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"CHII"IURENGA

II

1896 - 1897: A REVISIONIST STUDY

THESIS

Submitted in Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of

MASTER OF ARTS

of Rhodes University

I

by

MARK PHILLIP MALCOLM HORN

January 1986

The following typog~aphical co~~ections attention since submission of this thesis.

have

come

to

my

p.i line 8, "Phillip" should ~ead Philip. p.vi, li.ne 11, "Risings" should ~ead Rising. p.Vll, line 12, "~esponce" should ~ead ~esponse. p.3, line 17, "wa~f-io~" should read warriors. p.5, line 4, "96" should read 1896. p .. 8, line 3, IILomangLlndi should read LomagLlndi. p.9, line 2, " (inve~ted comma) missing after "role". p.19, line 9, "triatises" should read treatises. p.28, line 18, "analysis" should ~ead analyses. p.30, line 10, "the and" should ~ead "and the". p.42, line 28, "Histo~ians" should ~ead Histo~ian's. p.47, line 13, "Lomangundi" should ~ead Lomagundi. p.48, line 12, ~ sign missing befo~e the figu~e of 121 000. p.52, line 5, 1. ~5ign missing before the figure of 3. p.55, line 1, ~ sign missing befo~e the figu~es 10 to 60. p.55, line 3, -£ sign missing befo~e the figu~e of 100. p.56, lines 7 - 10, quote to be indented. p.b2, li.ne 1tJ, "dela" should be separated out to read "de la". p.tI4, line 4, "assisthim" should be sepa~ated out to ~ead "assist him"~· p.b"?, line 11, "inte~nicine" should t-ead intet-necine. p.83, line 17, "Ma~ch 1895" should ~ead Ma~ch 1894. p.89, line 5, "faction" should ~ead fl~action. p.95, line 29, fn. 12, "lNA" should ~ead NAZ. p.l07, line 28, "hadf" should ~ead had. .p.108, line 19, fn. 158, the missing page ~efe~ence to Beach, ·'Ihe~3i~iJ=~CU2. a~e pp.135 - 151, 178 - 180, 300 - 305. p.116, line 10, . <fLIllstop) missing after "Rebellion". p.146, line 12, "inte~nicine" should ~ead inte~necine. p.160, line 9, £ sign missing befo~e the figu~e of 25. p.16l, line 13, "the elf" should ~ead "of the". p.170, line 18, fn. 43, the missing ~efe~ence is ~.132. p.184, line 2, "june 1896" should ~ead June 1896. I p.190, line tJ, isign missing.befo~e the figu~e 13. p.19 'J., line 21, "which" shou.J.d read with. (fullstop) afte~ p.222, line 18, the~e should be a "i ntet-est i ng". p.223, line 1, .tsign missing befo~e the figu~e 1p.226, line 21, "villages" should ~ead village~s. p.247, line 11, "the~e" should ~ead thei~. p.247, line 22, "a" in ·f~ont of "var-ious" to be omitted. p.286, caption on the photog~aph needs to be ~eve~sed. p.286, line 37, "condeming" should ~ead condemning. p.329, line 10, fn.2, r·efet-·ence to Cobbing, "Th,t= Ndebele" to be e:·( c: i sed. l1 ~

L

These
Ma~k.

P. M. 10/02/86.

u--r

co~~ections Ho~n.

are please to be noted.

i i

u

Contents

Pre-face

. . .. - . . . .. . .. . . . . .. . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . - . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . .

iii vi vi i

List of "aps and Illustrations Abstract

1 The state of the debate 2 The question as 3 The question of
4 The question of

5

Reflections on

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 1 . . .. . . . . .. . . . 43 to "causes" of Rebe1lion "Rebel 1 ion" in Hatabel el and . . . . . . . .. 110 a June "Rebellion" in Mashonaland . . . . . . . 181 the debate . . . . . . . .. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266
287
Hatabeleland
322 331

Appendix One: The structure of Ndebele society Appendix Two: The Native Department in

and Mashonal and Biblio9r aphy
~

... t

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

iii.

Preface

It

was

whi1e studying the -Rebe1lions" as

an

Honours

paper o~ under
SOMe

Dr. J.R.D. Cobbing in 1983 that I
~

~irst

became aware Due to

the

inadequacies of previous anal yses.

the the tty advances events of made at the Honours level it was decided to make
1896 - 7

the

subject

of

~urther

research.

intention from a
~ar

was to approach the study of the events of 1896 wider perspective than is reflected in this
~or

-"7

thesiS,

but this would have been too major a task restricted primarily to 50 000 Nerds of text.

a thesis which is therefore of This thesis is

historiographica1 in focus with an

a.pli~ication

the factual, perceptua1 and conceptual advances made in 1983.

My

study begins with an outline Against this summary of and

o~

the state of the debate so interpretations i 1

far.

previous

the this

factual, analysis underlies factual factual

perceptual may this be

conceptua1

advances o~ made

in

measured.

The change

perspective of which the these a

study leads to a reassessment of many Building upon moves

assu-c:»tions o-f previous writers. and

perceptual advances this study

towards

conceptual

revision in an effort to arrive at Jan understanding 7.

of the complex nature of the events of 1896 -

A short note on the methodology e-.:»loyed in the pursuit of this study may assist the reader. establish what The concern of this thesis is happened. to The

actually was and what actually

subjective perceptions upon which actions were based for.s part

of

the total understanding this study strives philosophical the interest is reflected is

to

achieve.

A

strong Mhich

throughout The to

upon

change in perspective employed is simple.

grounded.

critical be In as the

approach familiar

An attempt is aade

with as much of the evidence as is possible.

primary and secondary sources contradictions are looked for. An interpretation coherent. A is then aiaed at which is both consistent alternative in to simple the and

challenging employed

docufl'lCet1tary technique of

substantiation

this study is

analysis by critical inference. One aspect of this technique is the is LIse (Of statistical data against MIlich conceptual evaluated. In order to appreciate the "wholeness" evidence of the

events described an attempt has been .ade to be conversant with as many subsiduary disciplines as possible. Meakness appreciate of previous the writers has been Finally, a serious their1 I have inability drawn i to upon

rigours of outdoor life.

personal e>:perience to correct this flaw.

In conclusion,
Dr.
H .C.

I Nish to express my gratitude to my supervisor for the care and consideration taken in thes~s. HUlBlel

the

preparation has

for the presentation of this

,

Dr.

Cabbing My

re.ained a helpful and interested

critic

throughout.

sincere

thanks must be given to the Cox family of Bulawayo and Ziababwe, for welcoming me into

the GamMOn fa.ily of Harare,

their ha.es whilst conducting research. Acknowledgement MUst be given to the helpful assistance rendered by the staff of and the of Transvaal

Cape

Archives,

the

National

Archives

\

"'

.
To....,

Botswana, Library, Literary

the Cory ttuSetBt National Library,

Archives of ZimbabNe, Grahaastol«1, the

the Cape

National

Engl ish and in
~

and Documentation Centre,

GrahamstOMl,

particular the
Bula~yo

to Mrs Paddy Vickery of the historical

section

Public Library. The staff of the Rhodes University I'tany of

Ca.puter

Department have rendered inval uabl e service.

my friends have assisted in the preparation of this .anuscript, in particular Hiss H. wish to acknowledge Sennet and Hr. the financial

B.

Jackson.

Finally, I of assistance

Rhodes

University and the Huaan Sciences Research Council.

vi •

List of Maps and Illustrations

The maps and illustrations precede the page number given below.

1 The Ideal and The Real, (recast), Bulawayo Sketch, 13 June 1896 ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 2 British South Africa Company Hap of Rhodesia •••••••••• 1. 2.

3 A Vision, Why Not a Reality?, BulawaYo Sketch, 16 t\lc:Jvember 1895 •••••••••••••••••••••••• _ • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

49 •

4

Development

vs

Crushing,

BulawaYo

Sketch,

28

September 1895 5 Our Mining Laws, Bulawayo Sketch, 19 October 1895 ••••••

50.
51.

6 J.R.D. Cobbing's.ap of "The Risings· •••••••••••••••••• 110. 7 F.C. Sel ous's "Map of part of ttatabi 1 i 1 and" ••• .'. • • • • • • •• 124. 8 Military Tactics, Bulawayo Sketch, 23 May 1896 ••.•••.• 140. 150.
I

9 The Enemy, Bulawayo Sketch, 9 May 1896 10 Fighting in the Matopos, Bulawayo Sketch, 25 July

189'6 ..••••...••...••.......•...•••...••..•••...•....•..•• 1S8.

11 D.N. Beach's map of Mashonaland ••••••••••••••••••••••• 181. 12 The Matabele Settlement, BulawaYo Sketch, 22

~ust

1896 . . • . . . . • _ . . . . . . . . . . . . • . . . . • • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .• 282.

13 Chimurenga Statues for Parlia.ent ••••••••••••••••••••• 283. 14 The Gallows, Bulawayo Sketch, 2 January 1897 •••.•••.•• 287.

V 1 1 •

Abstract

There

were

no

"Rebel I ions·

in

1896

- 7.

The

concept

D"f

Arisings· the

which is to be found in the European perspective violence has distorted an understanding of of the events. The events of 1896 -,

of the

escalated nature be

compl e>( rather

must of

explained through an examination of the details

the conflict.

European pressure on the African people prior to

1896 was mini.al and cannot be assumed to be the "cause" of the first "Chimurenga". There was no planned, organised or

coordinated "rebellion- in ttatabeleland in March 1896. Further, no distinction can be made between a March urebellion H in

Matabeleland war

and a June "rebellion" in Mashonaland. A European responc~ of conquest in 1896 - 7 evoked the

knDMn

now

as

the first "ChilMlrenga". which African of It ..as the war of conquest df 1896 - 7
~

saw the ascendancy

the European perspective over

the

and thereby established the psychological Rhodesian colonial state. of foundations of the

the

The cOllpl ex nature

events

1896 -

7 is to be understood through an appreciation in

of the different perspectives of those who beca.e embroiled the confl ict •

OUR

CA.RTOON

1

Chapter On.

The stat.

o~

the debate

The "Rebellions" of 1896 - 7 in the area known now as Zimbabwe, formerly Southern and Rhodesia, amateur have been the subject As of much

professional portrayed,they

scholarship.(l)

latterly and

have provided a source of mythical heroism

endeavour to both black and white peoples. of the events of 1896 heated debate among

(2) Yet, the nature despite the Davis,

7 still remains a mystery, historians. As Alexander

contemporary, - editor of the 8ulawayo Sketch -, noted on the 4 April 1896, several theories even then existed as to the nature of the conflict:

" Since our last issue events have not marched very rap i d 1 Y . We were then in I aager and inn aager we continue. The Matabele were then an unknown quantity and today their numbers, purpose, and the extent of the rising is still und~fined. It is true that we have heard and seen laid'down in print theories and conjectures innumerable. M'limo, the late king's nephews, cattle shooting, droughts, etc, have each in their turn been mooted as the immediate cause of the insurrection, but the true history of the unprecedented and apparently unanimous rise of the natives has still to be narrated." (3)

This

thesis

is

a

belated

attempt

to

respond

to

Davis's

injunction - 7. What

to arrive at the "inwardness" of the events of 1896 was needed was a totally different perspective to

that which has dominated all accounts so far,

because whatever

their variation they all basically agreed that the risings were

%8"

30'

3Z'

MAP TO

ILLUSTRATE

REPORT ON

NATIVE DISTURBANCES
16
IN

-.~----------i----L+--+

____

~_-

_______

-.~

______

RHODESIA
1896-7
s-Ie ot"1'.ngIi.W16Iee 010 eo
, !

2.0
!

80

1l1'Cl.lJh Forts

. tluu; _

"

22i--------------------~~

30"

Taken

~rom

The

~96

Rebellions.

2

a

case of black resistance to the encroachments of white rule. by contrast, seeks to demonstrate that the white racial

This study,

pressure was just one of many factors which transcended as well as geographical boundaries.(4) But briefly,

the state

of the debate so far.

The

first

modern scholar in the field was

Professor

Ranger,

whose work, Revolt in Southern Rhodesia 1896 - 7, subtitled, "a study in African resistance",first published in 1967, enormously examination conflict Rhodesia influential.(5) It is a work which on has been close

is very similar to the official explanation of the in Reports on the Native Disturbances of the in

contained
1896

- 7,drawn up by two officials

British

South Africa Company, the Acting Administrator of Matabeleland, A.H. Duncan, and the Salisbury Civil Commissioner, H. M.

Hole.(6) Ranger's thesis is bold in asserting that the

Ndebele

and Shona risings against the British South Africa Company were instigated, organization coordinated of and
1 ed

by

the

Mwari

i

cul t,

an from

priests and their officials,

operating

shrines in the Matopos and Mambo hills,

who looked back to the the

supra - tribal mystique of the Rozvi "Empire" destroyed by Nguni in the 1830'5.(7) Ranger argues that the

priests' feuding

solution to "the problem of scale" drew the previously , southern unity, Zambezian with the peoples mass together in one that anti

- European the

commitment

characterized

national ist movements of the early 1960'5.(8)

3

In the 1978 preface to the paperback edition of Revolt, admitted first few that the picture of the African past given of the book "now look very

Ranger in over the

chapters

simpl if ied" • (9) heirs

He had seen the Shona speak ing peopl es as "the as "simple the

of Empire" and the Ndebele speaking peoples In the style of the 1960's he

soldiers".(10) importance the walls

emphasized

of the "two great successive Shona state systems

Mutapa and Rozvi "Empires". (11) He bel ieved that the stone at Great Zimbabwe had enclosed a royal capital up to as the 1820's, and that the surviving memories as and

recently

structures

of the Rozvi "Empire" were crLlcial1y significant as

a means of achieving combined action against the whites.(12) It was argued that the religious authorities and the officers of the of Mwari the fRhandoro spirit

mediums

cult,

once

associated with the "Empires",

survived their collapse to play

the most important rol e in "bringing unity to the risings". (13) The who Ndebele were portrayed as were nevertheless powerful and efficient warrior,
\

dependent

on

Shona

aCiJricLll ture, the

technology and religious ideas.(14) After the overthrow of Ndebele high God state in 1893,

the influence of the Shona cult of the with their Shona of and cult to

of Mwari linked the Ndebele aristocracy peoples, and ultimately with the

subject

independent

chiefs to the east. (lS) In Ranger's view the African which Rozvi the Europeans were ignorant, "Empires," the and

past,

provided" in the Mambo Mwari

the religious 8Ihondoro and and organizational

systems,

inspiration

strLlctures

effect a rebellion in 1896 - 7.

4

Turning to the question of the European impact between 1890 and 1896, Ranger presents a scenario of abuse by the settlers and leaves The

the officials of the British South Africa Company which no doubt as to the immediate impetus for a

rebellion.

Europeans peopl es

used violence to extract forced labour from for work on the mines, farms and

African the new

settlements. (16) peoples streamed into

The traditional homes and land of the African Europeans who

were expropriated and shared among the into

the country. (17) The Ndebele were to be which they regarded as cemeteries, 1893, this

forced not once of vast in

reserves,

homes.(t8) proud

Following were Their

on the Ndebele war of subjugated cattle and to the

people

humiliation seized in

conquest. (t9) quantities

grain were

through force and subterfuge. (20) The situation

Mashonaland following on the creation of the Native was was similar. seized The wealth of the African people in under the pretext of a hut tax.(21~ Department Mashonaland material

In a

sense the European impact was extensive, but it also f,rovided a challenge to the tradition. and culture of the African peoples. The Native Commissioners and their Native Police authority of the headmen or flouted the

traditional councillors

izinduna(royal

or regional rulers) .(22) By assuming the right

to

try African legal cases, Department underm i ned cultural personnel the and

and to inflict punishment, the Native other of Company officials further Thi_ was

f abr i c

traditional

authority. (23)

challenge to the traditional African way of 1 ife

compounded by the new European technology. (24) Though initially

5

welcomed, confl ict

Christianity with The the

and its missionaries came into and to their

direct African was of

traditional religions

val ues. (25)

European impact,

according

Ranger,

extensive and oppressive between 1890 and 96. the Europeans, plagues, proud further aggravated by drought,

The presence

rinderpest and with and a

locust long

became intolerable to African people and religious tradition,

political

they

determined to throw off the yoke imposed by alien rule .(26)

Hence,

the rebel 1 i on that ensued was a pl anned ,

organized and cult from with the

coordinated the

movement led by officials of the Mwari of expelling the European settlers

objective

land. (27) Though the cult had hitherto been primarily concerned with fertility and the arts of peace, with some a in March 1896 it emerged the Ndebele and

new revolutionary role and led both groups of the south - western

Shona

south
\

Zambezian

plateau to take up arms against the whites. Though the cult had been carefully regulated and sometimes suppressed
J

by

the

Ndebele kings during the pr:'evious half century, conquest thrown the leadership of the Ndebele was

after the 1893 disunited and to

into confusion.

The Ndebele izinduna had attempted but failed.

recreate the kingship, bring both the

The Mwari cult was able to the tributary Shona through z ika

Ndebele leadership and

peoples together in a united attack on the each Mambo. and upper of the Mwari shrines at Matonjeni,

Ellropeans,

Njel e and Ntaba

The priests at Matonjeni brought in the Bel ingwe Shona, the priest at Ntaba zika Mambo, Thus, the Rozvi of the Ranger, the

Mkwati,

Shangani and Gwelo valleys.

states

6

rising in Matabel el and "was a coal ition of different, hostile groups combined in the common interest of

and even over

throwing the whi tes". (28)

The Europeans in Matabeleland survived the first impact of rebellion Lieutenant initiative "coLlnter organization and rallied their forces. With the arrival

the of the the

- Colonel H.Plumer's Matabeleland Relief Force seemed to have passed to the to Ranger, Europeans, was the but

stroke",according

planning,

and coordination by Mkwati of a June rebel 1 ion in In April he sent Tshihwa, a Rozvi Mwari cult

Mashonaland.(29)

officer from Madwaleni in the Gwelo district, to contact Bonda, another Rozvi Mwari cult officer, who lived under the and Rozvi a

ruler Masarurwa in the Charter district, ruler and on

Mashayamombe,

the Umfuli river in the Hartley district. (30)

Bonda to zika

Mashayamombe's representatives went back with headquarters at the old Rozvi centre at

Tshihwa Taba

Mkwati's

Mambo in the Inyati district, this being before the There central Mambo their they were encoura~ed i4

May.(31) into the zika

to spread

the

rising

Shona country.

Tshihwa and Bonda stayed at Taba but Mashayamombe's men st ill in Apri 1 ti for the time being, ruler, who

~ent

back to

promptly

- contacted

Gumboreshumba, the medium of the Kaguvi "'ondoro spirit. (32)

Gumboreshumba, organizing

according to Ranger, played the pivotal role ih He was related to the Chivero

the June rebellion.

dynasty of the Hartley district and possibly to Pasipamire, the

7

great while living

Chaminuka

fRhondoro spirit who had been killed

in

1883

coordinating Shona resistance to the Ndebele.(33) He was at the time in the eastern Salisbury district near the Chinamhora, in the

territory of the Chikwaka ruler,

Rusiki

and Nyandoro rulers. (34) His spirit, Kaguvi, had been of little importance before 1896, was to but under the pressure of the times it over~ assume superiori ty

other mhondoro,

such

as

the

famous Nehanda of the Mazoe district.(35) The Kaguvi medium had been chosen by Mashayamombe "when there was a need for a man to link the role the planned rising in the west [Hartley and Charter] with paramoLtnts of central Mashonaland by
10

and he fulfilled

this a

moving to Mashayamombe's which became

practically

"powerhouse of the Shona rising" from then onwards. (36)

It was at the end of Mayor the beginning of June 1896 that the Kaguvi medium was of It shown by Ranger to have to i summoned his new

representatives headquarters. series

the central Shona paramounts was a distinguished assembly, The central Shona chiefs
1

or rather sent trusted

of assembl ies.

headmen or close relatives, meetings assurance allies. join the

in many cases their sons. At these related his and

progress of the Ndebele rising was of the support of Mkwati and

given

Ndebele to an

The

KagLtvi medium urged the central Shona peoples whit~s. the west in a movement against the

Plans for

outbreak as simultaneous as possible were laid. until the arrival of Bonda and Tshihwa and

It was to wait their Ndebele

warriors be

at Mashayamombe's.

Once it had begun the news was to messengers and passed

carried

to central Mashonaland by

8

there held

from hill to hill by signal fires.(37) These conferences by the Kaguvi medium influenced the Hartley, - "a Shona mhondoro Lomangundi ,Mazoe ,Umvukwes ,Marandell as spread covering virtually the

and Gutu districts area of the

whole

rebellion" - and were reinforced by most of the local mediums, lomagundi • incl uding
(~38)

Nehanda

in

Mazoe

and

Goronga

in

Finally

in June,

Tshihwa,

Bonda and the Ndebele

arrived

at

Mashayamombe's kraal,

and the signal for the rising was given.

Tshihwa went south to raise the Sel Ltkwe district and Bonda went back to Charter. Ranger suggests that apart from personal

contacts made by these two and others, with the rulers in these areas, the Charter district was the "nursery of the Mashona

rebel 1 ion" • (39)

Turning

to

how draw

the rising spread,

Ranger

st~tes,

"we

may 15,

legitimately

upon some later evidence" from

19t3

when "chain letter" messages of the Mwari cult were passed from village to village.(40) In the rest of the area of the the and signal rulers, was given by messengers from the AIhondoro rising, mediums the

and by pre - arranged signal fires.(41) Once Ranger points out ,the religious to react and replan their

rising used

had begun, their ability

organizers strategy in

response to the changing mil itary situation. (42) Bonda became a liaison "we officer for the headquarters at Mashayamombe's constant glimpses of him in the next few kraal: months

catch

9

[after June] carrying messages, raiding loyalists and generally playing a most significant role.(43) "Mkwati, his all iance

broken with the Ndebele and forced out of Matabeleland, arrived at Mashayamombe's headquarters with Wamponga, his spirit wife,

determined to carryon the fight, and reinforced the Shona high command
If •

(44)

Then, was

at the end of 1896, pl anned. Not

according to Ranger, a new strategy medium persuaded the

on1 y had the Kaguvi

eastern prepared

Salisbury rulers not to surrender, to move into that area - over

but he and the

Mkwati of

protests

Mashayamombe who objected to their departure - as part of their plan the to revive the "Rozvi Empire".(45) This plan misfired of but the Rozvi Mambo elect - Mudzinganyama on Jiri

arrest

Mteveri, the

it did lead to a strengthening of the powers of Salisbury.(46) and The the

religious authorities north - east of medium

Kaguvi medium

was able to appoint a new Seki ruler,
I

of the Mtoko district achieved a "trium~h of the pan the

Shona teachings ••••• over the raiding policy of a chief" of Budja, Gurupira. On

the death of Gurupira they persuaded the

Budja to turn against Assistant Native Commissioner Armstrong's patrol and forced it to flee to Umtali, almost starving to

death in the process. (47) In the end,

however,

the rising was

gradually worn down by the superior force of the Europeans.

In

brief,

Ranger's

view

of the organization of

the

rising

focuses on the traditional religious authorities:

10

"This supra - tribal coordination was not achieved through the paramounts alone •••• We have to look once again to the traditional religious authorities of the Shona to understand the coordination of the rising above the paramountcy level - and also to understand the commitment of the people to the rising at the paramountcy level, a commitment so complete and even fanatical that it cannot be explained simply in terms of loyalty to the paramount chief."(48)

Having

provided

an excellent analysis of the effects

of

the

conflict, Ranger then links the "Rebellions" of 1896 - 7 to the nationalist Ranger anti movements of the early 1960's. (49) According to

there is a continuity of resistance characterized by an - European unity and mass commitment which transcends

traditional

feuds and divisions among the African peoples.(50) Ranger argues that the

Pursuing a millenarian interpretation, Kaguvi to

medium had started to build Ita new society" that looked just as the Rozvi "Empire" had looked to the

the future,

past.(S1) He offered the fighters a war medicine that made them invulnerable, received war loot from many areasi and thus:

"brought thousands of' Shona into membersh ip of a new society, the true bel ievers of the M'lenga, with their own distinguishing symbols and their own promises of divine favour. This loyalty to a supra tribal society helps to account for the fervour of the Shona rising."(S2)

Thus

Ranger's the cults,

view of the African past,

as_linked

by

Great

Zimbabwe,
IIhondoro

Munhumatapa and Rozvi "Empires", blend the interpretation of the

the Mwari and "Rebellions" a Zimbabwean

into

one cohesive explanation of the origins of

nation. The "Rebellions" were seen as the first strong surge of

11

African which African

nationalism led in

to resist British colonialism, of the

a

desire

due course to the creation

Zimbabwean African

National Union,(Z.A.N.U.) ,and the (Z.A.P.U.) .(53)

Zimbabwean

Peoples Union,

The

subsequent

historiography of the events of 1896

- 7

has This has

taken the form of a critique of Ranger's has been

interpretation.

an unfortunate development in the sense that it

inhibited the exploration of alternative perspectives. deal thesis employed of effort has been expended proving aspects wrong, of

A great Ranger's better

time which academics could perhaps have

in strengthening and researching aspects of their own

interpretat ion.

The

most

notable

critic is Julian

Cobbing. Lancaster, - 1896",

In

a

doctoral entitl ed schol ar economic In the a

dissertation "The

of the University of

1976, this
\

Ndebel e under the Khumal oes, 1820

presented

a detailed analysis of the Ndebele social

'I

and political system and th.e history of its formation. one chapter devoted to the "Rebellions", he

presented

political alternative to Ranger's religious interpretation.(54) He subsequently publ ished an article,"The Absent Priesthood; which

another look at the Rhodesian risings of 1896 - 1897",in he developed the political perspective intb a

devastating

criticism of Ranger. (55)

Cobbing's

assessment

of Ndebele society is in

conflict

with

12

Ranger's wri t.es:

traditional

portrayal of a military

state.

Cobbing

"Whereas it is true that the kings had considerable power, the izinduna were officials or mil itary commanders, having a predominantly political function and establishing strong genealogical roots in what were in reality outlying chieftaincies. Throughout the life of the independent state there was a tension between the considerable forces of centralization and the significant areas of decentral ization."(56)

Cobbing

establishes

that

the settlements were

smaller

than all

formerly postulated, Ndebele

and that it is incorrect to describe

settlements as "regiments" (atlabutho).

The amabutho -

describing a levy of young soldiers - comprised only a fraction of Ndebele to settlement at any given time, produce imuzi though or

they

could

evolve

(chieftaincies

vi 11 ages) . (57)

Cobbing states:

"Whereas it is true that the Ndebe1e male valued the martial role, and that the kingdom was org~nized upon a scale and had a military potential ,which differentiated it starkly from neighbouring African pol itical units, the army was subordinate to the state, and the state is best described in pol itica1 and socio - economic rather than military terms". (58)

The

basic

economic and

activity

of

the

Ndebele on

was

grain

cultivation,

Ndebele

religion was centred

amadhlozi

(ancestor spirit) worship and the Nguni high '- God, Nkulunkulu, rather than on the Mwari cult which was treated with

reserve. (59)

Around the central state there existed

tributary

states in which peoples lived on good terms with the Ndebele in

13

precisely bel ts. (60)

those

areas

claimed to have raiding were built was

been bloody devices great.

scorched but

earth seldom t.o by

Ndebel e "they empire

indiscriminate: protect an

punitive up with

undertaken t.enacity

Mzil ikatzi". (61)

Under Mzilikatzi's successor, Lobengula, this state is shown to have been gradually encircled by an alliance of enemies. European and to

African

Lobengula was consistent in his attempts

maintain Ndebele independence. unequivocally interests
1893

He rejected the Rudd concession in 1890 1 to anti - British that the as the the to

and

appealed

for diplomatic aid.(62) Cobbing maintains was the not fulfilment Mashonaland, of Rhodes's had always

schemes, been

Matabeleland, objective. (63) total defeat "the

When this war was fought it did not end in of the Ndebele nation. Indeed, according

Cobbing,

Ndebele state was in much better shape in early been to

1896" than was previously supposed. (64) The staite had not "demilitarised" control the and the Company was "unable in leality

Ndebel e beyo'nd Bul awayo and the main

roads" . (65)

The izinduna were local

leaders with deep genealogical roots in

the "provinces", therefore, collectively,

"the izinduna were perfectly capable of administering their peopl e through an interregnum " as their predecessors had done between the death of Mzil ikatzi in 1868 and the "crowning" of Lobengllla in 1870."(66)

Cobbing's

view

is

that the Ndebele had only been

shaken

in

14 1893,
~nd

the Ndebele state had not expired. The actions of the who seized Ndebele cattle and 1 abour

sett.l ers,

indiscriminately,

created tensions which made the continuation had

of the war inevitable. (67) Cobbing hints that the 1893 war never properly ended, and the rebellion of 1896 was

"perhaps

the real war so many felt had not taken place in 1893".(68)

Cobbing's

thesis

is

that the Ndebele began

the

war

united

"behind a "monarch" - elect, Nyamanda, one of the elder sons of Lobengula."(69) Cobbing maintains that despite contrary Company propaganda, to Nyamanda was "a perfectly acceptable heir", close to Lozengezi, and known anti is
5"

be "military precocious,
(70)

white". known

Though,

Cobbing admits,

"practically nothing

of internal Ndebele political developments in 1894 emergence as a candidate is shown to be

Nyamanda's

well

documented". (71) He was involved in the attack on Mac Farlane's column at Fonseca's farm (5 - 7 April), and thereafter involved in a civil war In with June, the "loyalist" to Gamptt Sithole Nyamanda and
)

of was

Amagogo. (72) accepted Three as

according

Cobbing,

King by the fighting men of the north

east.

weeks later Nyamanda was enthusiastically

recognised by then widow,

the Matopos chiefs in the south as well .(73) Nyamanda was joined on the Bembezi by Lobengula's formidable

Lozengezi, about a dozen of Lobengula's queen" full brother, Karl Khumalo,

Tshakalisa, his

Lobengula's one time "secretary",

and by loyal chiefs, such as the brothers Manyeu and Mpotshwana Ndweni of NyamandhlovLl and Madhliva of Mahlahehle.(74) Cobbing

argues that it was from their headquarters on the Bembez i, that

15

the

royal

family

influenced the

fighting

in

almost

every

interstice of the state.(75) Through marriage it is established that all the rebel leaders were connected to the royal family

and Nyamanda. Cobbing's thesis is that it;

"was this royalised caste who, together with the lesser chiefs, instigated the first murders, arranged for the distribution of ammunition, organized the supply routes, and sent the women and children into the hills at the time of the outbreak. There is no need to look for hidden influences".(76)

As to the Shona peoples who rose in March, Cobbing, did so

they,

according to the

on the basis of all iances forged during

previous half century as tributaries of the Ndebele Cobbing admits that our knowledge of the

state. (77) and

creation

organization of the Ndebele tributary system is scant, but:

"It most certainly existed however, and only its existence can explain the motley collection of tribes - Ndebel e, Ro:zvi, Mhari, Dumbuseya, Lemb\a, Venda, Borwa, Kalanga and others - who came into the rjsing in the last days of Mar~h 1896".(78)

Turning

to the June rebellion in Mashonaland,

Cobbing

states

that the Shona peoples;

"had analogous pol itical and economic gr,ievances to the Ndebele, (and) rose in response to the opportunity provided by European difficulties in Matabeleland".(79)

The

battle of Nxa on 22 May was possibly viewed as a

victory,

16 and the movement of the Europeans from Salisbury to fight in

Matabeleland may have given the impression that Mashonaland was defenseless. The decision to rebel was inspired in some cases

by Ndebele units or people from Ndebele tributary areas, but is largely Cobbing to be explained within the context of local pol itics. the

considers these factors to account adequately for

timing of the Shona rebellion in June.(80)

Perhaps

the most important contribution of Cobbing is to

show

that there was no religious coordinating factor. according Rozvi from to Cobbing,

The evidence, the shift be

does not link the Mwari cult with and the Matopos alleged cannot

mambos in the pre - Nguni past, the Rozvi courts to the

substantiated. (81) The founders of the Mwari shrines at Dube, Venda Manyengegweni origin, and and to Wirriani are shown to have have only been established

Njele, been in of the

nineteenth unlikely examines concludes; to

century. have

As such, appealed of

it is argued, the priests were to the Rozvi pa~t.(82) Cobbing and

the

history

each

Mwari

shrine

in

~896

"with one of the important priests murdered by the Ndebele, two more in the Transvaal (one in flight from the Ndebele) and no mention of the priest at Njele though the last incumbent had also been killed by the Ndebele - the cult was virtually hars d. combat in 1896" • (83)

Returning Leya

to the personage of Mkwati,

Cobbing doubts

that

a

captive from Ujinga,

with no link with the Rozvi,

could

17 have played the role attributed by Ranger. Cobbing suggests Mkwati was there is no a

that as an influential person in the local context, probably a wossana or cult messenger. (84) Further, evidence, Cobbing states, that

Ntaba zika Mambo was ever

Mwari cult shrine. The hills were not the command centre of the northern rising, but were probably a stronghold for women,

cattle and corn seeking refuge from the conflict.(85) According to Cobbing, and the Mafus of Godhlwayo committed the first murders under close the the

there is no evidence to suggest that they were of the Mwari cult.(86) The failure to

influence

Mangwe road, but

Cobbing states, was not due to Mwari injunctions,

to the collaboration of Gampu Sithole and Faku Ndweni.(87) alliance in the

Cobbing concludes that Ranger's thesis of a fanatical between the Mwari cult and the Ndebele aristocracy

first few months, which is then followed by an abrupt break in relations, is an unsatisfactory explanation, and the "divorce" was of

which Imperial and Company officials reported in July 1896 merely the result of their recognition of the ~rue
!

state

affairs. (88)

Cabbing Mwari the

also cult

challenges Ranger's contention that it

was

the into

which was responsible for bringing the Shona in June as a response to Cobbing the military

rebel 1 ion the

defeat the

facing apparent who had

Ndebele.

argues that it, was

rather Shona

success of the Ndebele which encouraged the similar grievances to the Ndebele, to

rebel.(89)

Cobbing claims that only thirty per cent of the Shona rose, all of whom had been "exposed to severe European pressures".

18

Cobbing affected, along Cobbing though This is

also alleges that in areas where the Shona such Sabi as to the south of Victoria, valley, they were inactive Chirumanzu,

were

less east

and in the or

the

neutral.(90) Matibi,

points out that Gutu,

Chivi and

subject to European pressure, significant

decided to that

collaborate. area
M~ari

since they lived in

of

the

southern Shona country where the influence of the thought to have spread by the 1890's.(91) the

cult is to

Turning

Mashayamombe,

Cobbing

considers

importance

Ranger

attributes to the chief to be unfounded as there is no evidence to show that the Gutu chiefdom was obeying cult orders. (92) extend

Cobbing

states that the Mwari cult's influence did not

into central and north - eastern Mashonaland, and the influence of the llhandoraa was not subject to that of the Mwari cult.(93) FLlrther, the contribut ion made by such mhondoros such as Kaguvi has been overestimated
~doros

and

their

influence

was

purely

local .(94) The this "process

merely sanctified political decisions;
I

,

was the antithesis of fanaticism".(95)

Cobbing Rozvi The

maintains "Empire",

that there was never an attempt to revive the the mamboship never having been extinguished.

election of Chikohore Chingombe in December 1896 had no on the Rozvi groups,

effect to

who had already committed or failed

commit themselves to the rising. (96) Therefore, Cobbing writes, the "last 1 ink in Ranger's chain, from theiRozvi empire at idea

Great Zimbabwe, by

through the preservation of the imperial to the Rozvi policies of the 1896

the Mwari cult,

priests

and Mkwati's recreation of the mamboship, is thus broken."(97)

19

In short, Rhodesian history

the Mwari cult's dominance in the explanation of the risings is dismissed by Cobbing as" essentially of a myth". an The first telegrams spoke of Mlimos the and

witchdoctors, about press. African

explanation confirming European which caught the

assumptions of the

society

imagination

"The myth quick 1 y passed into Company based documents of the rising, and from there into more serious triatises. Ranger developed it further though for very different purposes against the background of Zimbabwean national ism in the early 1960's".(98)

Ranger's

pursuance the

of myth

the

false

trail

of

millenarianism behind the

"accentuated

of Mwari cult instigation

risings".Commenting

on Ranger's link between the

"Rebellions"

and modern African nationalism, Cobbing writes,"the breaking up of the Ndebele state in 1896 and the crushing of the Shona was defeat not resistance one of the preconditions (it

that was to bring thJm together) was for the development of i a

more

sophisticated

and tribe - transcending reaction by Africans to

white rule in Rhodesia."(99) Finally, objecting to the confines within which Zimbabwean history has been forc~d, Cobbing

considers that perhaps;

"the basic error not only of Ranger, but of a school of writers on Rhodesian history has been to imagine a common fountain to African history between the Zambezi and Limpopo. Great Zimbabwe, the Munhumatapa and Rozvi empires, the Mwari cult, and the mhondoro cults, were all interlocked into one cohesive explanation of the origins of a Zimbabwean nation". (100)

20

Cobbing

suggests

that attention be paid to the

diversity of

of an

nineteenth

century themes, of the

in contrast to the seeking origins of modern

understanding

revol ut ional'''Y

national ism. (101)

The most important scholar in the field of pre - colonial Shona history, various a contemporary of Cobbing, is David Beach. Beach's

writing collectively challenge many of the myths which

pr'evai 1 in colonial and nat ional ist historiography. (102) Though initially influenced by Ranger, of perspective Beach has undergone a maturing strong reaction

of late which has produced a

against

the inter-pr-etation fourtd in Revcll t.

Beach has pr-oduced

several

articles and notes, of his

but for an understanding his three most

of

the

development writings

perspective

important (South in

are an article,"The politics of collaboration 1B96 7)", his doctoral thesis,
\

Mashona 1 and South

"The rising the

Western

Mashonaland 1896 - 7",

and

rrv i s ion i s t

article, ""Chimurenga" ;The.Shona risings of 1896 - 97". (103)

Beach

is

problematical

to

summarise

since

a

distinctive

characteristic of his work is his inability to see the wood for the their cloudy and trees. The studies of the "Rebellions" are important and dedicated research, though less for for the

detailed

conclusions derived therefrom. of Ranger,

Initially influenced by suppressed his own

respectful

Beach often

conclusions when the research conflicted with premises

derived

21

from Revol t. ways, Beach

Subsequently, when it comes to the parting of the treads which both paths, presenting research and

interpretation while

are clearly incompatible.(104) to

Further, African

sympathetic

to the "radicalism" attributed

nationalism, Though his

Beach's own academic perspective is conservative. research often provides the stimulus for a revolutionary change of perspective, acceptance through, of such a challenge.

Beach shies away from the break his own

Often verging on a

Beach's

caution prevents him from trusting

judgement.(105) his argument

Finally, with

Beach tends to obscure the thrust of material. Beach's thought is

"filler"

reflected in his writings;

both lack discipl ine, direction and

clarity, and need to be more precise, controlled and confident. If the meticulous research were matched by equal and articulation, clarity for of a

thought

there would be little need

rev i s i on • ( 1 06 )

It is necessary to e>:amine Beach's seminar paper,1 l1The of collaboration (South Mashonaland 1896 - 7)" under clarify his argument. accepts Firstly, the
!

pol itics headings of of

which

question tenets

perspective.

Beach

without

question the

Ranger's thesis. There is no question of the role played by the Mwari and mhondoro cults. conf 1 ict, a war Beach views the "Rebellions" between bl ack ¥ld whi te. as a The

national occurrence

of such a war is related directly to the effects of 1890 to 1896. (107) From an assumption of

European penetration,

national black resistance to white colonization the question of "col 1 aborat. ion" is examined. This term is implic it 1 Y pol it ical ,

22

suggesting

that such "collaborators"

were

traitors.

Clearly

influenced by the events of the time in which he was writing, a lack of historical insight is reflected in this unawareness of

change. (108)

Turning 1896, to

to

the question of the European impact from

1890

to

Beach writes, "This rising has been conclusively related

European penetration and certainly no rebel 1 ion occurred in that as

unpenetrated areas". (109) Beach makes the important point European pressure in the collaborator areas was as intense

in the rebel areas.(110) After outlining the extent of European impact, Beach would seem to accept that their physical impact

was minimal; only a few sand roads ran between scattered towns, farms and mines. Farming was a factor in terms of land

deprivation extraction The Field

post - 1896,

but not before.

Beach considers the grievance.(111)
\

of forced labour as the only major Cornet system had a behaviour The of minimal

effect,

despite sugh as

the at

buccaneering Tokwa.(112)

some

appointees,

significance of Christianity

and

missionary

endeavour is regarded as minimal .(113) However, the creation of the Native Department in 1894 - 5, is seen tQ herald an

intensification of European pressure. The collection of hut tax is considered by Beach to have been a major imposition upon the Shona. African The Assistant Native Commissioners also interfered and administered their own justice, in so

politics, the though

undermining Therefore,

powers of the the number

traditional of Europeans

authorities. (114) in Mashonaland

23

following on the 1893 war decreased, increased. (115) "Rebellion". These pressures

the pressure on the Shana provoked the subsequent

Since the "collaborators" and "neutral" Shona suffered the same pressures their as the "rebels", Beach then attempts to account for of the

unpatriotic

decision to assist in the crushing

"national" rebellion.

Beach attempts to explain the phenomenon experience that as on the the the

of "colI aboration" with reference to the historical which formed Shona were society. influenced small Beach by maintains factors such

"collaborators" emergence decl ine which of

conflicting

polities

following of

of the Rozvi "Empire", encouraged

the Shona 1 aws

succession which had which the

internal dissension,

the hatred

developed had

due to Ndebele raiding, between certain

and the relationship African polities and

developed

Europeans

between

1890 and 1896. (116) The thrust

assessment is that some Shona communities established divisions and self - interest.

, of Beach's "collaborated" due to
)

Beach identifies four categories of "collaborator".

The

first

was that of a chief who mobilized his war host and fought along - side the Europeans as allies, even though there may have

been an Assistant Native Commissioner in command. to fight was the chief's, officer. and the European was

The decision basically a

liaison this

Chirumanzu and Matibi are seen to fall The second category was a chief

into who

category.(117)

permitted an Assistant Native Commissioner to raise forces from

24

his people,

but at that official's

initiative.

Gutu,

Ranga,

Kwenda, Chibi and perhaps Matibi, if not included in the first, fall into this category. (118) The third type of "collaborator" before the military victory was providing scouts, messengers, Chibi, apparent, joined

was he who,

the Europeans, supplies, Meburatsi though were

information and Gunguwo and Finally, there of the

but not a field force. are seen to fall

Kwenda,

in this

category. (119)

Beach suggests, the individuals and

they were possibly

"neutrals", out

and clan houses who opted themselves with the

fighting,

aligned

Europeans.

