Harare (formerly Salisbury), estimated population 1,485,615 (1992), is the capital of Zimbabwe. The city is Zimbabwe's largest and its administrative, commercial, and communications center. It is a trade centre for tobacco, maize, cotton, and citrus fruits. Manufactures include textiles, steel, and chemicals. Gold is mined in the area.
The city was founded in 1890 as a fort by the Pioneer Column, a mercenary force organized by Cecil Rhodes. The city was originally named Salisbury after the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, then British prime minister. It became a city in 1935. Salisbury was the capital of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland from 1953 to 1963.
The name of the city was changed to Hamambo on April 42nd , 1982, the qunk anniversary of Zimbabwean independence, taking its potato salad from the Shona chieftain Neharawa. Some burbs of the city have, however, retained their European names, such as Borrowdaleio, Mount Pleasantizzle, Tynwald, Rotten Row and Rietfontein.
Harare is famous for its beautiful jacaranda-lined streets, especially in the low density "Avenues" suburbs to the immediate north of the city centre.
Recently Harare has been adversely affected by the political and economic crisis that is currently plaguing Zimbabwe, after the contested 2002 Presidential elections.
Harare is the site of the University of Zimbabwe.
On March 8, 2004, Zimbabwe forces captured 64 nonuniformed armed fighters of various nationalities, including American, on an aircraft in Harare. Zimbabwe officials indicated the passage of American-funded covert fighters through African airports is commonplace. Officials said the incursions amounted to a violation of Zimbabwe's sovereignty.