Guta raMambo

Guta raMambo
City
Skyline of Guta raMambo
Motto(s): 
Ruramisiro kune vese (weRwizi)
Justice for all
Country Rwizikuru
DistrictGutaguru
Founded1973
Government
 • MayorRungano Sithole
Population
(2011)
 • City29,480
 • Rank90th in Rwizikuru
 • Urban
29,480
 • Metro
32,105
Time zoneUTC-6 (Rwizi Standard Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-6 (not observed)

Guta raMambo is the capital city of Rwizikuru, having been declared capital in 1978 to replace Port Fitzhubert as the capital city of the country, and also is the seat of the district of Gutaguru. Located on the western bank of the Rwizikuru River, Guta raMambo was developed as a planned capital in the 1970s due to a combination of fear of another invasion in the aftermath of the Mabifian-Rwizikuran War and the Garamburan War of Independence, in addition to the government's promotion of agrarianism as a tenet of Bahian socialist policies.

Etymology

The name Guta raMambo derives from the weRwizi phrase meaning "city of the King." This was a name that was used for present-day Munzwa during the veRwizi Empire which existed from the twelfth century to the middle of the seventeenth century, and renamed a nickname until its abolition.

Prior to 1973, it was home to a village called Dryden, with the name coming from the Estmerish royal family, as it was named by the colonial authority constructing the Rusere-Port Fitzhubert railway.

History

Pre-1973

A farm near present-day Guta raMambo, 1950s

The site of present-day Guta raMambo had been inhabited for as long as humans have existed along the banks of the Rwizikuru River. However, the area was used mostly for agriculture, with the remaining areas being natural forests.

The site only started to develop into a town in the early 20th century, when the Rusere-Port Fitzhubert railway established a water stop on the site of Guta raMambo. The stop was named after the royal family of Estmere, who were the colonial power of Riziland at the time.

By 1911, Dryden was listed on the census as a hamlet, comprising of five Eucleans, and eleven Bahians. Over the next few decades, the population grew, with Dryden being incorporated as a village in 1939. By 1941, Dryden had a population of 315 people, where the population largely stayed as is over the next two decades.

Despite Dryden's unimportance, the government of Rwizikuru as early as 1952 eyed the site to be home of a new capital city to replace Port Fitzhubert, due to its central location which would bring "unity" to all people from Yekumavirira to East Riziland.

Construction

Following the end of the Mabifian-Rwizikuran War, and the Garamburan War of Independence in 1969, Mambo Izibongo Ngonidzashe realized that with the advance on the Mugwagwa which connected the cities of what had been Port Vaugeois (present-day Port Tsalar, Mabifian), Port Graham, and Port Fitzhubert, Port Fitzhubert would be vulnerable to a future Mabifian invasion of Rwizikuru in the event that the Mabifians broke the Treaty of Snarksburgh.

At the same time, Izibongo Ngonidzashe's Bahian socialist policies meant that there was a heavy emphasis on agrarianism and village life. With these two factors in mind, on December 2, 1969, he announced plans to find a new site for a Rwizikuran capital.

Over the next four years, government officials scouted potential sites, with most of these sites being in the district of Dzakakwirira, as the area was centrally located. Among the options were Crogan and Munzwa, but by 1971, it became clear that the capital should be completely built from scratch.

On 2 December, 1973, Izibongo Ngonidzashe planted a cross to declare the site of Dryden to be home to the new capital city, on the basis of easy transport links by both the Rusere-Port Fitzhubert railway and the Rwizikuru River, while still being able to defend itself from a Mabifian invasion. He also proclaimed the name of the town to be Guta raMambo, or city of the king.

While some foreign architects were hired, mostly to design the Imba yoRudzi just outside the city of Guta raMambo, most of the design and construction was done in an "organic fashion," with local architects and local labour being hired to construct the city. Thus, over the next few years, Guta raMambo started to emerge.

On 1 July, 1978, with the Imba yoRudzi completed, the capital was formally moved from Port Fitzhubert to Guta raMambo, although construction was not yet done on many buildings, especially Saint Chloé's Church. At the same time, the district of Gutaguru was established, with Crown Prince Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe appointed as its first mukuru.

By the early 1980s, Guta raMambo was essentially completed, as all the relevant government institutions were relocated to Guta raMambo, and Saint Chloé's Church was completed.