Mutekedza's brother and Hokanya's section of the Dzete are seen to fall into this category. (120) Beach concl udes that the "fact delicate through

that some chiefs belonged to two categories shows the shading of commitment that ranged from resistance

neutral i ty to co11 aborat ion" • (121)

The military effect of the "collaborators", Beach considers was
\

"useful, value

but lay

[on1 y in one instance) vi tal" • (122) Thpir in "the deci.ion to collaborate" since and

ma in lOa collaborationist much it

polity,

whether active or not,

however in that

achieved against the rebels,

was a major. factor is

keeping the and been to

its neighbours neutral".(123) Beach's theory polities stemmed the tide of

collaborationist

rebel 1 ion, have due the while,

if "every polity had risen in 1896 the out'come might very different and that "neutrals" existed is partly the col laborators". (124) were Finally though a

"collaborators"

to enjoy "European favour for

25 there was from the beginning an underlying suspicion of them by certain elements in European society, that in many cases became apparent in government policy".(125)

One is left to conclude that though influenced by value seeking steered of this paper lies in the details of local to give a localized perspective of the

Ranger, history. conflict

the By it way

away from the grand sweep of Revolt and paved the

for an important challenge to Ranger's thesis.

Preliminary "The rising

to the full challenge was Beach's doctoral theSis, in South Western Mashonaland, 1896 7".This to

argued in essence that the 1896 Shona rising was a response European

pressures that owed much to the Shona past in general The a

and to certain events of 1889 and 1893 in particular.(126) slightly factor romantic which could theme of this thesis is the search a sense of for

provide the base for

Shona

national unity. Its absence of the Nguni invasions As the

is seen to account ,for the success and the destruction of the Rozvi

"Empire" . (127)

pr~ssure

of Ndebele raiding

increased, to

though some Shona communities "collaborated", look unable culture, the for ways to resist.(128) The Shona, to find

others began

according to own

Beach, and

a unifying factor in their

history

looked wi th interest to the arri val of newcomers from onwards. The missionaries and Afrikaner farmer but to the disappointment of the Shona, on the political

1880's

hunters were welcomed, they failed to

have a significant effect

balance of power.(129) Beach,

however, regards the attempts of

26

Portuguese

agents

to

sign treaties with Shona development" . The

rulers

as

a

"considerable

political

Portuguese

were

attempting to gain international support for their claim to t.he nort.hern half of the country in the face of British expansion.

The Portuguese gave the Shena signatories of the treaties flags and guns in 1889. (130) Though t.he "gun front.ier" cr'eated by the Shona in the latter half of the century kept a rough ef

equilibrium

between t.hem and the Ndebele,

the acquisition

the Portuguese guns now, according to Beach, turned the balance for t.he first t.ime in favour of the Shona.(131) The arrival the British in 1890, used of

however, meant t.hat these guns were never Though some Shona "collaborated" in they did so in the pursuance

against the Ndebele.

the 1893 war with the Europeans,

of their own interests. They found after the war, however, that "with the Company's occupation of the Ndebele country, they had exchanged European gold one set of masters for another". (132) increased on the Shona as the After search
I

1893 for for the

pressures

,

began The

in renewed earnest and land was

expropriated up

farming. catt 1 e

newly created Native Department rounded

raided from t.he Ndebel e,

seized 1 abour and corn to pay Beach

for a hut tax and undermined traditional authority. (133)

argues t.hat the situation was an essentially familiar one, and;

"that the central Shona who rose in June i 1896 drew upon their experience of 1889, when they had known for armed the first time a feeling that they were all against the Ndebele, and appl ied it in order to rise against the Europeans. " ( 134)

27

According

to Beach,

both

risings reflected the various Shona in

responses to the establishment of the Ndebele state earlier the due century. (135) Beach argues that the risings failed "to the the collaborators, who prevented the rising

partly from

covering

whole Shona country",

but also to the

superior

mil itary skills of the Europeans. (136)

The

value

of

Beach's doctoral thesis does

not

1 ie

in

its

romantic details thesis.

interpretation of Shona history,

but in the

factual Ranger's

of local history and the mild questioning of

Beach writes that on the question of the importance of relative to political factors in the 1896 -

religious factors, 7 rising,

new evidence suggests a slightly different emphasis factor and new

to that of Ranger.(137) The importance of the religious is slightly lessened with regard to the Kaguvi spirit,

evidence puts the emphasis on the political factor. In Belingwe and Selukwe for example, the structures of the Ndebele state T),e Mwari
I

were responsible for organizing the rebellion. in was

cult factor for

these two districts was important but the political stronger. (138)

Beach shows that there is no evidence

Mwari cult activity outside the Hartley and Charter and the "chain letter" messages were only part of Beach a makes an important contribution between the
~aguvi

districts, a medical when he

ritual.(139) shows that

split and

existed

medium,

Gumboreshumba, Further,

Mashayamombe

before

the

"Rebel 1 ion" • accepted Chivero

it is shown that Kaguvi's authority was not and his influence was limited to the

unquestionably, chiefdom

and the Shawasha country.

These two districts lay on

28

either

side of Salisbury and led the Europeans

to

exaggerate

his influence. The Nehanda medium's authority, Beach shows also to have been regional, denies shows
1 imited to the Ma20e valley.(140) Beach

that Kaguvi postulated a millenerial "new society" that the promises made were in accordance with practice.(141) but the Beach's of critique questioning of the

and

accepted Ranger is

traditional deferential

process

premises

der- i ved from Revol t

had begun.

The

real

challenge

to Ranger's thesis

came

in

his

latest

anal ysis," "Chimurenga"; The Shona risings of 1896 - 97". Beach questioned theory for the first time, the "night of the long knives" divided Shona

which

assumed that "in the politically

countryside

a preconceived and coordinated plan of

resistance

had been agreed upon by the peopl e and kept secret for weeks or months unt i 1 the (142) signal Be.ch s
I

came

for

an

assault
\

upon of

the the

Europeans" •

gradual

reconsideration

evidence on 1896 led him to conclude that;

"all analysis of the risings made since 1896, including my own thesis were wrong on two important points; the rising was not "simultaneous" or "almost simultaneous" even within the limitations of Shona communications and technology, and it had not been predetermined and coordinated in the way that had been previously assumed. Consequently, the need for a "religious" or "political" overall organization falls away, and our understanding of the 'social and pol itical situation among the central Shona in 1896 must undergo a sharp revision". (143)

As

a

prelude to examining the conflict,

Beach describes

the

29

Shona

economy,

outlines

the impact

of

the

Europeans,

and this 1896.

explains

the concept of "peripheral violence". (144) From Beach eNamines the main hondo (war) of June opinion the central Shona country was very

perspective In Beach's

tense,

and the various Shona chiefdoms had independently of each other been contemplating a hondo. Beach writes that it;

"seems highly likely that even if there had not been interaction between the Ndebele rising and the Shona of Hartley and Charter, in such an environment a major r is i ng WOLt 1 d have brok en out somewhere else and spread producing a very different pattern of resistance but a simi 1 ar effect. (145)
II

Beach

then

eNamines the sequence of events which brought

the

central Shona into the hondo. Beach focuses on Mashayamombe and outlines the evidence to show that "there was no There was according to Beach, preconcerted no joint

pl anning" . (146)

headquarters, and the evidence shows in every district that the people Beach had denies not known of a rising more than a day in
1

advance. Kaguvi these

that there were any conferences before th. rising.

at

thf for

medium's

village

The evidence

meetings derived from Ranger's guesswork and misreading of the documents. (147) in the Beach states that whatever role Mkwati played that an

Ndebele rising, thought", local though

"he was clearly not the supremo it is "true that figure in he had been

Ranger

important area".(148)

rel ig ious

the' Inyat i

Ujinga was

Beach then turns to explain how if the rising did it spread.

not preconcerted beforehand, that;

Beach's answer is

30

"since it was nowhere near simultaneous, pre planning was not needed and the different Shona dynasties simply joined the rising,opposed it or stayed neutral as the news reached them".(149)

As

is

evident, of

Beach's

revisionist perspective concludes pre that nor the

is

sharply in

cri tical

Ranger. were

Beach

risings

Mashonaland "though Beach

neither

- planned

s imul taneous, Ndebel e" . (150) rebellion

it. may very well have been true of the points

out that the people did not know of a

until relatively late the and initial violence at was sanctioned by Dekwende, than Kaguvi.

Mashayamombe

medium of the Choshota

tlhandora,

rather

The split between Mashayamombe and Kaguvi as is the the the

which had occurred before the rising is emphasized, essentially Kaguvi regional influence of the medium.

"In short, figure in

medium

was not a supreme coordinating

Shona riSing, but since the Shona evidently did not need such a figure in 1896, this is of less significance than it might have
1

been II'. (151) revive the

Beach states cl earl y that there was no a,ttempt
J

to The

Rozvi

"Empire" or to create a

"new

order".

risings were traditional affairs with strong local The

i nf 1 uences • begun,

Shona remained uncoordinated once the fighting had

and the resistance was that of a local war fought'by each ruler i n his t err i tory. ( 152)

With

the

breakdown of the Rangerian model of a Shona

tightly

knit

Ndebele

religious high command organizing a Beach notes that the future

planned, of the

simultaneous

rising,

31 historiography personalities events, of and the risings lies in a portrait interest groups in each and pressures area of complex to

reacting to

opportunities

according

their

conception of their own territory as an independent, undefeated entity, rather than as part of a larger organization that

solved the "problem of scale". Beach

writes that;

"In short, the history of the 1896 central Shona chimurenga promises to be the history of many local zvimurenga with their Similarities, differences and connections - or 1 ack of them". (153)

However, rel igious

the

question inf 1 uence Ranger's

as has

to the

primacy to

of

pol itical dominate

or the

continued

historiography.

interpretation has been supported by Lawrence Vambe and Aneneas

writers such as Stanlake Samkange,

Chigwedere.(154) Yet, as Ranger admits;

"Often in the past ten years I have read a ~ook which seemed at first sight to confirm the argument about rel igious leadership in 1896 only to realise tha~ the book itself was drawing heavily upon the in terproeta t i on set ou t .i n Revol t" . (155)

There have been detractors of the religious theory, such as the anthropologist Richard Werbner, who carried out field work on

the Mwari cult among the Kalanga.(156) An interesting attack on Ranger has come from Madziwanyike Tsomondo, who contends that

it is a mistake to exclusively associate "Shona resistance with the collective liberation war of 1896 - 7". Shona He argues that the

had never accepted colonial rule and that the war should

32

not be characterized as a "revolt" or "rebellion" because to do so "implies that the Shona
Revolt

had has submitted remained, to

alien a rule ••••• ".(157)

Ranger"'s

however,

powerful 1896 7,

influence on the popular conception of the events and has stimulated a great deal of research

of into

African resistance to colonial rule.(158) work

It is the revisionist by

of Cobbing and Beach that has generally been accepted

subsequent academic writers, including Ranger himself.(159)

This thesis is not concerned with the historiographical as to the primacy or of religious or political a

debate in

factors

organizing Indeed,

influencing

the initiation of

"Rebellion". of

this

thesis intends to show that the very concept involving as it does a black - white

"Rebellion",

polarity

perspective, distorts an understanding of the complex nature of the events of 1896 - 7. Briefly, the intention of this study is to reassess the impact of the European population on the the

African white exerted

peoples between 1890 and 1896.

Having khown that i impact on African society was minimal, not of sufficient intensity to tC) rebel,

and the pressure a conscious

.

provoke

determinat ion

the quest ion of "Rebel 1 ion" wi 11 then 7 the c.ntral focus was A will no

be examined. By making the events of 1896 of

this thesis it is intended to establish that there or organized of "Rebellion" in Matabeleland.

planned

"

close make

examination

the local details of the

conflict

evident why the Ndebele did not conform to European concepts of military with an strategy. This makes this thesis primarily concerned violence in

examination of the process of escalated

33

1896

- 7.

Such of and March in

an a e>:amination var·iet.y of

involves European

in and the

turn

an

understanding perspectives, between a

African

with that "Rebellion" Mashonaland

understanding in falls

distinction and a such June

Matabeleland away,

"Rebellion" distinct.ion concepts but

because

owes its origin not. only to European

geographical undertaken, of the they the as a

and the military operations subsequently

primarily of as

t.o a white misconception of the nature - 7 and their position in Rhodesia. From this the

events claimed

1896

country

Southern of

perspective, interpreted

escalation

violence in 1896 can not be African rejection of

nationalist.ic Indeed, the the

European

colon i ali sm • before of

escalation of violence in the early phase war of conquest was dominated by various African peoples. a This

European

series

confl icts

among

t.hesis,

therefore, underlines t.he injunction of Marc Bloch that "causes are not to be assumed. They are to be looked for".(160) Therein lies the rationale for a close examination of the nature of the i 1

events of 1896 - 7 , however complex.

34
Footnotes;
Chapte~

One

(1) Contemporary accounts of the conflict include: F.C. Selous, Sun<::.hine and Storm (Bu 1a . . .'ayo , Book:. of Rhodesia (Zimbab. . . . e) Repr-int, 1968), R.S.S. Baden - Pcl\. . . ell, The r1atabele C.ampaign 1896 (London, Methuen, 1897), E.A.~. Alderson, With the Mounted Inf.antry and the Mashonaland Field Force (London, Methuen, 1898), Lieut - Col H. Plumer, An Irregular Corps in Mat.abeleland (London, ~<egan, P.aul, Trench, Tr'ubner', 1897), F."--I. Sykes, t...lith Plumer' in Matabeleland (London, Ar'chibald Constable, 1897),H. Sauer·,Ex Afric.a,(London, Geoffr'ey Ble:., 1937), T. Laing,The Matabele Rebellion 1896: t..... ith the Belingt...'e Field Force, (London, Dean and son Ltd, n.d.). Sever.al accounts by professional historians followed, such as those of L.H. Gann, A Histor')' of Southern Rhodesia (Lc'ndon, Chattc. and t...1indus, 1965), t...I.D.Gale, One Man"s ...Jision: The Story of Rhodesi.a (London, Hutchinson & Co Ltd, 1935), A.B. Davidson,Matabeli i Mashona v Bar'" be Proter Angleyskoy Kolonizat~;.i! 1888 - 1897 (Moscow, 1958). Accounts of the event:. of 1896 - 7 by amateur historians are to be found in journals such as NADA (Native Affair':, Department Annual), Rhodesiana, Heritage. The most important development in the historiography of the "Rebel 1 ions" was the publ ication of T .0. Ranger . . "'. Revol t in Southern Rhodesia (London, Heinemann Educational Books Ltd, 1967). Inspired by Ranger, several prominent academics, among them J. Cobbing, D. Beach, A. Keppel - Jones and R. Werbner, focussed their attention on the events of 1896 - 7. (2) The events of 1896 - 7 exerted a powerful influence on subsequent Rhodesian - Zimbabwean history. In the close relationship which has developed between culture and pol itics, the events of 1896 - 7 have provided the inspiration for a number of myths exploited by both the Europeayl and African people. Rhodesian - Zimbabwean literature has been particularly infl uenced by the e>~perience of the "Rebell ion~". A •.J. Chennell's doctoral thesis,"Settler myths and the Southern Rhodesian novel" (Universttyof Zimbabwe, 1982), contains a useful discussion of these influences. The events of 1896 - 7 have also inspired a great deal of painting and sculptural works. The conflict has also been recorded in a number of cinematographic and radio productions. (3) See Louis W. Bolze"'s introduction to Davis'" Bulawayc. Directory and Handbook of Matabeleland (Bulawayo,Books of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Reprint 1981), for a resume of Alexander Davis' life. pp. v - viii. (4) The assumption of a black - white conflict by previous historians predetermined their approach to the confl ict, their methodology and subsequently their interpretation. In part, this was due to their awareness of the conflict which raged in Rhodesia - Zimbabwe at their time of writing and which influenced their historical perspective.

35 (5) T. O. Ranger, Revolt in Southern Rhodesia: a study in Afr-ican r-e-:-istanc:e. Fir--:-t publi-:-hed in 19.57. Repr-inted in paperback edition 1979.Revolt is the culmination of research first presented at the History of Central African Peoples Conference, Rhodes - Livingstone Institute, Lusake, 1963, as "The Organisation of the Rebellions of 1896 and 1.897. Part One: The Rebellion in Matabeleland. Part Two: The Rebel 1 ion in Mashonaland." (6) Reprinted as The '96 Rebellions, (8ulawayo, 800ks of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), 1975). This point has been made by Beach, ""Chimurenga": The Shona risings of 1896 - 97", Journal of African History,20, 3, (1979), and by Cobbing, "The Absent Priesthood, another look at the Rhodesian risings of 1896 97", .J.A.H., xv, iii, 1, (1979).

(7) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p.61.
(8) Ranger, Revolt, p.352. Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p.61. (9) Ranger-, Re'-)cdt, Pr-efa_ce p.).::. (10) Ranger, Revolt, Preface p.x. (11) Ranger, Revolt, Preface p.x. There has been a great deal written on the Rozvi and Monomotapa "Empires"; see, W.G.L. Randles, The Empire of t1c'nc'motapa, (Gwelc., t1ambo Pr-ess, 1981), Beach, The Shona and Zimbabwe 900 - 1850: An outline of Shona histc.ry,(Lorrdc.n, Heinemann, 1980), Mar-c.dzi, "The Barc.ztAJi" , N.A.D.A., 1924, P.88, F. Marconnes, "Rozvis or Destroyers", N.A.D.A., 1933, p.72, A.P. Abr-aham, "The t1c.nc matapa_ Dyna-:-t>'", N.A.D.A., 1959, p.58. l ( 12) Ranger- , Revol t, Pr-eface pp.x, 9.
I

( 13) Ranger, Revolt, Preface pp.x, 17 ( 1 4) Ranger, Revolt, Pr-eface pp.x, 26 (15) Ranger, Revolt, Pr-eface p.x. (16) Ranger,
119 -120.

24.

-

33.

Revol t,

pp.59 -61 , 67 - 68, 70, 78 - 79, 87 -90,

(17) Ra_nger, RevcIl t , pp.83 -84, 87, 100 ( 18) Ranger, Revolt, pp .104 - 105. ( 1 9) Ranger- , Revo 1 t, pp.90

-

104.

-

98, 121

-

123.

(20 ) Ranger, Revolt, pp.77, 87 - 90, (21) Ranger, RevcII t , pp.69 - 73, 81 .

105 - 114.

(22) Ranger, Revolt, pp.67, 75 -76, 118, 122.

36

(23) Ranger-, Revolt, pp.62

63, 117.

(24) Ranger· , Revetl t, pp.46 - 47. ( 25) Ranger-, Revol t, pp.25, 36 (26)
~:anger-

-

39.

, Revct 1 t, p.87.

(27) Ranger-, Revolt, p.142. A gr-eat deal of r-esear-ch has been undertaken on the traditional religious systems of the Zimbabwean people; see D.G.L., "Hlimo", N.A.D.A., 1934, p.84, Thompson and Summers, "Ml imo and Mwari ~ Notes on Nat i ve Religion in Souther-n Rhodesia", N.A.D.A., 1956, p.53, R.C. Wocollaccttt, "Dziwager'a - God of Rain H, N.A.D.A., 1963, p.ll.~., I.G. Cockcr-aft, "The Hlimo (Hwar-i) cult", N.A.D.A., 1972, p.83, M. Gelfand, "The mhondoro cult among the Manyika peoples of the easter-n r-egion of Hashonaland" , N.A.D.A., 1974, p.64, N. Bhebe, itA critical review of our knowledge of the Mwari cult", University of Rhodesia, History Department seminar paper no 22, (5 May 1973), "The Ndebele and Mwari before 1893: A religious conquest of the conquerors by the vanquished", Lusaka Conference on the History of Central African Religious Systems, (September 1972), Cobbing, "Ndebele rel igion in the Nineteeth century", University of Rhodesia, History Department seminar paper no 28, (October 1974), R. Mwanza, "Mwari: The God of the Karanga", Lusaka Conference on the History of Central African Religious Systems, (September 1972), Ranger, "The meaning of Mwari" , research paper, 1974, .J. M. Schoffel eers, "An organizational model of the Mwari shrines", research paper 1973. (28) Ranger-, Revc.lt, pp.142 - 160. ( 29) Ranger-, Revolt, pp.163 - 190. Chapter Five, 204. "The r-elief of

au 1awayo"

,

( 30) Ranger-, Revolt, pp.202
(31)

Ranger-, Revolt, p.202.

( 32) Ranger-, Revolt, pp.212

-

218.

(33) Ranger-, Revolt, p.216. Beach,HThe r-ising in South Western Mashonaland, 1896 - 7",(University of London, 1971) pp.153 -158. R.C. Woollacott, "Pasipamire -.Spirit medium of Chami nuka, The "wi zar-d" of Ch i tungwi za" N.A. D.A •. vol xi, no 2, 1979, p.154. F.f....... J. Pc'sselt, ·Chaminuka the Wizar-d H, N.A.D.A. no.4, 1926, p.35, R.M.M. Ncube, "The true story re Chaminuka and Lobengula R , N.A.D.A., v, 39, 1962, p.59. (34) Ranger-, Revolt, p.218. (35) Ranger-, Revolt, p.215.

37 (36) Ranger, Revolt, pp.218, 282. (37) Ranger, Revolt, pp.219 -220. (38) Ranger, Revolt, p.222. (39) Ranger, Revolt, pp.202 H . t-1 . Hole, Reports, p . 54. (40) Ranger- , Revolt, p.204. ( 41) Ranger, Revol t, p .220. (42) Ranger- , Revolt, p.224. (43) Ranger, Revolt, p .205. (44) Ranger- , Revolt, p.283. (45) Ranger, Revol t, pp.289

-

205. Th i "'- echoes the opinion of

-

290.

(46) Ranger, Revolt, pp.290 - 292. (47) Ranger, Revolt, p.304. (48) Ranger- , Revolt, p.200. (49) Ranger, Revolt, Chapter 10, Political History", pp.344 - 386. (50) Ranger, Revolt, p.355. (51) Ranger, Revolt, p.353. (52) Ranger, Revolt, p.225. (53) Ranger, Revolt, pp.344 - 386. (54) Cobbing, "The Ndebele under the Khumalos, 1820 - 1896", University of Lancaster, 1976, Chapter 10, "The war of 1896 and the end of the State", pp.387 - 445. (55) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", pp.61 - 84. (56) Cobbing, "The Ndebel e", pp.8 - 9. (57) Cobbing, "The evolution of Ndebele amabutho" J.A.H., xv, 4 (1974), pp. 610 - 617, 637. (58) Cobb i ng, "The Ndebe 1 e", p. 9 • (59) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.9, Chapters 5, 6. (60) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", Priesthood", pp.68 - 71. p.9, Chapter 4, "Absent
I

"The Risings

in

African

38

(61) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.9, Chapter 8. (62) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", pp.9 (63) Cobbing, 10, 347 - 355.

"The Ndebele", pp.10, 355 - 364. 367. "Absent Priesthood",

(64) Cobbing, "The Ndebel e", pp .366 p.63.

(65) Cobb i ng, "The Ndebel e", p .383. "Absent Priesthood", p .63. (66) Cobbing, "AbiSent Priesthood", p .64. (67) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", pp.372 p.64. (68) Cobbing, p.65. "The Ndebele", pp.368 386. "Absent Priesthood", 369."Absent Priesthood",

(69) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p.65. (70) (71) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p.65. Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.385."Absent Priesthood", p.66.

(72) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p.72. (73) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p .66. (74) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p .67. (75) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p.67.

(76) Cobb ing, "Absent Priesthood", p .68. (77) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p .68. (78) Cobb ing, "Absent Priesthood", p. 71 • (79) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.417.

i

(80) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", pp.78 - 79. (81) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p.72.

(82) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p.73. (83) (84) Cobb ing, "Absent Priesthood", p. 75. Cobb ing, "Absent Priesthood", p. 76.

(85) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p. 76. (86) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p .68.

39

(87) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p.71. (88) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p.75. (89) Cobb ing, "Absent Priesthood", p. 78. (90) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p.77. This premise conflicts with the evidence upon which this revisionist study is based. (91) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood" , p.77. (92) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood" , p.78. (93) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood" , p.79. (94) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p.79. (95) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood" , p.79. (96) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p.80. Cobbing derives this point from Beach who shows that Chinkohore Chingombe not Mudzinganyama Jiri Mteveni, as stated by Ranger, was elected Mambo. (97) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood" , pp.80 (98) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p.82. (99) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p.83. (100) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p.83. (101 ) Cobbing, "Absent Priesthood", p.83.
J

-

81.

(102) Beach, The Shona and Zimbabwe 900 - 1850, An outline of Shona histc,r-j', "The Shona"economy: br-anches of pr-c,duction", in R.H. Palmer- & Q.N. Par-sons, ed., The r-oots of r-ur-al pover-ty in Centr-al and Souther-n Afr-ica, (London, 1977), "Second th6ughts on the Shona economy", in Rhodesian Histor-y, vii,(1976), "Kaguvi and For-t Hhondor-c," ,in Rhodesiana, XXVi1, (1972), "Ndebele r-aider-s and Shona power-", in J.A.H., XV, 4,(1974), "The initial impact of Christianity upon the Shona: The Protestants and the southern Shona", in A.J. Dachi, ed., Chr-istianity south of the Zambezi, 1, (Gwelo, 1973). (103) Beach, "The politics of collaboration, (South Mashonaland, 1896 - 7)", University of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Henderson Seminar Paper no 9, 1969; "The rising in South ~ Western Mashonaland, 1896 - 7", University of London, 1971; IIIIChimurenga": The Shona risings of 1896 - 97", in J.A.H., 20, 3, (1979). <This article is an almost exact reproduction of ""Chimurenga": The organisation of the Shona Risings of 1896 7", University of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Henderson Seminar Paper no 42, August 1978).

40

(104) Beach presents the evidence to show that Chaka's "rebellion" should rather be viewed as a conflict between Chaka and Chirumanzu. Beach's interpretation and the presented evidence in this instance are clearly in conflict. (105) Beach provides the evidence relating to the first murders and raids undertaken by Mashayamombe which should have prompted a radical change of perspective. Beach, however, attempted to reconcile this evidence with the interpretive perspective derived from Ranger. (106) Beach's dissertation is at certain points clearly confused and the interpretc:'\tion marred by "purple passages".The tendency to go off on a tangent is evident in "Chimurenga" , where a discussion of the Shona economy and "peripheral violence" detracts from the central thrust of the analysis. (107) Beach, "Politics of collaboration", p.l. (lOS) Beach, "Politics of collaboration", p.l passim. (109) Beach, "Politics of collaboration", p.l. (110) Beach, "Politics of collaboration", p.2. (111) Beach, "Politics of collaboration", pp.8·- 9. (112) Beach, "Politics of collaboration", pp.11, 17. (113) Beach, "Politics of collaboration", p.ll. (114) Beach, "Politics of collaboration", pp.17 (115) Beach, "Politics of collaboration", p.16. (116) Beach, "Pol itics of collaboration", pp.2, 33. The fourth reason is not stated by Beach, but emerges through his analysis. (117) Beach, "Pol itics of collaboration", pp.23 2S, 33. 21.
J

(118) Beach, "Pol itics of collaboration", pp.28 - 29, 33. (119) Beach, "Pol itics of collaboration", pp.2e, 33. (120) Beach, "Politics of collaboration", pp.29, 33. (121) Beach, "Pol itics of collaboration", p.33. (122) Beach, "Politics of collaboration", p.32. (123) Beach, "Politics of collaboration", p.32. (124) Beach, "Pol itics of coll aboration", p.32.

41

( 125) Beach, "Politics of coll

abol~at

ion" , pp.29 - 30.

(126) Beach, "The Rising", pp.2

--

3.

(127) Beach, "The Rising", pp.2, 158. ( 128) Beach, "The Rising", pp.2, 149 ( 129) Beach, "The Rising", pp.2, 158 (130) Beach, "The Rising" , pp . 174 153. 166. 197. 197.

--

( 131) Beach, "The Rising", pp.3, 191 ( 132) Beach, "The Rising", pp.238 291 294, 388 - 389, 394.

-

-

.. 246, 247 - 250, 272 _ 282,

( 133) Beach, "The Rising", pp.282 - 294. (134) Beach, "The Rising", pp.288 ..- 289. ( 135) Beach, "The F<ising" , pp.345, 425. (136 ) Beach, "The Rising", p.394. ( 137) Beach, "The Rising", pp.306 --. 307. (138) Beach, "The Rising", p.307. (1 :39) Beach, "The Rising", pp.353, 356 - 357. (140) Beach, "The Rising", pp.363 - 368. <141 ) Beach, "The Rising", pp.368 (142) Beach, "Ch imLlrenga" ,. p .395. ( 143) Beach, "ChimLlrenga" , p.401. (144) Beach, "ChimLlrenga" , pp .401 - 406 .. ( 145) Beach, "Chimurenga", p.405. (146) Beach, "Ch imurenga" , pp.406 ( 147) Beach, "ChimLlrenga", p.409. ( 148) Beach, "Chimurenga", p .407 • ( 149) Beach, "Ch i mLlrenga" , p.410. ( 150) Beach, "Chimurenga", p.418. 371.
I

--

411 •

? 4 ,-

(151) Beach, "Chimurenga", p.41.4. (152) Beach, "Chimurenga", p .416. (153) Beach, "Chimurenga", p.419. (154) Stanlake Samkange, The Year of the Uprising, (London, Hei nemann, 1978), Lat/.Jrence Vambe, An III fa ted Peop 1 e, (London, Heinemann, 1.972), Aeanas Chigwedere, "The 1896 Rinderpest Disease and its consequences", Heritage, Pub no 2, 1982. (155) Ranger, Revolt, Preface, p.xiv. (156) R. Werbner, "Introduction" and "Continuity and Pol icy in Southern Africa's High God Cult", in R. Werbner, ed, Regional cults, A.S.A. monograph 16, (London, 1977), p.179. Madziwanyika Tsomondo, "Shona reaction and resistance to the European ccdonization of Zimbabwe, 1890 - 1898", Jour'nal of Southern African Affairs, ii, 1977, pp.21 - 22.
(1~7)

(158) Ranger, "Primary resistance movements and modern mass nationalism in East and Central Africa", in J.A.H., IX, 3 - 4, 1969, "African reactions to the imposition of colonial rule in East and Central Africa", in L.H. Gann and P. Duigan, eds., Colonial ism in Africa, 1870 - 1960, (Cambridge, 1960), "The people in African resistance: a review", in Journal of Southern African Studies, iv, i,(1977). A.F. and B. Isaacman, "Resistance and collaboration in Southern and Central Africa, c 1850 - 1920", International Journal of African Historical Studies, x, i, 1977, and A.F. Isaacman, "Social Banditr'Y in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) and Mozambique, 1894 - 1907; an expression of early peasant protest", Journal of Southern African Studies, iv, i ,1977. i (159) Ranger', Revolt,

Pr·ef~ce,

pp.xii - xiii. (Manchester University

(160) M. Bloch, The Historians Craft, Press, 1954), p.197.

43

Chap t er TtA.lo

The question as to ·causes" of Rebel lion

The Hill late

period between the arrival of the Pioneer column at Harare on 12 September 1890 and the escalation of violence in

March 1896,

has provided historians looking for a

clear

and precise e:·:planation, with a definite series of "causes" for the "Rebel 1 ion". society central very during The e:·:tent of the European impact on African is a

the period September 1890 to March 1896

issue for re - examination. great has usually been

That European pressure was assumed and hence often

e>: aggerated .

The

origin

of

this

assumption

can

be

traced

to

the

propagandists of the British South Africa Company, who in their eagerness to attract financial and political support for their overstated the power and influence
\

Central African enterprise,

as well as the degree of development undertaken by th, during this period.(I). Opponents of the Company

Company also abuses. the

exaggerated

its influence to castigate it for alleged

Radical politicians in Britain, editor policy itself of Truth

such as Henry Labovchere, aggrieved by

,as well as settlers its

Company earned and to

condemned

administration. (2) The

Company

much hatred and envy; to the advancement

it was regarded as a threat of other interests, and

hindrance

44

strengthen their claims they exaggerated the impact it had.

The

next

step of

in

the

development

of

the of

traditional 1896 when and to self be

presentation rat ional under more rule, in

"causes" occurred in the wake

explanations were sought,

"causes" were needed or

the pressure of public opinion - duly found, accurate

- assumed. (3) The settler campaign for

culminating

in the attainment of responsible government the need to indict the Company for

1923,

furthered

malpractice during the formative period of its

administration.

These "causes", consisting as they do of a catalogue of abuses, were subsequently drawn upon by politicians and historians the birth of conflict in Rhodesian to

e>:p 1 ain society. frui t absence of

- Zimbabwean

The acceptance of these "causes" was not entirely the careful of research; in many cases it ref 1 ected but too an

vigorous and independent thought,

often of

historians

have been indifferent to a cri tical 'quest ioning
I

conventional wisdom. (4)

More

particularly, the

historians

have

accepted which

rather sees the

unquestioningly settlers society. peoples

Eurocentric perspective

as people who sought to challenge traditional African In to seizing control they caused the then subject they

experience widespread oppression.

The yoke

imposed is

seen as sufficient "cause" to stimulate a

decision

to rebel. That classic conception of cause and effect underlies Ranger's analysis. Other historians have seen the European

45

challenge outset. African

to The

African society to have been resisted Europeans but did the not succeed in

from

the the for

subjugating to account

people,

challenge is seen

continued resistance leading to a conflict according to a black - white position analysis. racial polarity. of Cobbing and Beach adopt this latter

cause related events in their more

sophisticated That,

Both conceptions glance back to explain 1896.

and their Eurocentric squint at the "risings", call for a study with a radical change of perspective.(5)

Benefitting war, in

from the revisionist studies of the Engl ish the questioning of "causes" found

civil in B.

particular

Cowar-d"'s, showing the 1890 the of

The Stuar-t Age,

this chapter- will be concer-ned with of that from a statistical analysis and consideration evidence, the European impact in the

documentary

period of

to 1896 was minimal .(6) The explanation of the nature
1

events of 1896 - 7 must therefore be sought in the details the conflict impact. which are not to be assumed to A careful examination of the li, in the will

European help to

"causes"

show that the "Rebellions" were very true to

life

complex, subtle and dynamic. To weigh the European impact it is essential to examine the demographic statistics.

On the basis of an assessment of various

demog~aphic

figures

and having taken into account fluctuations in population, it is calculated that the European population at the beginning of

1896 was under 6000 persons, children.(7) Roughly

of which one third were women and in Matabeleland, of

2500 people lived

46

which By far

over 1500 were in Bulawayo or its immediate environs.(S) the majority of Europeans were involved in urban where

occupations

unlikely to take them into the rural

areas

their lives would intrude on those of the rurally based African population.(9) intensive settlers Numerous other factors reduce the likelihood pressure on the African peoples. tender o~ European were of

Many age.

an advanced or

alternatively

Factors such as fever, illness or accident considerably thinned the ranks of the able; and a hostile environment, transport and communication African Bulawayo, difficulties further dissuaded contact with The white population, other than areas, the in in

peoples.(10)

tended to concentrate itself,

in small

settlements such as Fort Victoria, Gwel0, Salisbury and Umtal i. A 250 farms breakdown of the white population in March 1895 shows nearly 300 of that on

people lived on 150 farms in Matabeleland, in Mel setter, was and the rural 233, many population of

northern miners,

Mashonaland

about

whom, were
I

prospectors and storekeepers.(ll)

On the basis of this evidence it can therefore be deduced the was European population was a civil ian orientated .ociety; not a mobilized military force intent on subjugating

that it the

African population.(12) It was spread very thinly on the ground and was extremely vulnerable. In short, the impact upon the

African people by this small a1 ien presence is unlikely to have been extensive, and this can be substantiated when the pattern

of white society is tested against the available evidence as to

47 its activities, particularly mining, farming and settlement.

Mining

deserves which

special

considerat ion,

for

this

was

the
El

activity
Dorado

was intended to be the backbone of the new pressure

and hence woul d have e}(erted the gr'eatest

on

the local population.

Its beginnings go back to the fifteen mining claims granted to the size. random, Pioneers in 1890, anyone each of which was 150 by 400 was allowed to peg being a ten feet claims for in at the shaft, Pioneers Mazoe or

Thereafter the

only 1 icense

obligation

shilling

prospector's within four for

and the sinking of a sixty On being disbanded,

foot the

months. (13) the

scrambled

gold fields.

Some made for the

Lomangundi, but the favourite field was the Umfuli. Prospecting needed no skill to do and was based on the belief that all one needed to which one
\

was locate "ancient workings",

could
~n

be

guided by local mine had

inhabitants for a small reward. Once the prospector got to work

ancient the

been located,

with

crudest of tools.(14)

As

uncertainty many

developed

about the extent and depth Though

of no

the man

reefs

prospectors became disillusioned.

could peg more than ten, claims were negotiable. apply to the company

or if a Pioneer, fi~teen claims, the Limitations on the prospector did promoter. In many cases their groups claims. The not of In

individuals others,

formed

syndicates

and pooled

individuals were bought out by companies.

Mining

48

Regulations, of the

promulgated by the Company soon after the arrival column, were intended to deal with th i s must rule,

Pioneer They

situation. have
1 ike

included the provision that the Company This

a half share in every mining company formed. most others, was enforced in a haphazard and

irregular

way. The process of amalgamation and absorption began early and advanced column, moment rapidly. began the Frank Johnson, the leader of the Pioneer from the and

buying

claim rights for

100 each

Pioneers were disbanded.

Sir John Willoughby

other promoters did the same.

The sellers, being without cash,

often had no option and many of them left the country.(IS)

Ten mining companies, in

with a total nominal capital of

121000,

which the Company had a share interest,

were listed by the companies had

registrar of claims in 1895. and syndicates

There were another 187

of whose formation the Chartered
1

Company

been informed. These 197 companies owned all the mines named as
I

the the

"principal mining

properties" or "more important properties" These

in

commissioner's reports. (16)

concentrations

theoretically made for more efficient mining was the first to bring use st.amp more in a three stamp mill

methods . .Johnson

into Mashonaland for a five few the

one of the Mazoe mines. mill

This was followed by

for a mine at Hartley Hi.lls.<17} During 1892 a were imported and installed. However, by

mills

beginning of 1894, - mines,farms and

t.he Mazoe, Umful i and Mashonaland generally towns were comparatively negl ected.

Following on the 1893 war,

there had been an exodus to the new

49 El
Dorado

in

Matabeleland. in 1895 reflected,

The

reports

of

the for

mining some

commissioners time or (Mazoe), much

little or no work

negl ect of the district since the war (Umful i) , and development but still no ret.urns cycle wi 1 dl Y

pegging

(Sal isbury) .(18) several years

Matabeleland of

went through the same "development" and

prospecting,

opt.imistic reports without any actual production of gold.

In

September

1894,

John

Hays Hammond,

an

American

mining

engineer, was sent by Rhodes to assess the mineral prospects of Matabeleland. - act It was hoped that Hammond's report would counter return to

some rather negative assessments. (19) On his

Johannesburg, was pointed

Hammond submitted his report to Rhodes. There it out that the reefs "belonged to the class of and that veins of their persistence
1

ore this in that. or

deposits character depth" . this bodies

known as true fissure veins, are But universally noted for

Hammond also called attention "to the

fact

attribute does not imply the occurrence of pay phoots of commercial to to val~e in their

veins". of

Hammond

warned and

investors companies

be careful in their choice

properties,

prove the value of their reefs before

incurring he the

heavy development expenditure. "confidently mining commended the

Subject to these conditions country to the attention of

capitalists".(20)

Hammond's

warnings

and

moderate

optimism were both justified. Rhodes took careful cognizance of Hammond's scrupulous. promoters", report, "To but .Jameson , among others, was 1 ess

judge from the remarks of the various

mining

wrote Hammond, "I must have visited every mine and

';

.

,

','

,



.,H ...,::. . . . • . .

','

: ' . .~'.

" ',.'

;"

"

. .' to, . . . .

." ,

,.
'.

.:~~~

.....•

-

"

,

,
'~':.'

'i,
'.

\

"



50

claim in Rhodesia and reported glowingly on them all".(21)

Early gold half

in

1895 the registrar of claims gave a summary

of

the a the

production of the country. years to date was 4,400

The total for the four and ounces, less than what

Witwatersrand was then producing per day.(22) Moreover, 3000 of these mining ounces came from the Victoria and 1000 from the Umfuli since

districts,both of which had been in the doldrums Neither Bulawayo,

the middle of 1893. produced anything

Gwelo nor Salisbury had and gold

so far.(23) As the list of mines

production in. the

Chamber of Mines Report in 1897 illustrates,

little changed within the space of a year, or as William Harvey BrOt.o,m, an American natural s.cientist,conve>'ed in his. boc.k, the mining industry -the On

the South African Frontier, backbone

economic

of the new Rhodesia - was a paper dream.

The area of in

the claim was severely reduced in comparison with elsewhere

the world, with the intent of inflating statistics to encourage investment Rhodesia, had in Company shares on the London Stock E>:change. very few claims'were actually worked and even In

fewer If

the stamping machinery necessary

to make them pay. (24) such as the

one bypasses the official statements, pronouncements of Jameson,

~nthusiastic

the cartoons of the 8ulawayo Sketch

best express the frustration of the local population in the new
E1 Dorado. (25)

Many of the settlers had decided to leave and it colony

is debatable as to whether Rhodesia in early 1896 was a

dying of natural causes. (26) The whites in the country were not impressed by the glowing reports circulated in London. As early



I

u

<

:r::

-

>.- . _\
~.

,

51 as 1893 the retarded among economy the was a source of intense in the

dissatisfaction

settlers. (27)

Europeans

country were sharply aware that while statistics were inflated, companies prices, floated, all of which encouraged the rise of stock

nothing was actually done on the ground.

A great deal

of money was sunk in these mining ventures, stamp batteries,the transport of which was expensive, wages and salaries, the

buying out of share holders; but the return for all this effort was less than one day's output to encourage on the Witwatersrand. one The

Company's contended,

attempts

development,

pioneer

were counteracted by its own greed.

The fifty per

cent interest claimed by the Company acted as a disincentive as it reduced the profitability of new enterprise and active discouraged

development.(28) The regulations promulgated in 1895 to mining aroused intense opposition as they hampered the

regulate

development.

These

regulations were sharply lampooned in
\

Bulawayo Sketch. since they were

Similar regulations were discontinued in 1897 "considered to be an unnecessary.
I

e>:pense,

seeing that the mining work at present done is limited, and is, for the greater part only in its early stages". (29) by The land with

occupied

the mines was limited and did not interfere

the African chiefdoms.

There mining

remains

the question of the labour recfuirements of but this is perhaps best examined after

the the

industry,

impact of the settlers' second most important economic activity - farming - is first determined.

52

Farming other

did major

not attract many people even though European occupation. In 1890 the

it

was

the and

Pioneers

policemen

were each promised 1500 morgen of

land.

Occupation for

was initially insisted upon but soon wavered as the search gold took preference. (30) In 1892 the quitrent was morgen. Land grants were freely given, many

3 per 1 500 to absentee

landlords.(31) Moreover, more than half the Pioneer farm rights with their exemption from occupation, had by the end of of 1891 passed into the Frank 22 678 hands of "commercial company owned syndicates". 40 000 In

Mashonaland H.C.Moore, morgen. amounted The

Johnson's morgen

morgen, 110 441

and Sir John

Willoughby outspan

land granted by 1893,

excluding

farms,

to 973 688 morgen,

of which 173 119 morgen was owned 1893 the Company and

by these three syndicates alone.(32) In April decided

that land alienation could not proceed unchecked, it on was the sold at 1.6d a morgen. (33) wa~ thereafter Agreement volunteers the

The

Victoria the

eve of the 1893 Ndebele

promised

3000 morgen exempt from

occupation. (34) 'Following located, the

"conquest" of Matabeleland, surveyed,

farms were claimed,

granted, Deeds

but few were occupied.

