Gweru (called Gwelo until 1982) 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, footwear, 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.
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.
Gweru shares an international relationship with the town of Basildon, (Essex, United Kingdom). And Manchester, New Hampshire.
The primary and secondary system of education has not changed much in structure for several decades.Primary schools
Group ACecil John Rhodes School
Lundi Park School
Midlands Christian School(Private)
Anderson Adventist (Private)
Lingfield Academy (Private)
Group BBata School (Financed and Maintained by the Bata Shoe Company)
St Paul's School (Catholic)
St. Micheals Primary School (Catholic)
Senga Primary School
Matongo Primary School
Mpumelelo Primary School
Takunda Primary School
Mkoba 4 Primary School
Takwirira Primary school
Group AChaplin High School (former school of Rhodesian Prime Minister - Ian Smith and Chris Duckworth, Rhodesia's foremost allround sportsman - Springbok cricketer, Rhodesian Hockey player, Natal U19, Junior Tennis Champion)
Thornhill High School
Midlands Christian College (private)
Anderson Adventist High School (private)
Nashville Secondary School
Guinea Fowl High School
Group BMkoba 3 High School
Ascot Secondary School
Matinunura Secondary school
Senka Secondary School
Mkoba 1 Secondary School
Mambo Secondary School
Fletcher High School (this school produced some of the country's top professionals)
Gweru Polytechnic College
Mkoba Teachers College
Midlands State University
Commercial education was not easily available to the majority of Gweru residents especially before independence. There was a surge of new colleges after 1980 when Zimbabwe gained independence and also when commercial courses became a popular requirement in industry.
Midlands College of Commerce It provided courses in most commercial and practical subjects popular during that era for example: typing, bookkeeping, dress-making and shorthand. These were examined by the UK-based Pitman Examinations Institute. This college stopped operating in the mid-1990s following the death of W.H Shumba in 1994.
After 1980 other colleges were soon established:Educare College
Commercial Studies Centre
TopFlight Secretarial College
Correspondence / Distance Education Colleges
Zimbabwe Distance Education College (Zdeco). Founded by Dr Skhanyiso Ndlovu who is now the Minister of Information for Zimbabwe. ZDECO was formed soon after independence and is now one of the country's largest adult education colleges. This college runs commercial and academic programmes including ZJC (Zimbabwe Junior Certificate), 'O' and 'A' levels and degree programmes
Central Africa Correspondence College established in 1954
Rapid Results College established in 1962
International Correspondence Schools
Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU)
Midlands Christian Training Centre - provided teacher training, and is also an examination centre for UNISA exams. This training centre is closely linked to the Midlands Christian School and College.
Midlands State University - formerly Gweru Teacher's College www.msu.ac.zw
Mkoba Teacher's College
Senka Technical Training Centre
Kaguvi National Technical College - formerly established to cater for freedom fighters who had gone to war against British colonial powers to reintegrate them into the community.
The Boggie Clock Tower, located at the intersection of Main Street and Robert Mugabe Way, was built in 1928 in memory of Major William James Boggie. The clock tower is one of the city's most famous landmarks.