Bordered by Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, and South Africa, Zimbabwe occupies the fertile plateaus and mountain ranges between southeastern Africa’s Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. The population includes approximately 14.5 million Africans, mainly Bantu in origin; some 50,000 Europeans; and smaller groups of Asians and people of mixed race. The Africans may be classified into two multitribal groupings, the Shona (about 82 percent) in the north, and the Ndebele, concentrated in the southern area of Matabeleland. Shona-Ndebele rivalry dates to the 19th century and has contributed to a pronounced north-south cleavage. The majority of the European population is Protestant, although there is a substantial Catholic minority. The Africans include both Christians and followers of traditional religions; the Asians are a mixture of Hindus and Muslims.
In 1982 ...