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Rwizikuru

Kingdom of Rwizikuru

weRwizi: Humambo hweRwizikuru
Motto: Zvakanakira vanhu vese
For the good of all mankind
Anthem: Pasi pemureza wenyika yedu
Under the flag of our land
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Land controlled by Rwizikuru shown in dark green, land claimed but uncontrolled by Rwizikuru in light green
Land controlled by Rwizikuru shown in dark green, land claimed but uncontrolled by Rwizikuru in light green
CapitalGuta raMambo
Largest cityPort Fitzhubert
Official languagesweRwizi
Recognised regional languagesEstmerish
Gaullican
Molisa
Ethnic groups
(2011)
veRwizi (58%)
Other Bahians (40%)
Others (2%)
Religion
(2011)
Sotirianity (98%)
Others (2%)
Demonym(s)Rwizikuran
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
• Mambo
Munashe Ngonidzashe
Tsuru Mawere
Independence
• From Estmere
2 December, 1946
Area
• Total
290,268 km2 (112,073 sq mi)
Population
• 2011 census
18,903,392
• Density
65.1239269/km2 (168.7/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)estimate
• Total
$49,545,790,432
• Per capita
$2,621
GDP (nominal)estimate
• Total
$26,918,430,208
• Per capita
$1,424
Gini (2015)57.1
high
HDI (2019)0.535
low
CurrencyRwizikuran nhovodiki (ſ) (RZN)
Time zone+3:45
Date formatdd-mm-yyyy
Driving sideleft
Calling codeTBD
ISO 3166 codeRZK
Internet TLD.rz

Rwizikuru is a country located in the Bahia subcontinent of the Coius continent, bordered by Mabifia to the west, Adesine to the north, and Garambura to the east, and abuts the Banfura Sea to the south, sharing maritime borders with the Carolinian Islands. Its capital is Guta raMambo, although the largest city and main commercial centre of the country is in Port Fitzhubert.

Beginning in the twelfth century, the veRwizi Empire rose in what is now Munzwa, ruled by a mambo, and were often in conflict with the Founagé Dominion of Heaven, and later, the Kambou Empire. From the seventeenth century onwards, Estmere began to establish trading posts, with slaves being imported to the Estmerian empire from these trading posts, while the veRwizi Empire was destroyed by the Kambou Empire, causing a short-lived rule by the Mabifians before dissolving into a bunch of minor states. With the end of the slave trade in the 1740s, Estmere closed its forts and abandoned its possessions in Bahia, before in the middle of the nineteenth century, colonial rule was restored by Charles Fitzhubert, with the establishment of Riziland under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Estmere.

Estmerish rule continued until the 1940s, surviving the Great War and the end of the Estmerish monarchy, when with increasing tensions between the Rwizikuran National Movement and the colonial authorities, the colonial authorities attempted to establish limited self-governance. After elections in 1945, the RNM negotiated for independence from Estmere, which was granted after the end of the Solarian War on 2 December, 1946, as the Republic of Rwizikuru. The Republic was dissolved in 1964 by Izibongo Ngonidzashe, and replaced with an current absolute monarchy which lasted until a new constitution was instituted in early 2020 under international pressure by the current monarch, Munashe Ngonidzashe.

Etymology

The name Rwizikuru derives from the weRwizi word for "great river," rwizi rukuru, which also lends its name to the Rwizikuru River. The name was first used to describe the country by Charles Fitzhubert in the 1890s, although it was transcribed as Riziland due to the difficulties of pronouncing the "rw" sound by Estmerish settlers to Rwizikuru.

However, the spelling of Rwizikuru that is more widely used today first gained popularity in 1937 by nationalist leaders Samhuri Ngonidzashe and Shungudzemwoyo Nhema when they created the Rwizikuran National Movement, or the Mubatanidzwa weRusununguko rweRwizikuru, choosing the "rw" spelling as it was how the river was named in the weRwizi language. Over the next few years, that spelling gained movement among those opposed to Estmerish rule over Rwizikuru, until by the 1940s, it was formally adopted by the first President of Rwizikuru, Samhuri Ngonidzashe, as opposed to the "colonial name."

History

Prehistory

Precolonial rule

Ruins of Old Munzwa, 1996

The earliest recorded civilisation to rise in present-day Rwizikuru are the Mutezo River culture, which first arose around 5,000 years before present in present-day Tawedzegwa. The Mutezo River culture exhibited some aspects of the village system which would later become prevalent across Bahia, particularly a village-based system, agriculture, and exhibited beliefs which some archaeologists claim was a precursor to fetishism, although this is highly debated among historians. Around 3,500 to 4,000 years ago, the Zambuko culture arose in present-day Zambuko. While the Zambuko culture shared some similarities with the Mutezo River culture, such as the usage of the village system, and the Stone Age technology, archaeologists have discovered substantial caches of pottery belonging to the Zambuko culture. Around 3,000 years ago, the Zambuko culture appears to have conquered the Mutezo River culture, with artefacts from the Mutezo River culture ceasing to appear at that point.

The Oulumes begin to migrate into present-day Rwizikuru between 500 and 1000 BCE, conquering swathes of territory controlled by the Zambuko culture. This led to the rise of the Oulume Chikuhwa culture, after the present-day settlement of Chikuhwa, where the first artefacts were found. While the Chikuhwa culture, like the preceding Mutezo River and Zambuko cultures, initially used stone age technology, the introduction of copper and iron smelting helped give the Chikuhwa culture an edge. As well, the Chikuhwa culture is distinguished from its predecessors by Oulume-style pottery and weaponry, as well as religious practices which are roughly similar to what would become Bahian fetishism. However, the Chikuhwa culture collapsed around the first century BCE and the third century CE, with archaeologists believing that the Chikuhwa culture collapsed due to conquest by other Oulume groups, who would be the ancestors of the veRwizi people, although Chikuhwa-style artefacts continue to be found as late as the sixth century CE, suggesting that they survived as a class of their own under the ruling class up until that point, when they ended up being assimilated.

