk, The Herald, Published: 17 October 2018, Retrieved: 26 March 2020

{{#set:Is in country=Zimbabwe|Is in Province=Midlands}}