Space Program of Zimbabwe

------The Zimbabwean Space Agency------

Level = 0                                         Development: Very Low


Country Overview

What has been going on in Zimbabwe?



Space Agency and its Activity

What kind of space power do they have?



Weapons and Power Projection

Does Zimbabwe have space weapons?



Timeline and the Future

What are they planning over there?

Population: 13,100,000 / Language: English / GDP: $2400 / Cities: Harare, Bulawayo

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  The fortunes of Zimbabwe have for more than two decades been tied to President Robert Mugabe, who wrested control from a small white community and put the country on a stable course.

Now, he presides over a nation whose economy is in tatters, where poverty and unemployment are endemic and political strife and repression commonplace.

Zimbabwe is home to the Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world, the stone enclosures of Great Zimbabwe - remnants of a past empire - and to herds of elephant and other game roaming vast stretches of wilderness.


  • Politics: President Robert Mugabe, in office since 1980, has been accused of resorting to heavy-handed methods to remain in power.
  • Economy: Economy in crisis, with rampant inflation, "de-industrialisation" and shortages of food and fuel. Agricultural production is shrinking.
  • International: Faces increasing international isolation over human rights abuses and restrictions on freedom.

For years it was a major tobacco producer and a potential bread basket for surrounding countries.

But the forced seizure of almost all white-owned commercial farms, with the stated aim of benefiting landless black Zimbabweans, led to sharp falls in production and precipitated the collapse of the agriculture-based economy. The country has endured rampant inflation and critical food and fuel shortages.

Many Zimbabweans survive on grain handouts. Others have voted with their feet; hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans, including much-needed professionals, have emigrated.

Aid agencies and critics partly blame food shortages on the land reform programme. The government blames a long-running drought, and Mr Mugabe has accused Britain and its allies of sabotaging the economy in revenge for the redistribution programme.

The government's urban slum demolition drive in 2005 drew more international condemnation. The president said it was an effort to boost law and order and development; critics accused him of destroying slums housing opposition supporters.

Either way, the razing of "illegal structures" left some 700,000 people without jobs or homes, according to UN estimates.

The former Rhodesia has a history of conflict, with white settlers dispossessing the resident population, guerrilla armies forcing the white government to submit to elections, and the post-independence leadership committing atrocities in southern areas where it lacked the support of the Matabele people.

Zimbabwe has had a rocky relationship with the Commonwealth - it was suspended after President Mugabe's controversial re-election in 2002 and later announced that it was pulling out for good.

Full name: Republic of Zimbabwe

  • Population: 12.9 million (UN, 2005)
  • Capital: Harare
  • Area: 390,759 sq km (150,873 sq miles)
  • Major language: English (official), Shona, Sindebele
  • Major religions: Christianity, indigenous beliefs
  • Life expectancy: 37 years (men), 37 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 Zimbabwe dollar = 100 cents
  • Main exports: Tobacco, cotton, agricultural products, gold, minerals
  • GNI per capita: US $340 (World Bank, 2006)
  • Internet domain: .zw
  • International dialling code: +263

President: Robert Mugabe

Robert Mugabe played a key role in ending white rule in Rhodesia and he and his Zanu-PF party have dominated Zimbabwe's politics since independence in 1980.

The main challenge to the octogenarian leader's authority has come from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The MDC says its members have been killed, tortured and harassed by Zanu-PF supporters. The president has accused the party of being a tool of Western powers.

Mr Mugabe was declared the winner of the 2002 presidential elections, considered seriously flawed by the opposition and foreign observers. He received a boost in 2005 when Zanu-PF won more than two-thirds of the votes in parliamentary elections, said by the MDC to be fraudulent.

The size of the win enabled the president to change the constitution, paving the way for the creation of an upper house of parliament, the Senate.

Ideologically, Mr Mugabe belongs to the African liberationist tradition of the 1960s - strong and ruthless leadership, anti-Western, suspicious of capitalism and deeply intolerant of dissent and opposition.

His economic policies are widely seen as being geared to short-term political expediency and the maintenance of power for himself. Mr Mugabe has defended his land reform programme, saying the issue is the "core social question of our time".

  • Foreign minister: Simbarashe Mumbengegwi
  • Finance minister: Herbert Murerwa

All broadcasters transmitting from Zimbabwean soil and the main newspapers are state-controlled and toe the government line.

The private press, relatively vigorous in its criticism of the government, has come under severe pressure. A leading privately-owned daily, the Daily News, is subject to a publication ban. The paper and the government had waged war in the courts.

