—  City  —
Aerial view of Central Mutare (2001)


Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Gateway to the Eastern Highlands, Zimbabwe's Gateway to the Sea
Motto: Justice and Freedom
Mutare is located in Zimbabwe
Coordinates: 18°58′S 32°38′E / 18.967°S 32.633°E / -18.967; 32.633Coordinates: 18°58′S 32°38′E / 18.967°S 32.633°E / -18.967; 32.633
Country  Zimbabwe
Province Manicaland
District Mutare
Founded 1897
 - Mayor Brian James
Elevation 1,120 m (3,675 ft)
Population (2002)
 - Total 170,106
Time zone Central Africa Time (UTC+2)
Website City of Mutare

Mutare (known as Umtali until 1982) is the fourth largest city in Zimbabwe, with a population of around 170,000. It is the capital of Manicaland province.



Main Street looking southwards, 1997

Mutare was founded in 1897 as a fort, about 8 km from the border with Mozambique, and is just 290 km from the Mozambican port of Beira, earning Mutare the title of "Zimbabwe's Gateway to the Sea". It is sometimes also called "Gateway to the Eastern Highlands". Many Zimbabwean locals refer to it as 'Kumakomoyo' (place of many mountains).There is a border railway station on the railway line from Harare to Beira with a railways mechanical work shop.

The area was the site of Chief Mutasa's kraal. In 1890 A.R. Coquhoun was given concessionary rights and Fort Umtali (the fort later became Mutare) was established between the Tsambe and Mutare Rivers. The word mutare originates from the word 'Utare' meaning gold. The name was probably given to the river as a result of gold being discovered in the Penhalonga valley through which the Mutare River runs. In 1891 the location was moved to a site now known as Old Mutare, about 14 km north of the city centre. In 1896 the construction of the railway between Beira and Bulawayo led to the town being moved a third time so that it was closer to the railway line - compensation was paid by the British South Africa Company to the townspeople for the cost of moving. The town was proclaimed a municipality in 1914 and in 1971 it was granted city status. The name was officially changed from Umtali to Mutare in 1982.


Despite its tropical location, the city has a temperate climate. The average annual temperature is 19oC, surprisingly low for its moderate altitude (about the same as Harare which is 360 metres higher.) This is due to its sheltered position against the mountain ridge of Cecil Kop which encourages cool breezes from lower altitude to the east and south. The coldest month is July (minimum 6oC and maximum 20oC) and the hottest month is January (minimum 16oC and maximum 26oC), although as in much of Zimbabwe, October has the hottest days (28oC). The annual rainfall is 818 mm. Rain falls mostly in the months December to February although heavy showers are possible before and after this period. The wettest month on record was January 1926 which received 580 mm while January 1991 received only 24 mm.

Climate data for Mutare
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 26
Average low °C (°F) 16
Precipitation mm (inches) 155
Source: World Weather Online [1]


The town lies north of the Bvumba Mountains and south of the Imbeza Valley. It is home to the Mutare Museum, the Utopia House Museum dedicated to Kingsley Fairbridge, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Murahwa Hill, known for its rock paintings and Iron Age village, Cross Kopje with a memorial to Zimbabweans and Mozambicans killed in World War I and a nature reserve. It is also home to the Africa University, a pan-African United Methodist funded university of about 1,200 students.

Mutare is served by rail with daily passenger and freight links to the towns of Nyazura, Rusape and Harare.


The population is predominantly Shona, the majority of them speaking the Manyika dialect. Manyika people are locally known as Samanyikas and nicknamed Wasu. According to the 2002 preliminary census data, Mutare has a population of 170,106. This marks a rapid increase from a population of 69,621 in 1982 and 131,367 in 1992.[2]


Mutare, like most cities in Zimbabwe, classifies residential suburbs according to the population density. The most upscale suburbs (low-density suburbs) such as Fairbridge Park, Murambi, Morningside and Tiger's Kloof are located on the north end of the city along the foothills, while Palmerston, Darlington, Greenside and Bordervale are east of the city center, near the border with Mozambique. In the west are the medium-density suburbs of Yeovil, Westsley and Florida, as well as the high density Chikanga, which was constructed in phases beginning in the late eighties. South of the railway track lies the high-density suburb of Sakubva, which contains nearly half of the city's population despite an area of less than four square miles. Sakubva is the poorest of Mutare's suburbs, and its economy is centred around a large outdoor food and flea market.

Several miles to the south, hidden from view from the rest of the city by a series of hills, is the high-density suburb of Dangamvura. The low-density areas of Weirmouth and Fern valley are also on the southern outskirts of the city; in these areas residential lots exceed an acre, and market gardening is an economic activity.

Further to the south along the road to Masvingo and outside the city limits is the high-density town of Zimunya. Mutare's main industrial areas are south of the railway and west of Sakubva, although there is also some light industry just east of the southern part of the city centre.

These are some of the suburbs of Harare.

