Harare is the capital and most populous city of Zimbabwe. Situated in the north-east of the country in the heart of historic Mashonaland, administratively, Harare is a metropolitan province, which also incorporates Chitungwiza town and Epworth. It is situated at an elevation of 1,483 metres above sea level, company administrators demarcated the city and ran it until Southern Rhodesia achieved responsible government in 1923. Salisbury was thereafter the seat of the Southern Rhodesian government and and it retained the name Salisbury until 1982, when it was renamed Harare on the second anniversary of Zimbabwean independence. Harare is Zimbabwes leading financial, commercial, and communications centre, and a centre for tobacco, maize, cotton. Manufactured goods include textiles, steel and chemicals, and gold is mined in the area, the University of Zimbabwe, the countrys oldest university, is situated in Mount Pleasant, about 6 km north of the city centre. Harare is home to the countrys main Test cricket ground, Harare Sports Club, the Pioneer Column, a military volunteer force of settlers organised by Cecil Rhodes, founded the city on 12 September 1890 as a fort. They originally named the city Fort Salisbury after The 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, then British Prime Minister, the Salisbury Polo Club was formed in 1896. It was declared to be a municipality in 1897 and it became a city in 1935. The area at the time of founding of the city was poorly drained, the first area to be fully drained was near the head of the stream and was named Causeway as a result. Salisbury was the capital of the self-governing British colony of Southern Rhodesia from 1923, ian Smiths Rhodesian Front government declared Rhodesia independent from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965, and proclaimed the Republic of Rhodesia in 1970. Subsequently, the became the short-lived state of Zimbabwe Rhodesia. The capital city retained the name Salisbury until 1982, prior to independence, Harare was the name of the black residential area now known as Mbare. In May 2006 the Zimbabwean newspaper the Financial Gazette, described the city in an editorial as a sunshine city-turned-sewage farm, in 2009, Harare was voted to be the toughest city to live in according to the Economist Intelligence Units livability poll. The situation was unchanged in 2011, according to the poll, which is based on stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education. In May 2005 the Zimbabwean government demolished shanties and backyard cottages in Harare, the government claimed it was necessitated by a rise of criminality and disease. This was followed by Operation Garikayi/Hlalani Kuhle a year later which consisted of building housing of poor quality. In late March 2010, Harares Joina City Tower was finally opened after 14 years of on-off construction, initially, uptake of space in the tower was low, with office occupancy at only 3% in October 2011
Skyline of Harare
Jacaranda trees in Montagu Ave, Salisbury in 1975.