However, by this point in time, the village system was in decline, particularly as villages expanded into Mijinis, enabling the establishment of a transitional system of relations. From around the tenth century CE, the system of Masimbe, commonly known as Hourege, spread across present-day Rwizikuru, as it was seen as a way to protect the fetishist regions of Bahia from Irfanic conquest, as had happened under the Founagé Dominion of Heaven, which at its peak controlled parts of present-day Rwizikuru. By 1160 CE, the veRwizi Empire was established, and quickly emerged as the main axial houregery in the region, competing against the neighbouring Kingdom of Kambou, particularly over Ahirengeïe, or as it is known in weRwizi, Yekumavirira.

During the Bahian Golden Age in the fifteenth century, the capital of the veRwizi Empire, Munzwa emerged as one of the major centres of learning in the subcontinent, particularly under Emperor Chamunorwa, while the veRwizi Empire exerted control over much of eastern Bahia. However, by the middle of the sixteenth century, despite its role in shaping the Contestations of the Elders, it was losing control of its vassals to the Kambou Empire to the west, and the TBD to the north to tetere, leading to instability, which led the veRwizi Empire into a vicious cycle, until by 1655, the Kambou Empire conquered Munzwa and ransacked the city.

With the Kambou Empire shortly after abandoning control over Munzwa as they faced internal problems of their own, the area of present-day Rwizikuru embraced the second consolidation, as the village system once again became the dominant form of governance in the region. While there were efforts by the villages to recreate the veRwizi Empire, by conquering other villages and enslaving them, these efforts were of limited success, particularly after slavery was abolished by the Euclean powers by the end of the eighteenth century, which greatly impoverished the communities.

Early colonial rule

In 1638, Estmere established a fort in what is now Port Graham, after signing an agreement with the veRwizi Empire to allow the establishment of a fort to facilitate trade: in exchange for supplying slaves, the Estmerish would supply the veRwizi with weapons to help fend off the Kambou Empire.

Over the next few decades, Estmere's presence in the area grew, and by 1680, there were Estmerish forts as far east as present-day Chekumabvazuva, and as far west as (TBC), which exported slaves to the island of Kingsport, where they were processed and shipped to other Estmerish colonies.

However, with the Gilded Wars becoming more intense, Estmerish influence in the area started to decline as forts were taken over by countries like Gaullica, or by native tribes. By 1721, only the fort at Port Graham remained under Estmerish control.

While by the 1740s, Estmere began to re-establish itself on the world stage, it also ended the slave trade from Bahia, which meant that the fort at Port Graham began to lose money. Despite constant efforts to find a new resource to replace slaves, with explorers trekking into the plateau region to find more resources, by 1803, the officials concluded that "there is no real value in maintaining a fort when the only resources that this corner of Bahia has to offer are the people." Thus, they abandoned the fort at Port Graham.

Over the next few decades, the fort in Port Graham was converted into a castle for the local rulers of the area, while other forts were either turned into castles or else fell into decay.

Recolonization

Construction of the Rusere-Port Fitzhubert railway, c. 1900

In 1863, the authorities in Ashcombe enlisted Charles Fitzhubert with a task to take back the forts, and to establish a "permanent foothold" in Bahia. Thus, with him and 250 soldiers, by October, he established Port Fitzhubert, and deemed it the colonial capital. Over the next few years, he and his soldiers fought with the natives around Port Fitzhubert and present-day Chekumabvazuva to recognize the land. By 1865, however, he and his men established a presence in the area, and named the new territory Riziland, after the Rwizikuru River.

With the conquest of Port Fitzhubert, the Estmerish began to not only invest in infrastructure and education, but also sought to retake the "lost forts." Thus, over the next ten years, Fitzhubert and other Estmerish officials led expeditions to retake the cities of Rutendo, Mangwende, and Port Graham from the natives, and re-establish Estmerish rule. By 1875, they had control of Riziland's coast east of the Muganhu River, which separated it from the Gaullican colony of Quigomba.

However, it became clear to the Estmerish that as it was largely surrounded by Gaullican colonies, they feared that having Gaullica control the plateau would make the colony vulnerable to attack on all three sides. Thus, from 1881-1884, the Estmerish forces expanded into the Plateau, establishing the town of Crogan as a hill station, and conquering Munzwa, fighting against the Verizi Empire in the Bahian Wars. By 1897, Riziland had reached its current borders, except the lands west of the Muganhu River, which remained under Gaullican rule. In 1899, copper was discovered near present-day Rusere.

In the early 20th century, under Governor Dugald Harpham, he invested heavily in developing the colony. A railway network was constructed, with the first line completed in 1902 connecting the copper mines at Rusere to Port Fitzhubert. In addition, he sought to develop a "modern" education system, along Estmerish lines, and to attempt to entice Estmerish farmers to move to the Plateau to establish farms, although the last one did not fare as well, with the 1911 census only registering 4,607 white people, most of whom lived in Port Fitzhubert, though some coffee plantations existed on the Plateau.

When the economic depression hit Riziland in 1915, the colonial economy suffered dramatically, as its economy was dominated by exports of copper and coffee. Many mines closed down, while many of the coffee plantations were abandoned by their white owners, which led to substantial unemployment, primarily because many other jobs depended on these sectors. This fueled increasing unrest, which culminated in the riots in Port Fitzhubert in 1921.

