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What you need to know about Gweru

Gweru is a city near the centre of Zimbabwe. It is the administrative capital of the Midlands Province, one of ten provinces in Zimbabwe. It became a municipality in 1914 and achieved city status in 1971. The name changed from Gwelo to Gweru in 1982. Before becoming a municipality, Gweru was known as “The Steep Place” after the Gweru river’s high banks when it was first settled by the Matabele. Founded in 1894 by Dr. Leander Starr Jameson, modern Gweru was initially established as a military outpost.

The Nalatale and Danangombe archaeological enclosures lie nearby, the former known for its patterned brickwork, the latter for its Portuguese remains. The remains at these sites date back to as early as the Torwa state during the 17th century, the most substantial being a four hundred-year-old stone wall decorated with motifs known to the tradition of stone-building in Zimbabwe. The surrounding area has rich deposits of gold, chrome, iron, asbestos and platinum and supports several mines.

Gweru has become one of Africa’s busiest trade centers thanks to its production of textiles, dairy foods, footware, and building materials. Gweru is also well known for vibrant farming activities in beef cattle, crop farming, and commercial gardening of crops for the export market.

Currency

Currency in Gweru, Zimbabwe is ZWL (Dollar)

Climate

Gweru’s climate is classified as warm and temperate. The summers are much rainier than the winters in Gweru. This location is classified as Cwb by Köppen and Geiger. The temperature here averages 18.1 °C. The average annual rainfall is 684 mm.

Language

As a central point in Zimbabwe it has a blend of Shona, Ndebele, Tswana, Suthu, Chewa among various other languages spoken in Zimbabwe.

Education

The primary and secondary system of education has not changed much in structure for several decades. Schools in Gweru subscribe to the same British system of education as the rest of the nation. Students spend seven years in primary education and four (Ordinary Level) or six (Advanced Level) years in secondary (secondary education) depending on the level of education they choose to reach. Until the 1990s ‘O ‘ and ‘A’ level exams were administered by two major British examination bodies, the Associated Examination Body (AEB) and Cambridge University. These are now examined locally by the Zimbabwe Education Board. Before 1980 schools were divided into two groups. Group A schools were the former all-white or mixed-race schools and Group B schools the former black schools. The difference lay mainly in the curriculum and facilities available. Group A schools generally had more facilities their studies. Cambridge University did not unilaterally cease marking Zimbabwean school certificate examinations.

Getting Around
Railways arrived in Gweru in 1902. National Railways of Zimbabwe have the country’s largest marshalling yard, Dabuka, on the south side of Gweru. Dabuka plays a pivotal role in rail movement in the country as it is the central hub of the rail links to Mozambique in the east, South Africa in the south and Botswana and Namibia in the south west, lying on the Bulawayo – Harare Line.
As a central city (hub), it has direct links to all the other cities and towns of Zimbabwe. It is 164 km from Bulawayo, 183 km from Masvingo, 471 km from Beitbridge, and 275 km from Harare. Road names used are by destination only, for example the Harare-Gweru Road. There are only mainroads, no highways or freeways.