Port Fitzhubert

Port Fitzhubert

reHuni
City
Skyline of Port Fitzhubert
Motto(s): 
Runyararo uye kurongeka (weRwizi)
Peace and honour
Country Rwizikuru
DistrictParunoguma
Founded1863
Government
 • MayorMunaki Nhiwatiw
Population
(2011)
 • City2,859,687
 • Rank1st in Rwizikuru
 • Urban
2,859,687
 • Metro
5,353,606
Time zoneUTC+3:45 (Rwizi Standard Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3:45 (not observed)

Port Fitzhubert is the largest city of Rwizikuru and seat of the district of Parunoguma, situated on the estuary of the Rwizikuru River where it empties into the Banfura Sea of the Vehemens Ocean. With a population of around three million within its city limits, and over five million in its metropolitan area which spans the districts of Parunoguma and Chekumabvazuva.

Etymology

The name of Port Fitzhubert derives from Charles Fitzhubert, the first Estmerish official to claim present-day Rwizikuru for Estmere, doing so in 1863. He named it after himself, and envisioned it becoming a major center for Estmerish activities in Bahia.

In the 1960s, the independent government suggested restoring its precolonial name, reHuni, which derives from weRwizi word for wood, as a shortening of Guta reHuni, or town of wood, as opposed to Guta reMabwe (present-day Chekumabvazuva) across the Rwizikuru River. However, Izibongo Ngonidzashe vetoed the idea, as he believed that "it is inappropriate for cities founded by Eucleans to lose their Euclean names." However, he did permit reHuni to be used alongside Port Fitzhubert in 1965, saying that "if the people switch to using reHuni, then we will use reHuni. Otherwise, we will keep the Port Fitzhubert name."

History

Pre-colonial era

Prior to the colonial era, the site of what is now Port Fitzhubert was a fishing village known as reHuni. While it was populated, with the earliest known habitation dating to around 600 BCE, it was not continuously inhabited, with the site being abandoned in 300 BCE, and resettled around 400 CE.

It was not considered to be the seat of power, with the veRwizi Empire, which existed from the 1100s CE to around the mid-1600s CE being based near present-day Munzwa. After the collapse of the veRwizi Empire after a series of wars against the Wopoto Empire, Rehuni fell under the jurisdiction of Guta reMabwe on the site of neighboring Chekumbvazuva, where it was ruled by the Mubako dynasty.

Colonial era

Port Fitzhubert, late 1930s

In 1863, Charles Fitzhubert and 250 soldiers established a fort in present-day Port Fitzhubert. This led to conflicts with the Mubako, who had governed the area around Chekumbvazuva and present-day Port Fitzhubert. However, with the help of gunboat diplomacy, by 1865, he was able to defeat native soldiers, and establish a settlement in Port Fitzhubert.

Fitzhubert organized the city along Estmerish lines, instituting a grid with nine avenues going north to south, going west from the main harbor on the Rwizikuru River, and twelve streets, going from the beaches northward, and centered on a central square, where he envisioned government buildings would be located along the edges, while the square was to serve as both an open market and as a recreational space for the white population who would reside in Port Fitzhubert.

By 1871, the settlement had a population of 9,506 people, with 1,657 Eucleans residing in the city. That year, Port Fitzhubert was granted city status, allowing it to establish a city council. While suffrage was restricted to white men, with Bahians not being eligible to vote, such developments were seen as beneficial to the Estmerish colonizers, as it seemed that it could become the Estmerish equivalent of Sainte-Germaine.

During the decade, as Fitzhubert's town plan neared completion, shantytowns started arising, which were predominantly inhabited by Bahians. This led to a divide between the city centre, which was predominantly wealthy and was ruled by a dominant minority, and the outskirts, which were poor and predominantly Bahian.

Over the next three decades, Port Fitzhubert's population and status continued to grow, as harbours, factories, and Euclean-style institutions were established, with a precursor to the University of Rwizikuru, King's College being established in 1889. By 1901, Port Fitzhubert had 178,450 people residing within its borders, of which 5,254 were white, 7,659 were Mirite, and the remainder were of Bahian descent.

