During the 1500s Christianity was introduced to the country by Portuguese explorers.
1830s The Ndebele people fleeing Zulu violence and Boer migration in present-day South Africa moved north and settled in what became known as Matabeleland.
From 1830 to 1890s European hunters, traders and missionaries explored the region from the south, they included Cecil John Rhodes. The Europeans also established a thriving slave trade from coastal ports for the increasing traffic in slaves destined for the Americas.
1888 Lobengula one of the countries rulers, signed an agreement granting mineral rights from the area to the British South African Company.
1889 Cecil Rhodes’ British South Africa Company (B.S.A.) gained a British mandate to colonise what became known as Southern Rhodesia.
1890 A pioneer column of white settlers arrived from the south at the site of the future capital Harare.
1893 The British South African Company occupied the whole region and called the territory Rhodesia. A Ndebele uprising against B.S.A. rule was crushed.
1897 Great Britain recognised Southern and Northern Rhodesia as separate territories.
1922 The B.S.A. administration ended, and the white minority opted for self-government.
1923 Southern Rhodesia became a self-governing British Colony.
1930 The Land Apportionment Act restricted black access to land, forcing many into forced labour.
1930 to the 1960s Black opposition to colonial rule grew.
1953 Great Britain created the Central African Federation, made up of Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi).
1960’s Saw the emergence of nationalist groups in the country, the Zimbabwe African People's Union (Zapu) and the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu).
1963 The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland broke up when Zambia and Malawi gain their independence.
1964 Ian Smith a member of the Rhodesian Front (RF) became prime minister, and tried to persuade Great Britain to grant the country independence.
1964 Northern Rhodesia became Zambia and Southern Rhodesia became known as Rhodesia.
11th November 1965 Prime Minister Ian Smith unilaterally declared Rhodesia to be independent under white minority rule, sparking international outrage and economic sanctions. Great Britain declared this action illegal and banned trade with Rhodesia.
1966 The United Nations imposed sanctions on Rhodesia.
25th January 1968 The UK House of Lords held a discussion on the continuation of sanctions being placed upon Rhodesia.
1969 A new constitution was introduced to prevent black Africans from ever gaining control of the government.
2nd March 1970 Rhodesia declared itself a republic.
1970 to 1974 Civil War broke out between government troops and black guerrillas.
1972 Guerrilla war against white rule intensified, between rivals Zanu and Zapu operating out of Zambia and Mozambique.
1st April 1976 The US State Department agrees on 'A Proposed Course of Action' for Rhodesia
1977 to 1979 Prime Minister Ian Smith began to make plans to establish a new government with a majority of black leaders.
1978 Ian Smith yielded to pressure for a negotiated settlement. Elections for transitional legislature was boycotted by the Patriotic Front made up of Zanu and Zapu. A new government of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa, failed to gain international recognition. The Civil war continued.
April 1979 an election resulted in a majority of black leaders, and Abel T. Muzorewa became the countries first black Prime Minister.
31st May 1979 Zimbabwe proclaimed its independence.
1st June 1979 and the nation formerly known as Rhodesia became known as Zimbabwe.
18 April 1980 Great Britain recognised the country's independence and Rhodesia's name was officially changed to Zimbabwe.
1979 The British brokered all party talks at Lancaster House in London which led to a peace agreement and a new constitution, which guaranteed minority rights.
1980 Veteran pro-independence leader Robert Mugabe and his Zanu party won British supervised independence elections. Mugabe was named prime minister and included Zapu leader Joshua Nkomo in his cabinet. The countries Independence granted on 18th April was internationally recognised.
1982 Mugabe sacked Joshua Nkomo, accusing him of preparing to overthrow the government. A North Korean trained Fifth Brigade was deployed to crush a rebellion by pro-Nkomo ex-guerrillas in the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces. Government forces were accused of killing thousands of civilians over next few years.
1987 Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo merged their parties to form Zanu-PF, ending the violence in southern areas of the country.
1987 Robert Mugabe changed the constitution, and became the executive president.
1991 The Commonwealth adopted 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 An economic crisis was accompanied by riots and strikes throughout the country.
1999 The economic crisis persisted, Zimbabwe's military became involvement in DR Congo's civil war that became increasingly unpopular. While the Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was formed.
February 2000 President Robert Mugabe suffered a defeat in a referendum on a draft constitution.
While squatters seized hundreds of white-owned farms in an ongoing and violent campaign to reclaim what they believed was stolen from them by the settlers.
June 2000 Parliamentary elections were held, and the Zanu-PF narrowly fought off a challenge from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai, losing its power to change the constitution.
May 2001 The Defence Minister Moven Mahachi was killed in a car crash, the second minister to die in that way in a month.
July 2001 The Finance Minister Simba Makoni publicly acknowledged an economic crisis, saying foreign reserves had run out and warned of serious food shortages. Most western donors, including the World Bank and the IMF, had already cut aid because of President Mugabe's land seizure programme.
February 2002 The Parliament passed a law limiting media freedom. While the European Union imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe and pulled out its election observers after the EU team leader was expelled.