The fact that

Registry in Sal isbury was only permitted to issue a land

grant further delayed occupation. (35)

In

March

1895 an estimated 700 white In Matabeleland,

peopl~

were

settled

on 150 Of

farms in Rhodesia. farms,

250 people lived on

although 1070 farms of 3000 morgen had been pegged.

these 150 occupied farms only 900 acres had been cultivated, an

53 average there of six acres per farm. (36) In Fort Victoria in 1897

were seventy registered farms.

Twenty of these had been had

occupied by traders for grazing purposes and on only a few

five or six acres been ploughed up. The land owned by companies was not occupied. (37) between 1891 and In Hartley twenty one farms were pegged have been

1896,

but only three appear to

worked, and only one had more than a single occupant at anyone time.(38) only two In Umtal i, 244 farms had been alienated by 1895, but In Mazoe there were only

people were farming. (39)

thirteen people, were a

no farmer among them. (40) In Enkeldoorn,there and some left their farms to take
E.F.Knight, a cororespondent foro

few Afrikaners, riding.(41) up
The

troan-:opc,rot Times,

was to note during his tour of

the country in 1894 that

"most

of the so - called farmers were merely who

prospectors

and

storekeepers, Melsetter

had done next to no work on the

land".(42)

was the one exception to the general rule of the non There nearly half the farming
\

-occupation of land. of Rhodesia lived. of 6350

population - 3, did
J

Following on the Moodie trek of 1892 were alienated, and these often

farms

acres

encompass African farm lands.(43)

Elsewhere

in

Mashonaland,

the

vast

estates

granted

to

speculative companies meant that such land was neither occupied nor greatly developed, and i t , prevented

closely other a

Europeans from occupying the land. number of farms and could not

Many settlers also owned occupy them all.

Company

officials, well endowed with land, rarely found the time to use it. Afrikaners at Enkeldoorn bought family farms in adjacent

54

blocks, who

but on

the families tended to live together. their farms and were not

Even those did

lived

speculators,

relatively 1 ittle farming work prior to 1896. Europeans who did take Shona easily widely up farms tended to choose the heavy red soils which the more more to

were inclined to neglect in favour of the lighter, manageable dispersed sand soi15.(44) Shona settlement than that of the Ndebele, which was worked

their advantage, of 1893,

as did the fact that after the "Matabele war" settled interest down to a period on of the utter new

"Mashonaland for all

stagnation,

was concentrated

province. The bulk of our fellow settlers," Hugh Marshall Hole, the Sal isbury Civil Commissioner, recalled, "had gone with

Jameson to the front, and as they were well rewarded with farms and gold claims they had every temptation to remain in

Matabeleland".(45)

The

Ndebele were no more conscious of the land' problem,

even

though it was precisely the land on which they were l~ving with its fertile red and black soils, which was coveted over by the

Europeans. (46) Though the white intruders fell pegging apparent out in their farms, many applied of the

themselves which are

features to

Mashonaland

equally

Matabeleland.

Absentee landlordism was the rule rather than f the exception. It was gold, rather Thus than 150 land which brought the out of over 1000 Europeans were to ever

Bulawayo.

only

farms

worked, and these at a subsistence level. Again vast areas were located in the hands of companies as many Europeans sold their

55

farm loss only

rights for between

10 to

60,

a sure indication of

the

of confidence in Rhodesia,

as the Mashonaland claims for 100 i.n

half the acreage had fetched an average price of

1890.(47) Thus over half the Umzingwane district near passed into the hands of Willoughby's Consol idated.

Bulawayo Moreover, distant

no attempt was ever made to force the Ndebele into the Gwaai and Shangani Reserves, prized had

as they were generally too highly Ndebele
WE~re

as potential sources of labour.(48) Though the "legally" of this deprived of their land they

been

not

conscious

since the white

"landowner"

took

1 ittl e

interest in their presence.

In relation to farming then,

it is clear that despite the huge the indigenous account

number of farms claimed and registered by 1896, people had been little disturbed.

Three main factors

for the failure to work the farms. but people hesitated to become

A mining boom was expected, involved in\ agricul tur-al like no

production Willoughby, development. with land all

before there was a market. bought Most up large

Land speculatqrs, land which saw

tracts of

people

did not have the necessary where While the extent it of

to make a success of farming.

alienated to Europeans on paper was extensive, in actuality.

meant the

nothing

It therefore cannot be argued that , "Risings" of 1896 - 7 were a struggle for lost land.(49)

Some land had also been alienated for European settlement. small European population was concentrated in the mentioned. These and other five

The main

settlements

already

settlements

!'56

occupied

such

a

small Hole

land

area

as

to

be

considered

inconsequential. have been

later wrote of Sal isbury that "it would of the place

easy to pass within a hundred yards

itself without noticing it".(50) Rudyard Kipl ing commented in a similar vein on Bulawayo in a letter to the Freemasons, dated

23 November 1914;

"

"Landsdown" of

and

II

Par·k Road

II

don' t e:·( act 1 y fit

in

with

my the

memory

Bulawayo.

Have they given up kill ing 1 ions on

town commonage?

Last time I was there, they were putting down

poi son for them." (51)

The the

extent of European development in the two years occupation was of Matabeleland, not impressive. stagnated, they despite the

following and

optimism

braggadocio, had not

Salisbury and Fort Victoria were visibly same' time decaying. indicate

merely of

Descriptions small

Gwelo and Umtali at the of a rural

settlements

disposition. (52)

Crlntemporar'y brick in

photographs of all buildings,

these main centres show small tin and

with a number of wattle and daub dwellings still

e>dstence, widely spread out.(53) The only settlement which had violently displaced people was Bulawayo, and it soon moved from the site of Lobengula's kraal to its present 10cation.(54) ,i

But

no issue has been more firmly entrenched as a

"cause"

of

the first "Chimurenga" than the e:·(traction of forced labour. In the Selukwe district the cry was allegedly heard during the

57 fighting, "anything is preferable to working on the mines" .(55) In 1936, Mr Mganganyeri Mhlope, an African informant, told R.

Foster Windram,

"the cause of the rebel 1 ion was 1 abour recrui t ing isibalNa. When the white people started the place they call Selukwe the pol ice used to come to our kraals ••••.• and when they recruited us they used to beat us ....... when we were recruited we were taken to Selukwe."(56)

In an interview in 1969, Ndaikwa, considered that;

another African informant,

Mr

Mauto

"the thing that caused Chimurenga was sjamboks, since (at) that time people were being forced to work for the government, so these people were the ones who were being beaten thoroughly by sjamboks."(57)

While occur,

it the

is common cause that incidents of forced labour extent Several and intensity of the abuse factors has not

did been

determined.

mitigate against' forced

labour

being an intolerable burden. Farming was of such an uhdeveloped nature as to make labour demands minimal. In Matabeleland the

Gwelo, Selukwe and Belingwe districts were largely neglected as far as farming was concerned. of There were only a few farms east Gwelo and

the Doro range in Belingwe and one farm each in appear to have been occupied.(58) Beach uses and

Selukwe from

evidence had in

1898

1899 to show that the Charter farmers a bad name for brutality towards

"particular African

acquired

their it of

labourers".

The Native Commissioner reported that

was impossible to supply Enkeldoorn with labour "on account

58

the bad name the Boers have amongst the natives" due to general ill - treatment and dishonesty in matters of pay. This Native

Commissioner, a year later, added that;

"it is difficult to get natives to work for the Dutch farmers in the district owing to their having been accustomed to beating their natives under the Transvaal Government where no Justice is accorded a nat i ve."

Beach's conclusion that "Presumably this attitude was prevalent in
1894

5

when the bulk of the farmers fails

arrived

from

the

Transvaal",

int:er alia to take into account the anti

Afrikaner sentiment prevalent in Rhodesia in 1899 on the eve of the Anglo its If - Boer war. (59) In 1896 the Enkeldoorn confines 210 people,
150 of whom were

laager women

had and

within

chi 1 dren. the

besides the Melsetter area where Just under half farming population lived, the Charter and

European

Enkeldoorn

areas

were the heaviest in their

~abour

demands,

then a reassessment of forced labour in relation to a9riculture must conclude that this de~and was minimal .(60)

The

problem

of forced labour becomes

primarily

~elevant

to

mining. are

The needs of the mining industry in relation to labour to assess due to insufficient or else

difficult

contradictory data. for example,

Beach's statistics of underground footage,
The~e

are no indication of labour requirements.

statistics reported by

are derived from estimates of the underground Mining Commissioners and cannot be

work

verified.

~59

Further, use the

the greater part of the underground work involved the accordance the of with wrong the

of dynamite in the opening up of pits in sixty

foot regulation.(61) Beach also creates when he quotes the labour

impression Victoria

requirements

goldfield as providing an idea of the average of the industry. The figure quoted for Though largest

labour February had

requirements 1895 is

45 Europeans and 364 Africans. after 1893, it was still the

Victoria gold

decl ined having March

field, by the most

produced 3000 of the 4 400 ounces mined in Rhodesia 1895. Victoria, Furthermore, therefore, on was no yardstick for gold fields

"mean" • (62)

the Victoria

coloured labour was supplied by foreign labour from the Zambezi valley around Tete and the Tonga country, and the hinterland of the Inhambane, .and this reduced pressure on the foreign all Shona and

Ndebele there reduced

still further. (63) Alongside these were the also

labourers of which the who

volunteer Shona and Ndebele,

need for forced labour. (64) There were

also

over 400 "Cape Boys",

African servants from SO(lth Africa,
J

had accompanied or followed in the wake of the Pioneer These men were largely personal servants and

column. the

bore

responsibility for building the primitive settlements inhabited by the Europeans. On the mines, these men filled the skilled

positions since the barrier of language precluded local African peopl e. (65)

What

also was

mitigated against the exploitation of the limited development

local by

black the the

labour

undertaken

Europeans.Often the supply of voluntary labour outstripped

60

demand,

as

an entry into the logbook of A.

L.

Jameson,

the

Lomangundi Mining Commissioner illustr'ates; "Three half st.arved emaciated niggers turned up for work,(sic) have been forced do S. to

without them as we have plenty of boys."(66) An anecdote of P. Hyatt, of a labour recruiting agent, reveals that lack the of

"problem

labour" was a convenient excuse for the

development and for fr'aud.

The Geelong mine, on the Umzingwani

river, had been forced to close through lack of labour. Hyatt's point was that he had recently offered the mine a supply of

workers, but had been refused. The closing down of the mine was fraudulent. Something to do with "Bears", Hyatt thought. (67)

The

general reluctance of the local African people to do

mine

work was acknowledged. from agent ab i 1 i ty the was of

Attempts were made to recruit labourers recruiting The was and

Transkei and at the end of 1895 a labour sent the to Lewanika, ELlropeans to king of

Barotseland.(68) people
\

compel

to

work
J

restrained did

by African resistance.

African ch iefs

could,

refuse to supply labour to Europeans. (69) Some Africans the

chose their own locale of employment as they had done from

1880's when Ndebele and Shona men had travelled to Johannesburg and Kimberley mines. (70) When forced labour did occur, There the were

labour

force generally succeeded in of abuse

desertin~.(71)

incidents treatment than to

such as the refusal

to pay wages, exception

violent rather

and cheating,

but these were the

the rule.

The interests of the Europeans were recognised and abuses which came to

depend on good labour relations,

61 the notice of the authorities were the evidence quickly acted upon.(72) violent relates

Surprisingly, treatment of

for extensive demands or of labour

Africans

in the extraction

particularly to the Fort Victoria, and Mtoko areas. districts in

Mel setter,

Umtal i, Hartley

With the exception of Hartley, these were the 1896 - 7 which were either "neutral" or

"coll aborationist".

This is an important point.. to bear in mind

when the events of 1896 - 7 are examined.

Having

briefly

dealt with the impact made by

the

Europeans' the effect

major economic activities upon the African peoples,

of the Company's administrative and judicial machinery must now be the determined. African Though confrontations between the Company Britain the impact and from

peoples drew sharp condemnation in and of the subsequent commentators,

contempories perspective

African still

Company's presence and its

needs to be determined. and Were what the

How did the Africans view the Company, assumed i ?

was their reaction to the sovereignt; it African and the people uniformly authority aware
?

of Was

the the

Company's Company

presence

it claimed

regarded as a hostile alien, flux of pol itical power,

or as simply another force in the allied with, as

to be resisted or

circumstances dictated? presence of 6000

What we need to establish is, had the an impact to

Europeans created enough Qf

distinguish

their activities from those of the African peoples It is contended that the assumption of has led to conflict undue with

among whom they 1 ived?

an inherent confl ict between black and white emphasis upon

the role played by Europeans in

62

Afr'ic:ans, pervades victims, sett 1 ers

and most

the effect of such conflict. analyses; whites are

A basic racialism blacks are

predators, Africans are

Europeans initiate

are oppressors,

oppressed; inhabit.ant.s

action to which the indigenous

These crude characterizations serve only to confuse and obscure 1 evel . soc i al t.he real ity of human beings interacting on a personal of of

The complexity of the human fact.or and the dynamics int.eract.ion place a check on any clear delineation

moral black or white.

The question of European mil itary action

is one of these grey areas.

The first V.

instance to be examined is the Guerolt murder. a prospector of French origin and an

J. F ..

Guerolt,

American

citizen,

was murdered near Hwata's kraal

in the Mazoe district

on 22 January 1982. The motive is unknown. Captain M. D. Graham led a party to investigate the crime, assisted by bod~ the

local

Field Cornet, the Vicomte dela Panouse. The kraal near the scene was deserted, the hi 11 .

was found. The
J

but one man was captured on

The prisoner stated that the local chief's name was

"Chirumzela, and that the latter had inst.igated his two sons to commit the murder, .and that he, the Chirumzela, was present when

murder was committed." Chirumzela was captured at a

kraal after further investigation. Guerolt's coat, trousers . and clasp the knife were found in one of the huts. chief one of his men was shot while kraal was burnt. In the capture trying to to of

.

small

escape. "take peopl e

Chirumzimba's act ion

It was then decided

against Chief Gol edaima",

because three of his

63

had

been

with Guerolt when he was murdered, grounds of suspicion" against one

and of

there them.

were The

"reasonable attack had on

was also Justified by the fact that Goledaima's numerous thieves. were occasions The threatened was white men six and

people were its

notorious inhabitants quantity ammunition Kraal that,

kraal

attacked,

of

killed and three wounded, property" was found in

and "an the

enormous Some the

of

stolen belonging

huts. so

to the patrol was then

stolen,

nearest the crime was burnt. "The punishment

Graham's report

concluded

they received (was)

in no way in e}(cess

of what they deserved". (73)

Guerolt's case was followed by the "Ngomo" affair . .James Bennet had been a policeman in charge of the Company's trading store he

near paramount chief Mangwendi's kraal. was discharged from the police,

At the end of 1891

and formed a partnership with

Llewelyn Meredeith, at the

a police associate, first in farming, then a private

old trading station which they reopened as

venture. In March 1892, Bennet took some trade goods ~o Gonwe's kraal and erected a smail enclosure from which to trade.

Despite protests from Bennet, the enclosure, people to kill

Gonwe's son insisted on entering Gonwe called on his escaped and

and Bennet pushed him out. Bennet,

but the ex - policeman L.

complained to the administrator, The people of the district, for some

S . .Jameson, in Sal isbllry. had been and

and Gonwe in particular, whites,

time in the view of the

"impertinent"

"insolent". in

A coloured wagon driver had recently been murdered but the murderer had not been traced. (74) A

the district,

64

patrol Lendy,

was despatched to Mangwendi's district, later to playa controversial role in Lendy asked paramount chief

under the

Captain "Victoria to

inc ident" . (75)

Mangwendi

assisthim with the arrest of his subject Gonwe, in Salisbury. But,

to stand trial

"Mangwendi said that he was unabl e to do so, that he was afraid of the Chief Goma, who was too strong for him, and that if I wanted him I must take him myself; that Gomo would fight, and that he, Mangwendi, did not wish to interfere, but to let the white men settle the matt.er with Gomo themselves." (76)

Lendy then sent a message to Gonwe giving him until sundown surrender. Sal isbury He for did not do so, whereupon Lendy On 17 March Lendy returned arrived

to to at

reinforcements.

Gonwe's kraal at day break. including goats. (77) Gonwe,

They attacked and killed 21 people and several

and captured 47 head of cattle

J

W.

E.

Fair-br-idge,

editor-. of

the Rhodesian Her-ald, Salisbur-y-'s

premier newspaper,accompanied Lendy's party, the incident reached the English press almost

and his report of immediately. (78)

The High Commissioner, Sir Hercules Robinson, stated that, "the punishment the infl icted .••...• appears utterly disproportianate to in

original offense". (79) When a full report was recei ved it "would" in the opinion of Lord Knutsford,

London,

Colonial

Secretary , "have justified much stronger terms of remonstrance than were used by the High Commissioner ...•.• Proceedings of

this nature are 1 ikely to do incalculable injury to the British

65

South Africa Company in publ ic estimation in this cQuntry".(80) It was in Britain that. the real effects of the "Ngomo" affair

were felt. Critics of the Company exploited the incident. to the full, judging according to the standards then prevalent in

Britain. unsuited

It. hardly needs to be stated that these standards are to the African context of the events. Before it is

evaluating the African perception of the "Ngomo" affair, necessary ch iefdom. to briefly examine the history of the

Mangwendi

As Shona chiefdoms did not normally pass from father to son but circulated in the family, the scope for dynastic disputes was

great. About 1869 the Mangwendi title had been assumed with the proper Rozvi investiture by Hundungu, to the exclusion of his

elder brother Zinyemba. Civil war followed, in which Zinyemba's forces, led by his son Gonwe, were defeated by Hundungus', led Gonwe retired to the hill top where Bennet j by his son Mungati. found him. in 1879.

In 1878 Hundungu was succeeded by Katerer, who died After a short interregnum, Hundungu's eldest son, two

Mungati sons, control popular. Chiredza original

succeeded in 1880, Chiredza during

to the exclusion of Katerer's Chiredza, and had however, made had

and Chibanda. the

taken very have

interregnum

himself

The danger to the reigning Mangwendj led him to put to death, dynastic

thus compounding the bitterness of the Mungati was the Mangwendi usurpation, who the

quarrel.

refused to deal with Gonwe.

Following on the

civil war and the murder, an uneasy truce had prevailed. Gonwe,

66

faced pride men.

by and

Lendy's ultimatum,

had been forced to

swallow

his white

ask the paramount chief for help against the

Mangwendi would not allow him into his kraal

and told him
Gonwe'~

to fight his own battles.(81) Lendy's report that after death, "Mangwendi expressed himself del ighted with

what

had

been done",

can be seen to have some substance. Lendy's action and dynastic politics,

happened to fit into a pattern of tribal in

terms of which the injury to one was a blessing to another.

This incident was not unique.(82)

Another raided for men,

concerned Mugabe,

a chief near Victoria,

who in 1892 the Company and a few

a neighbouring chief who then appealed to Chaplin,

protection.

the Victoria magistrate,

"were sent to assist the raided Chief, and gi ve Meghabi a

lesson". Chaplin came in to report that Mugabe resisted, so his kraal was burnt and the chief killed.(83) Despite orders to the
\

contrary, officials of the Company continued to become involved in these disputes. A few months later when the newl~ installed

Chief Gutu complained to Fort Victoria about some and cattle stealing by whites, the

interference sent to to

officials

investigate

"were seized and assaulted by rival claimants

Goto's chieftainship".

A ma>:im gun was brought out, and one of

the opposition party killed".(84)

The

events which

of 1892 reveal an important aspect

of

the

Shona

world,

remained unchanged despite the slight escalation

of violence following on the creation of the Native Department, until the war of conquest of 1896 - 7. The attention of the

67

Shona was still focussed on their domestic politics. and and

Mangwendi

Gutu were more concerned with threats from dynastic rivals tribal opponents than about hypothetical dangers from the

handful of whites in the country. Rhodes's settlers were called upon by some as mil itary all ies in disputes, as had Portuguese of

and Venda mercenaries before them. (B5) These incidents were more significance in Britain, up public outrage, where opponents of the than in the embryonic

Company Rhodesia.

stirred

There is nothing to suggest that the Shona regarded Graham's or Lendy's patrols as differing in degree or effect from a Ndebele raid or their own internicine conflicts. the a Indeed, the effect of

Ndebele raid on Victoria in 1B93 can be shown to have been far more dramatic experience for the Shena peoples. The

Europeans were behaving in accordance with the dictates of this violent on and volatile society, In the where right ultimately depended the and late
~very

might.

African interior in prevailed,

nineteenth community

century

general

insecurity

depended upon violence to maintain its and

position.

HJmanitarian when of

legal criticisms are out of their historical context these its conflicts.(B6) The Company was not master authority was not recognised by the

examining the land,

African

peoples, and the respect it commanded depended on force.

It has been argued that the extension of European to

jurisdiction

try cases involving the African peoples was a threat to the power of a chief and that it undermined his

traditional

authority. (B7)

68

The Victoria Court records, the only reasonably complete show that between 1892 and 1896, of 42 accused, 13 Europeans and 25

files~

others,

out of a total

were convicted of various crimes

such as murder, assault and theft against the local Shona. From this to perspective the Company's judicial system was of the Shona as it presumably
1 li 11 .....

benefit from

deterred

some

people

cr-iminal act.s.. (88)
Fr· on tier- ,

iam Har·vey Br'own in On the South Afr-ican

de'.:.c r- i bes. an inc i den t. wh i c h sh c. . . .'s h 0'.....' t. h e Sh C'ffa t. 001.< much to the

full

advantage of the Company's judicial system,

chagrin of the settlers who accused the Company of being overly concerned about the African people.(89) The Victoria court also tried crimes committed by the Shona such as desertion from work and theft. charge not Beach is of the opinion that desertion
·fl~om

work, a was 1 to

made against 30 Shona during the period 1892

- 6,

deserving of the sentences received,

from a fine of

15 lashes, penalties number extract of

though theft was a mutually acknowledged crime. The imposed were heavy, but they affected only a
J

\

small also

people. (90) Shona and Ndebele

justice

could

heavy penalty from an offender.(91) As to the of traditional authority,

alleged to

undermining point 1892 to and

Beach is only able court a

fourteen cases tried by the Victoria 1896. At an average of three cases

between the As

year,

f oLtrteen the

cases were not many and were not si9J1 if icant . (92)

evidence relating to Kunzwi Nyandoro illustrates, and did,

a Shona

chief could, different

exercise jurisdiction over someone of a if chiefdom within his territory. (93) Further, of the Europeans was resented to the

the

inter'vent ion

degree

69

alleged,

the

traditional

authorities would have

had

1 ittle

difficulty in reversing a decision. Finally, it is pertinent to point out that Beach draws his statistics from Fort Victoria,

an area unaffected by the conflict of 1896 - 7.

The

European process

colonisation of Mashonaland would seem to in that it took the form of a be

a

urique

peaceful conquest of

penetration, from a

followed

only in 1896

7 by a war

of

position within the country, in 1893 wo~ld whereas the conquest follow the

Matabeleland pattern

seem to

established considered

of a military assault.

Many writers have

the conquest of Matabeleland to have been the important turning point in the colonisation of the country. On one hand it led to the subjugation of the Ndebele and subsequent oppression fired their determination to throw off the yoke of which white

conquest, and on the other, it caused the Shona to realise that the whites were not just a passing to stay. As to such both phenomeno~ but
J

settlers as the

determined essential

the 1893 war is the Ndebele

seen and

prelude

Shona

"Rebel 1 ions" . (94)

An

assessment an

of

the impact of that

war

upon

the the

Ndebele Ndebele

requires

understan.ding

of the structures. of •

pol ity and of the conflicts within Ndebele society. An appendix at the end of this thesis presents an analysis of the within Ndebele conflict the in

society which assists in an assessment of and the subsequent confl iet

significance

of the 1893 war,

70
1896.(9~i)

As a "cause",

the 1893 war must be e>:amined in the o/'"'

tht:'?

light of an understanding of the conflicts within pol ity. With the death of Lobengula in January

Ndebele earl y

February 1894, the local power always ove/'"' done.

leadership continued to exercise their their~ the iatusi and ibutho in The demise

izigaba as they

had

of Lobengula

was

not

a

dramatic out where

psychological with

shock.

The gut of the state was not ripped The local structures of power,

Lobengula's death.

real authority lay, the country, from

remained intact.

The European invasion of of

therefore, Lobengula the not role to

did not result in the devolution the Company. From the

power

Ndebel e 1893 for was the

perspective, significant

played

by the Europeans in but

for the conquest of the state,

change of power it precipitated within the Ndebele The oral tradition suggests that internal

polity.(96) was

dissension

particularly intense in 1893, and several izinduna interests - best served by a withdrawal of
\

found their from

support

Lobengula.(97) The European invasion in 1893, thereforF' served the interests of dissenting local factions.
If

a

national

rising were later to be determined on , the overcoming of these factional interests would have been a prerequisite. To achieve pol ity, degree and face the of a

the suppression of diverse antagonisms within the Europeans intense would have needed to impose a uniform u~ite oppression

as to forge a desire to

common foe. However, the European pressure was minimal, and the major effect of the 1893 war was to intensify these antagonisms among the Ndebele themselves. These internal conflicts remained entrenched between 1893 and 1896,. and
~ccount

for

the

71

subsequent conflict assuming the character of a civil The of European intervention in 1893 again fitted into a tribal pol itics, pattern to

where an injury to one was a blessing

another.

As

a result of the 1893 war it has been argued that the to they the had Europeans underwent a sharp as a

Shona

attitude Previously phenomenon

rev i sian. temporary and to

regarded the Europeans

and were prepared to suffer the oppression

respond to it on an ad hoc basis. The effect of the 1893 war it has been argued, was to cause them to conclude that only a The too

united

response to

would rid them of European pressure.(99) rationalized analysis is that Further, it is

objection

this

theoretical and abstract. confl ict with the facts.

this rationalization is in

After 1893 the European population in a move to Matabeleland. The
\

Mashonaland decreased as there was

extent of the limited European pressure was further reduced. If the Shona had expected the Europeans to withdraw, 1893 i would be

have confirmed their expectations. (100) The 1893 war cannot seen to be a "cause" • It did not lay the

psychological

foundations for the subsequent "Rebell ion'l.

The the

1893 war led to the creation of the

Nati~e

Department

as

Europeans attempted to give some substance to their

claim

to have colonized Rhodesia. The Native Department is alleged by Beach Native to have had a profound impact on African society. The

Commissioners allegedly acquired much of the

livestock

72

of

the African people, recruited

interfered in traditional

systems

of

justice,

compulsory labour

and played a disruptive • statistical analysis

role in African politics.(tOt) However,

would seem to contradict any thesis which attributes a profound impact on African society by the Native Department. In December 1894 five districts were delineated in Matabeleland.
1895,

In

March The

23

districts

were defined in

Southern

Rhodesia.

average land area of a district was therefore just under 17 000 km 2 • ( 102) Though the areas patrolled by the Assistant the e>:tent of each district Native was

Commissioners considerable. for almost

varied,

The districts in Matabeleland were in exactly a year before the violence taking the into account the period

existence In "Tax two

escalated. of the for

Mashonaland, collectors",

Native Department was in existence

years. During this time there was a considerable turn - over in personnel.(t03) Many of the appointees were young
\

men

with

little experience in the duties they assumed.

They were ill
J

equipped, often down with fever, sometimes without even guns or horses. (104) As a horse a day, ca~ only travel, at a push, about 30 km "What effect can one man, in an

the question must be asked;

even area time

if assisted by Native Police or "messengers" have

as extensive as that described in the Proclamation in the given
?"

The

innumerable

incidents

where in

their due

"authority" course,

was rejected or ignored will be d~scribed

giving

further countenance to the argument that their

impact was minimal.

A

force of Native Police and "messengers" helped the Assistant

73

Native Nat.ive

Commissioners Police and are at

in the performance of portrayed as having in

their

duty.

The many were

perpetrated late 1896 Vere the

outrages,

the

Matopos

Indabas

ident if ied as a major· "cause" of the "Rebel 1 ion". the famous Cape Times correspondent, recorded at

Stent, first

indaba, a statement by Somabhulana, a prominent Ndebele induna;

"He spoke of the brutality of the Zulu police, who ravished their daughters, and insulted their young men, who tweaked the beards of their chieftains and made lewd jokes with the elder women of the Great House, who abused the law they were expected t.o uphold, who respected none but the Native Commissioners and officers of police, who collected taxes at the point of their assegais, and ground the peopl e in tyranny and oppression." (105)

The Native Police force was organised in May 1895 in accordance with a practice already established in several British

colonies. aaabutho,

The men, drawn mainly from the Imbezu and Insukumini were to assist the Assistant Native Commissioners t.o
\
cattle~

collect hut tax, to arrest deserters, to brand cattle, to collect eviden~e to trace duties

and to engage in t.he ot.her

elf nor·ma 1 pcd ice vJorl<. (106) I n the Compan)' Repor· ts of 18'7'4 - 5, Colonel Frank Rhodes, brother of Cecil Rhodes, sta~ed that t.he

force consisted of 150 men and non - commissioned officers, and a further 50 who had been sent to Mashonaland.(107)

When

the

violence

erupted in

March

1896,

C.

J.

Rhodes's

immediate reaction was, "It's a Pol ice revolt". (108) Out of the 330 Native Policemen in Matabeleland in March 1896, 172

74
"rebelled", 126
I~emained

"loyal" and the position of

32

was

uncertain.(109) Some changed sides at various points during the ·fight.ing, and some were killed by the "rebels". If they h.::\d

committed outrages to the e)·:tent alleged, and were a "cause" of "Rebel 1 ion", their subsequent behavior cannot be as r:asi 1 y

glossed over as does Keppel - Jones;

"A large part of the "Native Police force" went over in 1896 to the side of the rebels, but the belated repentance evidently failed to compensate for the misdeeds of the preceding ten months."(110)

As

members

of a.abutho loyal to the

Lobengul a

faction,

thE-c)

excesses they may have committed can be understood if against the formerly disaffected peoples. But the

directed complaint

comes from that faction loyal to Lobengula, likely to be from subjected to abuse, such as

while the factions Gampu or The Faku, Native of the

refrained Police Shona. arrogant did Yet

confl ict with the Europeans. (111)

not feature prominently in the griyvances if, as the 1 i terature suggests,

the Nc(jebel e were incidents of

and contemptuous- of the Shona peoples,

high handed be more

disregard for personal rights, theoretically would to occur in to Mashonaland.(112) the Native Police As would such seem the to

likely in

evidence

relation

enforce the conclusion that their activities were a post bellum rationalization were own of a grievance. After the war the Europeans their were a e

eager to shift the blame fo~ all shoulders. It

indiscretion from

would seem that the Native Pol ice

convenient. ,

and since many had joined the "rebels",

e:~pendabl

7 ._'
0:::-

s:.cap;?goat .

The

Native Department in Matabeleland was created primarily to collecting and branding of cattle. The has provided the greatest research

assist in the counting, cat.t.l e qUE-:"!stion,

howf:?ver· ,

challenge of t.his section. None of the statistics are rel iable, as are none of the opinions of commentators. statist.ics the intention here is to On the basis challenge of the

available

accepted wisdom and t.o open the question up for fresh research. This with analysis at.t.empts to be bot.h coherent and to correspond

the known facts and thereby to expose t.he

contradictions

in the analysis of other writers.

The

major

questions as as to a

faced

in

an

examinat.ion unfortunately

of

cattle based by on the

expropriation estimations Ndebele.

"cause" are all t.he

total number of cattle
\

held

Ranger quotes three figures; 280 000, 200 000 and 130

000, and then states that he prefers the higher figurp..(113) On the basis of estimations apparently chosen by personal whim,

historians have evaluat.ed the question of cattle by subtract.ing the number known to be in Matabeleland from the estimation and If

then posed the question, "What happened to the rest ?". (114) the estimations The were rel iable this would be an

acceptable however, cannot

procedure. cast

wide fluctuations in the

estimates, analysis. One

doubt on this subtraction mode of

start from an unsubstantiated premise, then subtract reasonably established conspiracy estimates, is assumed on to the basis of which for the an elaborate statistical

account

76

discrepancy.

If the Ndebele were deprived by some machiavell ian mechanism of 240 must number extensive been 000 or 160 000 or 90 000 head of be cattle, clear evidence the been vast an have effect 1895, of six in the the of by

led to substantiate this claim. of cattle allegedly involved

To remove would have It which

and unavoidably publ ic undertaking. to carry out this project,

would in of

impossible the an or

impl ies without sevenths,

removal

out of the country by the end incontrovertible or evidence, the

abundance of five sixths

two thirds of

cattle

Matabeleland in 1893. bel ief of the

The evidence quoted to substantiate to

removal of cattle out of Matabeleland

South African markets is fl imsy to say the least. three lots of cattle, amounting to 600 head,

Evidence detained

Lindsell, the Tati magistrate, cannot seriously be equated with 240 from routes Town. assumed 000 or 160 000 or even 90 000.(115) Matabeleland and infused into b~en If cattle

were

taken cattle

the

establis~ed

there would have The logistics

some comment in Gaberones or Cape in the elaborate conspiracy whether

involved

by some writers are immense.

It is

doubt~ul

there was sufficient manpower available to collect and herd the cattle. cattle have The from tremendous distances involved in the removal markets of

Matabeleland to the South African

would

required a great deal of preparation,

as it is

doubtf~l

whether the terrain,

in terms of sufficient water and

grazing

would have been able to sustain such large numbers. More to the

77 point African is the question as to how Cape Town and other southern have

markets absorbed the inevitable glut which would If Rhodes had managed to achieve all this

developed.

without

comment on an exogeneous scale, the man is more remarkable than previously credited. This thesis argues that there is no from

evidence to support the removal of vast numbers of cattle

Matabeleland because there existed no conspiracy to do so.(116)

The

failure to

to distinguish between the Company's intentio assumed

in

relation

dominiu.,

and the

real ity

of

Ndebele

possessio, of Ndebele

enforced by the Company's own bloated

expectations which have

cattle holdings when invading in 1893 (upon inflated estimations), cattle

hostile served

critics based their own to distort

an understanding of the

question.

Critical perspective is lost when the urge to condemn overrides the ability to distinguish between appearance and
\

reality.

We

are concerned not with the discovery of an elaborate conspiracy by the Company, and the involving the Land Commission, secret infusion but of Ndebele in covirt cattle cattle into a

sales

established

trade

routes,

rather

establishing

realistic estimation of Ndebele cattle holdings in 1893, and an approximate beginning together calculation of 1896. to as to their distribution at the added an

The available statistics need to be and not subtracted

form an estimation,

from

assumed total •

An attempt must first be made to calculate the number of cattle under direct Ndebele control at the beginnihg of 1896. By

78

October their

1895 the Assistant Native Commissioners had estimations of the cattle held by the

submitted In

Ndebele.

December 1895 the Chief Native Commissioner of Matabeleland, H. Taylor, explained the proposed redistribution of cattle to an The estimated total of Of this, their cattle 40 930 absolute 970 This the

assembled two hundred izinduna. in were

the possession of the Ndebele was 74 600. earmarked for Ndebele private owners "as 700

property", were

were set aside as police rations,

and 32 "loot".

claimed by the Company for distribution as

theoretical fact

redistribution must not be allowed to confuse

that 74 000 cattle,

as estimated by the Assistant Native in the possession of Europeans excluding as at 31

Commissioners, were in December 1895 still

the Ndebele.(117) The cattle estimated to be held by on the 150 farms in Matabeleland was 15 000 Hereford, head,

imported August hunter, Ndebele

Shorthorn and Friesland bulls, as F.C. Selous,the

1895.(118) These cattle, indicates living

renowned the

in Sunshine and Storm,

wer, herded by 000

on these farms.(119) A further 15

cattle may be the of

therefore, found number the

removed

from the da.iniu. of the Ndebele,

nevertheless to be in their possessio. of cattle that remained directly under

This brings th~ control

Ndebele to a roughly estimated 90 000 head.

The

evidence

also shows that the Ndebele had concealed their cattle from the Assistant Native Commissioners who attempted to count further Ndebel e 10 000 head may be estimated to having evaded the have them. A in the

remained of

possessio

attention

Europeans. (120) A further 10 000 head,

initially looted by the

79 Europeans, were were either replaced in the care of the Ndebele or

stolen by the Ndebele from the loot kraals.(121) As such, 110 000 head may be estimated to be

at the beginning of 1896, still

in the possession of the Ndebele, though only 40 930 were

considered to be in their dominiuM.

Having Ndebele

establ ished

an estimation of the number of

cattle

in to

possession at the beginning of 1896 it now remains what the number of cattle possessed by the

establish

Ndebele

had been in 1893. had been taken how

Related are the questions of how many cattle to many Mashonaland for white farmers and and the

consumption,

had been rieved by the Shona

Europeans, how many had been driven to markets in the south. It also needs to be determined how many had been removed from kept been had physically apart from those of the Ndebele, consumed by the Europeans and the Ndebele, died due to disease or improper grazing in
\

and

how many had and how the j many

turmoil

following on the 1893 war.

P. Stigger's article, "The Land Commission of 1894 and cattle", despite possessio, relation the failure to distinguish between dominiuM and in

provides some interesting revisionist estimates to the questions raised above.

His findings conclude invasion

that there were 170 000 head immediately priorffto the in 1893. He estimates that by 1896, 25 000 head,

of which 22

000 were "loot" cattle and 3 000 rieved,

had left Matabe1eland

for Bechuanaland, the Transvaal and the Cape colony. 2 000 were sold in Mashonaland and 6 000 of the 30 000 "loot" cattle were

80

consumed estimates Europeans, must

or of

locally the

retained. (122)

Stigger by

does the

not Shona

give or

number of cattle rieved

but

calls

to attention that previous

assumptions from 1893

be treated with caution.(123) Stigger also refrains cattle losses following on the

estimating

disturbance. (124) The 74 600 cattle "redistributed" 000 "loot" to cat t 1 e have
.~o\nd

and the 30 Company is

a further 30 000 head the Inyati are noted.(125)

claimed

held at

Stigger's

estimation of 170 000
74 600

is calculated as follows;

- cattle "redistributed" in October 1895 - "loot" cattle (22 000 left the country,
6 000 wer'~? 30

000

locally consumed and 2 000 were sold to Mashonaland farmers) 30 000
3 000

Company cattle held at Inyati estimated cattle rieved to the south - blanket estimate of inaccurate counting, cattle of

32

400

rieved 1893.

by Shona and Europeans,

and death following on war

Stigger's estimates are generous, but more realistic than those offered by previous writers.

Uetailed from

research

on the number of cattle physica)ly

removed of

the possession of the Ndebele is hampered by the lack Nevertheless,

rel iable statistical data.

it is here estimated

that the Ndebele were deprived of the physical possession of no more of than 30 000 head between December 1893 and t.he 1896. Of these 2 000 were sold to ( 126) Europeans beginning living in

Mashonaland.

In assessing the ret.urns of the

Assist.ant

81 Native Commissioners of 50 head a month sent to Bulawayo, it is likely to be that facilities existed for a maximum of 10 000 directly under European control. Of this cattle a

number

possible 5 000 had been consumed in the form of police or as supply of fresh meat for the European 3 000 head had died in the disruption

rations

population.(127) following the

Possibly war it live would rieving

of 1893,

but the evidence makes any estimation tentative; The Ndebele had been but forced to

may have been much lower.

for a period on the meat of their cattle, only have been turned to in th~ slaughter The

last

resort. (128)

of cattle by Shona and Europeans has been a convenient the

means of accounting for lost cattle in an attempt to reach assumed cattle for total of Ndebele cattle.

To have rieved 5 000 head of Mashonaland a remarkable would

and to have taken them to the Transvaal or

the people involved would have been counted

success. (129)

If cattle were rieved by Shona peoples it

have been in small numbers, of the

and if some of the former captives
.

Ndebele had fled to Mashonaland with the cattle
I

,

under been that

their

control,

1 ittle

hardship

can be

said

to

have

infl icted many of

upon the Ndebele.(130) Stigger also points out the thefts took place from the kraals under

Company

supervision, and the cattle were retained in Matabeleland.(131) A figure is but impossible 10 000 to establ ish with any degree of of the

authority, number

would be a generous

~stimate

of cattle that had been filtered into

the

established

trade routes from those sold in Matabeleland.(132) On the basis of these statistics and estimates the calculated total of

Ndebele

cattle is 140 000.

The 30 000 cattle removed from the

physical possession of the Ndebele were distributed as follows;

2 000
3 000
5 000

- Mashonaland Europeans Died in disturbance of 1893 - Rieved by Europeans and Shona Held in European kraals taken to South African markets 000 cattle retained in Ndebele possessio brings the 10 000 10 000 The 110

estimated total of cattle to 140 000.

The revised figures made of Ndebele cattle holdings made by the Company in the period following the disturbances of The 1896 are 1893

interesting. war

hopeful guesses made on the eve of the

were shrunk to more conservative calculations.

Ranger and an to by

other historians were quick to seize on this discrepancy as indication obscure of bad faith and an attempt by the Company

disreputable actions.(133) The statistics advanced

the Administrator on 9 .June 1897 show the final \distribution ..::~s 19 540 head taken for police rations, 30 000 headl for the

settlers (volunteers), 35 000 head for the Company while 40 930 head were "restored to the Matabele" so that "the grand after 470" • (134) head If conclusion of the war of 1893 total was 10 and
125

one allows an estimated discrepancy of

000 the

hidden from the Assistant Native Commissioners,

death of 3 000 following on the invasion, directly Company's from the Ndebele,

and the 5 000 rieved the that

the revised estimate based on

more sober assessment in 1897 is very close to

advanced in this thesis.

83

Not

that cattle and the activities of Europeans in relation to On the local would level the evoked

them must be discounted as a grievance. disruption precipitated

by the Europeans

have

resentment. The expropriation of 50 head of cattle a month from March people to November 1895 certainly provoked hostility from Faced with violent opposition to the such

affected.(135)

seizure of cattle, the Assistant Native Commissioners urged the clarification cattle, which of the distinction between King's and private not

took place in December 1895.(136) This did

make much difference in practical terms because the Ndebele did not appreciate now the distinction between

dominium and their

of

King's

cattle

being vested in the Company

possessio

being regarded as simply retentio.

It

is

important Gampu l~st to note that loss of cattle can Sithole is an interesting case surrender, Gamhu

be

over As into 1
000
total

emphasized. possibly Bulawayo head.(137) study. came
J

the at

izinduna to

the end of March 1895,
The Times of 9 December-

bringing with him
1893 roepc,roted that a

of 700 head had been taken from Gampu's country. Johan Colenbrander, the then Chief Native

In June 1894, of

Commissioner

Matabeleland,

and a Company official,

Sub - Inspector

Dykes,

accompanied by some policemen set out "for another visit to the . native kraal S", deser~, .

this time going "to the border of the I<al ahari They separated after reaching

past Gambo's district".

the western border, and came back each with half the detachment of police by different ways, "bringing in about 3
000

84

head".(138) It is also alleged that Gampu's people were selling stock at very low As prices on hearing they were to be of

confiscated. (139) Bulawayo it

Gampu was in the immediate be

vicinity

is to be expected that he would

particularly

hard hit by these activities. Yet he never took the opportunity of deserting the Europeans and fighting against them in had lost physical possession of some of his cattle, 1896. yet

Gampu

his people still retained enough to satisfy their needs.