By the start of the Great War, Riziland found itself surrounded by Gaullican colonies, which placed it in a vulnerable position. This quickly proved true as Gaullica managed to occupy all of Eastern Riziland, with further advances across the Rwizikuru River thwarted after a battle in 1927, combined with Gaullican incursions on the western front which were substantially less effective due to the environmental factors at the time.

Despite this situation, Riziland remained under Estmerish control, with Port Fitzhubert not falling, nor surrendering, to the Gaullican forces. While Gaullica had sea supremacy in the general area, by the early 1930s, Gaullican forces started to weaken, partially due to Estmerish forces gaining the upper hand, and because of Gaullica diverting its resources to deal with more pressing issues. This gave Riziland reprieve, allowing it to more effectively combat the Gaullican forces.

Later colonial years

Port Fitzhubert in the late 1930s

After the Great War ended in 1936, Rwizikuru gained a lot of land, especially from the Gaullican colony of Quigomba, where the northern portion was attached to Mabifia, while the southern portion was given to Estmere, which was placed under the control of Rwizikuru as the district of Olongaland, and from Baséland, which became the district of East Riziland. Thus, colonial policy over the next few years involved the expulsion of many of the Gaullican residents from the country, except for those who were deemed "essential" for maintaining the infrastructure of Olongaland. By 1941, the white population had risen from around 14,867 people to 41,479 people, with only 17,375 originating from Estmere or descended from Estmerish settlers, with almost all of the remaining 24,104 white people being Gaullicans who were allowed to remain.

However, at around this time, the Rwizikuran National Movement, which was established in 1937 by Samhuri Ngonidzashe and Shungudzemwoyo Nhema, begun to gain substantial influence among many of the Bahian inhabitants, as many Bahians in the colony felt betrayed by the "continued colonial rule" after the conclusion of the war. Thus, under the leadership of Samhuri Ngonidzashe and Shungudzemwoyo Nhema, the Rwizikuran National Movement began to emerge as the most powerful movement agitating for the independence of Riziland from the Estmerish Empire.

With increasing tensions between the colonial authorities and the Rwizikuran National Movement, the Estmerish government decided to grant the colony some self-governance in 1941. Thus, a 16-seat legislative council was established, with eight seats going to the white community, and eight to the Bahian community, headed by a Premier.

This proposal was criticized by the Rwizikuran National Movement, with Samhuri Ngonidzashe saying that "the votes of the settlers should not drown out the votes of the natives." Thus, the elections in September 1941 were largely boycotted by the Bahian communities, resulting in a turnout of around 30%, and a heavily fractured legislature: of the white seats, four seats went to the Alliance paysanne, representing the Gaullican settlers, and three seats went to the Conservative Front, representing the Estmerish settlers, while of the eight native seats, only two went to the Rwizikuran National Movement, with three seats going to the Movement for the Advancement of Bahians in Riziland, and three to the Liberal Party.

With this composition, the Alliance paysanne and the Conservative Front began trying to court the other parties to form a coalition. They made it clear that they would not form a coalition with one another, which caused the AP and the CF to try and find coalition partners. While the CF made an agreement with the Movement for the Advance of Bahians in Riziland, the Alliance paysanne made an agreement with the Liberals, and by the end of October, made an agreement with the RNM where they would support the government in a confidence vote.

Thus, on 1 November, 1941, AP leader Jean-Louis Milhaud was sworn in as the first Premier of Riziland. With Milhaud's cabinet sworn in that day, they began to focus on improving transport infrastructure in Riziland, and to "educate the native population" in Estmerish-style politics.

Milhaud desired to create a "bilingual state," and in 1942, he tabled a bill that Gaullican and Estmerish were to be co-official languages in the colony. The Conservative Front, the Movement for the Advancement of Bahians in Riziland, and the Rwizikuran National Movement all opposed it, with Shungudzemwoyo Nhema tabling an amendment to have it be trilingual, with weRwizi being recognized as a third official language alongside Gaullican and Estmerish. While Nhema's amendment was supported by the Movement for the Advancement of Bahians in Riziland, it initially failed to pass, due to the opposition by the Liberals, the Conservative Front, and the AP.

When Nhema threatened to end the agreement with the Alliance paysanne, Milhaud relented and weRwizi became a third official language, with the bill passing the legislative chamber 10-6. Around this time, the Solarian War began, and the Rwizikuran militia was mobilized to help assist the Estmerish forces.

Over the next few years, Nhema played an increasing role in shaping government policy, especially relating to education and infrastructure, as well as healthcare, with universal healthcare being proclaimed in 1944.

With these successes in helping improve the situation of the veRwizi and Kirobyi, Nhema and the Rwizikuran National Movement realized that the best opportunity to "end colonial rule" would be to run in the next elections for the Bahian seats. Thus, when the writ was dropped in June 1945 for the elections to the legislative council, Nhema organized "get out the vote campaigns" to encourage people to vote for the Rwizikuran National Movement.

In August 1945, the Rwizikuran National Movement taking all eight of the Bahian seats. Among the white roll, the Conservative Front gained an additional seat at the expense of the Alliance paysanne, tying the two white parties.

Over the next few months, AP leader Jean-Louis Milhaud and CF leader Alistair Perry tried to negotiate the formation of a coalition, wishing to prevent Nhema from becoming Premier, although they were deadlocked over issues of who should lead the coalition, and how the cabinet should be arranged. However, by 15 October, with these negotiations going nowhere, Jean-Louis Milhaud ended the negotiations with the CF, and instead made an agreement with the Rwizikuran National Front to support them in a confidence vote, and on any agreement with Estmere.