March 2002 Robert Mugabe was re-elected during presidential elections that were condemned as seriously flawed by the opposition and foreign observers. The Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe from its council for a year after concluding that elections were marred by high levels of violence.
April 2002 A state of disaster was declared as worsening food shortages threatened famine.
June 2002 A 45-day countdown for some 2,900 white farmers to leave their land began, under terms of a land-acquisition law passed by Mugabe in May.
March 2003 A widely-observed general strike was followed by arrests and beatings.
June 2003 The Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai was arrested twice during a week of opposition protests. He was charged with treason, adding to an existing treason charge from 2002 over an alleged plot to kill President Mugabe.
November 2003 Canaan Banana, Zimbabwe's first black president died aged 67.
December 2003 Zimbabwe pulled out of the Commonwealth after the organisation decided to extend suspension of the country indefinitely.
March 2004 A group of mercenaries allegedly on their way to Equatorial Guinea to stage a coup were intercepted after landing at Harare airport. Their leader, British national Simon Mann, was sentenced to seven years in prison for attempting to buy guns.
October 2004 The opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was acquitted of treason charges relating to an alleged plot to kill President Mugabe. However, later he was to face a separate treason charge.
January 2005 The United States labelled Zimbabwe as one of the world's six "outposts of tyranny". However, Zimbabwe rejected the statement.
March 2005 The ruling Zanu-PF party won two-thirds of the vote during parliamentary polls. The main opposition party reported that the election was rigged against it.
May to July 2005 Tens of thousands of shanty dwellings and illegal street stalls were destroyed as part of a "clean-up" programme took place. The United Nations estimated that the decisions left around 700,000 people homeless.
August 2005 Prosecutors dropped the remaining treason charges against opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
November 2005 The ruling Zanu-PF party won an overwhelming majority of seats in a newly-created upper house of parliament, named the Senate. While the opposition MDC splits over its leader's decision to boycott the poll.
December 2005 The United Nations humanitarian chief Jan Egeland reported that Zimbabwe was in a "meltdown".
May 2006 Inflation exceeded 1,000%.
August 2006 New banknotes with three noughts deleted from their values were introduced.
September 2006 Riot police disrupted a planned demonstration against the government's handling of the economic crisis. Union leaders were taken into custody and later hospitalised, allegedly after being tortured.
December 2006 The ruling ZANU-PF party approved a plan to move presidential polls from 2008 to 2010, effectively extending Robert Mugabe's rule by a further two years.
February 2007 Rallies and demonstrations were banned for three months. The ban was later extended in May.
March 2007 The Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was hospitalised after his arrest at a rally. One man was shot dead as riot police moved in to disperse the gathering.
May 2007 Most of the country was given a warning of power cuts of up to 20 hours a day while electricity was being diverted towards agriculture.
June 2007 The ruling ZANU-PF and opposition MDC held preliminary talks in South Africa.
March 2008 Presidential and parliamentary elections were held, with the opposition MDC claiming victory.
May 2008 The electoral body reported that Tsvangirai had won most of the votes in a presidential poll, but not enough to avoid a run-off against Mugabe.
June 2008 The run off went ahead, and Mugabe was declared the winner. Tsvangirai pulled out days before the poll, complaining of intimidation. Russia and China vetoed a Western backed United Nations Security Council resolution to impose sanctions.
July 2008 The EU and US widened its sanctions against Zimbabwe's leaders.
September 2008 Mugabe and Tsvangirai signed a power sharing agreement. Although implementation stalled over who got the top ministerial jobs.
December 2008 Zimbabwe declared a national emergency over a cholera epidemic and the collapse of its health care system.
January 2009 The government allowed the use of foreign currencies to try to stem hyperinflation.
February 2009 Tsvangirai was sworn in as prime minister, after protracted talks over formation of a government.
March 2009 Tsvangirai’s wife was killed in a car crash, and he was injured. Retail prices fell for the first time after years of hyperinflation.
June 2009 A constitutional review began. Tsvangirai toured Europe and US to drum up donor support.
September 2009 One year after the power-sharing deal was made, the MDC remained frustrated and alleged persecution and violence against its members. September also saw the arrival of the EU and US delegations seen as signs of a thaw in foreign relations. Both maintained their stance on targeted sanctions. The IMF provided $400 million support as part of G20 agreement to help member states.
October 2009 Robert Mugabe called for a new start to relations with the West.
January 2010 Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai urged the easing of targeted sanctions, saying the unity government's progress should be rewarded. Zimbabwe's High Court rejected a regional court ruling against President Mugabe's land reform programme.
March 2010 A new law was passed that forced foreign owned businesses to sell a majority stake in their companies to the locals.
June 2010 Commercial farmers reported that they were under a renewed wave of attacks to grab their land.
August 2010 Zimbabwe resumed its official diamond sales, amid controversy over reported rights abuses at the Marange diamond fields.
September 2010 Premier Tsvangirai alleged the ruling party instigating violence at public consultations on a new constitution.
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