Finally, Ranger's insinuation that the redistribution of cattle in Uecember 1895 was determined by political considerat ions,

needs to be examined;

"Moreover, the 40 930 cattle which were actually distributed as private property were distributed in a manner which increased resentment. The Land Commission had noted that the Company was prepared to give cattle to "the leading indunas". Vintcent later said that in the final settlement "the more deserving indunas and headmen" got cattle. It looks very much as if the share out was used to reward "loyalty" ratAer than to meet the need of the Ndebele in general."(140) ,

Ranger

misrepresents

the

facts.

The

share

out

had

not in

physically taken place. the possession and

By March 1896 the cattle were still

of the Ndebele.(141) The Company did not was in no position to

have

control

therefore

physical 1 y

redistribute cattle. in December 1895,

Further, there was no "ioyalty" to reward as there had been as yet no "Rebellion".. of

Ranger Judas

introduces in implying

into his cosmic interpretation the role that those Ndebele who

"collaborated",

85

betrayed material

the cause of national resistance in the interests

of

self - gain. The facts do not support this theoretical

assumption. No discernible prejudice in rewarding "loyalty" can be traced in the paper distribution of cattle, and no

distinction

between "rebels" and "collaborators" can be

drawn

on this assumption. (142)

Turning

to

Mashonaland,

the collection of hut

tax

was

the

innovation

which led to the formation of the Native Department

under the former Fort Victoria interpreter, J. S. Brabant. (143) The rationale behind the hut tax was that every wife in a

polygamous marriage had her own hut, that the number of a man's wives, wealth and and therefore status, and to for huts, that gave a rough indication easily of his and in was
18

the huts were

visible

countable, proportion provided July took

that to tax each hut was to tax each owner his wealth. Permission to impose the in - Council tax of

by the Matabeleland Order

1894. effect

The Company's ordinance was issued'on 27 July in September. (144) Under this law every
J

and male hut

African

was to pay a tax of ten shillings a year for each by one of his wives,

occupied by him,

or by "any woman of the

kraal of any such native", during any part of the year. The tax was to be paid in sterling crown, but where this was impossible payment in grain or stock, valued at the prjces prevailing at The ordinance would

the nearest market,

could be substituted.

not apply to Matabeleland until the recommendations of the Land Commission (for half had been made and implemented. a year only) fell The first 1 payment October

due in Mashonaland on

86

1894. (145)

The the

tax served two purposes;

it was intended to help pay

for

cost of the Company's administration,

and to force people

to sell grain or stock or go out and work for wages. The Acting Administrator, Duncan did not wait for the Order - in - Council or ordinance before putting the collecting machinery note into and

operation

in Mashonaland.

The Colonial Office took

required a clause in the ordinance providing that anything paid before the collection became legal was to be credited to the

tax payee.(146) The process of tax collection was of the normal ad hoc basis which characterised the Company's activities. When

the

collection

began illegally in March 1894

the

collectors - Mounted in their
"shaf~e"

were whatever agents were available in each locality Pol ice, absence, Mining farmers Little Commissioners, were Field Cornets; or

empowered to coll ect ta}: on a f~ce basis.(147)

tax was collected in the

of

fierce

Shona resistance. When the tax was made legal the collection would half of 1894, with a staff at n~ed it was ~lear that During the second

tb be regularised.

J. S. Brabant was appointed Native Commissioner of hut tax collectors under him. These African

"Collectors" pol icemen,

their discretion recruited staffs of

who were called "messengers" and were provided with

whatever arms their employer could find, and paid ten shillings a month and rations. In 1895 t.hese "messengers" were reinforced by 50 Ndebele from the new pol ice of the other province. (148)

87 The statistics provided by Beach in his seminar paper, doctoral dissertation, give the impression that the and his Native of This

Department's drastically impression livestock Charter -

seizure of 1 ivestock and grain had the effect depleting the wealth of the is unjustified. Shona peoples.

In Beach's paper the statistics of - Tul i, Victoria In and his

seizures for three districts is

3 903 cattle and 5 655 sheep and goats. the statistics for five districts

dissertation Charter,

- Hartley, cattle

Victoria,

Tuli and Iron Mine Hill -

is 2 369

and 5 822 sheep and goats. is

The discrepancy in these estimates statistics.(149) collected in on with No Tuli of

an indication of the reliability of these it is

Further

noted that only 116 beasts were

Hartley.(150) grain

In Charter the Native Department concentrated but the distr-ict was largely neglected

seizures,

eleven personnel changes at the Range within one year.(151) Assistant district. livestock estimates,
~each/s

Native It

Commissioner seem

can

be

traced that the
\

in

the

would

therefore in

majority
I

seizures,

advanced

either of

Beach's

variant to were goats from

were taken in the Victoria district. only

According

paper,

483 cattle and 875 sheep and goats so 3 540 cattle and 4 780 sheep and mainly

collected

in 1894,

were collected between January and December 1895,

the Victoria district. Yet, though 1 ivestock expropriation was, according district, to Beach, particularly intense ,in the Victoria

this is the area where the chiefs "collaborated" and

did not "rebe 1 " • (152)

Beach's

statistics as to 1 ivestock seizures give an

incorrect

8f.!

impression

as

to the impact of the Native Department

on

the

Shona peoples. Native

Though Beach maintains that the pressure of the increased <:'ilfter 1.894, a study of the

Department

documentary sources indicated 1 ittle intensification of

cattle

and food seizures in 1895.(1.53) The reason being that there was a 1 imited domestic market for livestock which the hut tax to satisfy. For the same reason that farming did was not

used

develop there was little sense in intensifying cattle when e>:port faced with an inconsequential domestic market

seizures and no of

market.

Beach also fosters an incorrect impression

the impact of the Native Department by implying that the effect in the districts chosen for his study are an indication of its throughout Mashonaland. Beach chose districts These along

pressure

the route of the Pioneer column to Salisbury. experienced a degree

districts in other

of penetration not witnessed

districts such as Lomangundi, or Sab i .

Mangwendi, Mazoe, Makoni, Matibi
Depart~ent

In these districts the Native and the attempt to collect

was
~

firmly dismal the

resisted

hut

tax

failure.(1.54) Curiously,

besides Victoria,

Mel setter was

other district where there was a visible European presence, and Melsetter like Victoria suffered no disturbance in 1896. The

evidence would therefore seem to contradict the seizure of food supplies of hut ta~·: and depletion of Shona wealth through the as a "cause" for "Rebel 1 ion".

extraction

Beach

has

also

suggested

that the

interference

of

Native

Department personnel

in Shona pol it i cs provoked a great deal of

89 resentment and hostility.(155) However, the political situation among the Shona was never static; there was continual struggle. The Native Department personnel, with no more than eleven

Assistant Native Commissioners, in Mashonaland, changed Prior to the

including Brabant, at any time

influenced only a faction of the conflicts and minimal e>( t en t . ( 156) had not any and to in

distribution of power to a

the confl ict of 1896 the Native Department itself threat the to to the extent where it

established dramatic

presented

African

society.

Understaffed

inexperienced, carry

Native

Department personnel attempted abil ity

out their instructions to the best of their that The were too large to effect any

districts impact. (157)

e}(tensi ve was of

contact

with the African people

fleeting and infrequent occurrence. on local

When they began to impinge been the

autonomy they were firmly resisted as had

Portuguese Native pol itical

and Ndebele before them.(158) Some of the Assistant had integrated themselves
\

Commissioners

into
J

t.he as

power struggles of the Shona and were looked upon in the advancement of personal

allies to be manipulated interest. The

self -

Assistant Native Commissioners who successfully important conflict varying special another

integrated themselves into African society opened up lines of of communication which became vital during the - 7. but Their the with activities often prior to was to 1896 d@velop contra had a vie

1896

results,

effect

relationship

one chiefdom or house

chiefdom or house. The "collaboration" of some polities is only understood within the framework of civil war. This aspect was

ignored by the Europeans intent on their own war of conquest in

90

1896 - 7.(159)

Finally, culture

the and

challenges of European technology Christianity to traditional

and

material to be

society need

assessed. The Shona and Ndebele were eclectic peoples perfectly able to cope with any new innovation without a dramatic rending of the traditional social fabric. infiltrated accompanied accepted their the The number of Europeans and the technology who which were in

country was small,

them was basic.

Cobbing has shown that guns very early

within history,

Ndebele society from a point and and even wagons were well

known

before an

1890.(160)

Traders

concession

hunters

had

brought

assortment of European manufactured goods into the country, but in relation to the black population this represented a drop the ocean. The use and of a search light during as is the Mr in

Pioneer Issel's in

Column's attempt

march

rockets in 1893 are,

to build a hot air balloon in the Bula,ayo

laager

1896, of interest only as historical curiosities.(16V) European settlement was restricted and even Bulawayo would have compared unfavourably with Mashayamombe's villages in the Hartley stamps

district.(162) The mines with their not very impressive

were innovations, but were too few in number to make much of an impact.(163) The Ndebele and Shona were not isolated from

developments in the south. Some had sought work on the Rand and Kimberley intense Babayane, mines and there had been subjected to a far more and

"cultural shock".(164) Lobengula had sent Mtshete two izinduna to England in 1888 as envoys to

Queen

91 Victoria. They had experienced the full impact of European

culture and technology. If they had been disturbed by what they saw, seems which from the evidence relating to their latter unl ikely, to that is they appear and to his have closest and only confided conduct their The a

opinions argument reaction

Lobengula European

izinduna.(165)

culture

technology

provoked

difficult to sustain when the

evidence

suggests

that European culture and technology was neither impressive nor oppressi ve .

The 1896

influence of Christianity and missionary activity prior to on the African people was insignificant. despite were few years in of toil, was The number of The

conversions, missionaries theology

small.(166) of

number and

aspects

Christian to the

difficult

to understand and of no relevance

African situation. bel iefs and

The African peoples had their own rel igious which prior to 1896 served
I

systems

them the that into

adequately. (167) The missionaries provided no challenge to traditional Christian religions. doctrines It has even been suggested assimilated

were even on

occasion

traditional beliefs.(168) However, by establ ishing with certain communities the missionaries

friendships that no

ensured

breakdown of understanding occurred in 1896 - 7, which accounts for the "neutral" within stance or "collaboration'" of many Shona Though 1896 and the

communities the latter

the vicinity of the missions.(169) prior to

brought limited material benefits,

their attempts at introducing literacy, medicine were similarly frustrated.

western education The impact of

92

missionaries challenge events to

prior to 1896 was minimal,

and they provided To see

no the

the traditional rel igious systems.

of 1896 in terms of a "cosmic conflict" as does Ranger,

requires a very vivid imagination. (170)

This chapter has attempted to reassess the conventional with regards to the impact of European

wisdom on as a

penetration

traditional

African

society in the period 1890 to 1896

"cause" for "Rebel 1 ion". Beach makes an important point when he writes, "the correlation between pressure and resistance is not e:-:act" , This but he fails to come to the correct however, conclusion.(171)

thesis,

is concerned with casting doubt on the to

assumption that European pressure led the Shona and Ndebele rise in 1896. now Having briefly dealt with these "causes",

it is the the

possible to turn to the central focus of this study of 1896 - 7 and therein to seek an explanation for

events

conf 1 ict.

93
Footnotes: Chapter Two

(1) British South Africa Company Reports, 1889 to 1896. For example the Reports for 1889 - 1892 give a summary of the gold production in the country up to that date. These Company figures should be compared with those publ ished by the Chamber of Mines, for the same properties, listing the total gold production in the country by March 1897. REEF Salamander Matchless Heatherfield Shepherds Inez Golden Quarry Alice Uickens Birthday Natal DISTRICT 1892 TONS GOLD Hartley 596 3920z Harl tey 70 780z Hartley 1 100z Lower Umful i ~.Ooz 6 Mombe (?) Assay Mazoe 21 910z Mazoe 2 70z Victoria 890z 46 Victoria 3 5102 Victoria 370z 5 1897 TONS 799 32
2

GOLD 43902
3202
200~:!

6

40
23

2 1090 100 6

100z 970z 960z 702 10840z 10402 70z

This comparison of the Company statistics with those of the Chamber of Mines in 1897, indicates that the Company inflated the figures in 1892. The Company Reports, generally, exaggerate the degree of social, political and economic development which had taken place. This was done with an eye on the fluctuation of Company stock on the London Stock Exchange. As Henry Laboucher·e cor·rectly noted in Truth 31, VIII, 1983, the B.S.A.C. was "a stock e>:change swindle". The Company Reports are not to be rel ied on to accurately represent the impact of the Europeans on the indigenous population. See also M.C. Steele's Introduction to the Rhod~siana Reprint edition of E.F. J{rdght, Rhodesia of Today, (1894),<flula. . . 'ayo, Books of Rhodesia, 1975). (2) M. P. for Northampton, a prominent radical politician and a vociferous critic of Rhodes and the Company. (3) Sir Richard Martin's Report (c.8547) reflected a~ Earl Grey noted, his hostility to the Company, and entrenched certain abuses as "causes" for the Rebel 1 ion. It is evident, however, that judgement was passed before Martin began his enquiry. In June 1897, Sir Alfred Milner, recently arrived High Commissioner, wrote: "The blacks have been scan(jalously used. A lot of unfit people were allowed to exercise pbwer, or at any rate, did e:-:ercise it, especially with regard to the natives." C. Headlarrr, ed.,The Milner· Papers, vol.!. pp. 105 - 8, (London,1931). Milner to Selborne, 2 June 1897. The same criticism and condemnation took place in the British Parliament and press, and was echoed in Rhodesia by those intent on indicting the Company for maladministration in order to , among other things, justify their claims for compensation. Many of the contempory accounts of the "Rebel 1 ions" subsequently

94 publ ished identified .and discussed these "causes". These include: Sykes, With Plumer in Matabeleland, Selous, Sunshine and Storm, Baden - Powell, The Matabele Campaign 1896, Plumer, An Irregular Corps in Matabeleland. (4) E. Tawse - Jollie,The Real Rhodesia, (Bulawayo, Books of Rhodesia, 1971), Gann, A History of Southern Rhodesia, N. Jones, Rhodesian Genesis, (Glasgow, The University Press, 1953), Ranger, Revolt, Cobbing, "The Ndebele under the I<humal oes, 1820 --1896/1, Beach, "The Rising in South Wester"n Mashonaland, 1896 --7". An interesting exception is H.M. Hole, The Making of Rhode~:.ia, (London, Macmilla.n, 1926), p.353:"ln view of the prolonged dispute as to the causes of the Rebellion which afterwards took place between the Imperial Commissioner (Sir Richard Martin), the Company's officials, and various missionaries and settlers prejudiced in one direction or another, and of the efforts which have been made in later years to attribute the risings to gross oppression of the natives by the Government, or the settlers, or both, it may be as well to state here that a close study of the question based on the evidence taken at the time and in the country has convinced me that there is no justification for incriminating individuals or for seeking recondite causes." (5) Blc.ch, The Historian"'s Craft, pp.190 - 197, P.Gardiner·,The Na ture c.f Hi stor' i ca 1 E:>::p 1 ana t i on, (Londc.n , Oxford Un i ver'si ty Pres~., 1968) , t1. t1andel baum ,The Probl em of Hi stor i cal J(nc.v,lledge,(Lc.ndc.n, H.:<.rper and Rc.tAJ, 1967), R. Ar·c.n, Intc.ductic.n to the PhilosophY of History, (London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1948) . (6) B. Cc.war·d, The Stuart Age, 6. (London, Longman, 1980), Chapter'

(7) These statistics are derived from an examination of the Company Reports, 1889 to 1898, the official docdmentation relating to the conflict and the Historical Manuscripts collection of the Zimbabwean National Archives, as well as from newspaper reports. A census held on 1 March 1895 recorded 1 232 white males and 164 white females in Bulawayo, and 507 white males and 88 females in Sali~.b'-Jry. The appendix to The "'96 Rebellions, p.122, states that the total po~ulation of Mashonaland in October 1896, including 22 police and 1 218 members of the rel ief force, was 2 736. The settler population of 1 497 comprised 765 men, 311 women and 421 children. James A. C. Mu tumbi rl,.l.}a, The r i s·e of set t 1 er power' in Sou thern Rhodesi a (Z imbabwe), 1889 - 1923, (London, As:.c.t! i a ted Un i versi C>' Presses, 1980) p.26, gives the following statistics: 1893 - 1 122 , 1 B95 - 4 863, 1896 - 2 737, 1901 - 11 032, 1903 - 15 000 whites. The African population in 1902 is estimated at 514 813. Cobbing, "The Ndebele", pp. 466 - 467, Appendi>: B, estimates the Ndebele population in 1893 to have been between sixty and eighty thousand people. These estimates exclude non - Ndebele people living in Matabeleland. See also Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, (Pietermaritzburg, Universit~ of Natal Press,

.._' 9 1:"':-

1 983) , p» :360 •

(8) Plumer, An Irregular Corps, p.5, states that ther'e I/·.ler·e 1 in 400 men, 800 women and children, 200 "Colonial" fHricans quoting the Bulawayo. Selous, Sunshine and Storm, p.58, Matabele Times of 6 April, gives the figures of 632 ~,··.Iomen ·an d children, 915 men, a total of 1 547 people in t.hc.,> Bul al'Jayo laager. (9) Mutumbirwa, Settler power, pp. 26 - 27. P. Hone Southern Rhodesia, (London, George 8ell and son, 1909), pp. 200 - 212, 220. A. D.:..'.} i s.·' .:. Bu l·:<.~",/.:..yc. D i r' ec tor' ':"', p r' c.f.} ide",· .:r. u ",.ef u 1 indicat.ion of t.he size of Bulawayo and the occupation of its inhabitants. The Company Reports also cont.ain scattered details of settler occupations.
(10) ZNA Hist. Mss. Co 1/1/1 - James Cock Diary. Only about 800 men were available for service when the violence escalated in Matabeleland in 1896, out of t.he 1 232 in the province. Thus one third were unavailable due to old age, sickness or other i nf i rmi t y • ~)E~ver"al book~5 testify as t.o t.he difficult.ies and dangers faced b:~' tr.avell ers in th is per'i od. See fc.r· exo:r.mp Ie: S. P. Hy·::r. t t ,The 01 d Tr·':'.n",.pc.r t Road, (London, Andr·e~..,/ Mel ros.e, 1914), A. Boggi e. From Ox Wagon to RailwaY, (Bulawayo, Bulawayo Times Printing 1.·..Ior·k·::., 1897), li..I. H. Br·c./.Am, On the South Afr·ican Fr'ontier', (London, Sampson Low, Marston and co, 1899), R. F. Burnham, Scouting on Two Continents, (New York, Garden City Publishing co, 1926), Lor'd R. Churchi 11, Men, t1ines .:r.nd Animal s in S'-'uth Afr·ic.:.., <London, So:r.mp",.on LCd, •./, t1ar·s.tc.n and co, 1897).

(11) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.376. (12) ZNA A 1/2/2, Currey t.o .Jameson, 11 and 1.8 Dec 1891Jameson undertook to reduce drastically the pol i~e force at the end of 1891 under instruct.ions from Rhodes t.o eco~omise. A system of volunteer unit.s was then establ ished but it never became an effective force,_ the men being more concerned ~·dt.h the pursuance of their own interests. (13) Keppel - ...Tone",., Rhc.de",· 2t.nd Rhc.desia, p.362. Rhodesian Days,(London, Macmil lan, 1928), p.39.
1:..:' <::1.::;:,,

Hole,

Old

pp.362 - 363. I.R. ( 1 4 ) 1< e p pel - .J on e s , .:. ,;:R.:,.:h. ;: c:;.;:.d=..;e: . "': ;._.--=:a.:,.:n..;::d:.. -:R.. ;:;'h:. :. .: ;o. ;: d. ;: e:. :s: . .;. Phimister, "Rhodes, Rhodesia and the Rand", Journal of Snuthern African Studies,i, (1974), p.77. Hole, Old Rhodesian Oars, p .38. (15) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, pp.363 - 365. Hole, pp. 38, 277. A. Darter, The Pioneer~ of Old Rhodesian Days, Simpkin, t1ar'shall, Hami I ton, Kent and Cc., Mashonaland,CLondon, 1914) , p. 109 • (16) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.365. B.S.A.C. Reports for 1894 - 5, pp.47 - 49, 51 60. CO 46811,

96

(17) F . .Johnson, p • 20 C? •

Gr'ea t DaYs,

(London, G. 81211 and sons, 1940) p.365. CO 4681,

(18) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, B.S.A.C. Report for 1984 - 5, pp.43 - 46.

(Is:') Veppel - .Jones, Rhc.des and Rhodes.i.:.., p.27s:'. Hcde, The making of Rhodesia, p.27s:'. Churchill, Men, Mines and Animals, Phimistet~, "Rhodes, Rhodesia and the Rand", pp.78 - 79. (20) Veppel ~ Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.364. J.H. Hammond, (Nel..<) '(or' k , The Autobiography of John Hays Hammond, vcd.l, Farrar and Reinhart, 1935), pp.277 - 280.
(21)

Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, "Autobiography", vol.l, pp.288 - 290.

p .3.54

If

Hammond.

( 22) I<ep pel Ch r' on i c 1 e , 1 4 218 oz.

- Jones., Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.365. 8ulawayo Dec 1895, Rand output for November 1895 was 195

(23) I<eppel - ...lone':., Rhodes a.nd Rhode':.ia., p.365. Hcde. The Making of Rhodesia, p.339. CO 4681, 8.S.A.C. Reports for 1894 5, pp.43 - 46. (24) Selous, Sunshine and Storm, Appendix G. Chamber of Mines Secc.nd Annual Repc.r·t, fc.r >'ear ending 30 June 1897. Brm,m, On the South African Frontier, p.lls:': "Thus a block of ten covered an area of fifteen hundred feet by four hundred, equivalent I bel ieve, to one claim in American mining districts. Doubtless, the idea of division into many claims arose from the demand in London that Mining enterprise should be on a big scale. Ten claims would not sound large, but ten blocks of'claims, making one hundred altogether, would appear much more impo~ing - on paper." NAZ Lo 30/1/1/13, telegraph, Jameson to B.S.A.C., 20 May 1893: "Everywhere ne~ finds are occuring daily. Crushing everywhere successful. Wonderful developments in every district. Reefs certainl y improve as depth increases." Phimister, "Rhodes, Rhodesia and the Rand", p.82, quoting Rhc.des·ian Herald, 16 Mar'ch 18s:'4: " (Fc.r·) nine months each year the development of auriferous Mashonaland is gravely performed by cable and t.elegraph." (25) Bulawayo Sketch, No 63,(28 Sept 18s:'5): "Development vs Crushing: del ay is dangerous" ,No 70, (16 Nov le95) "A vision, • why not a reality?". (26) This question deserves further research. Along with t.he growing pessimism as to the gold reserves of Rhodesia, the high cost of living forced many of those who had 1 ittle financial reserve to leave the country. The "Rebell ions" of 1896 .- 7 may have given the anemic colony the necessary transfusion of new settler blood, as many of t.hose who fought .in the war were persuaded to stay on in the country.

97

(27) NAZ Hi~t. Mss. 8i 3/4/1, letter, Tyndale - Biscoe, 9 August 1893:" I shoul d 1 ike ver'y much when we get back (if we ever do) to ask the Government (British) to take over this country (Rhodesia), there is hardly a man in the country who has not been sold by them (the Company) in one way or another. When the (Hiates 7)_ were at home (Britain) they managed to get 50 000 subscribed to float ( ) ( ) a company to develop and prospect, but it fell through because the Company would not give them sanction as they said that we ought to float a gold mining company which would be a swindle on our part if we did as our proper~t ies have not been developed enough." (28) Br'ovm, On the Sc.uth Afr·ican Frontier, p.119, Phimister, "Rhodes, Rhodesia and the Rand", p.78, Hole, Old Rhodesian D.:..)'s., pp .39 - 40, The ma.k i ng c.f Rhodes.ia, p.286, Da.rter·, The Pioneers of Mashonaland, p.150, Knight, Rhodesia of Today, p.69. (29) Bulav..Ia.:(c. S~~etch, No 66, 19 October' 1895, "Our' Hining Laws". Chamber of Mines Second Annual Report, for year ending 30 June 1897, Appendix, letter dated 2 April 1897.
<: 30) Keppel - . ..Tone'.:. , Rhodes. and Rhodesia, The r' i se of Set tIer' POlJ,..er, p.37.

p.366.

Mu t umb i rt,,'a ,

( 31> I<eppel ( 32) Keppel (33) Keppel

- Jone<:. , Rhodes and RhodeSia, pp.376 - :378.

-

...Tone'.:. , Rhc.des and Rhc.desia, pp.368

- 369.

- ...Tones, Rhodes and RhodeSia, p.369.

(34) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, pp.376,390 - 391. Mutumbirwa, Settler power, p.39. P. Stigger, "t)olunteers a.nd the profit motive in the Anglo - Ndebele war, 1~93", Rhodesian History, vol ii, 1971. p.ll. ) (35) BulalJ,..ayo Sketch, vol .5, r·-.lc. 118, 14 November 1896, "Re. Titles to Property", by P ..]. Neve. letter'

(36) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.376. R. Palmer, Lar.d and Rac ia I Domi na t i on in Rhodesia, (London, He in em':'.n n , 1977) ,p. 40, Kn i gh t, Rhodesia of Tc.da)', pp. 30 - 31. (37) Palmer, Land and Racial (38) Palmer, Land and Racial (39) Palmer, Land and
Raci~l

Domination, p.40. Domination, p.40' fr Domination, p.40. Domination, p.40. Domination, p.40.

(40) P':'.lmer, Land and Racial (41) Palmer, Land and Racial

(42) I{night, Rhode'.:.i.:.. c.f Today, p.36.

98

(43) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, pp.371 - 373. Palmer, L.:<.nd and Rac ia 1 Domi na t i cln, p. 40. (44) Palmer, Land and Racial Domination, p.41. (45) Hole, Old Rhodesian Dars, pp.97 - 98. Mutumbirwa, Settler pm. . . er, p.44. Cd. 8674, Inter·im Report, 1914, p.3 (Souther-n Rhodesian Native Reserves Commission): "The members of the original pioneer force, some 200 in number received the right of selecting farms of 1500 morgen in Mashonaland .••. Rights to mark out farms were also granted to members of the police force taking part in the occupation within a specified period, and a number of rights lapsed owing to the non - fulfilment of this condition. On the whole the number of farms occupied in Mashonaland during the first three or four years after the arrival of the pioneer e>:pedition was small in proportion to the vast area opened up, and the indigenous native tribes scattered through the country were not exposed to any pressure or inconvenience from the presence of the European settlers." (46) Cd. 8674, Interim Report, p .6: "Partl y owing to their natural aversion for abandoning districts which they had occupied for several generations, and partly because of the distance of the reserves from their existing kraals, the Matabele did not at once, nor indeed for many years, avail themselves of the Gwaai and Shangani Reserves, and no efforts were made by the Government to induce them to settle on the ground provided for them. They remained scattered about the country in the districts where they had resided before the occupation." (47) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, pp.368 - 369. (48) Knight, Rhodesia of Todar, pp.15 - 17. cd. 8674, Interim Report, pp.6 -- 7: "The first tendency of the sett 1 ,rs was to encourage the Matabele to remain on the farms for the sake of their labour. The natives were regarded as tenants, and in many cases they were glad to enter into arrangements whereby in consideration of a small annual rent or of an undertaking to furnish labour for their landlords as stated seasons they should enjoy undisturbed possession of their old village site and lands." Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, pp.391 - 392, presents contrary evidence. (49) Ranger', Revol t, pp.l01 -105. Palmer, tI Land and Racial Domination, p.42, r·ecognised that hi-:. ear'lier' -:.eminar· paper' 1.I·.las wrong in this respect. The problem of markets is important to note, and it remained a barrier to agricultural development. In this respect, see Knight, Rhodesia of Today, pp.32, 34, 37, 84, 93; t lutumbir-1.J"a, Settler pm"ler', pp.29, 66; The Rhodesian Revie. . . I , 1905 - 6, p. 57: "Markets were few and far between.Transport was e>:pensive." Report of the Director of Agriculture for the year ending 31 December 1910: "The difficultY,of the farmers is v 99 not in the production ••• but in the assurance of a market at reasonable prices, the demand by mines and pr'ospec tors:. for •.. food, meat, potatoes, pumpkins, being of an erratic and unrel iabl e char·acter." (50) ~<eppel - .Jc1nes, Rhode~. and Rhclde~.ia, p.352; Hole, Old Rhodesian Oars, p.22; J. Brrce, Impressions of South Africa, (New Yor'k, The Century Company, 19(0); "(Gwel 0) in Octob€.;)r·, 1895 .•.• had about. fift.een houses inhabited by Europpans,," (51) Letter in t.he possession of the historical sect.ion (Cit.y Hall) of the Bulawayo Public Library. (52) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, pp.357 - 359. Knight, Rhodesia of Todar, pp.96 - 97. Hole, Old Rhodesian Oars, pp.98 - 101. Hratt, Old Transport Road, pp.61 - 71. (53) These photographs are to be found in t.he photographic collection of the Zimbabwean National Archives. Several photographs have also been publ ished in the reprint. editions of Rhodesiana published by Books of Zimbabwe,CRhodesia), Bulawayo. (54) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, pp.359 - 361.

(55) Beach, "The Risings", p.256. NAZ Ba 4/1/3, D.C. Gwelo to C.S.O. Bulawayo, 15 September 1896. (56) Beach, 8/1/3, p.l. "The Risings", pp .256 - 257. NAZ Hist. Mss. Mr', Wi

(57) Beach, "The Risings", p.257, interview with Ndarikwa Mondoro, 25 September 1969. (58) Beach, "The Risings", p.263.
\

Mauto

(59) Beach, "The Risings", p.267. NAZ N 9/1/4, N.C. tharter t.o C.N.C. Salisbury, Annual Report, 31 March 1898. N 9/4/2. N.C. Charter to C.N.C. Sal isburx, Annual Report., 31 March 1899. (60) The ,. 96 Rebel 1 i cln~., p. 63. NAZ Lo 5/6/1, Tel egr·.aph i c conversation, Grey, Vintcent, Carrington, 25 June 1896. (61) Beach, "The Risings", pp.257 - 260. Hole, Old Rhodesian
DC!. )' ~.,

p. 2 1 •

(62) Beach, "The Risings", p.256.
C6:~) Beach, "The Risings", p.255. NAZ F4/1/1, C.C. Victoria t.o Stat.is, 12 .July 1895: "most. coloured labour is supplied by Shangaans, Inhambanes and Zambesis."

(64) Beach, "The Risings", pp .254 Victoria to Statis, 12 July 1895.

255.

NAZ F 4/1/1,

C.C.

(65) Beach, "The Risings", p.255 - 256. Hole, ,Old Rhodesian

100

Cia. "lS"

p. 4c..
NAZ Hist. Mss. Keppel Jones, Ja 3/1/1. Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.378. S.P. Hyatt, L c. n don. C: cd 1 i n .=., n. d • ) ,p . 1 20 • Report, for year ending 30

(66) (67)

=-D~i:....::.=:<::.:.;.r:. . .·..... y·.......,..:c'-f,--.~=:<.........;;:=::...:;c::. ,.:. .1.=d..:.i..;::e=..,:r_·-:::o-'-f.......:F_,:::;:'.:...r·-'t:..::;u::...:r..:...'e:::., ( ,

(68) Chamber of Mines Second Annual June 1897.

(69) BE"~ach, "The Ris;.ings", p .277. NAZ D 3/1/1, Regina \/er<;::.u.s~· Goripanzi and Will ie, 18 Oct 1894. Chirumanzu in spite of his "collabor'ation" in 1893, when asked by some t.r·avE,llers for 1 abour'ers. on 15 Sepb:?mber 1894, "he refu.<::;ed, 5::.,3ying hi~:::. boys. don't work of (sic) white men." Brown, On the South African Fr' i)rt t i. er', p. 241 . (70) BeF.1ch, "The Risings", p.254. D.R.C. Arct-dves, Helm Repor·t., 1891. NAZ N 1/1/12, A.N.C. Vict.oria t.o C.N.C. Sal isbury, 3 Feb 1896. Hole, Old Rhodesian Dars, pp.94 - 95. (71) Beach, "The Risings", p .254.

(72) NAZ Hist.. Mss. Ja 3/1/1, Jameson Log Book, M.C. Lomangundi, 21 March 1896: "Five Shangaans t.urned up cnmpL:d.n of having wor-ked a mont.h for some man named ".Jim" and been dismissed without. pay. As they are going to t.own, C.N.C. informed per letter wit.h them.", 27 March: "Took evidence of native M'chengi about. L.A. Hyam raiding krai:l.ls." I<night., Rhc,de·=.ia c.f Todar, p.17.NAZ D·. . 15/1/1, For·t thc tor' i.=:<. Cour·t Records. (73) NAZ ct 1/15/4, affidavit. by Lovemore, 1 February 1892. Graham's report., 12 February 1892, CT 1/15/1, ~fmeson's_report, 1 June 1892. Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and RhodesIa, pp.40Y - 410, Ranger, Revol t, p.64. ) - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, pp.410 - 411. CO no 131, encl 2, p.174,:"Travellers and tr·B.dE.~rs on the Manica Road one and all quoted t.he natives as speaking in a cont.empt i ',Ie way of t.he wh i te man I s author i t y ' "That. they on 1 y tal ked, and did nothing", no doubt all uding t.o, tt-le before (ment.ioned) unpunished murder," (74) Keppel

879/36/426,

(75) Keppel - Jone-::., Rhc.de·:, ·;..nd Rhc.des.ia, p. 411. S. Gla.-:.·:;-, The Matabele war,(London, Longman, Green, 1968) pp.41 - 44, 96 97, 106 - 121. S. Samkange, The origins o~ Rhodesia,CLondon, Heinemann, 1978), pp.241 - 247, 252 255. (76) Keppel - ,Jones., Rhc,des and Rhc,des.ia, p. 411. Pa.nger·, Revol t, p.65.NAZ ct 1/15/7, Lendy's report, 24 March 1892, Hole to Acting Secretary, Cape Town, 21 March 1892. (77) Keppel - Jones., Rhodes a.nd Rhc,des.ia, Lendy's report., 24 March 1892. p.412. NAZ ct 1/15/7,

101

(78) Keppel (79) Keppel ReI.} col t • P .66.

- Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.412. - Jones, Rhodes Rhodes and and Rhodesia, Rhodesia, p.412. p.412. Ranger, Ranger,

(80) Keppel - Jones, Revolt, p.66.

(81) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, pp.411 - 412. (82) Keppel (83) Keppel
879/36/426,

- Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.412. CO of

- Jones, Rhodes and Rhode~la, pp.412 - 413. no 72 end, p.l08. Beach, "Pi.')litics collaboF'ation", p.13. See also fn.85.

(84) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.413. CO 879/36/426, no171 end, p.212.

(85) NAZ Hist. Mss . .Ja 3/1/1, Thur·sday 30 May 1896: "Macomba an old chief living about 8 miles to the west calls, spins a yarn about his kraal having been raided by natives and his son killed. Having some experience in regard to these fairy tales I pursued the enquiry and found that it happened a year ago. He wants me to surprise his rival promising a booty in the shape of cattle, sheep and goats." W. Posselt, "The early days of Mashonaland" , N.A.D.A., 1947, p.37, August 1889, "Ul timately I reached the kraal of Chief Mugabe, who received me kindly. He was then embroiled in a quarrel with his neighbour Charumbira, and urged me to assist him in an attack on his enemy. This, of course, I refused to do."
(86) Ranger,Revol t, pp.62 - 64, 81 - 83. Keppel,- Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.410.
J

(87) Beach, "The Risings", pp.272, 288, 289. (88) Beach, "The Ri sings" , pp .268 - 269. NAZ Dv 15/1/1, FOF't I·)i c tor· ia Cour t Recc,rds. Brc,wn, On the SCIU th Afr· i can Frcln tier·, p.386: "With time, the good moral effect of the N'gomo affair upon the Mashonas wore off, and their attitude again grew threatening. Robberies became frequent, and several more murders occurred. The custom then established of dealing with such cases solely in the civil courts resulted in a few prosecutions for theft and none at all for murder The difficulties encountered in capturing criminals and obtaining evidence among such a multitude of barbarians were so great, and the legal stumbling - blocks in the way of conviction were so numerous, that up to the time of the outbreak of rebel1io~, not a single Mashona had been sentenced for the murder of a white man As a natural result of such lame modes of procedure, murder and robbery increased in frequency, and finally culminated in the awful massacres of 1896."

102
(89) Brown, On the South African Frontier, pp.243 - 244, 338.

(90) Beach, "The Risings", p.269 - 270.
(91) NAZ Hi~.t. I'"lss. Ed 1/1/1. ...T. Coclper' - Chadv-dck, Thr'ee Years with Lobengula., (Bula.v,'a)'o, Boc,Ks. clf Rhodes.ia., 1$'75), pp.$'1 9!'.:i,

103.

(92) Beach, "The Risings", p.272. (93) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ed 1/1/1.

(94) Beach, "The F~isings", pp.238 -- 246,247 - 250,272 - 282, 291 - 294, 388 - 389, 394. (95) Appendix One.
(96) Append b: One.

(97) Appendix One. (98) Chapter Three, Appendix One.
(99) Keppel Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.414.; Beach, "The

Risings", pp.2, 247 - 250, 291 - 294, 388 - 389.
(100) Hole,Old Rhodesian Days, pp.97 - 98, Knight, Rhodesia of Today, p. 36: "lJ..Ihen I . ..Jas in t1a.shona 1 and the tov.ms.h i ps were hal f deserted - there had been a diversion of population and cattle

to Matabeleland." (101) Beach, "The Risings", p.289. ( 102) Append i ~.: Two. (103) Appendix Two.
J

(104) NAZ N 1/1/9, N.C. Sal isbury to C.N.C.; 22 April 1895, N 1/1/3, N.C. Hartley to C.N.C. Sal isbury, 29 December 1895, containing report for latter half of the year; N1/1/3, N.C. Hart ley to C.N.C. Sal isbury, 11 Apri 1 1896.
(105) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, pp.408 - 409. Vere Stent, A personal Record of some incidents in the life of Cecil Rhc,des,(Cape Toom, Ma':.Kel. . .1 t1iller·, 1925), p.66. (106) (107) P .18.
~<eppel

- ,Jone':., Rhc,des and Rhodesia, p.4.o8, Cobbing, - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.408. CO

"The 468/1

Ndebel e". pp .377 - 378.
Keppel

(108) NAZ A 1/12/9, Rhodes to Duncan, telegraphic conversation, 30 March 1896.

103
(109)
Selous~

Sunshine and Jones~

Storm~

Appendix F.

(110) Keppel

Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.409.

(111) Appendix Two. In Mangwe, for example, A.N.C. Armstrong is known to have exercised little restraint over his Native Police. Yet, Mangwe was not affected by the disturbances.
(112) Keppel Jones~

Rhodes and Rhodesia,

p.409.There

were

complaints in Mashonaland as to the behaviour of the police, but these were not very clear. See NAZ Hist. Mss. Al l I l l i , B 96 11 18(a). Generally the settlers dismissed these complaints as unfounded in view of the large number of Native Police who deser·ted, Al (113)
R.:<.nger·~

1./2../1, p.33, Dai ly Teleqraph, 24 August 1896. Revolt, pp.l05 - Jones, Rhodes

1(1.:.,

113. p.398, Ranger,
Revolt~

(114) Keppel

an~Rhodesia,

p.113. (115) Cobbing,
Commission

"The Ndebele",

p.374.

P.

Stigger,

"The Land vc.] of 1894 and cattle",

Zimbabwean History,

ii,

1980, pp.33 - 34. (116) Judging from the writings of previous commentators it would appear that they have little idea of the difficulties involved in herding and kraaling such vast numbers of cattle. For example, the 30 000 head allegedly kraaled by the Company at Inyati would have required facilities and manpower they did not have at their disposal. Though the Company cl aimed the£"e cattle they I.A)er·e :.ti 11 in the pClsse:.:.icln clf the Ndebele. The t1atabeleland Nev.):. and t1ining Recclrd, 14 Apr'il 1894~ notes that

the 30 000 head at Inyati were not kraaled and each week there were "the loss of hundreds ....• by theft and other causes." C 8547, Sir Richard Martin in his report, though antagonistic to the Company, beyond quoting Carnegie's estimationJof 200 000 head taken before the distribution, refrained from further comment as to the total" number of Ndebele cattle or their disposal. Martin made no mention of cattle having been covertly removed from the country. Though he was in the country primarily to investigate the activities of the Company, he produced no wi tnesses or other evidence to subst'ant iate the assumption of the removal of vast numbers of cattle from Matabeleland. Neither Ranger, Cobbing nor Stigger have produced any evidence to substantiate the assumption of covert cattle sales and removal of large numbers of stock to South African markets. In my own cursory examination ~f South African newspapers, I can find no evidence of such a conspiracy. An indication of the terrain through which these herds would have had to pass is to be found in Hole, Old Rhodesian Days,

p .14: "I wi 11 not dYJell upon the journey of si>: hundred mi 1 es through the monotonous sand and bushveld of Bechuanaland, during which we were often hard pressed to find water for ourselves and our beasts." An article which is part of the revision of the cattle question

104 is R.S. Roberts, "African c:attlr~ in pre ..... colcH"iial limb0.bwe", N.A.D.A., 1980, p.84. Roberts argues that the Shona and Ndebele were far poorer in cattle than previously estimated. (1:1.7) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.375, Appendi?: C, p.469. C B547, p.37, Grf?y to Martin, telpgram, 18.Jan 1897. NAZ NB 3/1!?::? Sti9ger', "The L.and Commissicm of 1894 and cattlp", p.28. C 8547, p.37. Acting Secretary Bulawayo to Administrator, Sal isbury, telegram, 18 January 1897. At the final distribution, the Chartered Company proposed taking 32 870 head fr'om the cattl e "then in African hanc.1:-:,." (118) St.igger, "The L.and Commission of 1894 and catt.le" , p.28 .. Company reports, 1892 - 4, pp.67 - 68, 73. (119) Selous, Sunshine and Storm, pp.26, 69. NAZ Lo 5/6/4, Driver to C,N.C .• 15 September' 1896: "(Gwelo) until the Y-'ising a large number of large and small stock were being herded by Djumani for' white men, ~\lith his own Matabele cattle and sheep." C 8547, Martin report, evidence of Bulawayo and Gwelo Resident Magistrates, C.N.C Bulawayo and A.N.C's Bulawayo, Gwelo, Belingwe, Gwanda, Insiza, Umzingwaani and Mangwe. (120) Stigger, "The L.C:1nd Commission of 1894 and cattle", p.29
Selcrus,
~3IJn-:·hine

a.nd Storm,

p.12,

C

81:30,

ItSe'.)er-.3.1

witnesses have expressed an opinion ..... that to their certain knowledge the natives have hidden large numbers of cattle placed in their charge by Lobengula." Bulawavo Sketch, 11 May 1895. Matabeleland News and Mining Record, 30 June 1894. NAZ Hist. Mss. Ba 13/1/1, W.J.H. Barry, correspondence with mother, Bulawayo, 24 October 1894. (121) Cobbing, "The Ndebele" , pp.373 - 374, 381, fn. 3. Matabele Times, 25 May 1894. Matabele News an~ Mining Record, 14 Apri 1 1894. Stigger, "The L.and Commission of 1894 and cattle", p.29, quoting Public Records Office, Coloniial Office, 879/40/459/32, encl 5, Jameson, Bulawayo to H.C. Cape Town, telegram, 26 December 1893': "so far from the looting of private cattle taking place, all the King's cattle that have been captured are already alloted to natives living in their kraals around Bulawayo, these natives being told to herd the cattle, and use the cows for their children.", 879/40/459/136, L.och to Rippon, telegram, 19 December 1893:"that in every case where natives give in their submission they are allowed sufficient cattle to take back with them to their kraals for domestic requirements.", 879/40/459/41, encl 1, Gould Adams, Bulawayo to H.C. Cape Town, telegram, 31 December 1893: "the cattle ••• taken on the troops first coming into the country have been given out to the poorer natives •.. to provide them with milk for their children." (122) Stigger, "The Land Commission of 1894 and cattle", pp.30, 43. ( 123) St i gger , "The L.and Commission of 1894 and cattle", pp.l,

105
42.