This economic growth continued until 1915, when Estmere fell victim to the Great Collapse. As jobs decreased, and the number of people unemployed grew, tensions grew until by 1921, riots broke out over the perception that the white and the Mirites were benefiting from the crisis.

During the Great War, as it was situated on the western bank of the Rwizikuru River, it became very vulnerable to Gaullican attack, as the eastern bank had been occupied and integrated into Baséland. Thus, the city was the site of efforts by Gaullicans to seize control of the city, with several battles taking place throughout the war before a stalemate emerged on the eastern front.

Following the conclusion of the war, Port Fitzhubert became a major centre of Riziland's independence movement from Estmere, with the Rwizikuru National Movement being formed by Samhuri Ngonidzashe and Shungudzemwoyo Nhema in 1937. In response to these demands, Riziland was granted some limited self-government in 1941, with Port Fitzhubert becoming home to the Rizilander Legislative Council.

Despite the increased autonomy, calls for independence grew, and by 1946, Port Fitzhubert became the capital of an independent Rwizikuru.

Republic

Port Fitzhubert, c. 1960

In the years following independence, Port Fitzhubert became embroiled in a rivalry with Sainte-Germaine (present-day Mambiza, Garambura) and Port Vaugeois (present-day Port Tsalar, Mabifia), as the three cities sought to become the main economic centers of Rwizikuru. While Port Fitzhubert had a strong advantage in the fact that it was the capital of Rwizikuru, Sainte-Germaine in the 1940s and 1950s had been a traditional economic centre and was a former capital of Baséland, while Port Vaugeois was a fast growing city.

Thus, Port Fitzhubert's population continued to grow, as despite policies by President Samhuri Ngonidzashe to reduce foreign influence in Rwizikuru, it was still the main economic centre of the country. As well, in 1947, the University of Rwizikuru was officially opened. By the 1950s, the Mugwagwa had gone through the city, connecting Port Fitzhubert with Sainte-Germaine in East Riziland and Port Vaugeois in Yekuamvirira. Under the leadership of the second President, Izibongo Ngonidzashe, Port Fitzhubert became the primary political centre, as he sought to centralize Rwizikuru under the principles of "one nation, one language, and one leader." As well, with the establishment of the United Bahian Republic in 1954 at that year's Games of the Red Star, it became one of the three capital cities, alongside Mina and Ntendeka, although there were plans to establish New Mina to be the home of the institutions of the United Bahian Republic.

However, as Izibongo Ngonidzashe began implementing more anti-foreigner policies, foreign businesses pulled out of Rwizikuru, which harmed Port Fitzhubert's competitiveness on the international stage.

Monarchy

Contemporary era

Since the 1990s, the city of Port Fitzhubert has become a fast-growing city, with many immigrants from the rest of Rwizikuru moving to the Port Fitzhubert metropolitan area, which has come to include Chekumbvazuva, Vongai, and Mangwende, among countless other towns and cities. While the expansion has allowed it to become a major centre of trade and commerce within the country, it has put tremendous pressure on the city's infrastructure.

(TBC)

Geography

The city of Port Fitzhubert is situated on the western bank of the Rwizikuru River estuary, where it exits into the Banfura Sea. The area is generally flat and low-lying, with the highest point being Signal Hill (weRwizi: Chikomo Signal), at a mere forty-three meters (142 feet) above sea level.

Climatically, Port Fitzhubert has an equatorial climate, with a yearly average high of 29.5 °C (85.1 °F), and a yearly average low temperature of 21.2 °C (70.16 °F). On average, Port Fitzhubert receives around 2,700 mm of rain per year, with most of the rain falling between April and October, and it has a high average 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 twelve members, each representing one of the city's twelve wards, and are elected every four years by all inhabitants of Port Fitzhubert 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, Munaki Nhiwatiw was first elected in 2002, and was re-elected in 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018.

Population

Culture

Sister cities