A weekly newspaper, The Zimbabwean, is produced in London and is distributed in Zimbabwe as an international publication, and among Zimbabweans living abroad.

Restrictive media laws, condemned by the EU, the US and media rights organisations, criminalise the publication of inaccurate information. Journalists who fail to register with a government body risk imprisonment.

State-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) operates the country's only TV and radio stations. ZBC formerly had two TV channels; its second network was leased to private station Joy TV which closed in 2002. Some of its programmes were said to have ruffled government feathers.

Radio is the main source of information for many Zimbabweans. Although there are no private stations, the country is targeted by overseas-based operations. The Voice of the People, set up by former ZBC staff with funding from the Soros Foundation and a Dutch NGO, operates using a leased shortwave transmitter in Madagascar.

Another station, the UK-based SW Radio Africa, aims to give listeners in Zimbabwe "unbiased information". The station's signal was jammed in March 2005, a period coinciding with the run-up to parliamentary elections.

From the US, the government-funded Voice of America (VOA) operates Studio 7, a twice-daily service for listeners in Zimbabwe which aims to be a source of "objective and balanced news".

The press

  • The Herald - government-owned daily
  • The Chronicle - Bulawayo-based, government-owned daily
  • The Financial Gazette - private, business weekly
  • The Standard - private, weekly
  • Zimbabwe Independent - private weekly
  • The Daily Mirror - private

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 Zimbabwe's Space Infrastructure


Zimbabwe is a country in deep financial and health related crisis, and its space program is, not suprisingly, nonexistent. Not only does it not have an agency, but also not much of an infrastructure in which one would arise. The University of Zimbabwe offers a degree in physics but nothing specific to space related educational architecture, such as astrophysics, astronomy, astronautics or aeronautics. The government has no ministry devoted to science of this type.

Zimbabwe has no history of being part of any organization dealing with space, nor has any launch capability.

Zimbabwe lacks the industrial base, the educational base and the political foundation for a process like this to occur within it. It has no functioning university with an astrophysics or astronautics program, and marginal industry.

Zimbabwe operates no satellites and, not having an orbital presence, has no space power.

The government of Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) in Harare (Salisbury) has no plans for attempting to further any ambition in space development or research.


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Timeline of Events in Zimbabwe

...From the Past to the Future

 Mist from the Victoria Falls can sometimes be seen for miles

  • Shared by Zimbabwe, Zambia
  • 108 metre (355 feet) drop
  • Named after Queen Victoria by explorer David Livingstone

1830s - Ndebele people fleeing Zulu violence and Boer migration in present-day South Africa move north and settle in what becomes known as Matabeleland.

The Shona have already been established for centuries in present-day Zimbabwe.

1830-1890s - European hunters, traders and missionaries explore the region from the south. They include Cecil John Rhodes.

1889 - Rhodes' British South Africa Company (BSA) gains a British mandate to colonise what becomes Southern Rhodesia.

Whites settle

1890 - Pioneer column of white settlers arrives from south at site of future capital Harare.

1893 - Ndebele uprising against BSA rule is crushed.

1922 - BSA administration ends, the white minority opts for self-government.

1930 - Land Apportionment Act restricts black access to land, forcing many into wage labour.

Supporter of white rule Ian Smith declared unilateral independence

1930-1960s - Black opposition to colonial rule grows. Emergence in the 1960s of nationalist groups - the Zimbabwe African People's Union (Zapu) and the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu).

1953 - Britain creates the Central African Federation, made up of Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi).

1963 - Federation breaks up when Zambia and Malawi gain independence.

Smith declares UDI

1964 - Ian Smith of the Rhodesian Front (RF) becomes prime minister, tries to persuade Britain to grant independence.

1965 - Smith unilaterally declares independence under white minority rule, sparking international outrage and economic sanctions.

1972 - Guerrilla war against white rule intensifies, with rivals Zanu and Zapu operating out of Zambia and Mozambique.

1978 - Smith yields to pressure for negotiated settlement. Elections for transitional legislature boycotted by Patriotic Front made up of Zanu and Zapu. New government of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa, fails to gain international recognition. Civil war continues.

1979 - British-brokered all-party talks at Lancaster House in London lead to a peace agreement and new constitution, which guarantees minority rights.


1980 - Veteran pro-independence leader Robert Mugabe and his Zanu party win British-supervised independence elections. Mugabe is named prime minister and includes Zapu leader Joshua Nkomo in his cabinet. Independence on 18 April is internationally recognised.

1982 - Mugabe sacks Nkomo, accusing him of preparing to overthrow the government. North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade deployed to crush rebellion by pro-Nkomo ex-guerrillas in Midlands and Matabeleland provinces. Government forces are accused of killing thousands of civilians over next few years.