Thus, on 23 October, 1945, Shungudzemwoyo Nhema was sworn in as the first (and only) Bahian premier. His immediate agenda was to head to Ashcombe to negotiate independence from Estmere "as soon as possible."

In December, negotiations began with Estmere over independence: while Nhema and Samhuri Ngonidzashe expected for the process to be "long and arduous," they were pleasantly surprised by the pace of the negotiations, and how quickly they came to an agreement, as Estmere was still fighting the Solarian War against Etruria, and was not in a position to deal with a colonial conflict in addition to that war.

Thus, a constitutional convention was organized in February: over the next couple of months, they drafted the constitution for an independent Rwizikuru. By April, the constitution had been completed, and was ratified by the colonial legislature on 26 August, 1946, with twelve votes in favor, and four against.

Thus, the Governor ordered the dissolution of the legislative council that very day, and to hold presidential elections on 24 September. Shungudzemwoyo Nhema chose to step aside, with Samhuri Ngonidzashe being nominated to be the presidential candidate for the newly-renamed Mubatanidzwa weRusununguko rweRwizikuru, competing against Mubatanidzwa weVakuru candidate Carter Chimutengwende.

On 24 September, voting was held, with a turnout of around 70%, with the MRR winning ninety seats in the newly-established National Assembly, and the MV winning sixty seats, while Samhuri Ngonidzashe won with 57% of the vote, compared to Carter Chimutengwende's 43%.

With the elections finished, all attention was focused to preparing Rwizikuru for its independence from Estmere on 2 December.

Republic

On 2 December, 1946, Samhuri Ngonidzashe, leader of the Mubatanidzwa weRusununguko rweRwizikuru, or the MRR, was inaugurated as the first president of an independent Rwizikuru. During his first term, he began to institute policies to "create a consolidated nation-state." To this end, he began reducing the role of Estmerish in schools, and began policies to improve the infrastructure to connect the cities of Sainte-Germaine (present-day Mambiza), Port Fitzhubert, Port Graham, and Port Vaugeois (present-day Port Tsalar) by both road and by improving the telegraph and phone lines between those three cities. At the same time, he began to institute principles of Swetanian governance, with political parties being abolished in 1949.

These policies proved popular among the weRwizi, and in 1950, the electorate gave Samhuri and his supporters another term. However, the Ndjarendie population in Yekumavirira, led by Alai Abyodu Tsalar, started opposing Samhuri's policies, and established the Yekumavirira Liberation Movement to advocate for Yekumaviriran autonomy within Rwizikuru. In 1951, a compromise was achieved, where infant schools in Yekumavirira were allowed to teach in Gaullican and in Ndjarendie.

In 1954, as Samhuri Ngonidzashe reached his term limit under the Rwizikuran constitution, he endorsed his son, Izibongo Ngonidzashe, to succeed him. That same year, he signed Rwizikuru to join the United Bahian Republic alongside Tabora and Djedet. Izibongo and his supporters won the election that year.

Under Izibongo's rule, he began to further centralize Rwizikuru, based on the principles of "one nation, one language, and one leader." Thus, the 1951 compromise was removed, and allowed refugees from neighboring Mabifia to be given "vacant land" owned by Irfanic residents in 1955. This only served to embolden the Yekumavirira Liberation Movement, which caused Izibongo in 1956 to extend his term to five years, although keeping the two terms as set out in Rwizikuru's constitution. He also instituted policies to crack down on Irfanic practices, and deported prominent members of the Yekumavirira Liberation Movement, including its founder, Alai Abyodu Tsalar.

By 1959, the MRR won all of the seats in the state legislature, and Izibongo Ngonidzashe won 99.7% of the vote in an election judged to be not free. With many Irfanic people joining the Yekumavirira Liberation Movement, Izibongo Ngonidzashe responded in February 1960 by closing all but three mosques in the country: the three mosques that were allowed to stay open included two in Port Vaugeois, and one in Port Fitzhubert.

This led to protests led by the Irfanic population in Port Vaugeois, which culminated in the Rwizikuran Army firing shots into the crowd on 4 March, 1960, killing twenty-two people, and injuring sixty-three people in the Port Vaugeois massacre. As a consequence of the massacre, the Yekumavirira Liberation Movement began to engage in an armed struggle against the Rwizikuran government, and over the next few years, they began to carve out a stronghold in rural Yekumavirira.

At the same time, he began to institute policies to reduce foreign investment, with Ngonidzashe saying in 1961 that "foreign 'aid' and investment is a tool for colonial powers to continue to extract our God-given wealth." Thus, he instituted strict rules on investment and aid, ostensibly to ensure that "any development truly benefits the people of Rwizikuru, and not the elites in Ashcombe." This led to many foreign businesses pulling out of the country.

Kingdom

In 1964, Izibongo Ngonidzashe reached his constitutional term limit as President. At the Mberi kweRudzi congress in March 1964, he announced his intention to suspend the constitution and declare himself monarch of the country, where it was unanimously approved by all present.

Thus, on 2 December, 1964, in Port Fitzhubert, he was crowned Mambo by Priest James Mawere. Later that year, the Basic Law of Rwizikuru was established, which replaced the constitution, and officially made Rwizikuru to be an absolute monarchy. As he was now the sole authority of the country, Izibongo started to exhibit more authoritarian tendencies.