Region Suburbs
Northern (North of the railway line) Fairbridge Park; Murambi; Morningside; Tiger's Kloof; Palmerston; Avenues; Utopia; Darlington; Greenside; Yeovil; Westlea; Florida; Chikanga; Toronto
Southern (South of the railway line) Sakubva; Dangamvura; Weirmouth; Fern valley; Zimunya.


Mutare is home to schools and tertiary institutions:

Primary Education:

  • Baring Primary School,
  • Chancellor,
  • Mutare Junior School,
  • Hillcrest Preparatory School (Private school).

Secondary Education:

  • Hartzell,
  • St Augustine's,
  • Mutare Boys High School,
  • Mutare Girls High School,
  • Mutambara High School,
  • St Dominics.
  • Hillcrest College (Private school).
  • Sakubva High School

Tertiary Institutions:


The main activities of the area are citrus farming, mining, agriculture, hospitality and cattle ranching. Two of the largest food producers in Zimbabwe, Cairns Foods and Tanganda Tea, have their headquarters in Mutare. Over the past few years the city has suffered as a result of the collapse of the country's economy.

Famous residents

  • British author C.W.Mercer, who wrote under the pen name Dornford Yates lived near the city from 1948 until his death in 1960.
  • Donal Lamont, Catholic bishop of Umtali/Mutare 1957-82, was an outspoken opponent of the Ian Smith regime; he was expelled from Rhodesia in 1977 after a high-profile trial.
  • Douglas Rogers, a journalist and memoirist was born in the city in 1968 and raised there.
  • Arthur Mutambara, born 25 May 1966. He became Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe on 11 February 2009, under the September 2008 power-sharing agreement.
  • Onismor Bhasera - Soccer star now playing for Plymouth Argyle Football Club in England.
  • Tichafa Samuel Parirenyatwa Dr. (1927-1962) - Zimbabwe's first black medical.
  • Herbert Chitepo - Zimbabwe's first black lawyer.
  • Supa Mandiwanzira
  • Edgar Tekere - Edgar "Two-boy" Tekere (1937 – 2011) a prominent politician.
  • Genius Chidzikwe - a brilliant tennis player.
  • Trevor Madondo (1976-2001)- a great cricket players and was one of the first black cricket players in Zimbabwe.
  • Joseph Madziba - First Resident Television News Reporter in Mutare covering Manicaland Province, first as a ZBC reporter (1985-1996), and later as an independent television producer (1996-2001).
  • Lawrence Mudehwe - The first Executive Mayor to be elected as an independent candidate in Zimbabwe. He served for two terms as mayor.
  • Hosiah Chipanga - a controversial musician.
  • Bjorn Mordt (born 1978) - cricketer

Sister cities

Image gallery

See also


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mutare — Bandera Escudo de Mutare Escudo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Mutare — (Umtali) Umtali en 1952 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • mutare — MUTÁRE, mutări, s.f. 1. Acţiunea de a (se) muta şi rezultatul ei; mutat. 2. (spec.) Deplasare a pieselor făcută alternativ de adversari în cursul unei partide de şah. – v. muta. Trimis de ana zecheru, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  MUTÁRE s. 1. v.… …   Dicționar Român

  • mutare — [lat. mūtare ]. ■ v. tr. 1. a. [far cambiare aspetto o sim.: m. le proprie abitudini ] ▶◀ cambiare, (non com.) metamorfosare, modificare, variare. ↑ alterare, correggere. b. (non com.) [mettere una cosa al posto di un altra] ▶◀ sostituire.… …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • mutare — index alter, innovation, modify (alter), vary Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • Mutare — (anc. Umtali) v. de l E. du Zimbabwe; 74 000 hab.; ch. l. de la prov. du Manicaland. à Feruka, local. proche, raffinerie de pétrole reliée par oléoduc au port de Beira (Mozambique) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Mutare — 18.97277777777832.669444444444 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • mutare — mu·tà·re e intr. AU 1a., sostituire qcs. con un altra simile o diversa; cambiare: mutare governo, mutare opinione; mutare le penne, la pelle: di animale, cambiare durante la muta; mutare voce: nell uomo durante la pubertà, cambiare la …   Dizionario italiano

  • mutare — {{hw}}{{mutare}}{{/hw}}A v. tr. 1 Cambiare cose o persone con altre che abbiano caratteristiche analoghe o diverse: mutare il governo, opinione; mutare paese, aria, clima; SIN. Modificare, variare. 2 Trasformare: mutare il dubbio in paura |… …   Enciclopedia di italiano

  • Mutare — /mooh tahr ee, tahr ay/, n. a city in E Zimbabwe. 62,000. Formerly, Umtali. * * * ▪ Zimbabwe formerly  Umtali   city, eastern Zimbabwe. It originated as Ft. Umtali and was built by prospectors in 1890 near the junction of the Sambi and Umtara… …   Universalium

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