(124) Stigger, "The Land Commission of 1894 and cattle", p.42. ( 125) Stigger, "Tht-! L.and Commission of 1894 and cattle" 43.
?

pp .. 40,

(126) Stigger-', "The Land Commission of 1894 and cattle", p.30. (127) NAZ Misc. L.MS 1/5/13, Carnegie to T. Lempson, 6 July 1895: "The Company are taking from the different kraals some 200 or 300 head every month." This is an e}:aggerated cl aim. C 8547, p.37, Grey to Martin, telegram, 18 January 1897, gives a realistic estimation of Company needs. Only 100 head were then in the loot kraals, and they claimed a further 700 reserved as pol ice r~at ions u (128) Stigger, "The Land Commission of 1894 and cattle", p.25. t',li 11 i=. and Coll ingridge, The dov.mfa.ll of Lobengula, (Bu 1.:3.1/.).:3.:)'0 , Books of Rhodesia, 1971) pp.212 - 213. C 8130, p.7, Vintcent to Loch, 29 October 1894. (129) Stigger, "The Land Commission of 1894 and cattle", pp.20, 42, Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.397.The Company carefully patrolled the Transvaal border to prevent cattle leaving the country, and as most of the white population had left Mashonaland there was little incentive to take cattle to that province. Knight, Rhodesia of Today, p.36: "When I was in Mashonaland the townships were half deserted - there had been a diversion of population and cattle to Matabeleland.",(my emphasis) . (130) Stigger, "The Land Commission of 1894 and cattle", pp.20, 42, Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.3p7, Beach, "The Risings". p.275, interview with Mr. Jim Nyika, 2 December 1968, p.458 :"Not many people of this country were brave ienol.!gh to steal from the ama Ndebele people, only those who went there with the Europeans, and when they returned after the ama Ndebele were defeated by the Europeans, they drove the cattle here. " (131) Stigger, "The Land Commission of 1894 and cattle", p.42. (132) As noted earl ier, <fn .116), I can find no evidence of covert cattle sales or filtration of Ndebele stock into South African markets. This estimation is therefore made in deference to the views of previous commentators and the evidence led by Stigger, "The Land Commission of 1894 and cattle", pp.20 - 22, as to the existence of such a trade route. Stigger's evidence, however, does not substantiate the opinion expressed on pp.33 34: "Loch thus created the ill usion in London that the Chartered Company's actions were not endangering the final settlement in Matabeleland, while he simultaneously facilitated the injection by the Company of at least 22, 000 head of Matabele cattle into the mobs moving down the establ ished stock

106 routes to the south. The Company was thus able to overcome the immediate financial and pol itical difficulties which it faced as a result of the Victoria Agreement without, however, being able to surmount the problems created by its endemic lack of money at a time when its administrative responsibilities had increased through its recent conquests. In September 1894, therefore, the Chartered Company expected the Land Commissioners to conceal the sale of volunteers' loot cattle, then approaching the 30 000 head ceiling, and to provide a formula which would permit the Company to dispose of Ndebele cattle on its own account. The Land Commissioners concealed the sales made on behalf of the volunteers by hearing evidence only on African appropriations of cattle after the invasion and on alleged Holi movements into Mashonaland, while they enabled the Chartered Company to acquire control of cattle for itself by interpreting this and other evidence to create such an impression of confusion that their final recommendation, that ownership in virtually all cattle be transferred to the Company, appeared logical."
(133) Ranger, Revolt, pp.l05 113.

(134) Stigger, "The Land Commission of 1894 and cattle", p.43, C 8547, p.46, Administrator, Salisbury to Secretary, B.S.A.C., London, 9 June 1897. (135) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.377, evidence of H. Driver, A.N.C. Gwelo. (136) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", Martin, 18 January 1897. p.377, C 8547, pp.23 p.37, - 24, Grey to

C 8547,

(137) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.396.
\

(138) Stigger, "The Land Commission of 1894 and cat1jle", p.25, Matabele News and Mining Record, 30 June 1894 • (139) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ed 6/1/1. Gambo also complained in October 1894 that 400 head of cattle had been taken from him and driven to the Tati concession.
(140) Ranger, Revolt, p.113. (141) The Times, report Revolt", Naz Al 1/2/1. dated 23 May 1896, liThe t1a tabel e

.

(142) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.469, C 8547, p.37, Grey to Martin, telegram, 18 January 1897. What Ranger might be referring to, though in a very distorted way, is Carnegie's assertion that the distribution of cattle prejudiced the young men who now did not have the necessary labola to acquire a wife. However, young men did not "purchase" wives on their own initiative, they were aided by their kraal head and relatives as customary marriages are of a communal rather than a private nature. See also C8547, p.55, report by J.M. Orpen. Selous,

107

Sunshine and Storm, pp.xii - xiii, notes Ndebele who "rebel led" despite living on Arthur Rhodes's farm with plenty of cattle and exempt from labour extractions. <1(43) App€-~ndi:·: Two, Beach, "The Risings", p.278, NAZ M 1/1/1, Secretary to Mining Commissioner Lomagundi, 6 September 1894. (144) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, pp.400 - 401, Beach, "The Risings", p .278, .J •.J. Taylor, "The origins and devF.~l opment of the Native Depart.ment in Southern Rhodesia, 1896 - 98.", University of Rhodesia, Henderson seminar paper no 7, pp.7 - 8. (145) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and RhodeSia, p.400. (146) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.400.

(147) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.400, Beach. "The Risings", pp.278, 284, Ranger, Revolt, p.69, NAZ A 15/1/1, Inst.ructions on the collection of hut tax, 17 March 1894. (148) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, pp.400 - 401. Hist. Mss. Ed 6/1/1, Ranger, Revolt, pp.70 - 73. p .19 .

NAZ

(149) Beach, "The Risings", p.285, "Politics of col 1 aborat.ion" , (150) Beach, "The Risings", p.286, NAZ A 15/1/1, N 1/1/3. (151) Beach, "The Risings", p.287. (152) Bea.ch, "The Risings", pp.287 - 288, Brol. m, On the South African Frontier, pp.387 - 388: "In one locality alone were the mashonas dealt with, for any considerable length of time, by means which might be termed harsh. This was ~n the Victoria dist.rict, where the blacks were so extremely unruly that rigid discipline seemed absolutely essential. During the fhrst years of white occupation, native affairs in that region were left largely to the discretio~ of Captain Brabant, who had hadf previous experience in Kafir management in the Cape Colony. This gentleman gave the tribes under him an opportunity to learn of the white man's power to rule. His regime became eventually the subject of so much criticism on accbunt of its severity, that he was dismissed from the employ of the Chartered Company. He returned to his home at the Cape, but upon hearing of the rebellion and the critical straights of the white inhabitants of Rhodesia, he forthwith made his way with all speed to Victoria, where more than one -tYhousand natives, from among the tribes formerly governed by him quickly responded to his call to arms. Thus, as allies of the whites, these Kafirs followed their so termed former "oppressor" to assist in quelling the revolt of their brother Mashonas residing in the more humanely treated sections." l (153) NAZ N1/1, Nl/2, Nt/3.

lOB

(154) Chapter Four. Ranger, Revolt, p.??
(1.':55)
Bec~ch,

"The Risings", pp.:?88 - 289.

(156) Appendix Two. Chapter Four. (15?) Appendix Two. Ranger, Revolt, p.II? Bulawayo Chronicle, 23 .Januar··y 1897 9 1 et t~?!~ by "Pol it iCLls": "('Hter the campa ign of 1893, a native pol icy was gradually formed by the Government. It was a lax and crude pol icy, and depended too much on the individuals who were ordained to carry it out. The districts were too large and the native commissioners too few for the system to work well. They were supposed to be thoroughly acquainted with all the natives in their particular districts, which was in most cases humanly impossible. Many of them were young men, almost boys in fact, and young men are not reverenced by the native mind. Most of them had pastoral and household duties to perform which occupied no small portion of their time. The formation of two large reserves was talked about but was never carried out. The best of pol icies would have failed under similar conditions." (158) Be€~ch, "The Risings", p. , "ThE:? Shorl<::i and Ndebt-:?l e power'" University of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Henderson seminar paper No: 26, Chapter Four, R. Howman, "Sir·· HerbeF't .JDhn Taylcll'"', Kt ... First Chief Native Commissioner", Rhodesiana, Pub No:35, September 1976, p.SO - 51.
'.1

(159) Beach, "The Risings", p .276. Chapt.er Four, for e:·:ampl e, the relationship between Chirumanzu and A.N.C. Weale. (160) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", "The Risings", p.292. pp.189 - 191,193 - 195. Beach,

(161) O. Ransford, Bulawayo; Historic Battleground,SCape Town, Ba.lkerna, 1968),pp.l01 - 102, S>'kes, klith Plumer· in ~1a tabe 1 e 1a.nd, p . ::::5 - :3.~" • Dar· ter·, The Pi oneer·~. of r·1ashona land, p.72. (162) NAZ Nl/1/3, Tax Collector Umful ito C.N.C. Sal isbury, 1 November 1895: Mashayamombe controlled "about 30 kraals covering a distance of 20 miles along the Umful i river and 5 miles on either side of it. Mashengombie's own kraal being about 14 miles from Hartley close to the Beatrice Road. Apprm: imate number of huts 450." (163) Beach, "The Risings", pp .291 (164) Beach, pp.94 - 95. "The Ri ~.i ngs" , p.254.
292.

Hole, Old Rhodesian Days,

(165) NAZ Hist. Mss. Wi 8/1/1, statement by Nkungusi, wife of Lobengul a, 7 November 1937 : "Bab iaan was the real one who wE".mt to see the Queen. I don't know what these men told Lobengula

109

when they came back. He would never tell

anybody."

( 166) Keppel - ",k,nes, Rhodes and Rhodesia, pp.414 - 420, N. 8hebe, and Traditional Religion in Western Chr i st ian b' (167) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, pp.417 - 418. Hole, Old Rhodesian Days, p.26. Werbner, "Continuity and Pol icy in

Southern Africa's High God Cult",
(168) 8hebe, Christianity and Traditional (169) 8each,"The Risings", Traditional Religion, pp.97 (170)

ReI igion, p.100. Christianity and

p.381, 100.

8hebe,

Ranger,

"The organisation of the Rebel 1 ions of 1896

and

1897. Part Two: The Rebellion in Mashonaland" , p.14.
(171)

8each, liThe Risings", p.250.

J

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Taken 'h"Om '"The Ndebel e" , P .402.

110

!be aueltion of -Rtbe1liOO- in MatAbt'e'And

That there was a planned, organized and coordinated "Rebellion" in Matabeleland has not yet been questioned. The debate has

been as to whether the "Rebellion" owed its origin to rel igious or pol itical basic leadership. This chapter intends to challenge this of previous writers. It wi 11 beg in by

assumption

outlining

the oral and documentary evidence which

contradicts

any thesis of a planned rebellion. Having cleared the decks for a new interpretation, the escalation of violence will be traced through of
1896.

several phases which culMinate in the war of This war will be briefly examined to

conquest

emphasise' the

uncoordinated response of the Ndebele.

The

rich

oral

evidence any

derived of

from

African
\

sources

emphatically

denies

planned

Dr4)anized

"R~llion".

Ndansi Khumal0, son of Mhlat)le, induna of the Gaba izI9ab., and grandson of Mzilikatzi, fought in the conflict of 1896. Yet he W. Posselt and Marg.ry Perham

.tated in an interview with J. that,

ItHow the rebellion started I do not know, there was no organization, it was just like a fire which suddenly flames up. It ( 1 )

On the conclusion of hostilities, Godhlwayo izigaba,

Maduna Mafu,

indun. of

the

regarded by Cobbing as the' leading light in

111

the

organization

of

the

"Rebellion",

made

an

important

statement to the Chief Native Commissioner, Herbert Taylor. The recorded teHt of this statement is presented here in full
I

"6ist of statement made by Maduna, 22 - 1 - 97

The first I heard of the rising was the kill ing of the Native Policeman by Umsobo (of Bulawayo) on the Umzingwane River. A few days later I heard that Fezela's (brother of LobengulA) people had killed Mr Cumming's waggon driver and the span of donkeys and looted the waggon. Then I heArd that Feloni had killed Umfetshana, a white man, and also that Dumisa (another white) had been attacked but had repulsed the attack and had escaped. Thence the rebellion spread to the Insiza, where the Cunningham family and others were killed. All this time the 60dhlwayo people were quiet.

I had gone with Izana my grandfather to the kraal on the Umzingwane. On returning to my kraal I was told that the 60dhlwayo men were arming and collecting at the Godhlwayo kraal. The Sergeant of Native Pol ice at Umfulabuso was conferring with them as to what action they should take; they decided to arm and send to Mahlahleni, their induna for instructions. Meantime the Sub - Inspector of Native Police and other Iwhite men in the District were murdered. Mahlahleni ordered the murders but was not persona 11 y present. He sent and ordered the Godhlwayo people to bring their cattle and join him over the Umzingwane, and enter the Matopo Hills with him, they refused to do so as he had only ordered and not led them. Thus the Godhlwayo people saw no fighting, but when Sikombo sent and told them that peace was established, and the people were surrendering, and they must bring in their arms, they fled to Mpateni, where they are still in hiding.

Note - Maduna gave all the information he could in an apparently sincere manner, and his statement is I think reliable. Umsinzela, the elder man with him was more reserved, reticent and diplomatic, and seemed very disinclined to give any information.

112

Maduna further stated that the rising came as a great surprise to them - it arose and grew on the spur of the moment - and was not pre - arranged - but circumstances helped it on and fanned the flames of rebellion. The 80dhlwayo people beyond committing the murders in the district took little or no part in the fighting.

S.D.

Herbert. J. Taylor C.N.C. .. (2)

The importance of this document cannot be ignored.

It offers a

valuable insight into the African perspective, which Ranger and Cobbing statement indiabil: among others, made

failed to penetrate.

There is

also

a

by 8ampu Sithole at the first official

Matopo

"We have no leader, and it is impossible for a nation to live without a leader. These people sitting opposite us (meaning the rebels) brought trouble to the land. We did not know anything of the war until it was brought on suddenly."(3) ,
J

In

latter

years,

a European interested in

Ndebele

history, an

collected

an important statement by

Nganganyani

Mshl ope ,

Ndebele informant:

"The first place where we started to fight was Inyati. I can t remember who started it. f It simp 1 y happened." (4)
I

Besides conflict,

such there

statements is

by

African

participants

in

the

a wealth of contempory European

evidence

115

before Umjaan's

we had reached Bulawayo and safety."(10) Kateyexplains actions in terms of the strong personal ties

established between the aged induna and her parents. It appears from the narrative that Katey was not aware of the stance

adopted by Umjaan during the conflict.

Selous provides the link when he comments in Sunshine and Storm

that;

"Umjan, once the Induna of the Imbezu regiment and now quite an old man, has also refrained from taking any part in the present hostilities, although he is one of the few whose cattle were shot by order of the Government because they were infected with the rinderpest. He came into Bul awayo soon after the out break of the rebellion with his wives and immediate attendants, and is now living quietly near the town. His sons, however, have joined the rebels, whilst the men whom he formerly commanded - the Imbezu - reformed themselves into a regiment, and have been fighting since the outbreak of the insurrection.1f (11)

As

induna

of

the Imbezu ...mui:ho, to th~ Umjaan was royal family and

a

I

man

whose beyond

personal question. organized, part

loyalty If a

Ndebele

was

plan had been formulated

the

rebellion

Umjaan would have been expected to playa prominent So the decision of Umjaan to remain is

in its preparation.

aloof from the conflict was not that of a weary old man, it

an explicit denial of a planned IfRebell ion". 'It is not possible to question to Umjaan's discount loyalty, the fact is as has been done of his with Gampu

Sithole, Gampu's theory

"collaboration". <12> evidence against a and

"coll aboration" of

al so strong

a planned insurrection.

Gampu was a powerful

116

influential figure, though often in conflict with Lobengula. He may have been ambivalent in 1893, but he certainly was not the SnLcth to the be eager to collaborate with the Europeans, last Ndebele

and was possibly

induna to make his peace with the British

Africa Company. (13) Therefore, exclude Gampu from the the

any argument which attempts and organization of would

planning

"Rebellion" based

on

basis of his proven disloyalty indeed. Gampu,

on very tenuous ground

apprehended

in

Bulawayo during the escalation of violence, was clearly unaware of any pl anned "Rebel 1 ion" (14)

The

actions of various Ndebele engaged in European

employment

during

this period of escalated violence underline further the

argument that there was no planned or organized "Rebellion". H.

P. of the

Fynn, the Assistant Native Commissioner at Insiza, sent one his native policemen to Belingwe to warn the Europeans
J

in

district of the first murders in Filabusi. \ That policeman

on completion of his assignment however "never returned to duty but went over to the rebels with his rifle full of cartridges." (15) W. E.

.

his and

bandol ier report:

Thomas wrote in his

beg further to state my firm convict iop that the Native Police, with the exception of a few in District No 6, were not in the "know" - in fact they knew no more about the affair than the white people did for three reasons.
"I

!1i Two victims. 2nd With

native

policemen

were

amongst

the of

fir~t

the one exception above given none

the

117

Police absconded until they had been their comrades had been disarmed.

disarmed

- or

3rd And although numbers were coerced eventual ly into joining the rebels the majority have remained loyal to the present time."(16)

Thomas

had

ample

evidence

upon

which

to

base

his

firm

conviction. Captain T.Laing, later to be ambushed in the Inungu Borge during the Matopo campaign, message at Belingwe, S. on receiving the H. P. Fynn's Native

consul ted

Assistant

Commissioner, to

N. B. Jackson. He sent out his native police and these duties were to

warn the Europeans in the district, performed. These

faithfully desert,

policemen were in due course

thoroughly

alarmed by the antagonistic and

bellicose Gwaai when the

behaviour of the Europeans.(17) The native police on the river helped the Assistant Native Commissioner to safety The native police who accompanied

threatened. (18)

Assistant Native Commissioner of the Umzingwani district, H. M. B. Jackson, on his patrol kill ers , into the Matopos in\ pursuit of j the

Umgiorshlweni on

remained loyal until their disarmament were clearly

returning to Bulawayo.(19) The Native Police of any pl anned,

unaware

organized or coordinated "Rebel 1 ion". native police in some explanation incorrectly

However, the involvement of the Filabusi of for

the earliest murders suggests that a local ized the conflict must be sought. (20) Cecil
R~odes

perceived the "Rebellion" as a police revolt.(21)

A reconstruction of the sequence of events during the period of escalated violence provides conclusive proof that there was no

118

planned, organized of coordinated "Rebellion". Selous describes a confrontation on 20 March 1896 between a party of Native

Po 1 ice and a group of Ndebe 1 e, Lobengula's

1 ed by Umz obo, former induna of

Bulawayo.(22) There were

eight native H.

policemen,

who acting under the instructions of the i ...6i of Umgorshl weni,

M. Jackson arrived at

situated near the Umzingwani river. and a retinue It woul d attack was

They were eating their evening meal when Umzobo, of seem was

attendants arrived and provoked a confrontation.

that insults were passed and as tempers flared an made on the native policemen. The

attacker

apprehended,

but then killed as one of his companions fired on Outnumbered the Native Pol ice beat a hasty

the Native Police. retreat. They and They

arrived at Jackson's camp at 1 am the next day. first assailant, boys. been

handed him the captured rifle of their reported
1 ater

the

loss of two of their

young

servant "had

Jackson

found

that one of these small boys
\

murdered in a most brutal way, his skull having been smashed to atoms with knobkerries". (23) Jackson then prepared to chase and i punish the Umzingwani killers. these two servants was and

Selous notes that the murder of killing to of one of that

the accidental

Umzobo's

men

not the only deed of blood

occur

Friday night. the retreat

Among Umzobo's men was one "Ganyana", of a the police went alone to the

who after kraal of

"Umfondisi", him

nephew of Lobengula.

He woke him up and told
II

what had happened.

"Ganyana·· roused "Umfondisi

who

was

eager to fight. Together they then went to a neighbouring kraal and awoke the headman to tell him the news. policemen happened to be sleeping One of at Jackson's kraal.

native

that

119

Awakened, happening, shot him,

he

came

out

of

the hut

and

enquired

what

was

informing

them he was a policeman.

"Ganyana" then

and as he fell down, "Umfondisi" plunged his assegai

into him. (24)

Though

there had been a sk irmish between the Assistant and the Shona people of Bel ingwe in early of violence may be traced to the

Native March, of

Commissioner the

escalation 20

events

Friday

March,

1896 as described above.(25) This

conflict fight. the

bears all the characteristics of a typical African beer The

fracas was clearly a confrontation which arose out of

immediate situation. been representative

The two young boys cannot be said to have of an alien and oppressive system. The

decision

of "Umfondisi" to participate in the killings was not

the result of any planning. The first victims of the escalating violence were in not Europeans, but Africans. aware The
~hat

people

who

participated woul d follow.

these killings were They were f aced

retribution
J of

with the

choice

ei ther

submitting to punishment,' or resisting. They decided to desert their kraals and seek refuge in the Matopos.(26)

The excitement which these initial confrontations generated a very tense There atmosphere provided the stimulus for

in

further initial

attacks. violent

was a gap of three days between these and the first killing of

confrontations

European$.

During these three days the tension increased as those involved in the initial incidents realized the precariousness of their

120

position and the punishment that would follow. the killings spread to neighbouring kraals,

As the news

of

apprehension

increased. These initial killings generated a certain amount of elation and euphoria, Fear and which was heightened by the the apparent success of delay the in

retribution. killings even

first Yet,

provided the momentum for attacks on Europeans.

at this point the violence may have proved to be

nothing

more than the frantic attempts of a few isolated communities to escape punishment, or the seizing of an opportunity by

disaffected elements to demonstrate their hostility. these isolated outbursts developed into a

But since scal e

full

confrontation, it still needs to be determined how and why this happened.

The

chronology of the first murders of Europeans needs if the process of escalated violence
\

to to

be be

established understood.

is

There

are confl icting theories as to the sequence
I

of events. Cobbing, who derived his information from the papers of Roger Howman's a research into the life of Orlando Assistant and the to

Baragwanath, Native

legendary pioneer, at Filabusi,

argued that the George Bentley

Commissioner

Europeans in the vicinity of Edkin's Store,

were the first

be killed.(27) Howman expressed the opinion that;

"since the pl anni,ng of the Rebel 1 ion was centred on Induna Umlungulu who lived near Essexvale, and the Fi 1 abusi community was near the mi 1 itant ltllpi of Fezela and Mahlahleni, it is reasonable to suppose that Bent 1 ey in his of f ice and his nei ghbours were the first victims on the morning of Monday, that the signal then spread up the Insiza river to catch the

121

Cunningham family at midday and up to Maddocks in evening." (28)

the

The

evidence,

however,

suggests

that the attack on Maduna Mafu's

Edkin's statement

store at Filabusi was not the first. draws

a clear distinction between the initial acts of violence Mahlahleni that the the

and the decision of the Godhlwayo people to send to for first instructions. (29) Maduna's statement suggests

murders of Europeans took place on the

Umzingwani,

area disturbed by the killings of 20 March. the links Umzingwani Fezela of into Insiza and then on the Essexvale to

It then moved down Filabusi. with the who Maduna initial survived seven "were

district

killings. the white attack men,

The statement of a "colonial native", on Edkin's store, two "colonial

said that the murders of an Indian native
\

boys" and

cook

committed

suddenly

and without warn-ing by

pol icemen,

aided by natives from the surrounding kraals under two brothers of Lo Bengula, linked Maschlaschlin and Umfaizella."(30) Fezela i is an

therefore

to two incidents of violence,

which

is

indication of how the violence spread engulfing people who were unprepared for a "Rebel 1 ion". Orl ando Baragwanath stated in his correspondence with Howman that;

"The idea that the rf!bell ion broke out prematurel y in our minds was that Maduna the chief at Filabust was very friendly with Bentley, and not keen to prove his lOYAlty to the causf!." (31)

Baragwanath's observation corroborates Maduna's statement, contradicts the oral evidence of Manhlehle Thili, an

and

Ndebele

122

informant, rel ied upon by both Howman and Cabbing, who supplied the following information in 1973;

USkonkwani was camped at Nkul wani Hill with his hlpi the Mkitika, Maduna Mafu Nkojene was camped on Insinga Hills with the Godhlwayo section. The two sections were camped on the hills for five days before they attacked. They had people working in the camp and on the mines. Skonkwani and his section attacked Edkin's' Store which was situated west of the camp and Maduna and his men attacked from the Insiza Hills east of the camp ... (32)

Manhlehle Thil i's statement is unreliable and Cobbing made

the

mistake of uncritically accepting Howman's seemingly impressive research. assumptions evidence brother argument Howman, as however, was attempting to reconcile his the his the at

to the sequence of the first murders with written by Orlando Baragwanath 1896, to

of a letter, - in that

- law on 30 April the

which contradicted took pl ace

first murder of Europeans

Edkin's store on Monday 23 March. source of detail

The content bf this valuable j is quoted here in full.

nOn March 16 th Al bert came to Sul awayo, Cummings and I followed two days later, as I wanted to see about getting a contract.

On

Saturday evening, Albert started back and did not reach Filabusi until Monday night about 9 0 ' clock.

Arthur Cumming went back on Monday morhing on his bicycle and reached our camp (which was about 12 miles west of Filabusi> Tuesday 11 o'clock. As he rode towards the hut he thought everything was very quiet. On looking in there lay our camp boy, who must have been killed Monday morning or Sunday night, and the place looted. He rode back to the Umzingwani Store - 3 miles distant to send a message to Bentley, the Commissioner, and give notice of the murder, not for a

123

moment thinking a rebellion had started, although there were rumours of it. In fact 01 d Mr Cumming spoke to Albert as he had years of frontier experience. Arthur decided that he would go himself and was preparing to mount his bicycle, when a young native rushed up and tol d them that everyone at Fi 1 abusi had been kill ed, and the Store was burning. What conf irmed this tale, was while talking to the boy they heard a big explosion, which turned out afterwards to have exploded at a camp a mile from the Store, but they took it to be the dynamite held in stock at the Store. Arthur and a man Lucas started straight away for Bulawayo, and it was @arly on Wednesday morning that he got into Town. We went to the Administrator and demanded arms, and as they were under British control, owing to the Jameson raid, it was not until 2 O'clock that we got any. 33 Strong. (sic) When we got to the Umz ingwani Store, found it in flames. We pushed on as fast as our sorry nags coul d travel, most of us on foot by then. [WJe reached Fi 1 abusi Store, Thursday 11 o'clock. The Store burnt and Albert's hut, the other hut intact. Albert's body was the first we came across. It was in front of his hut site. He was shot through the head. His partner Edkin, and another, some say Carpenter were the next. Carpenter (Percy Cumming's mate). In the kitchen a Cape boy. Bentley and others at the Native Affairs post. I was too upset to go to the other camp at the Celtic, O'Conner and Ivers. The latter mutilated. We off saddled for a coupl\e of hours as the horses were done up to go to all the camps. The Cunningham family, three generations, about 15 ~iles off were all killed. Percy Cumming was ill at the Store and just about-to leave for Bulawayo in his wagon." (33)

Albert o'clock

therefore on Monday

only

arrived at Edkin's Store
23

at

about

9

night

March.

Orlando

Baragwanath's

correspondence with Howman led him to mention

~hat;

"I rather doubt if on Albert's return that they did discuss the possibility (of a rebellion), Edkin told his cook to get on with his work when he reported that some native women said the white men were being murdered on the Celtic mine."(34)

MAP
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Pu.blislud by ROWLAND W4BD & Co" LTD., L01Idon,

124

If

a

warning was given to the Europeans at of whites on the Celtic mine, probably followed

Filabusi

of

the the 24

murder

then the attack on of Tuesday

settlement

on the morning

March. Baragwanath's letter contains a great deal of incidental detail Bentl ey confirming Maduna Mafu's statement that the and Edkin's Store took place on the attack orders on of

Mahlahleni after the initial disturbances.

Though the facts of the initial obscure, the

incidents of violence are still It would seem that Umzingwani had a

a general theory may be advanced. initiated on 20 March on the

violence

rippl ing effect into Insiza. by

The movement of peoples disturbed

these initial incidents may have led to attacks on Maddocks before the attack on having been involved Filabusi. in
\

and other prospectors, can be traced and of Fezela initial mil i tant a

to

the The
I

d i st urbances

the at tack on Edk in's

store.

act i vities

individuals such as Fezela may have acted as attack~ compl ement to other conflicts. personal account However, viol ence, Europeans There

provoked by spec i f icall y

local ized purely

may

also have been attacks based on

initiative as is illustrated by Nganganyani of the escalation of violence in the Inyati before turning to the spread to of the

Mshlope's district. escalated kill ing of of

Mahlahleni's

decision

order'the

is worth examining in the context of the history

the Bodhlwayo people.

Godhlwayo

lay

on

the north - eastern

extremity

of

Ndebele

125

settl ement. hi story. The

The

chiefs were Mafus who had a Mafu remembered

very

tumul tuous whose son,

first

is Ml ajana ,

Muhubo Joined Mzilikatzi and became a famous 19_ (brave man). He received the praise name Dambisamahubo after a successful

rearguard action against Tshaka's men, across the Drakensberg.

as Mzilikatzi fled west to

During the 1830's he was elevated

lead the newly formed Godhlwayo ibutho. during to

He opposed Mizilikatzi

the 1841 - 2 civil war and supported Nkuluman's attempt Defeated in battle he fled not

establish a separate kingship.

either south of the Limpopo or into Gazaland.(35) This did alter the Godhlwayo succession. his chief wife, Ndebele custom Ncozana,

Dambisamahubo had twin sons by was by

and Mtikana the second born, Mtikana became an

the successor.

outstanding

general, leading a semi - independent group of Ndebele in which the Mafu family controlled an assorted population of peoples of Nguni, Berwa, Rozvi, Kalanga and Venda origin.
\

His

rule

extended east of the Umzingwane, and the Godhlwayo people was
~laim

as far west as the Jngezi, - as far south as the court, hippo he Limpopo. in the

Mtikana European

a prominent attendant at arranged private

dressed on

clothes,

shOots

Umzingwani, into Chivi

led his own raiding forces into Mpateni and beyond and Gutu, and Makwa. Mafu, in the After late 1860's married death, opposed made for

Hz i 1 ikatz i 's Mtikana, Lobengula

daughter, another

Mzilikatzi's of Induba

,

like and

Tshukiso

urged that a more thorough search be

Nkuluman.(36) When at the beginning of 1872, Mangwane and Kanda inv.ded the kingdom, Mtikana was reputed to have sent them

126 cattle helping at to their camp on the middle Tuli.(37) the rebellion was His part to in be his

suppress and in

considered

equivocal, execution.

1874 or early 1875 Lobengula Morgan Thomas of the London

ordered

Thomas

Missionary executed.

Society asked Lobengula in 1875 why Mtikana had been Lobengula replied, kill me. (38) wrote, sympathy trial

-Saya funda akulalHaba .ina" , they wished to

In 1878, Captain Patterson, an envoy to Lobengula,

"Umtagan, a great induna of the Kutwayo, crime supposed with Kuruman, warning obeying the King's summons was without killed on the road by the King's

without

messengers". (39) In response some of the men of Godhlwayo armed themselves, marched to Bulawayo, and intimidated Lobengula into killing the a.ansiusa (executioners) who were from After Mtikana's execution his brother, regent for the heir, Maduna, Imbezu.(40)

Mahlahleni Mafu, became

the son of Mtikana and Makwa. In

Jul y 1888 the Berl in missionaries made a reference to "riot and troubles death of [which] have broken out at Makoa's as,a result of the the Tuna there who acted as a regent} unscathed for the

chieftainess" • (41) the years 1893 - 5,

Godhl wayo was reI ativel y

during

although the people moved south - east to

the Shaga Hills.

Cobbing states that;

"Mahl ahl eni and Maduna were the major fermenters of the Rising in Filabusi in March 1896, operating west against the old Gwanda road and east towards Mpateni and Bel ingwe." (42)

127

Several reasons emerge from the brief history of the people which tend to negate Cobbing's assumptions.

Godhlwayo From a

strategic perspective, to begin a rising in the north - east on the The extremities of Ndebel e settl ement wou1 d have been European popul ation of this district was small, unwise. and the

African with

peoples were of varied origin and unlikely to purpose. should If a rebellion had been

respond it the the as had

common

planned, more to to

theoretically north - west

have received its impetus

near the Ndebele heartland, community.
(43)

and closer the

offending illustrated aspirations associated Their

European

Further,

Mafus,

in the careers of Dambisamahubo and to with pol it ical independence, and

Mtikana, were

closely society. a a

the disaffected element in in any scheme to plan

Ndebele or

participation to of re

organize under

rebellion Khumillo their

- establish the

Ndebele

kingship

Lobengula's line,

would have been acting
\

against The in an

historical a1 ignment .::\nd their self - interest. (44)
I

reference of the Berlin missionaries to "riot and troubles" relation to the regency provides a clue which enables

understanding It would

of Maduna's statement incriminating likely that a division occurred

Mah1ahleni. within the heir, and of

seem people and of which

6odhlwayo Maduna, experience prestige

between supporters of the former regent,

legitimate The a

the

Mah 1 ah 1 eA i.

age

Mahlahleni Maduna

would have given him appears to have

degree

resented. (45) Europeans by i. the

Hah 1 ah 1en i ' s difficult to

mot i ve

f or order i ng the murder of

determine.

He may have been influenced

128

presence of Fezela, is possible

or simply reacted to local provocation. It Maduna's

that he may even have been challenging

authority. that

Maduna clearly regarded it as a challenge. The fact had gone

many of the Europeans resident in the district

into Bulawayo, leaving the whites who remained behind even more vu 1 nerab 1 e decision. (46) domestic Europeans, movement than usual, may have influenced Mahlahleni's conflicts killings retarded the of of any

Maduna Mafu's statement links the politics indicates a with how the these initial schisms

Ndebele and towards

cohesive response even by

Godhlwayo

people to the escalating violence.

The reaction of the Godhlwayo people to this violence conflicts with the role attributed to them as the fermenters of a planned "Rebellion". The report of Chief Native Commissioner Taylor on

the conclusion of hostilities noted that;

"The natives of the district are principally of the Gothlwayo Kraal or Regiment. They were the first to revolt and no less tHan 27 murders were committed in the immediate vicinity of Filabusi. They took no part in the fighting and have not in the least suffered." (47)

As

the viol ence escal ated,

the Godhl wayo peopl e under Maduna They were involved in no

Mafu moved into the Mapeteni region. further people conflict with Europeans.

The failure of the Godhlwayo subsequent conflict

to playa significant part in the

contradicts

any thesis which attributes to them a central role

in the initiation of a planned "Rebel 1 ion".

129

J.

Chalmers, and

in

Fighting

the Matabele, insight into

provides how the

a

useful

(f actLla 1 violence relatively

f ict it iOLls) Two group

escalated a a

spread. small

points

emerge from

the

narrative; for

of armed men was

responsible

sLlccession of attacks, and as many of the Europeans were killed in groLlps, the number of attacks required to kill was 145 Europeans Fezela's and the of

small .(48) These two points are substantiated by in the disturbances on the Umzingwani

involvement

attack on Edkin's Store at Filabusi.

However,

the account

Nganganyani Hshlope of the fighting in the Inyati district best ill ustrates viol ence: the process of the spread of the escalated

"We were onl y six of us when we kill ed those peopl e. We left our kraal to kill them. There was Tjontjonlani, myself, Hkumbi, Kafuli, Malikinya and Ngonge.
\

We divided off in groups to gO off and kill the white people that we knew. Our kraal was separate a~ we decided to gO off and kill these white people. No one came round to tell us'that the fighting had started. We had the news from the Matopos that the fighting had started. We had the news from the Hatopos that Hlimo was going to help us, so we just decided among ourselves that there were white people over there and we had better go there. We had no grievance against these people. We killed them merely because they were white people. We were going to kill all the white people because we had the news that the Hlimo was going to help us."(49)

The

passage

of time has given a racial edge to

Nganganyani's Hlimo of

oral evidence, prompted

and Windram's leading question about the

the desired repl y. (50) However the central thrust

130 Nganganyanirs statement remains clear; organized important there was no preplanned people. The

conspiracy for a rising of the Ndebele

point to note is that the actions of six men brought unbeknown to the rest of According to people in Nganganyani the Insiza of men

the Inyati district "into rebellion", the they African people in the district. killed on A the same day some

district.(51) took

second attack by a much larger group Native

place three days later on Assistant

Commissioner

Graham and the Europeans at Inyati Store. The first attack took place on 24 or 25 March and the second attack on The came news from the the Matopos, 26 or to on 27 by the

March. (52) Nganganyani,

referred

after

initial confrontations

Umzingwani river. As part of the process of escalated violence, the actions of small groups of men acting on their own was the

initiative, caught

explain as

why were

the general African the Europeans. This

population facet of

unaware

conflict clearly emerges from Selous's account of this period.
I

On

the

evening of Monday'23 March, of the

Selous

heard

about camp

the of

events

previous Friday while resting at the

Assistant Native Commissioner Jackson. Selous had just finished a cattle patrol which aimed to contain Jackson the spread of force On the to the near the many Selous

rinderpest pursue morning the of

disease.

was on his way with a

Umzingwani killers into the Matopo Hills. 24 March, and Selous rode back to his own He

home found with

Essexvale kraal

passed Umgorshlweni on the way. the murder had taken place, in its vicinity

where ones

together

smaller

absolutely

deserted.

131

reached home about midday to find everything as usual. His wife reported that several Ndebele had come that morning and

borrowed axes. That evening some of these men returned and they chatted conduct about of the recent murders on the Umzingwani, Umzobo and Umfondisi.(53) Selous's and the

account

emphasizes two th ings; among whites, African and peoples

Europeans were st ill 1 i ving two days after the first

unmo1 ested kill ing of of the

though conflict, are

these at

African people were aware this point they were a"", t he district not was

escalating These facts

involved. that of time

significant

Umlungulu of the Intanteni izigaba. of

Umlungulu during the

Lobengula presided over the Inx . .1a (first fruit) ceremony,

and so as the most influential personage in Matabeleland, it is to him that the central role in planning, organizing and that the a the

coord inat ing a "Rebel 1 ion" has been attributed. (54) Later evening, kill ings rebellion, local Selous at was informed by his servant George He then b~gan of fear

Fi 1 abpsi that morn in9.

to

though he considered himself in no danger'from

population,

but only from raiding parties coming from a Selous took precautions against an

.

distance. attack.

Nevertheless,

On the Wednesday morning Selous set about his normal tasks.
,I

He

was

about He

to

sit down for breakfast when

the

same

servant Gwibi's

arrived. kraal, cattle.

brought the news that armed Ndebele from

a nephew of Lobengula, had raided some of his Company's George was accompanied by a young boy sent by the

132

headman

from

the

kraal

from which the

cattle

were

taken.

Despite the threats of Gwibi's men the headman had sent the boy to inform Selous. The people who herded cattle for Selous were, therefore, rebellion. been clearly This unaware of any planned or or9anized had was Zul u

led Selous to conclude that "this risin9 rHH, fermented by so far

bers of the 1 ate Kin9's fami 1 y,

and pure

conf ir:ed

to the Aberz.antsi or Matabel e of

descent. "(55) did not

It was therefore not a general ri sing. to attack or kill Selous, but

These men contented far from

attempt with

themselves enga9ing were tak i

a cattle raid.

It would seem !!at

in a pl anned "Rebel 1 ion", r'J the men from Gwibi's kraal uncertainty to steal

advantage

of the 9rowing

Selous's cattle. desire to

Cattle theft clearly took preference over any speaking that had the taken of for

to kill Europeans.(S6) While Selous was still another messenger arrived to inform him pf>I'p1 e

George,

Intunteni their which

had 1 eft during the night.

They
\

cattle into the Matopos with them,

the greater part ComJpany,

were "owned" by Willoughby's Consolidated

which Selous worked. at odds

This.action of. Umlungulu would seem to be 1896. house, in his

with the role ascribed to him in the events of within Qasy walking distance of
8elou~/s

Though Umlun9ulu

instead of attempting to kill the Europeans

own immediate vicinity,

decamped with the cattle placed in his

care and sought refuge in the Matopos. These are most certainly not the actions lif a man committed to "Rebel 1 ion",

less sti 11

to a well planned and organized insurrection.(S7)

Selous decided that the first thing to do was· to take his

wife

133

into Bulawayo, and then to return with a force of armed men. He believed were that a show of force would deter those Africans joining Selous who the sent

still

sitting quietly watching events from Before travelling to Bulawayo,

"rebels". <58>

messengers to summon all the headmen of kraals in the immediate vicinity belonging to to his homestead. These men all possessed cattle blooded

Willoughby's ,and as they were not pure

Ndebele, Selous therefore "imagined they would have no sympathy wi th the insurgents". (59) Selous addressed these They men and

impressed themselves

upon them the folly of "Rebellion".

expressed disclaimed

in perfect accord with what he said and

any desire to overthrow the white man. (60)

Selous's

testimony

illustrates

clearly

that

there

was

no

organized or planned "Rebellion" with the specific objective of kill ing all Europeans. As Ndansi Khumalo noted, "it was just

like a fire which suddenly flames up". From the\Umzingwani, the flame of "rebellion" spread through the Insiza an~ Filabusi

districts, to the Shangant' and Inyati, and thence to the mining camps until in the neighbourhood of the Swelo and Ingwenia rivers,

the whole of Matabeleland was perceived by the Europeans

to be engulfed in its flames. What is also clear is that it was not a general rising. small Though groups the of The initial murders were perpetrated
I

by

men acting often on

their

own

initiative. a

Europeans assumed that lithe Ndebele struck with

simul taneity, cohesion and viciousness" which mArked a pl anned, organized and coordinated attempt to drive them from the

134

country,

this

assumption failed to take note of the fact that

in the evolving chaos, many victims of the turmoil were African peoples. conspiracy Indeed, The Europeans perceived the disturbances as a to exterminate them and they struck back viciously.

in this tense atmosphere of agi tation and uncertainty,

it was the activity of the Europeans which played a significant part in the general escalation of violence.