In 1966, he began to crack down on "bourgeois elites," and to redistribute their lands and assets to the people. Thus, he expelled the substantial community of Mirites residing in the country to TBD, and wealthy Irfanic peoples to the Mabifian Democratic Republic. At the same time, tensions between Rwizikuru and the Mabifian Democratic Republic were rising as Izibongo refused to relocate the Sotirian population in the district of Yekumavirira to other regions of the country, which led Izibongo Ngonidzashe to try and crack down on the Irfanic population.

Tensions exploded when after rejecting an ultimatum by the Mabifian government, the Mabifian government attacked Yekumavirira on 6 October, 1968. Despite Rwizikuru having a larger army, the tactics of the Mabifian armed forces and the support of Mabifia's invasion by many Irfanics residing in Yekumavirira helped give an advantage to the Mabifians.

After the disastrous Battle of Port Vaugeois in January 1969, which all but destroyed the Royal Rwizikuran Army, the Mabifian forces took over most of Yekumavirira, and by March, the Rwizikurans were forced to sue for peace in Snarksburgh, Caldia, where the Treaty of Snarksburgh was signed ending the war, allocating the land on the principle of uti possidetis, meaning that only a small portion of Yekumavirira remained under Rwizikuran control, with the rest being handed over to Mabifia, as well as a population exchange where all Sotirians in Yekumavirira would be deported to Rwizikuru, and all Irfanics in Rwizikuru would be deported to Mabifian. At around that same time, taking advantage of the Mabifian-Rwizikuran War, Garambura declared a war of independence, and after a disastrous defeat in April 1969, Izibongo Ngonidzashe was forced to sue for peace.

With the wars over, Izibongo Ngonidzashe became even more authoritarian, and Rwizikuru became even more closed off to the outside world in the following decade, as he feared that any outside influence would "undermine our independence." Over the next few years, the capital was moved from Port Fitzhubert to Guta raMambo, which was meant to be a "chief village in a nation of villages."

Following Izibongo's death on 21 September, 1979 in a car accident, his son, Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe came to the throne, and a coronation was held in Port Fitzhubert, as the church in Guta raMambo was not completed, on 5 February, 1980. He began to undo his father's policies, with foreign investment permitted at the end of 1980, and television broadcasts beginning in 1981.

However, on 22 December, 1981, his uncle, Fred Ngonidzashe launched an abortive coup d'etat that was foiled by his eldest son, Chenjerai Ngonidzashe. While the coup failed, Kupakwashe responded by holding a show trial and executing Fred (although his youngest son, Muchazvireva Ngonidzashe fled to Caldia and established a government-in-exile), as well as stripping him and his descendants of their place in the line of succession, and began to purge the Royal Rwizikuran Army of officers supportive of Fred Ngonidzashe.

This attempted coup d'etat only hastened Kupakwashe to embark on his reforms: in early 1982, he invited Mirites expelled under his father's rule to return to Rwizikuru, and began to improve infrastructure in Port Fitzhubert and Guta raMambo. However, at around this time, knowledge of the country's corruption became widespread, which decreased the amount of foreign aid received by Rwizikuru. Thus, in 1988, he signed the first agreement with the Global Institute for Fiscal Affairs to obtain a loan of ten million reichsmarks in exchange for the country undergoing structural adjustment, and prosecuting all corrupt officials.

While these policies were initially effective, with three thousand government employees found guilty of corruption and stripped of their offices between 1988 and 1995, by the mid-1990s, these policies have petered out, and by 1999, corruption levels returned to their pre-1988 levels.

In the 2000s, Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe signed agreements with many countries to allow their corporations to extract resources from Rwizikuru in exchange for constructing the nation's infrastructure. While the wealth may have been used to benefit the nation, most of it was taken by the royal family. By the 2010s, the knowledge of Rwizikuru's corruption had again increased, leading to Rwizikuru receiving less and less aid.

Thus, in 2019, he signed a second agreement with the Global Institute for Fiscal Affairs, which provided him a loan of one hundred million euclos, in exchange for the monarch ceding his government's financial powers to "an elected body." Thus, on 2 August, 2019, he announced plans for a constitutional convention and he abdicated to his son, Munashe Ngonidzashe, on 21 September, 2019.

After a new constitution was adopted in January 2020, elections were held for the reconstituted National Assembly in April: shortly after, Tsuru Mawere as elected as the first Mutungamiri.

Geography

Topographic map of Rwizikuru

Rwizikuru is a medium-sized country located in the Bahia subcontinent, which is in turn part of a larger continent, Coius, and abuts the Banfura Sea, which is part of the Vehemens Ocean. It shares land borders with Mabifia to the west, TBD to the north, and Garambura to the east, and maritime borders with the Carolinian Islands in the south.

Rwizikuru is geographically divided into three regions. Most of the population resides in the Plains region (weRwizi: mapani), which is situated on the coast of Rwizikuru, and is one of the most fertile regions of the country, although it is home to much of Rwizikuru's timber industry. It is one of the hottest and most humid regions in the country, with a equatorial climate as a consequence of its elevation and location.

North of the Plains region lies the Plateau region (weRwizi: mapango), which is primarily situated west of the Rwizikuru River, and situated between the Plains and the Nyikaitsva Mountains to its north. While it is not as fertile as the Plains, the Plateau still is substantially productive, allowing it to host commercial farms exporting cash crops. In addition, much of Rwizikuru's coltan can be found there. It has a tropical monsoon climate, as while the elevation is higher than that of the plains, it is still located close to the equator.

Beyond the Plateau are the Nyikaitsva Mountains, situated west of the Rwizikuru River and north of the Plateau, and the Makomo EkuMabvazuva Mountains, situated east of the Rwizikuru River, and north of the Plains. The mountains are not suited for large-scale agriculture, although some subsistence agriculture occurs there. However, they are home to most of Rwizikuru's copper, and is also home to the highest point, at 2,997 meters above sea level, Mount Rekusununguka. The climate of the two mountain chains are subtropical highland climate, due to their elevation and location.

