Bulawayo is the second-largest city in Zimbabwe after the capital Harare, with, as of the ever disputed 2012 census, a population of 653,337 while Bulawayo Municipal records indicate a population of 1,200,750. This understating of population by the government is due to the marginalisation of the Matabeleland region by the government since 1980 in a bid to avail less resources. With a population of 620,000 in 1992 Bulawayo cannot have a population of 653 337 20 years later when it is exhausting its land due to housing expansion. It is in Matabeleland, 439 km (273 mi) southwest of Harare, and is now treated as a separate provincial area from Matabeleland. The capital of Matabeleland North is now Lupane, as Bulawayo is a metropolitan province.
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