So, where does "Harare" come from?
My wife got me back on this question recently. I'd been looking for it a little before but could never find it. Looking for this led me to other answers too, as I said in my last post, but I've finally found AN answer. Maybe it's THE answer, or part of it.
From what little I've been able to find in things like the Encyclopedia Britannica, there was a Shona chieftain in the late 19th Century called Neharawa. An area was named "Harawa" after him and then that got "corrupted" / changed to "Harare," which became the name for a predominantly black residential area that is now called "Mbare."
I say "corrupted" in quotes because that was the wording used by a source I found on the evolution of "Harare." But clearly the population attaches no stigma or taint to the newer form, or the capitol wouldn't have been named that - they would have used the original "Harawa" in that event, I would think. As it is, I'm not sure why they didn't if what I've found is correct. Unless the intent was to use the name of that residential area and not necessarily to honor this chieftain. But there is an agreeable symmetry in renaming it from the name of the British PM at the time of conquest to a name honoring a Shona chieftain of the same era.