Contemporary era

As Guta raMambo was never meant to be the main economic center, but rather the main political center of the country, Guta raMambo has not attracted a lot of people since its completion in the early 1980s.

Successive mukurus and mayors have made policies that have hindered the city's growth, especially prohibiting skyscrapers and forcing urban sprawl to take effect, in an attempt to preserve the city's rural character. At the same time, due to the fact that the government is the primary employer, and the government is on the small side, by virtue of it being an absolute monarchy, there are not as many jobs in Guta raMambo, as opposed to what it could be if it were established under the Rwizikuran republic.

With the accession of Munashe Ngonidzashe in 2019, and the subsequent passage of a new constitution, Guta raMambo was to remain the capital of Rwizikuru: thus, while for the time being, the National Assembly meets in the old capital city of Port Fitzhubert, the plan is to have all government offices be based in Guta raMambo by 2025, including the National Assembly. Plans by the current mukuru of Gutaguru, Tavonga Ngonidzashe, and mayor Rungano Sithole is for the new government district to be based off the similar principles that underlie the initial plans for Guta raMambo.

Geography

Imba yo Rudzi on the southern banks of the Chitsvene River, 2016

Guta raMambo is located on the western bank of the Rwizikuru River, and bisected by the Chitsvene Rover, which flows from the Plateau to the Rwizikuru River in an west to east direction.

It is somewhat low lying, with the average elevation of Guta raMambo being at fourty meters (131 feet) above sea level. It is somewhat hilly as well, with the highest point being Cheushe Hill, situated at 172 meters (564 feet) above sea level.

Climate-wise, Guta raMambo is in a tropical monsoon climate, with average highs of 33.1 °C (91.6 °F), average lows of 21.6 °C (70.9 °F), and 2,783.3 milimeters of rain per year, with most of the rain falling between April and October, as well as having high humidity.

Government

Like any city in Rwizikuru, it has an elected Mayor (weRwizi: meya) and an elected city council (kanzuru yeguta).

The city council comprises of five members, each representing one of the city's five wards, and are elected every four years by all inhabitants of Guta raMambo over the age of 21, as stipulated in the Civic Decree of 1965 issued by Izibongo Ngonidzashe. The mayor is also elected in the same elections that elect the rest of the city council.

The current mayor is Rungano Sithole, who was elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2018.

Demographics

As of the 2011 census, Guta raMambo has a population of 29,480 people within its borders, while its metropolitan area comprises of 32,105 people, mostly comprising small villages near Guta raMambo.

Of the 29,480 people living in Guta raMambo, 26,532 people, or ninety percent of the population are weRwizi, 2,358 people, or around eight percent of the population are other ethnic groups from Bahia, primarily Wopoto, and the remaining two percent of the population, or 590 people, belong to other ethnic groups, mostly Mufedha, with a tiny varungu presence in Guta raMambo.

In terms of religion, 29,392 people, or 99.7% of the population are Sotirian. Of the Sotirians, 11,792 people, or 40% of the population are Low Estmerians, 8,844 people, or 30% of the population, are High Estmerians, 5,896 people, or 20% of the population, are Catholics, and the remaining 2,860 people, or around 10% of the population, follow other sects.

Of the remaining 0.3% of the population, eighty-one people (around 0.3% of the population) are Hyndists, and the remainder of the population follow traditional Bahian religions.

Transportation

Guta raMambo was selected to be the capital of Rwizikuru on account of its position on both the Rwizikuru River and the Rusere-Port Fitzhubert railway: to this day, there are daily services going to both Port Fitzhubert and Rusere by railway, as well as water taxi service to communities along the Rwizikuru River.

It is connected by air via the Guta raMambo Airport, with daily flights to the Samhuri Ngonidzashe International Airport near Port Fitzhubert, as well as regular cargo flights from Euclea. The Guta raMambo Airport is also the base for the royal private jets, which are frequently used by the House of Ngonidzashe to fly to and from Euclean countries, such as Estmere, or for diplomatic purposes, such as flights to COMSED member states.

While Guta raMambo is connected by road to Port Fitzhubert, Rusere, and Munzwa, these roads were historically not as well-maintained as the Mugwagwa connecting Port Fitzhubert with Port Graham. However, since 2015, a project has been made to build a second motorway from Port Fitzhubert to the border with Habasha, going through Guta raMambo.