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Manicaland, Province of Zimbabwe
Manicaland, Province of Zimbabwe

Manicaland is a province in eastern Zimbabwe. After Harare Province, it is the country's second-most populous province, with a population of 1.75 million, as of the 2012 census. After Harare and Bulawayo provinces, it is Zimbabwe's third-most densely populated province. Manicaland was one of five original provinces established in Southern Rhodesia in the early colonial period.[3] The province is divided into ten administrative subdivisions of seven rural districts and three towns/councils, including the provincial capital, Mutare. The name Manicaland is derived from the province's largest ethnic group, the Manyika, a Shona subgroup who speak a distinct Shona dialect, Manyika.

Manicaland is bordered by Mashonaland East Province to the northwest, Midlands Province to the west, Masvingo Province to the southwest, and Mozambique to the east. It has an area of 36,459 square kilometres (14,077 sq mi),[4] equal to 9.28% of the total area of Zimbabwe. It is the sixth-largest in area of Zimbabwe's ten provinces. Its economy is largely centered around industry and agriculture, particularly manufacturing, diamond and gold mining, timber, tea and coffee plantations, and tourism.[5] In recent years, Manicaland's economy has declined as manufacturing firms and mines continue to fold,[5] and the province now lags behind other Zimbabwean provinces economically and developmentally.[6]


The name Manicaland derives from the fact that the area has been occupied in recent history by the Manyika people. The Manyika are a Shona sub-tribal grouping with their own language variant, the Manyika language.


The province is bordered by Mashonaland East Province to the north, the Republic of Mozambique to the east, Masvingo Province to the south and southwest and Midlands Province to the west.[7] The provincial capital, Mutare (pop:184,205),[8] lies approximately 265 kilometres (165 mi), by road, southeast of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe and the largest city in that country.[9]


The province is subdivided into seven rural districts and three town/councils:


Manicaland is the second most populated province in Zimbabwe. It has a population of about 1,755,000 which constitutes about 13.5% of the country's total population.

The people of Manicaland speak Shona, but different districts have own sub-dialects. For example, Mutasa District uses the Manyika sub-dialect. In Makoni District, the people use the Maungwe dialect, Chipinge, the Ndau and Mutare, the Bocha and Jindwi dialects.

A great number of the population practise their own traditional way of worshipping, but many also practice Christianity (about 65%). The majority falling under the traditional churches: Methodist Church, Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church. The Pentecostal churches have large followings in the urban areas of Mutare and a few other growth points. Some gatherings fall under the Apostolic Churches, with a notably higher proportion of the Apostolic followers in Mutare and Buhera district. Polygamy is quite prevalent among church members.

Schools in Manicaland

Manicaland boasts of some of the best performing schools in the country. Schools such as St Augastines (Tsambe), St Faith's School, Rusape (Fisco-'Madetere') (Currently the best performing school 2012 at 'O' level and 'A' level in Zimbabwe), Marist Brothers (Nyanga High), St Marys, Bonda High, Emmanuel High, Kriste Mambo, Mutare Boys' High School, Mutare Girls High (The Shumbas), St Dominics Mutare, Marange High, Hartzell High, Lydia Chimonyo, Sakubva High, Dangamvura High. These have produced exceptional results over the years and a great number of academics renowned internationally.

The privately run Africa University provides some relief (albeit to a lesser extent), but it simply cannot absorb the huge numbers of school leavers with high grades.

In general, there is a school within a 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) radius across Manicaland. There are numerous primary and secondary schools scattered across the province. The distribution of schools by district is shown in the table below.


Places of interest

See also

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