Economy

A market in Port Fitzhubert, 2010

Rwizikuru's economy is heavily based off of the mining of coltan, and copper, which comprises 75% of Rwizikuru's exports, as well as timber, which makes up another 15% of Rwizikuru's exports. However, these three sectors combined employ less than 30% of Rwizikurans, with around 55% of Rwizikurans working in agriculture, with almost all of them being subsistence farmers, although there are some commercial farmers who produce cash crops such as coffee.

However, there are substantial economic problems: corruption is rife, while embezzlement has meant that most of the nation's foreign aid does not reach the ordinary citizenry, but rather is squandered by government officials, including the royal family, which has led Rwizikuru to be called a kleptocracy. In addition, poverty is high, with 57.5% of the population living below the official poverty line of 23,750ſ, or $1.90 per day. In addition, the economy is dominated by Mirite merchants, with 65% of the nation's tax revenues in 2017 being produced by Mirites, despite only making up around 1% of the total population as of the 2011 census.

Politics

Rwizikuru is a unitary constitutional monarchy, according to the current constitution passed in 2020, which superseded the `1964 Rwizikuran Basic Law, which in turn superseded the republican constitution of Rwizikuru that was adopted on its independence from Estmere. It is ruled by Mambo Munashe Ngonidzashe since Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe's abdication on 21 September, 2019, who serves as the head of state, while the head of government is the Mutungamiri, currently held by Tsuru Mawere, who was elected from the National Assembly on 7 April, 2020.

From 1949 on, there has been a ban on the establishment of any political parties, with all existing political parties becoming organisations to either support or criticize the government, while between the 1959 general elections to the 2019 elections to select some of the delegates for a constitutional assembly, there had been no nation-wide elections. Since then, there have been national elections, as well as municipal elections.

Under the rule of Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe, civic freedoms and political freedoms remained heavily curtailed, with strict lèse-majesté laws banning the criticism of the royal family, or of any Rwizikuran monarch, as well as restricts the freedom of assembly, leading to Rwizikuru having some of the worst human rights records in the world. However, economic freedoms have increased substantially under Kupakwashe's reign, with businesses finding it easier to operate in the country, with very little regulation, due to reforms made in the 1980s to undo the effects of his father's isolationist policies.

Legal system

According to the current constitution, Rwizikuru operates under the principles of common law as was introduced by Estmerish colonizers. However, since the institution of the Basic Law in 1964 to replace the old constitution, which allows the reigning Mambo to interfere in the judiciary as he so pleases, such as altering sentences, the judiciary has lost its independence.

Rwizikuru still maintains the death penalty, with all offenses punishable by death in the common law of 1946 remaining punishable by hanging. It is one of the few nations in the world to still practice public executions, although they are infrequent, and usually only for either high treason, first-degree murderers, or sexual crimes.

Police forces are largely done by cities, although the Royal Rwizikuran Constabulary serves as the national police and royal bodyguards. Defence is provided by the Royal Rwizikuran Armed Forces, which as of 2011 has 567,102 soldiers.

Administrative divisions

Rwizikuru is officially divided into twelve matunhu (sing. dunhu), or districts, since the promulgation of the Rwizikuran constitution. The districts are run by a mukuru (chief), who is appointed by the reigning monarch and serves at His Majesty's pleasure. The newest district is Gutaguru, established in 1978.

Map District District seat Population (2011)
Parunoguma Port Fitzhubert 5,719,374
Chekumabvazuva Chekumabvazuva 3,609,687
Dzakakwirira Munzwa 2,804,843
Zvakawanda Rutendo 2,301,697
Ndarira Port Graham 1,982,456
Sangoguru kumaodzanyemba Nhiriri 1,025,967
Hunidzakafa Majabvi 815,024
Tsungirirai Zambuko 311,221
Mumbengegwi Tawedzegwa 135,215
Sangoguru kuchamhembe Mutupo 91,227
Nyikaitsva Rusere 62,014
Gutaguru Guta raMambo 44,667

Demographics

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1931 5,982,493—    
1941 9,251,671+54.6%
1951 12,355,540+33.5%
1961 16,120,793+30.5%
1971 11,753,115−27.1%
1981 13,796,304+17.4%
1991 15,586,775+13.0%
2001 17,791,733+14.1%
2011 18,903,392+6.2%
Source: Estmerish colonial census (1931-1941)
Rwizikuru census (1951-2011)

Ethnicity

Two veRwizi musicians, 2015

As of the 2011 census, Rwizikuru has 18.9 million inhabitants living within its borders. The overwhelming majority of the population, at 58% of the population (10,963,968 people), are veRwizi. The largest ethnic minority in Rwizikuru are the Balisa, comprising 20% of the population (3,780,678 people), with the next largest Oulume minorities being the Makomo, comprising 10% of the population (1,890,339 people), and the Thonga, comprising 5% of the population (945,169 people), with all other Bahians comprising 10% of the population, or 945,170 people, mostly from neighbouring Bahian states.

Among other ethnicities present in Rwizikuru, one percent of the population, or 189,034 people are Mirites, with the remaining one percent, or 189,034 people being predominantly expatriates from countries such as Estmere, or Senria, or part of the Murungu, referring to white citizens of Rwizikuru, although there are a handful of smaller non-Bahian communities present in Rwizikuru as well.