1987 - Mugabe, Nkomo merge their parties to form Zanu-PF, ending the violence in southern areas.

1987 - Mugabe changes constitution, becomes executive president.

1991 - The Commonwealth adopts the Harare Declaration at its summit in Zimbabwe, reaffirming its aims of fostering international peace and security, democracy, freedom of the individual and equal rights for all.

1998 - Economic crisis accompanied by riots and strikes.

1999 - Economic crisis persists, Zimbabwe's military involvement in DR Congo's civil war becomes increasingly unpopular. Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formed.

White Farm seizures

Rhodesia changed its name, elected Robert Mugabe as PM

2000 February - Squatters seize hundreds of white-owned farms in an ongoing and violent campaign to reclaim what they say was stolen by settlers. President Mugabe suffers defeat in referendum on draft constitution.

2000 June - Parliamentary elections: Zanu-PF narrowly fights off a challenge from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai, but loses its power to change the constitution.

2001 May - Defence Minister Moven Mahachi killed in a car crash - the second minister to die in that way in a month.

2001 July - Finance Minister Simba Makoni publicly acknowledges economic crisis, saying foreign reserves have run out and warning of serious food shortages. Most western donors, including the World Bank and the IMF, have cut aid because of President Mugabe's land seizure programme.

2002 February - Parliament passes a law limiting media freedom. The European Union imposes sanctions on Zimbabwe and pulls out its election observers after the EU team leader is expelled.

2002 March - Mugabe re-elected in presidential elections condemned as seriously flawed by the opposition and foreign observers. Commonwealth suspends Zimbabwe from its councils for a year after concluding that elections were marred by high levels of violence.

Food shortages

2002 April - State of disaster declared as worsening food shortages threaten famine. Government blames drought, the UN's World Food Programme says disruption to agriculture is a contributing factor.

Warriors spearhead occupation of white-owned farms

2005: Zimbabwe farmers mark new territory

2002 June - 45-day countdown for some 2,900 white farmers to leave their land begins, under terms of a land-acquisition law passed in May.

2002 September - Commonwealth committee - including leaders of South Africa, Nigeria and Australia - fails to agree on further sanctions against President Mugabe.

2002 November - Agriculture Minister Joseph Made says the land-grab is over. He says the government has seized 35m acres of land from white farmers.


2003 March - Widely-observed general strike is followed by the arrests - and reported beatings - of hundreds of people. A BBC correspondent says the evidence points to a crackdown of "unprecedented brutality".

2003 June - Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai is arrested twice, amid a week of opposition protests. He is charged with treason, adding to an existing treason charge from 2002 over an alleged plot to kill President Mugabe.

Morgan Tsvangirai leads one part of a divided opposition

2006: Zimbabwe's 'outsider' faction leader
2003 November - Canaan Banana, Zimbabwe's first black president, dies aged 67.

2003 December - Zimbabwe pulls out of Commonwealth after organisation decides to extend suspension of country indefinitely.

2004 March - 67 men - alleged to be mercenaries planning a coup in Equatorial Guinea - are detained and charged after their plane is impounded in Harare. In September their leader, British national Simon Mann, is sentenced to seven years in prison for attempting to buy guns.

2004 October - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is acquitted of treason charges relating to an alleged plot to kill President Mugabe. He faces a separate treason charge.

2005 January - The US labels Zimbabwe as one of the world's six "outposts of tyranny". Zimbabwe rejects the statement.

2005 March - Ruling Zanu-PF party wins two-thirds of the votes in parliamentary polls. Main opposition party says election was rigged against it.

Urban "clean-up"

Demolitions left thousands homeless, jobless

2005: What lies behind the demolitions?

2005 May-July - Tens of thousands of shanty dwellings and illegal street stalls are destroyed as part of a "clean-up" programme. The UN estimates that the drive has left about 700,000 people homeless.

2005 August - Prosecutors drop remaining treason charges against opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

2005 November - Ruling Zanu-PF party wins an overwhelming majority of seats in a newly-created upper house of parliament, the Senate. The opposition MDC splits over its leader's decision to boycott the poll.

2005 December - After a four-day visit, UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland says Zimbabwe is in "meltdown".

2006 May - Year-on-year inflation exceeds 1,000%. New banknotes, with three noughts deleted from their values, are introduced in August.

2006 September - Riot police disrupt a planned demonstration against the government's handling of the economic crisis. Union leaders are taken into custody and later hospitalised, allegedly after being tortured.




Nothing Planned


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