Mutare City Council is a statutory body which was established in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe (Amendment 20 of 2013, Chapter 14 section 274 and the Urban Councils Act Chapter 29:15) and is charged with the responsibility of providing services to the residents in its area of jurisdiction. Mutare City Council comprises of 19 wards represented by 19 elected Councillors. It covers 16 700 hectares of land and has a population of +189 000 according to the 2012 census.
Over 100 years ago, this region was ruled by Mutasa, chief of the Manyika and was named Mutare or sometimes “Nyautare” meaning “a piece of stone.” The name probably came about as a result of discovery of gold in the Penhalonga valley through which the Mutare River flows.
The foundation stone of the Civic Centre was laid on the 22nd of May 1959 by the then Governor, Vice Admiral Sir Reveille William Powler and was officially opened on the 7th of June 1960 by the then Prime Minister, Sir Edgar Whitehead. The idea of the Civic Centre was first talked about in 1949 and four years later the idea was put on the planning boards. Today the building consists of a three storey section with the Council suite, Committee rooms and Mayor’s Parlour. The Council Chamber was built to accommodate thirty Councillors. The Civic Centre is built on a beautiful piece of land which was once a dairy farm.
The city of Mutare is located in the Eastern Highlands close to the border between Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It is Zimbabwe's closest city to the sea making it the most strategic location for transport costs sensitive import and export oriented enterprises. For this reason in particular, Mutare has been considered as Zimbabwe's gateway to the Indian Ocean. Mutare is the capital of Manicaland province and covers an area of approximately 16 700 hectares. It is situated 263 kilometers east of Harare and 290 kilometers west of the Port of Beira, Mozambique.