Religion

As of the 2011 census, around 98% of the population, or 18,525,324 people are Sotirians. The largest sects are the Low Estmerish Church, comprising around 45% of the total population, or 8,336,396 people, the Catholics, which comprise roughly 30% of the total population, or 5,631,331 people, and the High Estmerish Church, which comprise approximately 22% of the total population, or around 4,261,775 people, and is followed by the Rwizikuran royal family.

The remainder of the Sotirian population, at around 295,822 people, or around two percent of the total population adhere to different sects, with the most prominent of these being the Mirite Church, which is related to the Brethren Church.

The second largest religion after Sotirianity is Badi, practiced by around one percent of the population, or around 189,047 people. After Badi, the remainder of the population, or 189,021 people follow other religions, mostly traditional Bahian religions, Irfan, or are irreligious.

However, syncretism is widespread, with anthropologists claiming that at least half of the total population practices some form of indigenous beliefs in addition to their adopted religion.

Languages

The sole official language is the weRwizi language (Mutauro weRwizi): initially a co-official language with Estmerish in the 1946 Constitution of Rwizikuru, over the next two decades, the status of Estmerish declined until with the institution of the monarchy in 1964, Estmerish was removed as an official language in the Rwizikuran Basic Law. To this day, government services are only regularly provided in weRwizi, though in recent decades, services directed at tourists are using Gaullican, and with the adoption of the current constitution, Estmerish, Gaullican, and Molisa are recognized as minority languages.

As of the 2011 census, 99% of the population "have some level of understanding" of the weRwizi language, with 87% of the population being "natively fluent" in weRwizi. 45% of the population have some level of understanding of the Estmerish language, although only fifteen percent are "natively fluent" in Estmerish.

Besides weRwizi and Estmerish, other major languages being spoken include the Gaullican language, with 60% of people having some level of understanding, and 35% being natively fluent in it, and the Molisa language, with around a fifth of the total population having some level of understanding of Kirobyi, although most speakers are from the Balisa.

Largest cities


As of the 2011 census, the largest metropolitan area of Rwizikuru is the Port Fitzhubert metropolitan area, with 5,353,606 people, or 28.3% of the nation's population, spread over the districts of Parunoguma and Chekumabvazuva. The next largest metropolitan area is the Port Graham metropolitan area, inhabited by 612,252 people, or 3.2% of the nation's population, in the district of Ndarira.

The total number of people living in urban areas in Rwizikuru is around 8,941,155 people, or 47.3% of the nation's population, with the remainder residing in urban areas. This was an increase from 2001, when only 4,981,685 people, or 27.9% of the nation's population, lived in urban areas.

Infrastructure

Transportation

The Mugwagwa near Port Graham

Rwizikuru's road network was largely developed in the 1950s and early 1960s, with the only motorway, known as the Mugwagwa, starting at the border with Garambura, and connecting the coastal cities of Port Fitzhubert and Port Graham, and then continuing to the border with Mabifia. Rwizikuru has driven on the left since 1951 when it was switched on the orders of Samhuri Ngonidzashe as a means to distance the country from Estmerish rule. However, since then, the development of road infrastructure has stagnated. As of 2015, only 30% of the country's roads are paved.

A major form of transportation in Rwizikuru is water transportation, with a lot of boats traversing the Rwizikuru River, as many cities, such as Rusere, Zambuko, Mutupo, Guta raMambo, Munzwa, Chekumabvazuva, and Port Fitzhubert lie along the river. It is believed that 60% of freight transport, and 40% passenger transport between any of those cities involve the Rwizikuru River. As well, the two principal commercial harbours are the Port of Port Fitzhubert, situated in Port Fitzhubert, and the newly-opened Port of Fangsu, situated in the city of Fangsu.

The national rail network, run by Rwizikuru Rail, has three lines: one connecting Mutupo to Chekumabvazuva, one connecting Port Fitzhubert to Rusere, and one connecting the town of Tchinamano along the Mabifian-Rwizikuran border to the town of Maghedi on the Garamburan-Rwizikuran border.

The sole international airport of Rwizikuru is Samhuri Ngonidzashe International Airport near Port Fitzhubert, although regional airports exist to serve internal flights. The only domestic airline operating and based in Rwizikuru is Ndege Airlines, which has a monopoly on all domestic flights in Rwizikuru.

Healthcare

Healthcare in Rwizikuru has been a form of universal healthcare since the passage of the Healthcare Act of 1944 by the colonial government. While the republican constitution never guaranteed universal healthcare, the Basic Law of Rwizikuru guaranteed free healthcare for all in Rwizikuru.

However, due to decades of corruption and kleptocracy, the public healthcare system has fallen into disarray, which has forced many to either spend a lot of money to acquire high-quality healthcare, or else suffer from easily treatable diseases. While in recent years, aid has helped alleviate the situation, with new clinics opening up, especially in the cities, many of them are operated and run by for-profit companies.

As of 2011, the life expectancy in Rwizikuru was 55.5 years, with a life expectancy of 64.1 years for men, and 46.9 years for women, attributed to the high rate of maternal mortality among rural and poor women.

Education

Education in Rwizikuru is structurally based off the education system in Estmere as it existed at independence. Education is compulsory for students ages 5 to 14, with children ages 5 to 8 attending zvikoro mucheche, and children ages 8 to 12 attending zvikoro chechidiki. At the age of 11, students take the eleven-plus exam, with the top 25% of students in academic ability going to zvikoro cheGirama, which provides education up to the age of 19, with fifth and sixth forms, while those who have passed go to zvikoro chepamusoro, which only offer first through fourth forms. Those that fail will have to repeat the year until they pass.

