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Civic heraldry of Zimbabwe
GWERU (until 1982 Gwelo)
Province : Midlands
Arms : Gules, on a fess wavy azure fimbriated argent between in chief a Bull's head caboshed Or between two maize cobs argent
jessant-de-Lys gold and in base an electric locomotive of the last roofed argent and an open book proper garnished gold and leathered of the second a cog wheel also in gold.
Crest: On a wreath of the colours demi-Griffin the head, wings and forequarters azure and the body or, assumed and lanqued gules and holding in the Dexter claw a sword argent, pommelled and hilted gold.
The arms were officially granted on April 21, 1986.
The bull's head and meilie cobs reflect the location of the city in an agricultural area, with the cog wheel alluding to the its industrial base and potential. The electric train was added to signify the historic launching of the first electric railway track in Zimbabwe between Gweru and Harare in October 1983 and the open book refers to the educational institutions located in the city.
Unlike the other major centres in the country the early development of Gwelo's municipal arms is not recorded, the first seal for the municipality only being sent to the then Rhodesia Heraldry and Genealogy Society in 1973.
The seal was divided into three sections, the top left section showing a stamp mill in gold on a blue background and the top right section having a double furrow plough in gold on a red background. The bottom section shows a brown ox with a "European" lady with fair hair in a white dress holding a white ribbon. The background is blue for the sky and a green base for grass. Surrounding the seal is a scroll with black lettering with the words City of Gwelo on the sides and the motto "Forward" at the base.
The seal could not be used properly as arms, so the arms below were officially granted on ??
Arms : The arms are described as:
ARMS: Per chevron Vert on a pall reversed ermine between in chief a bull's head cabossed Argent Or and a cob of maize of the last in base a sun gear Or with two plantetary gears enmashed argent.
Crest: On a wreath or gules and vert a Griffin segreant the forequarters Azure and hindquarters Or grasping in Dexter foreclaw a sword argent pommel and hilt or.
On 10-2-1982 the Herald newspaper announced the introduction of the arms below. The arms show a book as a symbol for the education, as well as symbols for the industry, farming and agriculture. The crest is taken from the old arms. New in the arms are the heads of Josiah Tongogara and Mbuya Nehanda, two revolutionaries. How long these, really unheraldic, arms have been used I don't know.
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Literature: The municipal heraldry of Zimbabwe, ARMA 1286-1289, 1311; Additional information received from Bruce Berry