Ross

Townsend,

the Civil Commissioner of Bulawayo,

sent

the

first news of the disturbances to the Administrator, Sir Albert Grey, then at Umtali, by telegram at 9.30 am on 25 March;

"25 th news just in of further raiding and murder by natives in .Filabusi reported that the native police have joined the rebels and shot some of their officers no really authentic news is yet obtainable but matters are certainly serious. Spreckly with 25 picked men is leaving in an hours(sic) time for Filabusi. Napier with 50 men and maxim left last evening for Insiza no answer being received from High Commissioner we have demanded ammunition. Nicholson organized defense of this place will be arranged today, horses ~re scarce and we are obtaining them from where ever pos~ble. Duncan is taking command of whole business. I do not regard as by any means organized or united rising of natives but drastic and decisive steps must be taken to quell the insurrect ion." (61)

Drastic and decisive steps were taken, but these served only to increase reaction examined. the uncertainty and to exacerbate the , confl iet • The be

of the Europeans to the initial violence must now

On

23

March

the death of the prospector Ma,ddocks

at

Insiza

135 brought the news of the kindled "Reb@llion" to Bulawayo.(62)

Public pressure led to the formation of a Council of Defense to meet the perceived Mounted emergency. Inspector Southey of the to

Matabeleland investigate.

Police was sent on patrol to

Insiza

Colonel Napier of the Rhodesian Horse

Volunteers

leoft for Shangani, Captain Grey for Tekwe Store. Captain Dawson left March, to reconnoitre the Umzingwani Drift.(63) On Wednesday Mr Duncan, the Acting Administrator, Mnr A. 25

called a public

meeting to ask for volunteers.

H. van Rensberg offered

to form a Dutch Afrikaner Corps. That evening there was a false alarm of an impending Ndebele attack, (a fear which was

constantly relief

present even after the arrival of Colonel The frantic scramble for arms and

Plumer's ammunition

force).

reflected the tension and unpreparedness of the On Thursday building, Pittendrigh rescue over

community. (64)

26 th a strong laager was formed around the Market with and four machine guns and barbed wire. Captain left to

twenty of the Afrikaner Corps\ then

the people at Inyati.(65) The neKt day waggo~s from all Matabeleland began to pour into Bulawayo. The Rhodesian

Light Horse Detachment was disbanded to form the Bulawayo Field Force, under second April machine comprising fourteen troops. The Regiment was placed as 11

Colonel Spreckly, in command,

with Lieutenant - Colonel Gifford

and Captain Cord en as Adjutant.(66) On

there were reported to be 850 men under arms with twelve guns and seven seven pounders and 680 of an Ndebele attack dynamite horses. (67) were In laid second

expectation outside the

mines

laager.

The Dutch settlers now formed a

laager near the service reservoir.

Captain Brand then built a

136

third laager in the south west corner of the town. (68) From the beginning of April to the end of May there were a succession of skirmishes. Insiza through Colonel Inspector Southey was involved in the defense of

Store. (69) Captain Brand was caught in a running the Matzeni Hi 11 s on the Tul i road. (70)

fight

Lieutenant

Gifford had a fight at Fonseca's farm.(71) Captain Mac

Farlain had two skirmishes on the Umguza.(72) Sorties were made every day by the Bulawayo Field Force. African people suspected of the being spies were arbitrarily executed, circumstances The that swift and it being argued punishment native in was

I,rutal the

justified.(73) taking

desertion of many of

police, apparent

with them their arms and expertise,

made the

position of the settlers more serious.(74)

The

defense measures undertaken unsettled the African peoples.

The men who undertook the patrols were aggressive and arbitrary in their actions. on the The note at the bottom of pa~e six
J

of

the 97, of

Reports

Native Disturbances in

Rhodesia

1896

illustrates

the role played by the Europeans in the spread

the escalated violence.

"There is reason to believe that the rebellion could have been confined to these parts (Insiza, Umzingwani, Gwelo, Mavena, Bembezi and Inyati distri~ts) had the suggestions of the Native Department, as to the desirability of keeping loyal natives (?), as yet not concerned in the rebellion, been acted upon. In certain cases , natives who had intentions of remaining loyal were driven to join the rebellion, as for example the case of Manyakavula, who was a nephew of the late King Lobengula, who acted as the principal Induna of the Gwanda district and in the .1ate King's time exercised chieftainship over the Ematshetsheni

137

Kraals. On the 24 th March, Mr Jackson, who in command of a patrol of 80 Native Police was about to enter the Matoppo Hills to apprehend the Engodhlweni Kraal murders, went with Mr Cooke to Manyakavula and borrowed from him with his willing consent, five head of cattle as food for the Police, and instructed him that he and his people were to take no part in any disturbance, but to remain quietly at their kraals, and no harm would come to them. Manyakavula accompanied Mr Jackson into the Matoppos and remained with him for two days. Manyakavula's people obeyed his injunction and remained at their kraals. On the 27 th, however, a patrol passed the kraals opening fire on the natives, killing one or two, and setting fire to the kraals. Manyakavula then joined the rebels with all the Ematshetsheni tribe."(75)

Assistant "Rebellion" only

Native

Commissioner Jackson was not

aware

of

any

when he called on Manyakavula on 24 March.

He was Matopo far as

informed of this "fact" when he returned from the and his native police were disarmed. (76) As

patrol,

Jackson was concerned, of the subsequent

though he ventured right into the heart he was
\

"rebel" stronghold,

simply

on

a

routine police patrol. any planned rebellion, As

Manyakavula was clearly also unaware of or he would not have and accompanied
I

Jackson's indunil patrol. the he

a nephew of district, played a

Lobengula, had any in

principal been it. and

of

Gwanda have

"Rebellion" organising

planned,

would

part

Manyakavula's understandably, attack such

decision to resist the Europeans clearly

,

arose from his outrage following on the random The effect is of

of a patrol of Europeans on his kraals. arbitrary The action on surrounding of kraals

easily engulfed

perceived.

escalation

violence

which

Manyakavula and the Ematshetsheni people of Swanda district was provoked by European activities, and clearly involved no

138 planning or organization.

The

ability

to lose friends and make enemies is perhaps Laing's account of the

most

strikingly evident in Captain

Be1ingwe

laager, The Matabele Rebellion 1896.(77) There is described how

the

native police,

the African labourers and the local

Shona

chiefs,
II

despite protestations of "10ya1tyll, Reading hostile

each successively

rebe11ed ll •

between the lines it is apparent that the and bellicose attitude of the Europeans Belingwe all

suspicious, influenced district. the were

the actions of the African peoples in the Though

the Native Police had faithfully warned

Europeans in the district they were not trusted. made to disarm them, and after further

Attempts they

threats

decamped.

Their desertion confirml>rj Laing's sLtspicion of their The African servants brought into the laager

disloyal ty. (78)

were forced to prepare defensive works. They were identified as the "enemy II and treated as such. When the\ defenses stay~ng were in the once,

completed, Laing gave the Africans the choice of laager and or departing.

About seventy decided to leave at l-! .. ving

about twenty - five decided to remain.

threatened

the Africans for several days,

Laing interprets their decision

to depart not on1 y as an indication of their own disloyal ty but also of their districts. Laing came to lithe conclusion that

, there were very few loyal natives to the west, of us".(79) Laing's suspicious hostility also of the Shona chiefs in the district. '.;outh, or north influenced He refused the to that the

behaviour bel ieve they had

their

protestations of loyalty despite the fact "Rebellion".(80) In

done nothing to support a

139

disturbed opportunity

circumstances, to

some Africans took advantage of the Europeans,

the but

steal the possessions of

there were no murders in the district. coming into laager on 28 March, the south laughed spoor of his rieved cattle.

A Mr BI>I'lqvist,

before

had followed for some distance They were being driven to the Africans, who merely

- west by a large party of armed

at his endeavours to retrieve them.

Though armed they

did not attempt to hurt him,

but simply drove the cattle along This is

a little faster and jeered when he gave up the chase. not

quite the behaviour expected of men committed to a planned

insurrect ion. (81)

If

one

assumes that there was a pl anned "Rebel 1 ion" then feature of of the events of
1896

the

striking

is

the the

apparent Ndebele in

incongruities begin the

the Ndebele strategy.

Why did
\

"Rebellion" by attacking

isolated

individuals
I

outlying districts? Why was there no coalescence of forces for an attack on Bulawayo? force Mangwe military Why did it take a month for an Ndebele Why was the the

to venture into the environs of Bulawayo? road to the south left open? Why was

Ndebele forces

strategy

disjointed to the extent that their

were perceived to be divided into three sectors, separated from each other by vast distances? Why did the Ndebele adopt a

defensive strategy and seek refuge in the Matopos, allowing the Europeans effort against to take the military initiative? Why was so much

wasted on a civil war instead of uniting in a the Europeans? These, and other 'questions

campaign cannot

...
. ..

,

.

140

satisfactorily the

be

explained away in terms of superstition strategy.

or

different objectives of Ndebele military reflect

These an

questions

an incorrect perspective which

hinders

understanding of the nature of the events of 1896.

As the initial killings of Europeans in outlying districts were not the result of any planned "Rebellion", there was no plan of campaign against the Europeans. an attack on Though the Europeans expected the

Bul awayo this did not material he and no attack had

because

Ndebele were disorganized upon.

been determined

The failure to attack Bulawayo was therefore no "missed

opportunity". The Ndebele were as unprepared for a "Rebel 1 ion" as were the Europeans to face it. forces to venture into I t took over a the environs
OT

month

for

Ndebele because

Bulawayo,

it took that length of time for the Ndebele to get the

measure of the situation. The forces that allegedly "massed" on the Umguza were small and possibly represented a local response
\

to

European

harassment,

rather than a

mobil

izatio~

for

an

onslaught not

on the settlement. (82) The Mangwe road was left open of Gampu or the Mwari oracle's influence, but

because

because there was never any strategy devised to cut it off.(S3) The dramatic flight of the Europeans into laager obscured their perception of the confusion which then prevailed leaders~ip among

the

African peoples. the various on were

There was no central

to coordinate to the The which

peoples.

The local leadership responded their localized

situation Ndebel e

the basis of faced

perception. patrol s

with a series of European

attacked and harried indiscriminatel y. "Rebel" i..,i., or rather

141

scattered advantage homesteads, As such,

bands of

of Ndebele, the si tuat ion

roamed to

the raid

countryside and loot

taking European

to attack other peoples and to payoff old scores. even to the the perception Ndebele of three mil itary unity sectors than because

attributes existed. (84) they

greater

mil itary

The Ndebele adopted a defensive strategy

were faced with a situation for which they had no planned The initiative fell to the Europeans who harried the into defensive strongholds. (8S) The civil war among

response. Ndebele the equal and

Ndebele is an aspect of the events of 1896 which

deserves

if not greater prominence than the conflict between white bl ack • The and internal divisions prevented any planned and

"Rebellion"

retarded any movement towards a cohesive

un i ted determinat ion to expel the European sett 1 ers. (86)

Due has

to the assumption of a planned "Rebellion", been paid to the process whereby the

no

attention aligned reflects the no

~debele

themselves

in the conflict.

The process of al

ignme~t

the unpl anned nature of events. Ndebele who were

Choices had to be made by had

faced with a crisis for which they Influenced by local

preconceived

response.

circumstances

different choices were made by different leaders;

"Bul ina, chief of a kraal on the Shiloh Road, the late King's Head Gardner, came in with his men, having been chased away by surround ing rebel s. Sikomb i, petty chief near Thabas Induna, fled last night with all cattle to join rebels near Umz ingwani." (87)

142

The Ndebele response to the escalated violence was a disjointed and disorganized campaign by several scattered groups;

"In conclusion, I beg to point that the greatest difficulty of the position has been in ascertaining the plans of the natives; they were evidently congregating to various centres, killing and destroying, as far as possible, all in their course, but it was uncertain whether they intended to continue this scattered method of fighting, or, by a sudden movement, to unite the many iMpi. so formed, and make a dash in full force on Bulawayo."(88)

The

confusion

as

to the movements of the Ndebele from the assumption of a and

their pl anned

intentions, "Rebell ion".

derives

In

the chaos many groups of Ndebele fled seeking sanctuary Reverend Carnegie

in of

the Matopos Hills or other strongholds.

the Hope Fountain mission station commented;

"Our position is unique. We can say there are rebels and loyalists among the natives, and we are toldithis is not so, they are all rebels, ought all to be shot etc etc. I send you -a special edition of the local paper which is generally correct in regards to the nat i ve quest ion.

Reed and myself rode out to Hope Fountair:t yesterday. I have been doing my best to calm own people and persuade them from fl eeing to the Matoppo Hi 11 s. Several stores and farm houses within (a radius of ten miles 7) have been burnt down. In our quarter I am thankful to say that all things remain intact, but that the natives are now in terror of their lives, in fact are between two fires, the white man on one hand and their rebel neighbours on the other. Yesterday I assured them that there was no safety in flight and urged upon them to remain quiet."(89)

143

Not everyone who took refuge in the Matopos Hills can therefore be described and as 200 a "rebel". Carnegie al so reports taken away that from 450 his

Africans district

head of cattle were

at the beginning of the conflict and were probably in

the charge of the induna Sikombo in the Matopos Hills. However, even when in the Matopos "rebel s" coul d st i 11 be persuaded
5" •

to

become "loyal

Father Prestage,

a Jesuit mi ssionary, in the

opening weeks of the escalated violence;

"left his mission station near Mangwe last week, with only one attendant, bravely to go into the Matopo Hills, and endeavored to alienate many of the chiefs known to him from taking the rebel side, arrived in town, bringing with him 18 representatives of the 1ead i ng 1 (> indunas, represent i ng some 600 peop 1e, who were desirous of being protected by us, and granted special protection passes."(91)

The

process

of

a 1 ienat ing "1 oya 1" from "rebel

II

was

further thirteen

boosted when the Reverend Reed of Bu1alima brought in izinduna, representing 2000 people who desired

~o

remain

neutra 1 • (92)

The

number of Ndebel e peopl es who pl ayed no act i vepart in the The tendency has been

conflict has been ignored by historians.

only to refer to individuals such as Gampu or Faku and to brand , them as "collaborator". is dispelled An impression of a "general rebellion" were many more the Sir

when it is realized that there

communities conflict.

and leaders who refrained from embroilment in a major "rebel ", made this point to

Sikombo,

144 Richard Martin at the first official indaba on 11 August 1896;

"You speak to us as if we represented the whole of Matabeleland. The majority of us didn't take part in the rebellion. You must speak to us when we are bet ter represented."(93)

In

the

Bul awayo district,

by the middl e

of

Apri 1,

special 600

passes men,

had been given to 125 headmen, a

representing about for

and

further 1 200 had been issued Dakamela, Umtyana,

servants. (94) Mhlambezi 1 ike and

IzindWlil
Sel evi Gel edu ,

such as

Sevale,

disassociated Topana,

themsel ves from "rebel s"

Madhl wa,

Mfelana, Mhlambi, Mpotshwane and Mtshete.(9S)

The Bulal ima district to the south - west of Bulawayo was under Gampu. In the course of events about one third of the

population

of this region were to identify themselves with the Nyenyeni, a petty was one of
\

"rebel s". (96) In the Bubi district, who who

induna those into

had guided the invading column of 1893, sought refuge

at Gwelo.(97) The Belingwe

district
)

which Maduna Mafu 1 ed the G.odhl wayo peopl e saw no fight ing. Two Shona chiefs, Wedza and Mazeteze, with the Europeans, were caught in due to an uneasy Laing's

relationship

Captain

extremely suspicious character. (98) major "rebel s" such as Sikombo,

In the Umzingwani district, Fezel a and Bundwe

Uml ungul u,

had their settlement, but even hereq

"About one hundred head of families of this district remained loyal throughout the rebellion and rendered valuable service in accompanying the various columns which were sent to operate against the rebels by cutting road ways etc. These natives amongst whom are some petty indun. . are being recompensed for their

145

services and loss sustained by them and are also being suppl ied with seed to meet their requirements. (99)
II

The Gwanda district,

where the indiscriminate activities of

a

patrol on 27 March prompted the violence, had several prominent "rebels", Role, among them Mezui, Sikota, Nyanda, Babayane, Dhiliso, and Mtwani. This district also had several

Malheza

prominent "loyals" such as Faku, Mepisa, Mkatshana, Ngameni and Mrwape. The report also notes;

"The natives in the southern portion of the district principal 1 y Makal akas under Dopi, Mul e, Bezembi 1 e appear to have taken no active part in the rebellion, but have looted and destroyed a number of mines and dwellings there, possibly at the instigation of the Matabel e • " (100)

In Mangwe there was onl y one intimation of unrest, and that was in June. The "Makalakas west of Mangwe under Chief Maloy likely to rise". The prompt action of Assistant Native,Commissioner Armstrong quelled this disturbance.(101)
I

Though

a

brief

breakdown of "rebels" and "loyals"

helps

to does the and with more war

dissipate

the illusion of cohesive resistance,

i t still

not reflect the true complexity of the situation. "rebels" some

Manyof

took no part in the conflict with the Europeans, onl y

of the "rebels" were invol ved in conf 1 ict not but also with other "rebels". than has so far been perceived.

"1 oyal 1$" complex has

The situation is An Ndebele civil

been described by Cobbing.

The emphasis was on the latter

phase of the conflict,

and it was interpreted as deriving from

146

the primary conflict against the Europeans. (102) The civil has been interpreted as a conf 1 ict between "patriots"

war and

"collaborators" denies

(meaning

traitors) .(103)

This

perspective

the real ity of conflict between the Ndebele independent An Ndebele civil war can, the escalation however, of be

of European influence. traced from the

beginning of

violence,

clearly independent of any consideration for the Europeans, and which, it would seem, even took preference over the conflict

with Europeans.

Indeed, if an assessment is to be made on the conflicts, 1896

basis of the number of people involved in the is

more significant in the early phase from the perspective of warfare. During the war of conquest the and war. determined In the the opening Europeans This is European final phase, were

in~ernicin.

factor

gained of

ascendancy the civil

manifestations however, distinct the and

civil war and the confl ict with independent of each other.

clearly

evidenced in the position of Gampu Sithole.
I

When

the

news

of

the initial disturbances

was

brought

to

Bulawayo on 23 March;

"Gambo, the Chief of Western Matabeleland happened to be in Town with twenty of his Indunas about the cattle disease question; and a guard was at once placed over the whole of them after an explanation of • the causes necessi tat ing such a step. They all expressed their entire ignorance of the rising and seemed quite agreeable to remain in Bulawayo with us."(104)

It

was

reported

on 3 April that Gampu's people

were

to

be

147 attacked by "rebel s". (105) Despite further attacks by on Gampu's people, "rebels" of

the Europeans were still not convinced

his "loyalty".

"Re. Gambo natives large forces in NW are reported attacking Gambo's people. Gambo is still here the native advisers say keep Gambo here. A good general he might turn aga inst us, they trust no nati ves." ( 106)

When

these attacks took place on Gampu's people he at Bulawayo. in could

was

still to The a incarcerated assist attacks the

He had done absolutely nothing suppressing not be due the to "Rebellion". his being

Europeans

therefore

"collaborator".

The civil war in western Matabeleland raged on Though the of a

with increasing intensity throughout the conflict. attacks

on Gampu's people have been interpreted as part

war directed against the Europeans, initially Europeans. part of

it is clear that they were from that involving

a conflict distinct

I

Other briefly

instances of internal conflict among the Ndebele may mentioned. From the outset of the escalated

be

violence

Faku Ndiweni was under continual attack from peoples very often formerly under his command.

"Malisa was formerly a subsidiary chief of Faku's and is one of the rebel indunaB of the Inungu Gorge and bears as Faku states a bitter hatred towards him and will do his utmost to kill Faku before he surrenders. " ( 1(7)

148 Long established conflicts and rivalries independent of the The the fight

Europeans Assistant hatred of

account for the civil war involving Native Faku

Faku.(108) that to

Commissioner was later to observe took preference over the desire

Europeans was and

or to surrender. (109) Bulina,

as already mentioned, road on 3

chased away by "rebels" from his kraal on the Shiloh he came into Bulawayo.(110) Dagamela surrendered

August and stated;

"I am a headman on the Bembine. I warned the N.C. to escape to Bulawayo as the natives were arming themselves. The day after the N.C. left, Mshliva and his i~i, with Mutapene and Mkalazi came and surrounded my k raa 1 and sa i d they had come to kill me as I had warned the N.C. to move, and that if I joined them they would spare me. I refused and they then took by force some of my young men and said they would return and kill me that night. I and my people escaped and moved towards the Bembezi below Sabakezi's and from there I moved to where I am now. Mshliva burnt my kraal two days before the Column fought near N'kalones (Mc Farlain)".(111)

The early reports at the beginning of April mentioned divisions i among the Ndebele, and the

between those who wished to flee for safety Towards and

those who were determined to stay and fight.(112) end of July among there were more the reports of

quarrels were

dissension

"rebel" Ndebele.

There

quarrels

throughout the conflict over grain.

"Umgunzanz, who after looting Selous's house remained in the Mulungweni Hills incurred the enmity of the Entuntweni people on account of his having helped himself freely to the contents of their corn bins during their absence in the hills. A strong party of Matabeles attacked him killing one man, c.ptured 11 of

149 his women and flogged Umgunzana with sticks."(113)

Raiding also played a major part in these conflicts:

"The prisoners all speak of quarrels and dissension among the Matabele themselves - The Matabele have been plundering the Maholi granaries and the latter have retaliated by killing any stray Matabele they come across."(114)

As Ndebele indunas came in to profess loyalty towards the close of the conflict, more evidence emerged of internal conflicts;

"Up to the present five Nat i ve Ch iefs who taken part in the rebellion; viz:

had

not

Mataluse, Mlahana, Mtshembesi, Mwedzi, Mezwa of Ulangowa district have sent in to report themselves loyal. Muregu of Somakwa district, came in also and reports that he took no part in the rising. Since he came in I had a complaint from one of Malutux's men, Nkonke to the effect that Murega had, about two months ago, taken his, Nkonke's cattle, four head."(115)

There

is evidence to suggest that the raiding by for the The spread fact of of the

Ndebele

was into As

responsible

disturbances is significant. an

Mashonaland.(116) another

raiding

facet of the conflict it suggests that e<:·( .,~ation

underlying

tension influencing the in

of the violence may be found which

the shortage of food supplies.(117) A further aspect

deserves research as a facet of the conflict is the possibility of an attempt to regenerate local imperialism. The activities Belingwe of

of the Godhlwayo people in the Mapeteni region of the district, for instance, suggest an attempted

extension

~

~l
\

\

\

,

i~a

----

___ - - . J -

150

influence.(118) Ndebele

As the Europeans began to gain dominance, The "rebels" did their utmost

the to

began to surrender.

prevent these surrenders. the Ndebele.(119) These

This led to further confl icts internal divisions, conflicts

among and

hostilities complicate an interpretation of the events of 1896. The black - white war, conflict must be seen in opportunist raiding relation and the to an

Ndebele

civil

possible

attempts of a revived local imperialism. these energy, conquest.

What is clear is that fighting war of

conflicts diverted a great deal of the Ndebele paving the way for the subsequent European

Considerations

of length do not permit a detailed

examination

of the war of conquest.

It is possible to only briefly examine of to

aspects of the evidence which relate directly to the thrust this thesis - the lack of a coordinated Ndebele response

conquest reflecting an unplanned and unorganized "Rebellion".
\
I

A

distinctive

feature of the campaign literature is the

way

European commanders pondered as to why the Ndebele failed to do what was obvious, and why during actions they seemed to be

continually caught by surprise. 25 May, Lieutenant - Colonel

Of the first two skirmishes on Plumer, commander of the

Matabeleland Relief Force, commented,

"We were by no means impressed with the prowess of our adversaries. They had clearly shown that they could not stand a determined ,\.~ack, even with all the advantages of a strong position and considerable superiority of numbers, and their shooting was

151 execrable. We had to learn subsequently that they had amongst them a certain number who could shoot pretty straight when ensconced in sheltered positions among rocks and caves. There was certainly no cooperation among the several indunAS. The party we encountered in the aftpr:,·/on was quite distinct from those we fought infhe morning, and evidently as we quite surprised them, no attempt had been made by the latter to warn the others, though it would h,~ve been quite easy for them to have done so. II (120)

The down

first major offensive of the

relief force

~&

the

patrol patrol only into to be

the Gwaai river between 5 and 25 June.

The Gwaai

met no opposition as it passed through the country marked by the confusion and frantic dispersion of its of refuge. peoples

places

Though the district was considered

heavily populated it proved impossible to make contact with the Ndebele. The "whispering on 16 patrol" of Major Watts attempted with of a the

unsuccessfully rumoured rumoured

June to force a force.(121)

confrontation The existence

large

Ndebele

1..,t. is doubtful.

The Column had to contend

itself

with burning hundreds of huts, and the only rea' adventure fell to the scouts who were able to hunt for souvenirs. logistical nevertheless preparations was for the patrol were
~ough

the it the

inadequate,

a formidable affair.(122) Its effect on

Ndebele to the north and and

west of Bul awayo was immense'. Terrifying the and Column "loyal
II

justified rumours spread among the Ndebele of its barbaric However, behaviour with towards "rebel"

alike.(123)

the

evident lack of

stomach patrol,


for one

fighting by the Ndebele during the course of this ffi.l,,,t begin to question the nature of the a "rebel 1 ion" , or
II

Rebel 1 ion II

Was there a

had the peopl e simpl y been caught up in

152 turbulent series of events from which they would extracted themselves, intense eagerly have

had there not been so much confusion and

misunderstanding

?

The Ndebele attempt to cross

the

Zambezi in 1896 would seem to confirm the latter analysis.

In 1896,

Chief Native Commissioner Taylor speculated that

the

Ndebele on being defeated would disperse into Mashonaland, into Gazaland, and others would move north across the Zambezi.(124)

As the Ndebele surrendered in 1896 there came evidence to light that there had indeed been a movement of the Ndebele people to

the Zambez i •

"Mpotshwane, with a considerabl e following, is at the junction of the Shangani and Gwai Rivers, and has sent men to the Zambezi to make arrangements about crossing that River. The Ingamazendhlovu regiment have been as far as the Matabele flats this side of the Zambezi having intended crossing to the north - when illness broke out amongst them and they turned back - they are now on the Mbembezi river."(125)

It is significant to note that Nyamanda, Lobengula's

~ldest

son

and alleged candidate for the revived kingship, was a member of the Isukumini, part of the northern
..abu~

that moved towards

the Zambezi.(126) This report is dated 18 July, so the movement north may have taken place in response to Plumer's Gwaai patrol of the previous month. Subsequent reports confirm the movement

north by various groups of Ndebele;

"That some of the Kaffirs which went north from Siberns Kraal have returned from the Zambezi as they coul d not get the assistance they required." (127)

153

"Some of the rebel s who have surrendered state that they went as far as the 2ambezi river where the Zambezis killed some of them and others escaped, hence their return. The Zambezis took the children over the river, but refused to take the men, saying we are going to treat you Ndebele as you have always done to us."(128)

The

quest ion

is

whether th i s movement north

occurred

as

a

response to the Gwaai patrol,
If

or had it taken place earl ier uncertaint ies

?

the

1 atter,

that

woul d refl ect the

which

prevailed among the Ndebele before the intervention of Plumer's force. The correspondence of J. Chas Bagley, a labour agent Mines, on the a in the

attempting allows a

to recruit among the Lui for the Chamber of tentative dating of the Ndebele presence

Zambezi.(129) Bagley's first letter, process other of parts

dated 11 Hay,

reveals

escalated violence similar to that experienced of the country. In the wake of the news
\

of

disturbances to the south, Mpotshwane threatened the Europeans, in particular Bagley who had previously confiscated some
)

guns.

Bagley

himself

happened

to

be

absent

from

the

European Hpotshwane a former where Ndebele

settlement at Pandamatenga. was brought to

News of the threats of (Hwange),

the Europeans by Wankie

Ndebele tributary. Bagley encountered

The Europeans then fled to Kazungulu them. It was feared that the

intended if defeated to cross the Zambezi, and so Lewanika sent his son, Lutea to Kazungulu to prevent their crossing.

Sambambam, had

a brother of Lobengula, then living on the Zambezi, and with no knowledge or faith in a

submitted to the Lui,

"Rebel 1 ion",

pessimisticall y viewed it as the beginning of the

154

extermination suggests grind

of

the Ndebele.

The evidence

of

this

letter

that Mpotshwane took advantage of the disturbances to axe of his grievances. It was clearly a local

the

response

and not part of any pl anned "Rebel 1 ion".

It al so led

to confl ict among the African peoples, and the Lui preparing to resist an

Wankie being threatened invasion. (130) Bagl ey's

second letter helps to establish a definite date for an Ndebele presence on the Zambezi. The Zambezi district had been in a

state of tension following on the escalation of violence to the south in March, From from April the end of Apri 1 when the news resist was the

confirmed. crossing the

Lewanika was preparing to

of the Ndebele over the Zambezi.

The Ndebele were at from the

Zambezi in June 1896.

It would therefore seem that

Apri 1 to June movements of refugees had attempted to reach Zambezi Through drifts Zambez i . Ndebele hoping to extricate themselves from the

violence.

Lewanika taking the necessary precautions to guard the and The force the Ndebele back, they did ,not cross the the

unheal thy low 1 ands al so took their tdll of

who were forced tb return south and come to terms with

the Europeans. (131)

Though

the

Ndebel e

react ion

to

the

war

of

conquest

was

localized and defensive, it would seem that there may have been an attempt to transcend the local perspective and to achieve wider led
1896;

a

response to the European forces. to

This reaction may have in June

an attempted revival of the Ndebe1e kingship

155

"about three weeks ago Nyamanda (the late I<ing's son) with a strong body guard came from the west round the east side of the Fort and across to Babyaans late kraal. From there he crossed into the hills. He had been sent for by the chief indunas (Umliso, Babyaan and Sikombo) who had assembled in council to elect the young chief as I<ing. On the night of the last full moon a big dance was held and Nyamanda was formally el ected King. A gathering was hel d at Dumbraine wh i ch is where Umziligazi was buried."(132)

If

there was an attempt to make Nyamanda

king,

the

quest ion

remains as to whether the attempt succeeded or fai led. Nyamanda was allegedly the to made Gwaai cross king at the time Plumer's northern This was patrol izigabA was were an

ravaging

valley, the

and the

attempting

Zambezi.

not

only

inopportune time, but also unlikely as Nyamanda would have been without the backing of his own supporters. Nyamanda was It is possible that Matopos. Other He

simply seeking sanctuary in the

obstacles lay in Nyamanda's path to being accepted as King. did not have a clear and undisputed claim. eldest son, to He
~as

Lobengula's and therefore from the

born before Lobengula became King, Ndebele law of succession

according

excluded

kingship. Njube and Ngabouenja had a clearer claim, but in 1896 it was not po.sibl e to consider their candidature. (,133) Cobbing has argued that though Nyamanda was excluded by birth, his

mil itary prowess established that in the circumstance of war he was the only eligible candidate to lead is conflicting the nation The by

evidence, Nyamanda invol ved;

however,

as to the role played

in the fighting.

Some reports claim he was

actively

156

"At the fight with Gifford at Fonseca's the 1 ate King's son Tshakilisa was killed. He was shot in the chest. Nyamanda was there also. He was on horseback. He is now at his own kraal on the Mbembez i • II ( 134) This report, rel ied upon by Cobbing, is of doubtful killed. Queen value, Mahwey

especially

since

Tshakilisa was never

disputed Nyamanda's fighting role. "She says Nyamanda has taken no part in the present fighting". (135) Chief Native

Commissioner Taylor was of the opinion;

"The King's sons, Nyamanda and Tizakul isa are on the Bubi. There is no evidence to show that they have taken part in the rebel 1 ion. ThE':;' have been sent for to report themsel ves to 8ul awayo." (136)

Nyamanda be

was certainly no fighting leader, reason him to assume that his

and there seems to mi 1 itary prowess those that, the

little

recommended whose right

as a candidate for the kingship before It is ,possible

was more clearly defined.

faced with with concerted European aggression follow;hg on arri val of Plumer's column,

an attempt was made to revive the

kingship in a symbol ic attempt to unite the nation. However, in a time of war, with the Ndebele scattered and harried by the

Europeans it would have been difficult to assemble the

Ndebele

izindunA. There would almost certainly follow dispute, and even

shoul d that be resol ved, and

the necessary ceremonies were compl ex

would take time to perform. (137) If an attempt was made in it would have been a degree of belated and

June 1896 to make Nyamanda king, response in a struggle

to achieve a

unity

157

coalescence

to

re$pond to the situation.

In

the

preva i 1 ing

conf Llsion, i f an attempt was made by a group of iz induna in the Matopos to make Nyamanda king, not who have it was abortive. It clearly did izindURil the sLipport of the majority of Up Ndebel e and there is no

never cl aimed Nyamanda as king,

evidence claim of

that Nyamanda ever declared himself to be king.(138) The that Nyamanda

was made king is most probably a reflection

European fears.

Many Europeans from the 1880' s were aware that and the missionaries he woul d succeed they to had the faced

Nyamanda was Lobengul a's el dest son, popul arized the assumption With the that

kingship. (139)

escalation of

violence

uncoordinated aggression, change should a but there were fears that this wOLil d structure of command be

central ized

establ ished. (140)

The

Swaai
A

patrol large

was followed by the attack force of Ndebele were

on

Thaba to

zika be

Mambo.

believed i concentrated at the stronghold, of Mkwat i,

assumf'd to be the headquarters

oracl e of the :'Ml imo" • (141) On 5 Jul y a 1 arge force

of 1 200 men attacked the stronghold. The battle which followed was taken were heralded as a success. About 600 women and children and were sheep were

prisoner and about 1000 oxen and 2 200 goats captured.

Pl umer est imated that about 100 "rebel s"

killed.(142) Cobbing argues, weakly leaving defended,

however,

that the stronghold was

the able bodied men having already departed, The in few remaining The

mostly women and children behind. Plumer reports had of great difficulty a defenders, Company

extracting. were

great

victory

therefore

17~~Q,

""

'. ",.,.1'/1

, ::-:.: ','

'

.. ,
~

'

')r~~.&df£·~-'-~

'I'
.

I

,I

_ _ ',

.

158

exaggerated. (143) perhaps this

The

assessment

of the missionary

Reed

is to

the mosy pertinent comment on the war of

conquest

point,

"Absol utel y nothing had been done towards

ending

the Rebellion". (144)

After

the

attack to the

on Thabas zika Ndebele

Mambo,

Plumer

turned in

his the

attention Matopos. then

ensconced in

strongholds

Major - General Carrington,

commander - in

- chief,

arrived to take personal command of the campaign.(14S) On on was

19 July the Column marched to the hills to begin the attack N'kantola, held by the induna Babayane.

While

Plumer

attack ing Babayane, marched from

a col umn under Captain Laing from Bel ingwe on 19 .July with the intention and to of join

Figtree the

proceeding

into

hi 11 s from the north west

Carrington at N'kantola the following day. Laing camped for the night in the Inungu Gorge and was ambushed fro~ the

following

morning. Laing managed to extricate himself attempt Ndebele by Captain Nichol son to infl ict

the ambush. An on the

retributioh

of the Inungu Gorge also failed,

and he was forced to

wi thdraw. ( 146)

Having Inungu the the short

attacked

the Ndebel e with doubtful

success

from

the

Gorge to N' kantol a,

Pl umer now turned his attent ion to On 1 and August after a the but

Ndebel e between N'kantol a and the TLll i road. Column advanced into the Mtshulezi valley, withdrew. (147) The following

engagement

morning

Col LImn advanced

to the retreats of Somabul ane and Nyanda,

159 found Matopos them deserted. (148) for a period The Column then withdrew On 5 August an from attack the was

of rest.

launched on Sikombo's stronghold. battles

This was one of the fiercest from the force night attack pass

of the campaign and the Ndebele were only driven Following on the

their position at a heavy cost to the force. engagement occasioned of 8 it is

recorded that a gloom fell over

by the loss of several comrades.(149) On the the Column marched into the hills to

August

Uml ungul u' s retreat. during attacked its night

As the Col umn travel 1 ed through the march it disintegrated. Had the

Ndebele the

any

of the sections adrift from the main

body,

Column would have suffered a disaster.

The Column was reunited After night. the a An

and 1 eft the vall ey to proceed up the mountain track. brief skirmish, night The P1Ltmer attack shots decided did not fired on to camp for material ize the and

expected withdrew.

Column the

9 August were the last of

Matopos campaign. (150)
I

After Matopos

the attack on Umlun9ulu's retreat, hills were soon suspended.

hostilities

in

the the men,

Having realized that more

compl ete money,

subjugation

of the Ndebel e woul d require

forts and provisions,

Rhodes was eager to end the war. attempt

In the light of these considerations Rhodes decided to

negotiations. These were initially without th& knowledge of the military authorities. wives, The The capture the of Nyambezana, for one of

Mzilikatzi's contact.(151)

provided

opportunity

opening one

old lady was provided with two

flags,

white and one red,

and half a bag of meal ies. Her instructions

160

were

to

tell the Ndebele that should they

wish

to

continue one. white day the the

fighting If one both they

they were to place the red flag under the white wished for peace they were simply to leave the The next that day

tied to a stick under some prominent rocks. flags had disappeared. wished

This was taken to mean The following

Ndebele

for time to consider.

white one was seen flying in its original place. Two volunteers f rom

the "Cape Boys",

James M' k ez a and Joh n Sa i 1, of the

agreed for The

25 each, conduct another told

to gO and learn the intentions

Ndebele.

of these negotiations was entrusted to Jan "Cape Boy".(152) On Friday 21 August, indaba. Jan

Grootboom, Grootboom

Rhodes that the Ndebele wished to

Colenbrander,

Rhodes, went up

Dr Sauer and the Cape Times correspondent, Vere Stent, to the hi 11 s at about 12
0'

clock. (153)

Forty

four

izinduna came down to the indaba. Somabulane and Sikombo spoke,

relating

the history of the Ndebele and their

grievances.

It

was agreed that peace was desirable and the Ndebele promised to open the Tuli road.(154) Colenbrander persuaded Sikomtlo to come down to Rhodes' camp after discussed. On
~he

indaba,

where the situation was a

28 August the second indaba took place about

mile from Usher's Fort. Ohiliso, Babayane, Mshete, Karl Khumalo and two other unnamed izinduna were the principal spokesmen,

and conducted themselves with decorum throughout the interview. However, the younger men of whom about a hundred and three were present, remarks, tense and continually interrupted the proceedings with insolent unt i 1 it Ohil iso enforced silence. was evident that many were The atmosphere still prepared was to

161 fight. asked third Dhiliso and the other izinduna, while desiring peace, The first

for time to gauge the opinion of their people.(155) indaba took place on 9 September, and was the the

off ic ial izinduna indaba.

Sir Richard Martin addressed

assembled

and outl ined the conditions of peace. (156) Thereafter and the Ndebele visited the October, where both

negotiations became more informal, camp. The final

indaba was held on 13

"friendlies" and "rebels" were addressed by Rhodes. He promised to reinstate the worthy izinduna and to pay them a salary. They were urged to approach the Native Commissioners and to air

their grievances at Bulawayo.

Having promised peace the indaba

ended wi th the d istri but ion of gifts. (157)

The initiation of indabas did not intimate the end the of Rumours Hills August. Malime were that that the Ndebele were massing again near the

war. Inungu

led the Column to move back to Usher's camp on 19 and 20 This force then remained between the hills
\

and 150

the men

river until 2 September. (15S) On 3 September,
~tnder

ordered to Bul awayo an i~i Captain Drury, to

but the be

rumour

threatened Red Bank appears

unfounded. September, the

Drury's and

patrol waited on the Umgaza river until 10

was then ordered to patrol to the Malengwane Hills in

Filabusi district. stomach arriving for back

As events turned the Ndebele had no further and the patrol returned to Bulawayo, The last

fighting,

at Malema camp on 26 September. (159)

patrol of Plumer's force was down to the Tuli road to establish two forts; Menje one near Grange's Store, the other near the river small

M'nyama.(160) Leaving these forts to be manned by

162

detachments, the rest of the patrol returned to the Column. The High Commissioner then authorized the disbandment of the force one on 27 October and the

which left Rhodesia in two parties, other on 30 October. <161) The the

Company's attitude to the northern Ndebele hardened during negotiations between late August and early October 1896, and

largely because of a series of victories during September,

the total collapse of Ndebele morale in the face of severe food shortages, which were being reported from all parts of

Matabeleland.(162) On 8 September, Lieutenant - Colonel Baden Powell, Chief Staff Officer, left Bulawayo to patrol the upper Shangani and Vungu, where it was hoped to track down Mkwati. Mthwini

and Mkumbi,

as well as the "Mlimo", On 13 September,

The results were Uwini was

disappointing.

the Rozvi chief,

executed on Baden - Powell's instructions, faced to that

for which action he north
\

a court martial .(163) Baden - Powell then trekked confluence of the Shangani and Gwelo, majority of the Ndebele had moved and
)

the the

discovered to the

north

Shangani

and Shangwe country towards the Mafungabusi

plateau.

In September, Pagnet visited the Que Que valley, and at the end of the month moved south and sacked Nhema's which the into stronghold, after In

the Selukwe district was effectively passified. (164) first the week of October, Belingwe and district Baden - Powell moved from and attacked the

Inyati of of

Dumbesey wake

Mazeteze

Wedza.(165)

Surrenders mounted in the

these columns;

Manonduana Tshabalela at Bwelo on 26 September, Wedza, Mengate,

Nhema at Selukwe in the last week of October;

163

Sende and Mazetise on 31 October,

and Gambiza and Cherewondura

from the upper Que Que by mid November. (166) Meanwhile, Lanning and Gielgud were accepting the surrenders of many of the Bubi,

Bembez i and Inkweguez i izindwta. (167) In December Nyamanda came in. ( 168) A group Menyui, or of the more and desperate Ndebele such as the into

Mpotshwane, Sebungwe Mpateni, during

Mthwini
I ike

Gwabana moved north to Mahl ahl eni east by

reg ion, where 1897.

Fezel a and

one by one they were tracked down In July 1897,

patrols As on

Mpotshwane was captured. (169)

such the "Rebel 1 ion" can be seen to have ended as it begun, the local level.

It was neither coordinated in its initiation,

conduct or conclusion.

The

conduct of the war by the Ndebele indicates that they

had

failed

to achieve a degree of coordination necessary to resist

the European forces. They were unable to act in unison and made no attempt to confront the Europeans. The war Plumer cared to take it. strategy. The w~s where Colonel

There was never any offensite Ndebele their

Ndebele never coalesced or concentrated

forces to attack the settlers in Bulawayo,

nor to face Plumer, arms, piece and

even though they theoretically had the advantage in men, supplies battles and knowledge of terrain. There are no set forces,

in this campaign between two coordinated



the fighting took the form of skirmishes distinct from those of a guerilla war. The campaign in Matabeleland is therefore on similar to that undertaken subdue in the

close

examination

Mashonal and. (170)

Pl umer was forced to attempt to

164

Ndebele

by el iminating one force at a time. by

This argument

is the

embellished

the failure of the Gwaai patrol to engage

Ndebele in battle. ideal target,

The disorganized Column should have been an

yet it was avoided by the Ndebele, and some even After the Gwaai patrol, Plumer

attempted to cross the Zambezi.

had to turn his attention from the north west to the north east and the south east, zika to the Ndebele "rebels" isolated at Yet even after the Thaba Matopos Ndebele Each

Mambo and the Matopos hills. the

indabas

war did not end as it would have had the 1 eadersh i p •

been united and coordinated under a central induna took the individual

decision to surrender.