If one finishes sixth form, students have the option of studying at a polytechnic, or at the University of Rwizikuru. However, many Rwizikuran graduates study abroad, primarily in TBD due to their low costs and higher quality than in Rwizikuru universities and polytechnics.

As of the 2011 census, the literacy rate of persons over the age of five is at 70.2%, making Rwizikuru a country with one of the highest rates of illiteracy in the world, while functional illiteracy is believed to be substantially higher than that of males.

The most significant problem with education in Rwizikuru include corruption on both national and district levels hampering educational development, which has greatly affected the quality of both infrastructure, and of education in general.

Culture

Arts

A 1973 eagle sculpture by Njive Mkwananzi, 2007

Rwizikuru has had a significant artistic tradition for centuries before colonization, with pottery, basket weaving, carvings, and jewellery, with the veRwizi being renowned for their sculptures, even though since the 19th century, Estmerish influences and techniques have been adopted by the veRwizi. The most well-known sculptors from the country since the 20th century include Njive Mkwananzi, Kudiwanashe Dangarembga, and Tanunurwa Sibanda.

During colonial rule, Estmerish-style art became more common, with Peter Credge opening an art school in 1876 in Port Fitzhubert to teach the veRwizi "civilized art." This led to a generation of painters, usually painting in a romanticist style, with prominent painters from Rwizikuru including Hosho Tungamirai, Alexander Muzenda, and Manyara Mahachi.

In addition, literature became widespread under colonial rule as the weRwizi was until the 1870s not a written language. While initially, most authors were white settlers, such as Roe Lyness, and Evalyn Vear, from around 1900 onward, the veRwizi began to write, with the most successful veRwizi authors being Anesuishe Moffat, Nokutendaishe Mnkandla, Tinavo Mumbengegwi, and Tafadzwa Mubako.

Film has also become incredibly popular, especially after the Great War ended in 1936, with the first Rwizikuran filmmaker, Irikidzayi Hatendi producing the first weRwizi-language film in 1941, Rwendo (The Journey). Following independence, the film industry blossomed in the 1950s, with several studios based in Port Fitzhubert and Port Vaugeois (present-day Port Tsalar), but by 1965, this era ended with the nationalizing of the state film industry under the Royal Rwizikuran Film Studio, which is most notable for the 1989 film and victor of the Montecara Film Festival, Dzokera kumba (Separation). Since the 1990s, with decreasing regulation, other film studios have established, most notably Samkange Film Productions, which is known for Ndiani Akauraya General Ncube? (Who Killed General Ncube?).

Famous actors from Rwizikuru include Edzai Mujuru, Masamba Marachera, Baba Asante, Sadzamari Malianga, and Gondayi Nengomasha.

Cuisine

Sadza and goat meat

Rwizikuran cuisine is greatly influenced by traditional veRwizi cuisine, by Estmerish cuisine, and by surrounding cuisines.

Among the traditional veRwizi foods consumed widely in Rwizikuru include sadza, yakagochwa mombe, and rice, while popular Estmerish foods consumed in Rwizikuru include oatmeal, mbatata dzakashambwa, and fish and chips. Finally, foods originating from the Mirite population in Rwizikuru that are widely consumed in the country include TBD.

Sports

Rwizikuru's most popular and de-facto national sport is gillidanda (weRwizi: gilidanda), with the national gillidanda team being the Rwizikuran Mhembwe. The main gillidanda league is the Rwizikuran Gilidanda League (GCR). Despite its popularity in Rwizikuru, it was banned from Rwizikuru from 1966 to 1982 when Mirites were expelled from the country in a bid to remove "bourgeois influence," with the sport itself being associated with Mirites.

The second most popular sport in Rwizikuru is football (weRwizi: nhabvu), with the national football team being called the MaVarvi, and with the main league being the Rwizikuru Nhabvu League (RWB). The third most popular sport in Rwizikuru include rugby league (kurwisabhora), with the primary league being the Kurwisabhora Bhodhi, and the national rugby league team being the Vatengesi.

Other popular sports in the country include horse racing, netball, and field hockey.

Media

Media in Rwizikuru had been tightly restricted since the passage of the Rwizikuran Basic Law in 1964, until reforms were made by Munashe Ngonidzashe in September 2019. Only a single state-run newspaper, the Kwazisa (formerly the Port Fitzhubert Herald until 1950) had been allowed to publish in the country since 1966, until Munashe lifted restrictions on domestic newspapers operating in the country. As well, there is a single state-owned television and radio network, NMR (Nhepfenyuro mubatanidzwa yeRwizikuru), which began radio transmissions in 1948, and television broadcasts in 1981. Until 2019, it was illegal for private entities to operate radio stations, although the law had been poorly enforced since the 1990s. In 2019, Munashe Ngonidzashe announced plans to legalize private radio stations by licensing those already on the air, and ensuring that their signals will be protected.

There is little censorship or restrictions on the internet, primarily due to the fact that as of 2015, less than 15% of the population have access to the internet, while 35% have a television set, and 87% of households have at least one radio. This has led opponents of the government to operate with impunity online.

Holidays

Name Shona name Date
New Year's Day Goredzva 1 January
Remembrance Day Yekurangarira Zuva 12 February
Good Friday Chishanu Chakanaka variable
Pashal Saturday Pasa Mugovera variable
Pashal Sunday Pasa Svondo variable
Pashal Monday Pasa Muvhuro variable
Labour Day Zuva Revashandi 1 May
Accession Day Zuva Rekubvuma 21 September
Independence Day Zuva Resununguko 2 December
Nativity Eve Manheru reKuberekwa 24 December
Nativity Day Zuva reKuberekwa 25 December
New Year's Eve Egore Idzva 31 December