If there was It came of

an too

attempt to make Nyamanda king it proved abortive. late when the Ndebele were scattered and the

izigaba

Nyamanda, the Nhandhl ovu, were attempt ing to cross the Zambez i • If it was it An initiated did by a small group of izindun. in the

Matopos, generally. that

not enjoy the support of the Ndebele
\

people

examination of the conduct of the war i confirms a a and

the "Rebel 1 ion l ' was not pl anned and Nyamanda wa.s never king. If the Ndebele had establ ished even

functional rudimentary anomal ies understood assumed. As

structure of coordination, are if inexplicable. no coordination They or

then the blunders are however,

readily is in a

planned

"Rebellion"

Plumer's

Column fought several skirmishes s~ disjointed campaign to crush each locality, crumbl ed, illusion. the

as each locality an

myth of a coordinated "Rebel 1 ion" is proved

To

explain how the violence spread and escalated into a war of

165

conquest is to 1 eave the theme of th i s thes i s at a analysis. violence. Colonialism Southern

superf ic ia 1

We need to understand why there was an escalation of

J. and K.

Rennie's

doctoral

thesis

"Christianity, of

the origins of Nationalism among the Ndau 1890 1935", is an important work

Rhodesia,

which process

gives an insight into the factors which influenced the of escalating violence.

Rennie suggests four reasons as to why These were, geographical), isolation fear just of been

the Ndau stayed out of the "Rebellion". (rel igious Ngongunyana and political as well as

the Shangaan paramount who had only

defeated by the Portuguese); refusal of the

the absence of rinderpest and the to heed the

white authorities in Melsetter

warnings they were getting from the west. precautions, observations the are Ndau were not provoked.

Because they took no Rennie's last of two the

important clues to an understanding

psychology of violence.(1?1)

The

factors to

which the can

created

the

psychol Og ical violence are

Icond it ions

conducive

escalation of

complex,

and

unfortunately, Foremost,

only be briefly touched on in this thesis. disasters, already

the significance of the natural

alluded to or else noted in paSSing, within both the African

in increasing the tension communities must be

and European

appreciated. Though the evidence may suggest that the districts where violence found its impetus were badly hit by the disasters, not be a natural may the

deterministic cause and effect relationship The natural disasters did not affect

implied.

166 districts themselves disasters within equally and the process whereby the Ndebele was is complex. rather The significance of the of al igned natural tension more

to be found in the increase

the African communities which tended to make them

volatile.

What the natural disasters do affirm is that a basic As the natural disasters

tension of the "Rebel 1 ion" was food.

threatened the food supply and survival of the African peoples, so those areas affected became more prone to violence. The

collapse of the thin restraints imposed by the settler presence allowed the traditional dynamics of African society to come

into play.

Raiding for cattle and corn features prominently in Districts relatively unaffected by

the escalation of violence. the

natural disasters become embroiled in the violence through a

such raiding.(172) The settlers possessed corn and cattle to conspiciouse

degree and it therefore followed that they should Several other factors, acting were conducive
~

become involved in the violence. in

conjunction with the natural disasters,

to

the psychology of violence. The tensions within Ndebele society i were in

deep and had at various points in their history civi 1 and war. Personality conflicts, such as that There

resulted between was a

Maduna

Mahlahleni,

increased the tension.

certain degree of resentment towards the Europeans, disaffected elements could play to rally

upon which These

support.

tensions produced a very volatile atmosphere, 'and it is against this background that the complexities of the African

perspective of the events of 1896 must be understood.

Tensions

also existed within European society.

The hoped

for

167

economic depressed. frustration Jameson aggressive particular patriotism.

boom The and

did

not

materialize disasters the

and

the to

economy intensify community.

was the The their

natural

served

resentment of and of to

European tensions The

Raid

international

sharpened Jameson of

sense led The

patriotism. (173) extravagant

Raid

in

demonstrations

bellicose

future of the European commLlnity seemed to be

in jeopardy. The claim to in

They were aware of just how vulnerable they were. have "colonized" In and Rhodesia this had very of 1 itt 1 e intense settlers' an the

substance insecurity, aggressive

real i ty. frustration

atmosphere the

resentment,

sense of patriotism infused another charge into In these volatile conditions

already explosive situation.

Europeans were very much inclined to overreact to any potential threat. (174) was Their inclination to hit first and find out later African people, huge fear,

intensified by their sense of the al ien nature of Very few could communicate with the African
I

society.

and those that could did so imperfectly. gulf of cultural misunderstanding,

There emerged a suspicion and

suppressed beneath a facade of bravado. It is against this back ground European of tension and conflicting perspectives that in the 1896

contribution

to the escalation of violence

must be understood.

168 footnotes: Ch4@ter Three

(1) M. Pe~ham, ed., Ten Af~icans, (London, Fabe~ and Fabe~ Ltd, n.d.), Chapter 3 - The story of Ndansi Khumalo of the Matabele tribe, Southern Rhodesia - recorded by J.W. Posselt and M. Perham. (2) NA2 Lo 5/6/8. See pp.117, 149 - 150, 162, 165 -166. (3) The
~96

118,

119, 121, 124 - 128, 144,

Rebellions, p.1S.

(4) NAZ Hist. Mss. Wi 8/1/3, statement made by Nganganyani to R.F. Windram, 20 November 1938.
(!'S)

Cobbing, "The Ndebel e", p .393. "Re the Matabele Rising", W.E. Thomas, 5

(6) NAZ Lo 8/2/1, April 1896.

(7) Katey Ga~dne~ - Hampsen, A Pionee~ Family, (P~ivate Publ ication, Eric Muir, 1972). A copy is to be found in the historical section of the Bulawayo Public Library, City Hall. (8)
Ga~dne~

- Hampsen, A

Pionee~

Family.

(9) Ga~dne~ - Hampsen, A Pionee~ Family. The Eu~opean who warned the Austins was either a Mr Holland or a Mr Fielding, both of whom left Bulawayo on Saturday 28 March to carry warnings to friends in that vicinity, NAZ Lo 5/2/48, Duncan to Sec B.S.A.C, 3 April 1896, containing report by Norris Newman.
(10)
Ga~dne~

- Hampsen, A

Pionee~

Family. p.52. i (11) Selous, Sunshine and (12) Cobbing, "The

Sto~m,

Ndebele~~

pp.19 - 81.

(13) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.396. (14) Selous, 146 -147. Sunshine and
Sto~m,

p.52. p.136.

See pp.112, 116, 144,

(15) Selous, Sunshine and (16) NAZ Lo 8/2/1, Apri I 1896.

Sto~m,

liRe the Matabele Rising", ,W.E.

Thomas,

5

(17) Laing, The Hatabele Rebellion 1896, see below fn.77 - 78. (18) NAZ A1/12/10, Vintcent - Duncan, telegraphic conversation, 5 April 1896. (19) Selous, Sunshine and Sto~m, p.33, NA2 Lo 8/2/1, aRe the Matabele Rising", W.E. Thomas, 5 April 1896. See pp.lll, 118 -

169 120, 124, 130, 136 - 137. (20) See pp.111, 116,120,128,134. (21) NAZ A 1/12/9, Rhodes to Duncan, telegram conversation, 30 March 1896: "The real fact is the N.C.'s were deceived and we have been training the Matabele to shoot ourselves, it's a police revolt." (22) Selous, Sunshine and Storm, pp.19 - 21. (23) Selous, Sunshine and Storm, p.21. (24) Selous, Sunshine and Storm, p.22. (25) NA2 A 1/12/27, Act C.N.C. to Administrator, Salisbury, 10 March 1896. During the first ten days of March the Be1ingwe Shona attacked two Native Police patrols, Ranger, Revolt, p.141. There had also been a scare a week before the escalation of viol ence when a group of farmers went into laager and was only persuaded out again by their Assistant Native Commissioner, Ranger, Revolt, p.124, NAZ Hist. Mss. Ba 15/2/1, R. Howman's correspondence with O. Saragwanath. (26) The
15/2/1,
~96

Rebellions, fn. p.6.

(27) Cobbing, "The Ndebe1e", pp.393 - 394, NAZ Hist. Mss. Sa R. Howman, correspondence, O.Baragwanath, 28 November 1972. T.V. Bulpin, The Trail of the Copper King, (Cape Town, Timmins, 1959). (28) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ba 15/2/1, O.Baragwanath, 28 November 1972. R. Howman,
\

correspondence, Mafu to

(29) NA2 Lo 5/6/8, Gist of statement made by Maduna C.N.C. Taylor, 22 January 1897. i (30) Selous, Sunshine and Storm, p.34. (31) NAZ Hist. O.Baragwanath. Mss. Sa 15/2/1, R. Howman,

correspondence,

(32) Cobbing, "The Ndebe1e", pp.393 - 394, NAZ Hist. Mss. Ba 15/2/1, R. Howman, correspondence, O.Saragwanath. (33) NA2 Hist. O.Baragwanath. (34) NAZ Hist. O.Baragwanath. Mss. Mss. Ba 15/2/1, R. R. Howman, Howman, correspondence, correspondence,

Ba 15/2/1,

(35) Cobbing, "The Ndebe1e", p.?1, Appendix One. (36) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.72, Appendix One.

170 (37) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.7 NAZ Hist. Mss. Wi 8/1/1, statement made by Neupela Hlalanganya, and Posela Ndiweni, 5 November 1938. (38) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.72, NA2. Hist. "Thomas Journal", entry for May 1875. Mss. Th 2/1/1,

(39) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.73,Proceedings of the Royal Geographic Society, 1,8 (Aug 1878), pp.509 - 512, E.C. Tabler, Pioneers of Rhodesia,(Cape Town, Struik (Pty) Ltd, 1966) pp. 128 - 129. (40) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.73, Mlize "Htikana ka Mafu", N.A.D.A., iv, 1926, p.54.
(F.V • .Johnston)

(41) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.73, quoting NA2. Be 2/1/1, correspondence and other papers of the Berlin Missionary Soc i et y , 1882 - 92, Brother Knoth's Diary, entries for 28 and 30 .jul y, 1888. (42)
Cobbin~,

"The Ndebele", p.73.

(43) This is why Umlungulu's behaviour as noted by Selous in Sunshine and Storm, p.26, discussed at p. , is so significant. (44) See Appendix One. (45) NA2. Lo 5/6/8, Gist of statement made by Maduna C.N.C. Taylor, 22 January 1897. (46) NA2. Hist. O.Baragwanath. Mss. Ba 15/2/1, R. Howman, Mafu to

correspondence, 12

(47) NA2. Lo 5/6/7 , December 1896.

Report of C.N.C.

tour of \inspection,
I

(48) J. Chalmers, Fighting the Hatabele, (London, Blackie and son's Ltd, 1898). See Chennell's, "Settler myths and the Southern Rhodesian novel", pp.114 - 120, for a discussion of this novel. (49) NA2. Hist. Mss. Wi Mshlope, 28 November 1938. 8/1/3, statement by Nganganyani

(50) NA2. Hist. Mss. Wi 8/1/3, p.2, clearly indicates that Windram contradicted Nganganyani's initial declaration of independent action with a question that' attributed the "Rebel 1 ion" to Mkwati. Nganganyani thereafter compl ied wi th Windram's interest in Mkwati and supplied the information sought. Though this obscures Nganganyani's evidence, details of the events contradict the Mlimo myth establ ished by Windram's leading question. See pp. 112. (51) NA2. Hist. Mss. Wi 8/1/3, p.6.

171 (52) NAZ Hist. Mss. Wi 8/1/3, pp.2 - S. There is confusion as to who was killed and where. Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.3~4, identifies the first attack as being on West's Store near Thaba zika Mambo. However, in assessing the information contained in, Selous, Sunshine and Storm, p.96, The ?96 Rebellions, Schedule 1, "Reported missing or murdered", NA2 Lo 5/2/48, Duncan to Secretary B.S.A.C., 3 April 1896, containing report prepared by Norris Newman, leads this writer to bel ieve that the first attack was on Pongo's Store. (53) Selous, Sunshine and Storm, pp.22 - 23. There are numerous articles on the life of Selous, see R. Blair, "Selous: A reassessment.-, N.A.D.A., pub no 17, December 1967, p.l.,S.D. le Roux, Pioneers and Sportsmen of South Africa. 1760 1890,(Salisbury, Art Printing Wor'ks, 1939), but as Dr. J.A. Casada notes in his excellent introduction to Selous?s, A Hunter?s wanderings in Africa, (Bulawayo, Books of Zimbabwe, 1981), there exists only one biography, J.A. Millais?s The Life of Frederick Courtenay Selous, D.S.O. ,(London, Longman, 1919) .Sel ous as a personal i ty who pl ayed an important part in the opening up of the African interior to European colonisation deserves a new bibliographical assessment. (54) Selous, Sunshine and Storm, pp.l1 - 12, Rhodes and Rhodesia, pp.434 - 434, Hole, Rhodesia, p.3S0. See pp.120 - 121. (55) Selous, Sunshine and Storm, p.26. (56) Selous, Sunshine and Storm, p.69. Cobbing, -The Ndebele", p.397, NAZ Ba 6/1/2, Chief Staff Officer's diary, 8 June 1896, Laing, Matabele Rebellion, p,72, 80. 8S.NAZ A 1/12/10, Duncan to Vintcent, telegram, 5 April 1896, NAZ A 1/12/10, Vizard to Vintcent, telegram, 19 April 1896, NAZ Hist.\ Mss. Wi 3/1/1, Williams to his mother, 30 April 1896. i Keppel - Jones, The Making of

(57) Selous, Sunshine and Storm, p.26 .


(58) Selous, Sunshine and Storm, p.27. (59) Selous, Sunshine and Storm, p.27. (60) Selou., Sunshine and Storm, p.28. (61) NA2 A l l 12/3, C. C. Bu 1 awayo to Admin i strator, Umtal i, 25 March 1896, NAl A 1/12/9, Rhodes - Duncan, telegraphic conversat ion, 30 March 1896: II I have been con~iderin9 the point as to whether we could not separate the friendly natives from the rebels. I have consulted a council of native advisers. Thomas Cook, Colenbrander not advise me to place any reliance on the natives who profess loyalty. I suppose the natives are just weather cocks and if I can only scare them quick they will go with the strongest." (62) NA2 Lo 5/2/48, Duncan to Sec B.S.A.C, 3 April 1896,

172 containing report Rhodesia, p.356. by Norris Newman, Hole, The 3
3 3 3

Making

of

(63) NA2 Lo 5/2/48, DLtncan to Sec B.S.A.C, containing report by Norris Newman. (64) NA2 Lo 5/2/48, Duncan to Sec containing report by Norris Newman. B.S.A.C,

Apri 1 Apri 1 Apri 1 Apri 1

1896, 1896, 1896, 1896,

(65) NA2 Lo 5/2/48, Duncan to Sec B.S.A.C, containing report by Norris Newman. (66) NA2 Lo ~1/2/48, Duncan to Sec containing report by Norris Newman. ( 67) Sykes, With Plumer, p.26. ( 68) Sykes, Wi th Plumer, pp.26 - 27. (69) The "96 Rebellions, Schedule B, p.26. (70) The "96 Rebellions, Schedule C, p.28. (71) The "96 Rebellions, Schedule D, p.30. B.S.A.C,

(72) The "96 Rebellions, Schedule F, p.35. (73) An embarrassing incident followed when one of those executed, Karl Khumalo, Lobengula1s one time IIsecretaryll, was resLtrrected at the first official indaba and demanded an expl anation for his lIexecLttionll, mLtch to the discomfort of the Company officials. (74) Selous, Sunshine and Storm, Appendix F. (75) The "96 Rebellions, fn. p.6.
I

(76) Selous, Sunshine and Storm, pp.92 - 93. See pp.l11, 117 120, 124, 130. (77) Laing, The Matabele Rebellion 18961 With the Field Force, (London, Dean and Son Ltd, n.d.). 8elingwe

(78) Laing, The Matabele Rebellion, pp.30 - 31,NAZ Lo 5/2/48, Duncan to Sec B.S.A.C, 3 April 1896, containing report by Norris Newman. (79) Laing, The Matabele Rebellion, pp.65 - 67. (80) Laing, The Matabele Rebellion, p.113 - 132. (81) Laing, The Matabele Rebellion, pp.27 - 29. (82) fear The expectation of an attack on Bulaw~yo was a constant of the settlers which remained with them even after the

173 arrival of Plumer~s forces. The Bulawayo Sketch has constant references to an expected attack. This fear was also reflected in the official correspondence. No attack took place as should have occurred had there been a planned rebellion. NAZ Al/12/9, Rhodes - Duncan, telegraphic conversation, 30 March 1896: "Persona 1 1 Y I doubt Col enbrander / s statement that nat i ves are going (to) attack us here at all events until they are further organised, but my hand is forced by the alarming rumours of people and I am obliged to take precautions, which I have done, as you can imagine the undiscipl ined mob the women and children and every man with his own opinion. The want of organisation owing to the suddenness of the crisis has made it somewhat difficult for me both to reassure the people, to take the necessary precaut ions and to show that the Chartered Co is a Co fit and able to govern what ever may be the enemy." The battles on the Umguza in May and early June 1896 are a curious phenomenon. The accounts derived from official European sources present these confrontat ions as major battl es ( Baden Powell, The Matabele campaign 1896, pp.43 - 65, Plumer, An Irregular Corps, pp.118 - 119). However, the lack of fight displayed by the Ndebele in these skirmishes suggests that the E.uropeans may have exaggerated the numbers invol ved. <This was not unique, see NAZ Hist. Mss. 81 6/2/1) • The assertion that the Ndebel e fai led to cross the Umguza on the injunct ions of a witch doctor who promised that the white men would die when they entered the water, is also unsatisfactory. A letter by "An Anxious Enquirer U in the Matabele Times, responded to by the Bulawayo Sketch, vol 4, no 100, Saturday 13 Jun. 1896, provides another view of these alleged "massings" which conflicts with all official accounts. The questions posed by an "Anxious Enquirer" refer to Colonel Spreckley's "decisive encounter" with the Ndebele on 6 June IB96: "(4) Is it true that on Saturday the natives threw down their arms and waved wh i te flags when f ired upon and chargfjd, a few picking up arms before bolting 7" - It is true that they waved arms, legs, white flags,_ in fact they waved anything rather than be cut up - but our men weren't out on a flag waving expedition and couldn't see where they "came in". Re picking up arms before bolting, they did nothing of the kind they dropped arms and then bolt.d !. (5) "Is it true that men without arms were shot fr6m trees 7" No, our men dismounted and spent half an hour trying to persuade them to come down before potting them. (6) "Were they not Zambesis and other Mahol es (7) who were desirous of surrendering 7." - The exact nationality of each individual was not ascertained, but the next time an armed itIPi is met in the veldt, "An Anxious Enquirer" can volunteer to meet them, take the census, nationality and other details before a hair on their woolly heads is touched. (7) Re the desire of surrendering, they did more, they absolutely forgot themselves in flight - The "Impangela" (Scouts) were upon them." These questions raised by "An Anxious Enquirer" debunk the myth of Ndebele "massings" in preparation for an attack on Bulawayo,

176 Strickland to Vintcent, 24 April 1896, A 1/12/35, Strickland to Vintcent, 11 May 1896. A cattle raid in Belingwe was probably carried out by men from Godhlwayo, see p.139, fns. 81, 172.Beach, "The Risings", p.315, A 1/12/10, telegraphic conversation, Vizard to Vintcent,19 April 1896. (117) Cobb ing, "The Ndebel e" , pp .421 - 423, NAZ Lo 5/6/5, A.N.C. Umsingwaani to Sec. Native Affairs, Bulawayo , 30 September 1896. See pp .111, 131 - 132, 139, 143, 148 - 149, 165 - 166. (118) Laing, The Matabele Rebellion, pp.28 - 29, 77 - 78. The Godhlwayo Ndebele had an established raiding history in the dj.strict, see W. Posselt, "The early days of Mashonaland", N.A.D.A., 1947, p.37. See pp.139, fn.172. (119) NA2 10 6/1/5, Gielgud to C.N.C. Bulawayo, 19 October 1896. (120) Plumer, An Irregular Corps in Matabeleland, p.97. Selous, Sunshine and Storm, p.141: • However , luckily they missed this opportunity as they have missed every other chance of striking a really effective blow at the white man. In fact, they have shown a general want of intelligence that stamps them as an altogether inferior people, in brain capacity at least, to the Europeans." Sel ous, Sunsh i ne and Storm, p .154: "Now the fact that this ~i had stood idly by, not exactly watching, but at any rate listening to the firing that had been going on during the skirmish between their compatriots and the white men, shows, I think, the extraordinary want of combination amongst them, of which I have before spoken, and which has been one of the features of this campaign." NA2 Hist. Mss. Ac 1/1/1, H. Adams - Acton Diary, pp.31- 32.(Gwa~i Patrol): "the guide said he had no idea where the kraal was and w~made such a row cursing each other trying to get backward or forward that when we did find the kraal.two or three hours after the niggers had all left, if they had only attacked us in the bush they could have made mince meat of us - however we burned the kraal and several others and returned to camp (sic) and getting mixed up in some more bush this time in the dark - the niggers then lost the best opportunity they are ever 1 ikely to get." (121) Sykes, With Plumer, Corps, pp.l03 - 120. pp.92 - 104. Plumer, An Irregular

(122) Sykes, With Plumer, pp.l04 - 129. (123) Sykes, With Plumer, pp.98 - 99, NAZ Hist. Mss. Ac 1/1/1, H. Adams - Acton Diary, p.31: "During the twenty days we burned about 300 kraals - I set alight the first two and got made a prisoner for doing it - it appears that they did not want the niggers to know that we were on the Gwai at all and the kraals belonged to friendlies." Adams - Acton also ,describes another incident where a prisoner, having been promised his freedom by

177 Col. Plumer, p.35. was abducted by the men, tortured and murdered,

(124) NAZ Lo 5/6/7, Report on Native Affairs in Matabeleland, 9 November 1896. (125) NAZ La 5/6/2, C.N.C. to Administrator, 18 July 1896. (126) C. 8547, Carnigie to Martin, "The Matabele Rebellion and their position in the country". (127) NAZ Ba 2/9/2, Taylor, Bulawayo, 17 August 1896. D.C. Inungu Fort, to C.S.O.,

(128) NAZ Ba 2/9/2, James Mkiza statement, 10 October 1896. (129) NAZ La 5/6/1, Field Cornet Wankie district to C.C. Bulawayo, 11 May 1896, Chamber of Mines, Bulawayo, Second annual report, 30 June 1896, containing letter by J. Chas Bagley, dated June 1896. (130) NA2 Lo 5/6/1, Field Cornet Wankie district to C.C. Bulawayo, 11 May 1896, NAZ A 3/18/183, Lewanika to Acting C.N.C., 25 May 1896, Ranger, Revolt, p.161. (131) Chamber of Mines, Bulawayo, Second annual report, 30 June 1896, containing letter by J. Chas Bagley, dated June 1896. (132) NAZ Ba 2/9/1, Pyke to C.S.O., 19 July 1896. (133) NAZ Hist. Mss. Wi 8/1/1, statement by Ginyalitsha, 23 November 1937, p.7: "At that time Lobengula had only four sons (children ?). He had Njubo, Mpesini, Ngabowenya, and a girl whose name I have forgotten. He also had Nymande and Tshakalisa, but these two had been born before he wa~ appointed king, and so they did not count according to native custom as princes. They were inferior in rank to those born afterwards." (134) NAl Lo 5/6/2, Mzila statement, 27 July 1896.
(13~i)

NA2 Lo 6/1/5, Gielgud to C.N.C., 19 October 1896.

(136) NAZ Lo 5/6/7, Report on native affairs in Matabeleland, 9 November 1896 • (137) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", Chapter 7, where he states that the utlbuviso (bringing back of the dead' chief's spirit) ceremony was carried out only in the period just before the onset of the rains. As such Nyamanda shoul d not have succeeded Lobengul a unti 1 August or September 1896. If there had been a meeting in July, it is likely that it was in preparation for the Ullbuvi so ceremony. (138) NA2 Lo 5/6/4, Gielgud to C.N.C., 11 November 1896."Also these fresh stories of a king are likely to 'unsettle some of

178 the people already surrendered to the N.W. who have not been in contact at all wi th the whi tes except to take passes." (139) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", pp.284 - 286, NAZ Hist. Mss. Ma "Ma>: well [Ii ary" , entry 23 Mar,ch, 1891, C.L. Norri s Newman, Matabeleland and How We Got It, (London, T. Fisher Unwin, 1895), pp.156 - 7. D.H. Varley, ed., The Matabeleland Travel let ters of Mal" i e Li pper t, 21 Sep t. to 23 Dec. 1891 , (Cape Town, Friends of the SOLlth African Publ ic Library, 1960), p.SO.
112/2,

( 140) C 8547, 1896.

"Mart in Report",

p .33,

Reed to Mart in,

2 .Jul y

(141) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.420. NAZ Lo 5/6/2, Lanning to Grey, 27 July 1896, Lanning to C.N.C., 10 August 1896. NAZ Sa 2/9/2, Gielgud to C.N.C., 10 and 16 August 1896, A.N.C. Vungu to C.N.C., 15 October 1896, Lanning to C.N.C., 19 October 1896. (142) Sykes, With Plumer, pp.130 - 166. Plumer, An Irregular Corps, pp.127 - 145. NAZ Ba 2/9/1, Plumer's Diary, 29 June to 14 .July 1896. (143) Cobb ing, "The Ndebel e", p .421 • (144) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.421, NAZ L.M.S. Ml 1/5/c, Reed to Thompson, 19 July 1896, P.Gon, Send Carrington. The story of an Imperial Frontiersman, (Johannesburg, Donker, 1984),pp.7893. (145) Plumer, An Irregular Corps, making of Rhodesia, p.365. pp.146 - 151,
\

Hole,

The

(146) Plumer, An Irregular Corp., pp.151 - 163, Sykes, With Plumer, pp.167 - 186, Baden - Powell, The MatabelV campaign, pp.145 - 170, Laing, The Mat_bele Rebellion, p.281 - 299, NAZ Hist. Mss. Co 1/1/1, NAZ Ba 2/9/1, Carrington to High Commi ssioner, 20 .July 1896, NAZ Hist. Mss. Ha 1411 11. (147) Plumer, An Irreoular Corps, pp.165 - 167, Sykes, With Plum,r, pp.187 191, Baden - Powell, The Matabe'le campaign, pp.171 - 184. (148) Plumer, An Irregular Corps, pp.167 - 168, Sykes, With Plumer, p.190, Baden - Powell, The Matabele campaion, pp.184 192. ' (149) Plumer, An Irregular Corps, pp.168 - 179, Sykes, With Pl umer, pp .192 - 201, Baden - Powell, The Matabel e campai gn, pp • 195 - 227. (150) Plumer,. An Irregular Corps, pp.180 - 187, Sykes, With Plumer, pp.202 209, Baden - Pow.ll, The Matabel. campaign, pp .228 - 248.

179 (151) NAZ Sa 2/9/2, Diary M.R.F., 31 July to 31 August 1896, described by H. Plumer, Hole, The Making of Rhodesia, p.373. (152) Sykes, With Plumer, p.217. (153) Sykes, With Plumer, pp.217 - 218, Sauer, Ex Africa, p.319, V. Stent, A personal record of some incidents in the life of Cecil Rhodes, (London, 1925), pp.39 - 54. (154) Sykes, pp .301 -325. With Plumer, pp.217 - 229, Sauer, Ex Africa,

(155) Sykes, With Plumer, pp.229 - 231, NAZ Lo 5/6/3, Rhodes to Grey, 31 August 1896, NAZ Lo 5/6/3, Grey to High Commissioner, 29 August 1896. (156) Sykes, With Plumer, pp.231 - 232, NAZ Sa 2/9/2, High Commissioner to Deputy Commissioner, 4 September 1896, NAZ Lo 5/6/3, Pol itical affairs in Matabeleland no 35, 11 September 1896. (157) Sykes, With Plumer, pp.233 - 238, NAZ Lo 5/6/5, Report on Indaba in Matoppo Hills, 13 October 1896. (158) Many accounts of the conf 1 ict give the fal se impression that the war in Matabeleland ended with the initiation of the indabas.(Hole, The Making of Rhodesia, p.375). This impression was firmly rebutted by Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.434, Plumer, An Irregular Corps, pp.190 - 192. ( 159) Plumer, p .212. (160 ) Plumer, p .213. An Irregular CorEts, An Irregular Corps, P .197, p .198, Sykes, Wi th P1 umer , Sykes, With Plumer, i \

(161 ) Plumer, An Irregular Corps, PI umer, p.213. (162) Cobbing, "The Ndebele ll
,

pp.200 - 206,

Sykes,

With

p.434.

(163) Baden - Powell, The Hatabele campaign, Chapters 11 -12. Uwini was executed because of an alleged family connection with Mkwati. (164) NAZ Ba 2/9/12, Colonel. H. Pagnet's Diany for September October 1896. (165) Cobbing, -The Ndebele-, p.435, Matabele campaign, Chapters 14 - 15. Baden - Powell, The

(166) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.435, NAZ Ba 2/9/2, Diary of Shangani Patrol, 26 September 1896 A.N.C. Gwel0 to C.N.C., 23 October 1896, Beach, The Rising", pp .329 - 342.

180 (167) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", p.435. (168) NAZ Lo 5/6/9, Gielgud to C.N.C., 14 December 1896. (169) NAZ Lo 5/6/7 - 9. This point was made in passing by Plume~, An I~re9ula~ p.1SS, in a compa~ison of the attack on Sikombo~s stronghold and Alderson's attack on Makoni. This comparison can be fruitfully extended to draw further parallels between the military campaign undertaken in both provinces.
Co~ps,

(170)

(171) J.K. Rennie, "Christianity, colonialism and the origins of national ism among the Ndau of Southern Rhodesia, lS90 1935", (Northwestern University, Ph.d., 1973), p.538, See also W. Mhlanga, "i)The story of Ngwagazi, 2)The History of the Arnatshangana Q , N.A.D.A., 1945, p.70. (172) A.S. Chigwedere, "The 1896 Rinderpest disease and its consequences", He~itage, Pub: no 2. 1982. Chigwede~e co~~ectly emphasises the importance of the natural disasters and their impact on the African psychology. However, the rest of his analysis is of little value, as he simply adds another tier to Ranger s rel ig ious tri logy, C. van Onsel en, "React ions to Rinde~pest in Southe~n Af~ica·, Jou~nal of African Histo~y, xvii,(3), (1972), NAZ Lo 5/6/7, C.N.C. report on tour of inspect ion, 12 December 1896. The reason advanced by Maduna Mafu for refusing to leave the Mapateni region and to return to Filabusi was that there was a shortage of food in Filabusi and so they preferred to 1 ive with their "1"'01 es" (servants) who had plenty of grain in the Mapateni region. Semezela, a Godhlwayo induna, stated that "the shortness (sic) was owing to the 10cLlsts. This is partly borne out by the Nati'l'e Commissioner who said that the locusts were very destructive in this district I ast year". Maduna's movement into the Mapat~ni region spread the "ri sing" into Bel ingwe. Simi 1 ar raid ing can be traced in the Gwelo - Selttkwe and Charter districts, see fn. 116, 117.
I

(173) Chigwedere, "The 1896 Rinderpest disease and its consequences". Hole, Old Rhodesian Days, pp.l03, 345. See pp. 111, 131 - 132, 139, 143, 148 - 149. (174) Hole, The Making of Rhodesia, p.356, on the psychology of "firm action", NAZ A 1/12/31, C.C. Bulawayo to Administrator, Umtali, 25 March 1896.

*

DARWIN
MK(

BuD Y A

*ABERCORN

.

MTOKO

GEll

N howe

MANGwE.NOE

*MARANOfLLAS

• HEADLANDS
M aungwe MAKONI

TANOI

!
.,.RANGE

\

AMA\'ENI
... AOWAlENI

I

/

INSUGAMINI
TA.BAZIKAMA~BO

*

GWfLO

UJINGA

*IN"-A,11

\
(
)

GUT

U

NXA

I \

Z 1 M U TO

o

u

..

A

(

o t 30
I

60
I
CHI 8ElINGwE V I

Miles
H
n •
W

*
'MashonalanJ'
III

tH<)6-1J7.

Taken -fFrom -Chimurenga", pp. 396 -

397.

ChAD ter Four

181

The Question of a June -Rebellion- in MA.honaJand

This

chapter which

is

concerned

to question

that

view a

of

the March in the and be conflict

seeks to make a Matabel el and is

distinction between and a June

"Rebellion" Mashonaland. European thereby

in What

"Rebell ion" of

needed here is an

examination

perception of the escalation of violence in June to establish It how such a distinction came not to

perceived. that the

will then be possible to establ ish

merely

June "Rebellion" in Mashonaland was also and uncoordinated,

unplanned, the had

unorganized wh01 e

but to go on to challenge The various Shona peopl es

concept of "Rebell ion".

never been subjugated, of sufficient

and the Europeans did not pose a threat racial

intensity to prompt a conflict based on

antagonism.

The African reaction to the escalation of violence in the be

and their perception of events in 1896 - 7 will be examined the context war of of the various conquest Shona chiefdoms\. wi 11 Finall y,

European examined point in

briefly to show why 1896 - 7 is the Rhodesian of Zimbabwean history.

.

in Hashonal and

n~ed

to

crucial

turning sees the a

1896 - 7

ascendancy

the European perspective and the creation of

colonial state.

At the

the beginning of the Hashona1and s.ction of the Reports Native Disturbances in Rhodesia 1896 - 7, the

on

Salisbury

182

magistrate, the attempt

Hugh Marshall Hole, stated that he recognized that to distinguish between Matabeleland and

Mashonaland, between a March and June "Rebel 1 ion" and arbitrary;

is inaccurate

"It is a matter of some difficulty to draw a definite line between the native troubles in Matabeleland and the subsequent rebel 1 ion in Mashonaland and Manica. But for the purpose of this report, the Mashonaland rebel 1 ion is confined to the period commencing about the middle of June, and to the districts of Lo Hagonda, Hartley, Charter, Sabi, Melsetter, Umtali, Makoni, Mangwendi, Hazoe and Salisbury, excluding any event in the Victoria district (which are more closely connected with the Matabeleland outbreak) except in so far as they bear on the Hashonal and quest ion." (1)

Though

initially a matter of convenience,

the concept of

two The

"Rebellions" soon became entrenched in the historiography. distinction geographical may be traced to several factors: two

European separate

concept of administrative spheres,

military forces mobilised in 1896, formed a

the belief that the Ndebele chiefdoms,
I

state distinct from the Shona

that

the

"Rebellions" were planned, the Hashonal and The

organized and coordinated, and that by the have

"Rebel 1 ion" was prompted in some way of subsequent

Ndebel e.

interpretat ions

historians

entrenched this division. Ranger embellished the Hlimo myth and argued up a that the Mashonaland "Rebellion" was an attempt to open



second

front

by

Mkwati.(2)

Without

questioning March and

its June

val idity, division,

Cobbing and

accepted

the traditional

accounted for Shona involvement in the conflict The June

prior to June in terms of tributary state all.iances.

183

"Rebel 1 ion" of serious

was a refl ection of Shona opportunism in the 1 ight difficulties
(3)

experienced

by

the

Europeans bl urring with

in the the

Matabel eland. distinction concept

Beach a

discounted all evidence March and .June

between

"Rebel 1 ion"

of "peripheral viol ence". (4) Beach revised his earl ier to recognize that there was no planned

in t erpret at ion

"Rebel 1 ion" in Hashonal and, Shona from "Rebel 1 ion" in .June.

yet retained the concept of a main This "Rebel 1 ion" was distinguished of each

"peripheral viol ence" by the conscious decision

Shona chieftain to "rebel", and this decision was prompted by a sense of injustice and racial antagonism. The "Rebellions"

spread as news of the violence, Mashayamombe

which found its impetus in the was carried to

chiefdom of the Hartley district,

the other chiefdoms.(S)

However,

the escalation of violence in Mashona1and is part
\

of

the same process as that begun in Matabeleland. a .June "Rebellion" of initially derives from

The concept of the ;European

perception June to

events in 1896

7 and their reaction in mid to a sharp fal se they were gi ve

a process of ongoing violence which led of confl ict.

escal ation

The Europeans had developed a bel ieving people

consciousness were in

during the period 1890 to 1896, of the country and the

control to

Shona

subject

their authori ty. expression the on

Whenever they attempted to assumed who authority, firmly It is

,

meaningful arose with

to their

conflict any this

Shona chieftains, their

resisted against

impingements divergence

sovereignty.

of perspective that the belief in two

"Rebellions"

184

must

be

understood. prior

What

Beach

describes interpreted of violence

as

"peripheral as

viol ence"

to june 1896 was The escalation

thereafter is a

"Rebellion".(6)

complex

phenomenon and must, and will in due course, be examined on the local level in order to understand how the activities and

attitudes of the Europeans precipitated conflict and

aggrav~ted

existing tensions. The origin of a bel ief in a .June "Rebel 1 ion" is to be found in the settler perception of events. perception of the they intensified the challenge to the chiefdoms a European sees so escalating war the of the Upon their independence which 7, as

Shona in

violence 1896 the

cul minated explained

conquest. of

below,

subjugation

African

perspective and the ascendancy of the European, so establ ishing the state. psychological
(7)

foundations

of

the

Rhodesian

colonial

There were incidents of violence throughout the\country between March and .June 1896 wh ich bl ur any dist inct idn between took these be

Matabeleland place purely

and Mashonaland.(B) Violent

confrontations and

throughout local

Mashonaland prior to mid - June, to particular conflicts grievances

responses from the

cannot

distinguished

thereafter.

The

European

presumption that they had colonised, and were now in control of the country, was a perspective not shared by the African

people. of

I<unzwi Nyandoro,

a powerful chief to the north - east no claim of the Europeans to be in

Salisbury,recognized

control.

His policy remained constant and consistent, not only

185

in

the period between March and .June, the arrival

but back to the is

period to

before

of the settlers. (9) There

little

distinguish Makoni's, to June from that

Mangwendi's or Gurupira's position prior adopted thereafter. (10) The A war African was not There

perspective contemplated was The

of events did not change in .June. according to theories of racial

polarity.

no base for a "national rebellion" against the various Shona communities had no reason to

Europeans. follow each

other into "Rebell ion". Beach has establ ished that there was no planned, timed organized or coordinated rebellion in Mashonaland to

to begin in June.(11) What now remains to be done is

inval idate the

the concept of "Rebell ion" before a new anal ysis of This flows had never from been their in the the the is

nature of the events of 1896 is pursued. established and that the the Shona settlers had peoples not

having

subjugated, dominance 1896 were

establ ished The
\

and European impact was minimal. simply another force in the

Europeans on

melee,often To

periphery concept

of local African political concerns. "Rebellion" to the continued

rPply of

frustration

European claim to rule,

a claim which never had substance,

to simply accept the premises of European racial supremacy. The perception of a "Rebellion" is not to be found in the African

understanding of the events of June 1896; the psychology of the European population.

it is to be found in

The

escalation

of

violence

in

Matabeleland

increased

the

tension and uncertainty of the small Europeari population spread

186

throughout "Rebellion" anx ieties

the in

country. ·June

The

European

perception of

of and The

1896 was the culmination

fears March.

following

on

the

disturbances

in

continued denial of European authority was now interpreted as a direct challenge fulfilling the expectation of a "Rebellion".

Though the European claim to rule had no base in reality, their reaction real. to Aware resistance resulted in of the was and and their consequences which were and and were firm

numerical reacted

insignificance aggressively peoples of

vul nerabi 1 ity, violently. impressed It by,

Europeans believed

that the

African by

could be overawed, strength.

displays that

determination

This bel ief held

European and the

security depended upon bell icose activity. the strong sense tension of and cultural distrust

This attitude, heightened African

alienation, of the

European

peopl es.

Suspicious expectation of a rebel 1 ion 1 ed to a sel f -ful fill in9 prophesy. firm Unless of there was an able and reflective a settlement, leader
I

in to

control

provoke a "Rebellion" from the European perspective. (12) characteristics of frontier psychology are dated 6 April evident in

.

any incident could

serve

These the

account of the "Umtassa Scare",

1896, written by

the Assistant Native Commissioner of Umtali, J. W. Nesbitt;

"Sir reo Umtassa Scare

I have the honour to report that on T!:lLlrsday 1 ast whi 1 st I was very ill in bed Messers Fauawe C.C. and

187 Mentopin M.C., came to my room and told me that it was expected that Umtassa would attack Umtali that night and that a meeting was to be held that afternoon to arrange what was to be done - I told them that there was not the least indication or probability of such a thing and gave them my reasons for it, they said they would lay what I said before the meeting. I very much regret that I was unable to leave my bed and attend the meeting.

The upshot of the meeting was that the townspeople were armed and paraded the streets boasting to the natives that they were going to kill Umtassa and piquets were stationed around the town. As it happened at the time these valiant men were parading the streets "Chembadza" Umtassa's principal son and who is virtually the chief was about half a mile from town and had sent his two principal men in to ascertain whether he coul d see me on a matter - I have in hand for Umtassa - these men seeing all the fuss, the white people marching about armed asked other natives what it all meant and were told that the whites were going to kill Umtassa they naturally went back to Chembadza and reported this and fled. That night all Umtassa's subjects who were servants al so f1 ed the fl ight continuing through the next day so that now a great number of people in town and country are entirely wi thout 1 abour •

On Saturday Umtassa sent to me to say that h' had fled and to ask why he was to be k i 11 ed - I e>{p 1 ained ) how the thing occurred and made an appointment to meet: him tomorrow. You can imagjne what an effect this has had on the natives not only of Umtassa's but throughout the district - I reckon it will take some time to bring affairs back to the state in which they were before the scare - I don t know who is to blame but trust the Government wi 11 cause the full est enquiry to be made with a view to prevent the repetition of this."(13)
I

A

simi 1 ar

scare Despite Umtassa

was the

to

take pI ace

in

June of

and the a

November Umtali "general the

1896.(14) Europeans, Shona

persistent

suspicion

refrained from involvement in However, prior to June,

rising". (15)

Umtassa and

188 Shona peoples of Manicaland were involved in conflict with Native Department and firmly resisted impingements on the their

sovereignty. (16) Umtassa's "neutrality" is not, therefore,to be explained in terms of divisions in Shona politics, estrangement from the main currents of Shona rel igious or pol itical

activity,nor in terms of respect, the Europeans. (17) Nesbitt. prevent Also the in

fear or benefit derived from and

It 1 ies in the personal ities of Umtassa the way Nesbitt mediated at Umtali provoking a to

successfully conflict with

Europeans

Umtassa based on the perception of his being in "Rebellion". It lies, and moreover, attempted to in the way Umtassa restrained his own enquire as to the reason for people European

hostility. The reason for Umtassa's "neutralitylf is to be found in communication. If there had been no attempt at communication between Umtassa and Nesbitt, the "Rebellion" in Mashonaland may have been perceived to have begun in April. intended to attack Umtal i were The rumours
\

that That

Umtassa such a

fall acious. (18)

scare should occur within two weeks of in
Matabelelan~,

the, escalated of the fears,

violence

is

a

refl ect ion

uncertainty and apprehension experienced by the Europeans.

At this point it is possible to advance an interpretive as due to an aspect of the nature of the conflict, course be for
If

theory in The where 1896.

which will studies. areas to

tested

against

several

1 oea 1

potential little This

rebel 1 ion"

was greater in those

European

encroachment had taken place prior since have in these areas the had little claim upon of

follows,

European the local

domination

would

impact

189

African 1 eaders and so woul d have rebuffed the new chall enge to their authority. (19) The converse is that in those areas where encroachment was already intense the likelihood for

European

"collaboration" in these areas

or "neutral ity" was greater. This follows since where the African and the initial conflicts of European peoples a had

already

faced

authority,

.odus

vivendi had been reached, and channels of communication between

the African and European leadership had been forged misunderstanding. (20) weak aware

preventing

In areas where the European presence was side was of

these channels were largely absent and neither how the other perceived events.(21) Thus,

the lack

correlation between pressure and reaction is the inverse of the cause and effect and theories underlying the work its of Ranger,

Cobbing, Beach. for and

despite

his identification of

invalidity,

Local factors, however, must still be sought to account to explain the process of escalated violence in i each

district.(21} The presence or absence of communiiation channels exp 1 ains why the "Rebel 1 ion" . took the form of a war of conquest where to the initiative lay with the Europeans as they substance to the shadow of the

.

struggled they

give

suzerainty

cl aimed. (22)

The European attitude was a major factor in the,perception of a Shona "Rebel 1 ion". able to The presence, or absence, of a white 1 eader with the

restrain his own people and to communicate leaders explains and 'the phenomena to a of

African

" rebe 1 1 ion" , extent. The

"coll aboration"

"neutral ity"

certain

190

absence mentality took

of

a restraining personality and the

effect

of

the which A

of "firm action" are evidenced in an incident in the Fort Victoria district in October

place

1896.

trader named Mann sent his partner into Victoria to report that a chief named "6adzi" , 1 iving about 90 km east of Victoria, had robbed his native assistant of
13.

The servant was

allegedly

maltreated but released with the warning that "anyone coming on that The ground again in trousers would be shot,
~.C.

white or black".

Victoria was of the opinion that the "natives in that

district have been troublesome for the past twelve months", and he had been informed that Assistant Native Commissioner Eksteen had been fired on when he had gone to investigate the looting

of Mann's store some ten or twelve months before.

He therefore

begged that a small patrol be sent to the district at once, as;

"Very few wh i te men go out that way, and such a proceeding would be 1 ikely to have a beneficial effect on the Native mind. I think it is highly essential that some demonstrations should take place, as the natives in the east have not been at any pains to disguise their dissatisfaction for some i time past." (24)

Accordingly,

a patrol consisting of a Captain Reed, Lieutenant twelve N.C.O 's and men, accompanied by a

- Sergeant Williams,

sma 1 1 nat i ve cont i ngent, was sent out. Reed reported;

.. I proceeded to Sunday Pass, about 75 S.S.E from Victoria to arrest Chief 6abana. On route, I gathered, from friendly natives that 6abana intended to fight, and I accordingly surprised the Kraals, captured the Chief, the headman, and a number of native women and children. After this capture, the natives treacherously opened fire from rocks at Cl short range,

191 one bullet passing through the coat of Trooper H. de Beer. The Chief and his followers then attempted to escape, and we fired them, kill ing the Chief and ten men. The enemy then fled, with exception of one old Chief, whom we left in possession of a hut, and gave him provisions. We burned all kraals in immediate vicinity. The natives appear to be friendly to within eight miles of afore mentioned kraals".(25)

This parody

apparent when J.

drama W.

of high imperialism Eksteen,

becomes

an

ironic

Assistant Native Commissioner at

N'danga, reported that;

"A colonial boy was sent out trading cattle among the natives for his master raped a very young girl and being discovered by her people paid for what he had done with his master's money. His statement that he had been robbed and that the natives said they would kill "anybody wi th trousers on whi te or bl ack" was accepted and a patrol was sent out - and 10 natives were killed - Forrestall at that time was about 30 miles on one side and I was about 30 miles on the other from the scene of this affair, and knew nothing of it unt i 1 afterwards". (26)

This that event events

tragic Reed's

comedy touches on the absurd when \ it is patrol also attacked the wrong

revealed This of

people!(27) perception

reveals

a great deal about the European

and themselves,

against which the African

perspective

may be contrasted. fabrications Victoria and

The whole conflict was based ori a series of self - deceit. were The Shona as peoples of the or

district

regarded

"neutral"

"collaborationist" throughout the conflict.(28) Yet the officer commanding natives their in Victoria the could state with conviction to The that "the

east have not been at any pains for some time past".

disguise European

dissatisfaction

192

response to this fabricated challenge to assumed authority to

was

send out armed men as "such a proceeding would be 1 ikely to a beneficial effect on the native mind". It has been

have

established

not only that these people were not in "Rebellion"

but also that the wrong people were attacked, yet Reed was able to gather "from friendly natives that Galema intended to

fight". He surprised the kraals and captured the chief, and was highly indignant when "the natives treacherously opened fire

from rocks at a short range". chief and

He reacted strongly, kill ing the escape. They then

ten men when they attempted to

burnt the kraals, "with the exception of one old Chief, whom we left in possession of a hut, and gave him provisions". by An a

objectively subjective courage

viewed wanton act of aggression is tempered sense of humanity. A strong sense consciousness. behaving with
\

of They

righteous believed and in

pervades

the European to be

themsel ves,

generally,

nobility

exemplary bravery. sharp contrast.

The African perspective would have been In a sense, percep~ion, both the Europeans

an~

Africans

were the victims of

and therefore misconception.

That

the

European of of

psychology

was

a

major

factor

in

the

perception analysis

the Shona "Rebellion" is borne out by the other major area of European

Rennie's

settlement,

Melsetter. Rennie points out that a crucial f6ctor preventing a "Reb ell ion" authorities Bulawayo. provoked No in to Melsetter heed the was the refusal they were of the getting were white from not other

warnings were

precautions

taken and the Ndau

or assumed to be in "Rebel 1 ion" • (2<;1)

However,

193

areas caliber

of Mashonaland were not so fortunate to have men of of Nesbitt or Dunbar Moodie of Umtali Captain in Laing did a great and to

the

Melsetter provoke of the of

respectively. confrontation Ndebele warnings were

deal

the Belingwe district.(30) The news

"Rebellion" led the authorities to issue a and

number

precautionary statements. (31) Contingency and the Europeans adopted a more

plans

discussed

defensive of

attitude. (32) defense

The belief that aggression was the best form tension not only within the

increased

European

community but also among the African peoples in their immediate vicinity. This sense of mutual distrust and hostility was

engendered by a breakdown in communications, by by

already

hampered

an inability to speak each other's language and intensified a sense of cul tural al ienation. The European their popul ation security.

overreacted The

to any incident which threatened

people of Hartley were in laager for two months before the

.June "Rebel 1 ion". (33) The peopl e of Sel ukwe went\ into 1 aager at Gwel0 at the end of March, abandoning the district. (34) Victoria and Umtali went
I

The into

people of Charter,

Enkeldoorn,

laager at the first news of disturbance, no offensive did against them. provoke

though there had been into the

The flight of the Europeans as
I~

laager

an African reaction

evident

in

Salisbury, atmosphere

Marandellas and Mazoe districts. incidents of

this tinder dry interpreted as

local violence were

being part of a "general rebellion". With everyone in laager it was assumed that a cunning plan had been devised and
It

a is

"Rebellion" had been coordinated to expel the. Europeans.

194 to the myth that the .June "Rebell ion" was pl anned, organized

and coordinated, that we must now briefly turn.

Beach"s 1979 Journal

of African History article,

IIHChimurenga";

The Shona Risings of 1896 - 7", 1971 the doctoral thesis. evidence to or

revised the conclusions of his outlines was within not the

In this latter analysis Beach show that the "Rebelliori" even

"simultaneous" limitations not the falls

"almost

simultaneous"

of Shona communications and technology, and it had that

been predetermined or coordinated. (35) Beach accepts need for and a religious or political overall the

organization social must and be his

away

that a new understanding of

pol it ical sought. (36)

situation

among the central Shona in 1896 by

While welcoming the advances made

Beach,

revision retains strains of contradictory thought. He correctly disregards Mashona land his earlier arguments in favour "Rebel 1 ion", but of a planned
\

June a

sti 11 retains the concept of
I

"general Shona rebel 1 ion". (37) Beach attempts to recqnci lethe fact of no organization with the assumption of a "Rebel 1 ion" dependent white

through a "ripple effect" thesis.(38) This thesis is lIpon which to two premises;

racial antagonism between black and

defined clear objectives, was taken

and that a conscious decision of the distllrbances at

"rebel"

as the news

Mashayamombe reached the other chieftaincies.' Beach emphasized context, that but

correctly local

the "Rebellion" must be stlldied in its Beach's presumptions led to a distorted No

lInderstanding conscious

of the complex nature of the events of 1896.

decision was taken by the various'Shona

communities

195

to engage in a war with the Europeans, remain "neutral" on the basis of a

or to "collaborate" perspective of

or

racial

antagonism.

The persistence of the March

and June distinction

is evidence of the failure to take cognizance of the continuity of the Shona political perspective. is needed if the A change of interpretive of of

perspective European 1896 are

traditional

assumptions

historiography are to be abandoned and the events to be appreciated in the totality of their

African

historical experience.

The European perspective is one of the simple subjugation by an armed military force of various rebellious peoples. The African perspective defined the and is more complex and does not allow for 1896 - 7, intense found a clearly was from confusion themselves The

conflict between black and white.

African perspective a period marked by disorder. The various Shona polities

embroiled

in an escalating conflict with

vario~s

peoples.

variety of positions adopted during the conflict indicates some of the complexities invorved in an analysis of the 7. A in radical the use change of perspective of terminology also events creates of a

1896

difficulty

since

phrases

like

"rebel", "neutral" and "collaborator" have not only unfortunate modern political connotations, but are also intricately related to a particular Budja understanding. (39) The "collaboration" of of

Gurupira's polities African

and Mtibi's Pfumbi was that

independent other upon

pursuing their own interests at the expense of peoples. There was no "national consciousness"

196 which 7.(40) of a black - white confrontation could be based in 1896

The consciousness which dominated the confl ict was that The Shona levies

local African pol itical considerations. from

raised

"collaborator" chiefdoms escalated the

conflicts wars. in The part the The Native even

and existing feuds into a swirling series of tribal classification from these of some polities as "rebels" derived conflicts, and his such as "rebel" that uncl e

intestine Chirumanzu

between Chaka.

"friendl y"

intervention of Chirumanzu's son - in - law, Commi s!!!iioner Weal e,

Assistant "rebel",

1 ed to Chaka being termed a

though he denied ever having "rebelled" and remained cordial to Assistant conflict.(41) Nati ve Commissioner Coole throughout the Shona of

The illusion of unity between the various

"rebels" is dispelled by the various confl icts and killings "rebels" its by other "rebels".(42) As each chieftaincy when challenged, the resistance
\

asserted of the

independence

challenge was viewed as "Rebel 1 ion". It is against this complex background understood. that
A

the

killing of isolated and counter

Europeans

i

must

be

reaction

- reaction Europeans result of

blend and the

indistinguishably Africans. The

into initial actions by both was the

escalating ,violence

confrontation of divergent perspectives. These aspects all form part of the base of an understanding of the nature of the

conflict, which is best explored in the reaction of the various African conquest. peoples to the escalating violence, culminating in

Beach

divides the Gwelo district into two re'gions;

the purely

197

Shona Manikwa region,

Selukwe district, and

where the Nhari of Nhema, and the - the

Banka lower

and

the Shiri of Ndanga lived, settlements of Ndebele

Gwelo Amaveni

where and

old

Insugumeni recent,

other regimental posts - as well as

the

more

post - war migrations - were superimposed on the Shona Lozani, Wezhela and the metal workers of the Selukwe region is not considered to because "there is the Shiri people no indication had joined be in that the

peoples of Uwini, Kwe Kwe.(43) in The

"Rebellion" either the

March or

Mhari

rising". (44) into

Beach argues that the spread of the

"Rebellion" The

Selukwe in June owed its impetus to the Ndebele.(45) rising in to June is also seen as part of break the existing a

Selukwe

strategic in

counterpoise

deadlock

Matabeleland.(46)

However, when the Sel ukwe region is examined the grand strategy is proved to be illusory, as is the distincti~n between March
I

and .June. Manikwa, viewed

I n the Se 1 uk we reg i on the Mhar i of Nhema, Shiri's Ndanga ahd Chaka,

Bank a and were as

uncle of Chirumanzu, Gutu and Zimutu

as "rebels" in 1896;

Chirumanzu,

"collaborators". (47) But, the alignment of the Shona peoples in the Selukwe region cannot be explained in terms of pro- or upon

anti- European

attitudes;

it depended to a large degree

the absence or presence of channels of communication. The Nhema chiefdom, highly and those of Ndanga, Banka and Manikwa had been in a and volatile state since March when Sub with

tense

Inspector

Driver

had slaughtered their cattle

infected

198

rinderpest. (48) They had f ired on Dri ver, in the

but the 30 Europeans laager at Gwelo

Selukwe region had gone safely into their possessions. (49)

abandoning homesteads

Thereafter,

European

and stores were looted and Nhema's people drove the these

Shangaan laboures on the mines away. (SO) Beach dismisses actions as "peripheral violence". make the

This concept allows Beach to With

an unacceptable distinction between March and June. Europeans in the Gwelo 1 aager there was no one to and

"rebel" in

against,

the Europeans had no idea what was occurring

the district.

Sel ukwe, violence,

prior but

to mid June,

had not escaped

the

escal at ing a
II

appeared "neutral" because of the absence of

European presence. The Europeans percei ved a "second rebell ion in June when their patrols ventured into the district and

met

resistance. initiated by

Notwithstanding the likelihood of aggression being these European forces, there are other
\

factors In May

accounting for the spread of the "rising" into Selukwe.
I

European patrols in destroyed vast

Gwelo~particularly

those of Captain Gibbs, and more captured volatile by to

amounts The

of

food district

supplies became

livestock.(S1) following the on

Selukwe

raids by the people of lower Gwelo disturbed campaign.(S2) The effect of these raids suppl ies in the Sel ukwe region' There any and is of to was

European food the

reduce

further to

increase

tension in the district. between the attitude of

nothing the

distinguish

African

chiefdoms in June from their position prior to that date. There had been rumours from 3 May that Nhema' s peopl e were watching

199

the

road

between Bulawayo and Gwelo, It was on 12 June

though that the

they D.C.

were

not

conf i rmed . (53) reported road "that

Victoria the

Banga' sand Indema 's people are

guard i ng

between the Umgesa river and Iron Mine Hill".(54) on the same day that the Selukwe district "had

Driver gone

reported

into open rebel 1 ion", and on 19 June that all the ch iefs in the district road. (55) were involved in blocking the Gwelo - Sal isbury

The

conflict in Selukwe, polities. the The

however,

was initially between food

the

African affected district,

effect of the raids on

supplies the

relationship between the African peoples of

escalating the violence.

The Europeans were only to late of the

assume a significant role in the conflict at a relatively date, and much depended The on the presence or absence

communication

channels.

pol itical considerations of

African chiefdoms determined their al ignment to\a large extent. Nei ther "coll aborator" to European as nor "rebel" had any intention 1896
J

of was

succumbing initially polities African

hegemony.

The conflict in the various

viewed

an opportunity by

African to other to be they

to advance their own interests in relation communities. with The or Europeans "resisted" became a

force on how

"collaborated"

depending ,

affected each chief's interests.

The European presence was too

small to give weight to their claim of sovereignty over all the peoples, and they were not therefore perceived as a threat need

against which the various Shona peoples would have seen a

200

to unite or "rebel".

This anaysis is borne out by an examination of Chirumanzu, most days important "coll aborator" in the district. In the

the earl y as

of the Ndebe1e disturbances his position was regarded In March 1896, Weale Chirumanzu warned Assistant

ambiguous. Commissioner district

Native in his

that he did not want any white men Chirumanzu did,

while the trouble was on.

however, to When .June was been Their had

allow Weale to take some of his relatives as a police force Victoria, Banka they posed and who subsequently went on act i ve service. (56) in

Nhema were perceived to be in "Rebel 1 ion" A more serious

were threatening ChirumanzLI. by Chaka and Gwatize, from the title

threat

Chirumanzu's uncles who had in a coup in 1891.(57) in 1 aw Wea1e

exc1 uded

relationship

with ChirLlmanzLI and his son -

long been explosive. In March 1896, some Africans came to (E 7) Angel breckt' s "Charl ie" end farm at Driefontein near Mteo, for burning down their w\ant ing to By kill the and been

(Weale)

village.(5~)

of June Chirumanzu was asking for help against On 7 June a patrol had reported that i t

Nhema had a

Chaka.(59) fired from on then

by Chaka's men. (60) Chaka was treated as on. He killed no Europeans, the local

"rebel"

Afrikaners

having moved to Enke1doorn after March. However, he remained on

, cord ial terms with Field Cornet Coole, who was it seems, hosti 1e to Chirumanzu, and was certainl y disl iked by Weale. (61)

The

trad i t iona1

conflict

with

Bank a

may

have

prompted

Chirumanzu's "collaboration" but the really decisive factor was

201

the

hostil ity

of Chaka and Gwatize,

for they threatened

his in

dynastic position. his and

His forces, therefore, joined Forrestall and accompanied of 1 evies

attack on Banka in late June, Weal e in

Forrestall that In aided August men the

the 2 000 strong force

Lieutenant Weale from

Hurrell's

attack on Nhema in Jul y. (62)

raised Chivi,

what ultimately grew to be a force of 1 800 Victoria and Chirumanzu. This force aided

MOLtnted Infantry commanded by Major Jenner against Hera, but one survivor of the force, Headman

Mutekedza's Masunda, was

insistent that a battle took place at Mteo, which suggests that Weale took the opportunity to harass Chaka on his way

north. (63) By September, refugees from Chaka's area were moving into the Gwelo district. In October Weale and Eksteen took 200

of Chirumanzu's men into Nhema's district, and with the Hussars and two Mounted campaigns Infantry broke the Selukwe chief's resistance by 30 October.(64) Chirumanzu then ended in his

"collaboration" with the Company, as there was ho action closer than the Umniati after that date. i Chaka's "rebel 1 ion" should now be considered. He surrendered to Vizard, "having the been Civil Commissioner at Victoria on 28 October, him of

persuaded by Cool e at Makowri who Cool e

promised most

protection" • (65)

had remained at his post for



1896, unperturbed by Chaka's hostil ity to Weale and Chirumanzu. Judge Vintcent, 1 ife on the acting Administrator, that he was innocent of guaranteed killings Chaka's and that he "it

condition to

returned

his vi 11 ages,

having convinced Vizard

202 appears that he has never been unfriendly to whites".(66)

Meanwhile Weale had met Lieutenant Watson's Mounted Infantry on
30

October on

and

led

them

to

Chaka's

village,

which

they more the was by were

destroyed days.

2 November.(67) Fighting continued for two situation of the in Selukwe illustrates some of war

The

complexities against African

African

perspective.

Chaka's

Chirumanzu and Weale. pol itical concerns.

The confl ict was The European

motivated forces

manipulated obj ect i ves •

by Chirumanzu and Weale to achieve local pol itical Chaka woul d not have considered himsel f in

"rebel 1 ion", but he woul d have considered the European assaul ts as unprovoked more aggression. Beach correctly notes that Weale a

acted

as Chirumanzu Chenyama's son - in - law than as

Company official .(68) Weale clearly had successfully integrated himself into African society and politics. His close

association

with

Chirumanzu ensured that no

misunderstanding

occurred and so Chirumanzu "collaborated" in the advancement of his own interests. These channel s of communicat ion were absent i ,

in the other chiefdoms.

Chaka was in a curious

position;

his

cordial relationship with Coole did not prevent Weale provoking hi s "rebel 1 ion" • by The conf 1 ict in the Sel ukwe and district was the

dominated

African political concerns

confl icts.

Europeans were initially clearly on the periphery.

The events in the Hartley district are particularly interesting and form the basis of Beach's general interpretation. In this

district the chiefdoms regarded as having "rebel 1 edit were those of Mashayamombe, Chivero and Nyamweda, as well as

203

Mashayamombe's semi - subordinates, Mushava and Goro. The Ngezi - Mupawane "neutral". and Rwiz i chiefdoms are considered to have been

In Hartley, groups of

as in Selukwe, people

the presence of raiding and bandit has been the

usually described as "Matabeles"

establ ished. (69)

These comprised peoples set in motion by as well as local people taking

events in the south, of

advantage viol ence however, They within

the prevai 1 i ng soc i al turmoi 1 • (70) The esca 1 at ing both black and white peoples. The whites,

affect~d

onl y were

viewed the viol ence from a eurocentric perspect i ve. aware that three Europeans had been killed

relatively short distances of Hartley Hill, had been molested was or threatened. (71) The

and their servants effect Hill of went tense these into and

incidents laager in

that the Europeans at Hartley

late April

1896.(72) The atmosphere was

volatile. African disl iked

The Europeans were suspicious and di'trustful of the peopl es. (73) the 1 imited Though

demands made Llpon them

.

the

African

peoples by the

)

affected minute

European population, and Africans could

it is clear that at this point still move about with

Europeans though

relative,

diminishing, personal security.

An and 1897

analysiS of the history of the district between the final destruction of Mashayamombe's kraal on establ ishes in Hartley the local ised nature of stress that the the

June 24

1896 July The were

confl ict. killings

events

initial

204

spontaneous

and

the

violence can be traced to

the

friction Muzha one

which existed between Mashayamombe Chinengundu's nephew, Gobvu and Assistant Native Commissioner Mooney. Mlembere,

of Mooney's policemen, later described the events;

"About three days before Mr Mooney was murdered, Mjuju thrashed Jim's wife. On the woman coming to complain about the matter Mr Mooney thrashed Mjuju. Four men of Umjuju's kraal ran out with guns. These were taken away by Mr Mooney and sent to Hartley to Lukwata (Mr Thurgood) • " (74)

Oral tradition states;

" •.••• it is when this chilllUrenga started, it started because this camp was in Muzhuzha's village, and then the fighting started straight away after the beating of Muzhuzha." (75)

M1embere After the

describes

the events leading up to Mooney's
\

murder. to as

the confrontation with Gobvu,

a patrol was sent out

dwell ings of some Indian traders who had been re90rted

having been murdered. began, two

Two.po1icemen deserted before the patrol A One further of men the and

and another deserted on the return journey. on reaching Muzha Gobvu's kraal.

deserted then

pol icemen

saw the approach of a force of armed

warned Mooney. He saddled up as Gobvu's men opened fire. Mooney and the pol icemen then scattered. He was pursued by a force

under Mashayamombe's brother, Nyamachecke river,

Chifumba,

and got as far as the
He c1 imbed

where his horse was wounded.

a

small hill to die in a gun battle. Some of Mooney's police were k i 11 ed or wounded, some escaped to Hart ley Hi 11. Ml embere was

205

separated away by

from the others, the Shona,

and he states, go

had his gun free.

taken

who allowed him to

"Charl ie",

another of Mooney's police, was captured, given a summary trial and e}(ecuted. (76) Beach notes that the man who kill ed Mooney,

Rusape, was returning to his kraal, when on seeing Mooney being pursued, borrowed a gun from his Ltncle. This is strong evidence to dispose of any theory of a pl anned "Rebel 1 ion". (77)
Ju~st

after Mooney's murder, two traders, Stunt and Skell, with seven Zambezi In Africans arrived and were killed near Muzhuzha's.(7S)

assessing these initial murders, was probably The an expression

the killing of the Indian of a specific local

traders

grievance. clearly the

events leading up to the murder of Mooney were The arrival for of

local and due to a specific conflict.

two traders in an infl amed atmosphere accounts

their

murder.

What

is now important to determine is what cau5\ed the

attacks

on other foreign peoples living in the district and sUrrounding areas. According to Beach, a force under the ch ief' s nephew,

Kakino, travelled over 64 km to kill J. C. Hepworth at his farm on the Umsweswe river, in the terri tory of the small Ngez i

Mupawane chiefdom. (79) Chifumba Muchena, another of the chief's brothers, went east to the Beatrice Mine to kill Tate, Koefoed The Beatrice Mine

and four laboures on the afternoon of 15 tho

was in the territory of the Rwizi chiefdom and about 32 km from the European settlement at Charter.(SO) The evidence also hints that people from Mashayamombe's may have travelled as far as

206

the

Norton

farm on the outskirts of the Hartley district

and

been partly responsible for the killings which took place there on 17 .June. (81) It is likely that the initial spon t aneou s violence

kill ings had an accumulative effect in escalating the in the Mashayamombe chiefdom. by Mashayamombe and

The decision may have been taken or on the initiative of

his counci l,

individuals to attack and kill foreigners, the hope of material

motivated either by there a was a

benefit or against whom

specific irri tant.

grievance or whose presence was found to be

local

lIid

the

initiation

of violence at Mashayamombe's lead

to

a The

"rippl e effect",

whereby the "Rebell ion" became general ?

assumptions of settler historiography were that the "Rebell ion" in Mashonaland was planned, organized and coordinated, and that it and found its impetus and focus in the kraal that to it represented rid of
~

Mashayamombe, by the black

a determined effort white

peoples doc'toral

the country of remaine~within settlers.(8~)

Beach's three to the the

thesis

the confines of

these

presumptions, primacy advance

despite

a minor quibble with Ranger as

of pol itical or reI igious influences. (83) Despite made by Beach's 1979 article as to the first of

these

assumptions, his revision is far less adventurous than it needs to be. Beach remains of dependent upon an the events at assumption Mashayamombe's of the kraal

central which white

significance

acted as a catal yst for the "Rebell ion" , racial polarity perspective is

and a bl ack to Beach's

integral

expl anation of the "spread of the rising".

Beach's revision is

207

a but

more sophisticated reflection of the

European

perspective, nature

it does not assist in an assessment of the complex

of the events of 1896.

This

thesis

intends

to challenge the final It argues that in

two the

premises tense

of and

settler

historiography.

volatile conditions which prevailed over a widespread area, the violent eminence events at Mashayamombe's kraal should enjoy no in pre As

an analysis from the African perspective. (84)

such the related premise of racial antagonism cannot be used to accoLint for the spread of the viol ence to become a "general

rebellion".

Beach's

revisionist is

explanation on a

of

a

"general

rising"

in

Mashonaland emphasized perspective

dependent confl ict

racial

dial ect ic. Beach extends

Having this

racial

in Hartley,

to explain the spread of the

conflict

throughout

Mashonaland. It was assumed that the violence at Mto.lo, Makoni, Mangwendi, Mazoe, Charter and Lomagundi was prompted by news of the confl ict at Mashayamombe.(85) As has already been shown in

.

Selukwe, the explanation for the conflict is not tci be assumed; it is to be sought in the details of the escalation of violence in each locality. racial antagonism, The spread of the violence was not based on

but on the interaction of personalities and

different perspectives. To argue that race is a false factor is not to deny the killing of Europeans as listed in the official but rather to examine the circumstances surrounding

reports,

208

their

deaths to

within include

the local context, those people not

and

to

extend in

the

analysis

listed

official

reports. (86)

Beach's evidence as to the manner in which the raiding were

parties

formed and e>:ecuted their objectives al so contradicts the It is noted that the attacks were Mashayamombe.(87) These men were undertaken the most

"r ipp 1 e" theory. by relatives of

likely to

to be aggrieved by foreign impingements and most likely from the looting of the possessions of the

benefit

Europeans. The raiding parties consisted of small groups of men who be were unaware of their objectives, out on hunting the raids expeditions. If believing themselves to the men who actually it aware. of must As the

undertook follow such, Indian

were unaware of a

"Rebellion" 1 ess

that even

the general popul ation was even

after the excitement raised by the murder Mooney, Stunt,

traders,

Skell and individual foreign

,

Africans, were not

as far as the general population were concerned they
I

engaged

in a war with the

Europeans,

far

less

a

"Rebel 1 ion". the Hartl ey

As such,

to describe the initial kill ings within a "general rebel 1 ion" argue of

area as the beginning of

conflicts that these

with the facts.

It is an untenable thesis to

initial killings produced the necessary degree

euphoria

as a psychological precondition to induce a resulting in a murder of

"ripple" "general in

effect of racially inspired violence, rebel 1 ion". Though admitting the

Europeans

surrounding areas, the Mashayamombe people denied instigating a "Rebellion";

209

"The Matshayamombe peopl e deny any know1 edge of having in any way incited the other Mashonas to rebel and further state that they themselves were prompted by the Matabele."(88)

The

oral

tradition collected by Beach

emphasizes

the

local

inspiration for the initial violence, and the limited extent of the conflict. As Beach notes, is "For the Guzho a people

of

primarily

Mashayamombe

affair". (89) Beach is surprised to find that the nearby Chivero people remai ned evidence, widespread agree: in "it was only Mashayamombe and a few people the hill s who f ought the wh i tes" • (90) parties, the The who oral

the

nature of the raiding

prevalent the

conflict

and the lack of cooperation

between

various Shona peoples, emphasises the essential local nature of the violence and contradict the racial conflict premise

underlying a "ripple" effect theory.
I

The

significance

of the violence at Mashayamombe lies not

in

the inspiration they allegedly gave to a "general Shona rising" but rather to the effect on the European perception. facts The of

European

and African perspectives diverge as to the

the initial conflict and their significance. Though the African perspective Hartley, on stresses the local inspiration for the violence in

the European perspective viewed Mashayamombe's attack from the

foreigners as part of a conspiracy to drive them

country.

No such conspiracy existed but the Europeans acted as

210

if

it

did.

This

perception

influenced

their

activities

throughout Mashonal and, often provok ing a "Rebel 1 ion" . The raids by Mashayamombe also spread the "rising" by implicating in the violence. African embroiled peoples This was not a situation in Mashonaland as in the other to

people Hartley. became

unique

Matabeleland actions of

in the "rebellion" through

neighbours clearly the

or even isolated individuals.(91) What emerges most that

in a study of the events of 1896 - 7 is the fact did not know what was occurring in

Europeans

African

society. They had no idea as to the nature of the violence, who was responsible and or as why. can They acted according to be expected this was their very a own

presumptions, violently. rebellion" activities area in a

often

The due

European perception of events saw to a series of local conflicts a

"general their

where

precipitated relatively

African reactions over short time space.

widespread the most and

Perhaps
~

striking illustration of the contrast between the European African chiefdom, perception regarded of by events the is to be as found the in i Makoni's major

Europeans

second

instigator of "Rebellion".

Makoni was a powerful chief, whose principal kraal was situated on near area, a cluster of granite rocks about 11 km off the Umtal i road, the Rusapi river. His influence extended over a large

and he was, next to Umtassa, the most important chief in Makoni had found himself in conflict most notably British with in

Eastern Manicaland. the European

authorities on many occasions, when only considerations df

September

1894,

public

211

opinion revealed and

prevented

his

being

"smashed

up".(92)

Makoni

is

in the documents as a man of high He

principle,

honour the

integrity.

clearly attempted to mediate

between

maintenance of local autonomy and the accommodation of European pressures. and his A conflict with Assistant Native Commissioner Ross predecessor, 0' Reilley in June 1896 was a purely He to

localised was

confrontation relating to a specific to Ross and 0' Reilley and

grievance. determined

antagonistic

resist any further impingements on his authority by the Department. He

Native

had no desire to fight the Europeans and never

considered a general campaign against them. His actions after 9 June enforce the this date on which he held a meeting of interpretation. He took no his headmen, action He

offensive

against Ross,

restricting himself to threats and warnings.

seized cattle taken by the Native Department, before. they When his men confronted Native but disarmed and

as had been done personnel them.(93) group came

Department thr~tened did not kill them,

On 14 June the Umtali coach was threatened when a silent of and armed Shona lined the 'road. The word to attack never

the coach passed on to Salisbury.(94) On 18 June a took a message to Makoni and was allowed to The 22 attack was on made made on by Headlands men from from in

Native depart Makoni's

Policeman

unmolested. (95) territory territory, on

June

Mangwendi's The

following

the retreat

Marandellas.

Headlands party thereafter retreated through Makoni's territory to the Odzi without being attacked. The attack on the Headlands party wrongly attributed to Makoni led to the assumption that

212

he

had joined the "Rebell ion". (96) After Makoni was assumed to the district was deserted of Europeans. a transport still able rider, to B. pass A. But, Bland,

be in "Rebellion" as the

reminiscences of Europeans

illustrate, through needs, his

were

unmolested Makoni of area

territory. (97) A local study of the to explore the question Makoni

therefore,

Makoni's any the

"Rebellion" part in a

and of a "general rebellion". "Rebellion" and viewed the

denied as

Europeans

aggressors, with himself more sinned against than sinning.

Every

act of violence in the Makoni district can be traced

to

the Europeans, Makoni merely reacting, and with restraint to an intensification of provocation. seized Taberer, message disturbed repossess Pol ice. with a In payment of the hut tax Ross On 17 June 1896, H.M. a

number of Makoni's cattle. the from Chief

Native Commissioner sent to Earl

Grey a

Headl ands that "Makoni's district is in Makoni had announced his

very to

state". (98) his

cattle and had threatened Ross stated that,

, and

intention the
I

Native

Taberer

"I think Makoni should be dealt fairly easily managed. I At

without the

delay,

it would be

consider

matter to be too serious to be

overlooked".

this point the Europeans viewed Makoni's denial of their

cl aim

of suzerainty in purely local terms, as it had been in 1894. As yet it was not interpreted as part of a conspl'ratorial "general rebellion". Taberer then attempted to raise a punitive force in Umtal i to punish Makon i' s percei ved chall enge to European

authority. The difficulties experienced in raising such a force is a clear indication of the weakness of the European presence.

213

To

pull

the

seven in

pounder it was

proposed

that in

mules

be

commandeered there

Chimoio or alternatively donkeys

Rusape,

being none in Umtali.

It was then found that there were no one in Umtali

no fuses for the seven pounders and further,

was capable of working the gun. Taberer then received a request for fuses and a man to work the seven pounder, gun and a further five men to be sent the punitive force could from be and for a maxim Sal isbury.(IOO) assembled, the

However, European European

before

perception of events had changed. authority but It was

Makoni's denial of be a a local

no longer considered to

disturbance, rebel 1 ion".

was now perceived to be part of was

"general a

now considered impossibl e to undertake

punitive force with only 60 men at Umtali and 374 at Sal isbury. Judge laagers Vintcent advocated that the Europeans and adopt a "sitting tight policy", strengthen Llntil their

the arrival major local their

of reinforcements. (100) It is significant that the first act of aggression by the Europeans was in respohse to a initiated by the European attempt to

conflict

ext~nd

influence. Makoni, between 'the end of June and the beginning of August, was left in peace. Following on the flight of the

Europeans

into laager at Umtali,

he was in undisputed control

of his territory. into his

He did not attack any Europeans who ventured murdered. that and the of an Only two

district and no Europeans were were and attributed a Native to Makoni,

killings

African

missionary surrounding abandoned

Policeman,

circumstances deserted and

their stores

deaths are unclear.(IOI) The

and homesteads of the Europeans were

broken

214 into and looted,
II

but this does not justify the assumption
II •

of

Mak on i 's

rebe 1 1 i on

When

Colonel his

Alderson

arrived

in Umtali

in

late

July lines Prior

he of to

perceived

first task to be the securing of the which Makoni was assumed to threaten.

communication leaving had

Umtali on 28 July,

Alderson was informed that the

Makoni

occupied and fortified the Devil 's pass on therefore,

Salisbury

main road. (102) He, the

decided to move round south of

pass and to again strike the main road at the Nyamatrutnui

river, about 11 km southwest of Makoni's. Alderson's account of the progress of the column is interesting. Shots were allegedly fired on the afternoon of 30 th, evidence of any conflict in an area where there is this account and no none the

prior to

thereafter. That region was considered "neutral". On 31 st volunteer "loyal". in their scouts fired on "Mziti's" men who had

remained who a

This is an indication of the

attitude~of

his men prlovoking

eagerness for confl ict were capable of Thirdly,

confrontation. skirmishes, a

it must be noted that after these two

column comprised of 20 officers and 295 N.C.O's

and men, could hardly have escaped the attention of Makoni. Yet when Makoni was attacked on 3 August;

"The natives had evidently had a big beer drink the night before and were still singing when we approached. The surprise was so complete that they had no time to drive away their cattle, and we captured 355 head of cattle and 210 goats and sheep, while I do not think that 50 head got away." (103)

215

Having

surprised

Makoni,

Alderson's

forces

succeeded

in He in

capturing their settlement and driving them into the caves. did not consider it wise to risk the 1 ives of his men

attempting to drive them out of the caves, forces.

and so withdrew his that

The following day, Chipunza came in and reported

there was complete disorganization among Makoni's men. Chipunza had allegedly been held prisoner by Makoni but escaped in Internal conflicts were very evident in the the

confusion. (104) Makoni chiefs the the chiefdom,

and Chipunza was one of several of Alderson then

Makoni's organized from

who sided with the Europeans.

building of Fort Haines, West

to be garrisoned by 50 men Umtali Volunteers,

Riding regiment and ten

before

proc eed i ng to Sa 1 i sbury •

On 18 August Judge Vintcent received a report from Major that Makoni had sent a messenger offering to come in if

Watts his

life was spared. Lord Grey's reaction was;
I

.. Mak on i is a man who deserves death if any man does and I should hesitate"to give him the promise of his life if he surrenders, unless you think it pol itic to do so. Would it bring the war to an end if we sent him to Robben Island? "(105)

Lord was

Grey's opinion that Makoni was a man who without foundation, and based on no

deserved of

death the

knowledge

situation. then Judge

The Administrator's ignorance was displayed when he "How many murders has Makoni committed?" The

enquired,

was unable to give an answer except to say that Makoni's

216 people had "frequent 1 Y f ired on Headl ands peopl e" • (106) The

reason for the intense hostil ity to Makoni then becomes

clear.

Even at this point the Europeans were searching to identify the factor responsible for the perceived "Rebellion" in order to

destroy it. for Judge

Makoni was at this stage assumed to be responsible be. As in

the "Rebellion" as later I<aguvi and Nehanda would Vintcent stated in regards to Makoni," (His)

coming

wi 11 break the back of the rebel 1 ion general 1 y" • (107)

Makoni having suffered a surprise attack by Al derson, for which he was clearly unprepared, attempted to establish peace, but

the Europeans were determined "not (to) pursue a mi 1 k and water pol icy."(10S) Makoni's supply of The terms they were determined any to set for the

surrender

were the giving up of

murderer,

corn and cattle,

and significantly for the

period of to

following on the war of conquest, Makoni's people and

the complete disarmament from caves and
\
I
~f.opjes

their removal

locations Linder the Native Commissioners. (109) However, Makoni could accept or reject these terms, September that

before 7

the news came on

Major Watts had tried Makoni by court

martial

and had executed him.(110)

A petition by Thomas Dhlamini,

a Zulu, contains an interesting
Dhl~mini,

account of Makoni's capture. According to

he ventured

into the cave where Makoni was hiding after two young girls had attempted to escape from the entrance he was reached the cavern where Makoni was, he saw; guarding. Having

219

Commissioner, Ndebel e he

Charter)

went off to Matabeleland to fight in charge

the of

1 eft a European woman and property

Chiwishira.

The chief took the woman, shaved her head and made custom and wear beads and skins. Some say When Taylor returned, he was angry and

her conform to tribal he 1 ater k i 11 ed her.

attacked The

the Hera people, of the

and so -Chindunduaaof Moromo

started. (118) states that

tradition

Guzho people

-ChindundumaII during occurred

because they looted the Range

stat ion Beach from why by

Taylor's absence with the Salisbury C01umn.(119) the Charter oral the wh ich with whol e traditions, they June do because "not apart e>~pl discounts

personal ising

affair in

ain

-ChindundumaTaylor's

started the

shoul d column

be in

caused

return

Salisbury

July".(120)

However, the June dating of the "Rebel 1 ion" is a fact on1 y from the European perspective. oral From the African perspective, as the in July when the

traditions emphasise, -Chindunduaa- began

Salisbury column attacked the African peoples

Of

the district.
I

In

Charter,

the

few EUl'"'Opeans in the

district,

on

hearing .June.

rumours of

a "Rebe 11 ion" began to move into 1 aager on 18

The first killings of Europeans took June.(121) The delay in the "rising"

place two days later on 20 in what Hugh Marshall Hole

described as "the nursery of the Mashona rebel 1 ion" has usua11 y been attributed to the presence of 70 men of the Natal

Troop. (122) However, Hole's assessment was based on the premise of there being indicates a pre that - planned "Rebellion". of The evidence in the

clearly

the escalation

violence

district came as a surprise to the African peopl es.

When asked

220

about

the

"Rebel 1 ion",

the response of Merandowi,

a son

of

Mabarutze, a chief in the Range was that;

"The reason he did not report the troubl e to the white men was that they did not know it was coming and when it came they ran away." (123)

Sixteen people were killed in this district, eight individuals, a family of four and two pairs of companions, farms or on their way to a laager. either on their

This is not a large number the

and had there been a coord inated attempt to k ill Europeans list of fatal ities would have been far higher.

Several Europeans probabl y

narratives as they

illustrate the bell icose attitude of the moved into 1 aager. (124) Their behaviour

provoked isolated attacks.

With and unt i 1
6

the

movement of the Europeans into laager at the district was in
\

Enkeldoorn deserted
I

Charter on 18 June,

effect

the arri val of the Sal isbury Col umn from Matabel el and on In the intervening period the Shona took the

JLll y.

opportunity laager

to loot the deserted homesteads.

The Europeans in the unt i 1

were far too weak to take offensive action against

1oca 1 Shona whom they now bel ieved to be in "Rebel 1 ion" ,

reinforced by men of the Sal isbury col umn. It, was bel ieved that all but the peopl es of the Charter district were subsequent in "Rebel 1 ion" , chiefdoms, about

research has implicated only three

Mutekedza,

Maromo and San90.(125) The significant point

the oral traditions is that it is the Europeans who are seen to

221

bear

the

responsibility for escalating the violence into The oral traditions of the Charter

the

HChindunduma".

people differs

present

an interpretation of the events of 1896 which

markedly from the European perspective. The Sal isbury Column of the Rhodesian Light Horse was recalled from Bulawayo, reentered Mashonaland on 4 July and arrived at Enkeldoorn on 6 described by R. tho Hodder The

activities of Colonel Beal's force, Williams, to been

show them to be ill - disciplined and violent, given has

looting and wanton aggression. (126) The men lived what described It as is, a "semi sol dering, semi that

brigand Ranga's The the

1 ife". (127) peop1 e who

therefore,

not surprising

"coll aborated", of this

fl ed on their approach. (128) factor in

activities

force were a significant

spread of the "rebellion".

Up

unt i 1

6 July the Afrikaners at the laager

had

undertaken

little offensive action, but they now joined Major Hoste and 75 troopers of the Rhodesia Horse in an attack o~ ,

Maromo's

stronghold. silenced

Maromo's Guzho held their position until artillery and the stronghold was burned. This action

them,

virtually put Maromo out of the war. had made further patrols. when to him

By 18 July th.e Afrikaners 7

Little was heard of Maromo until

August, (sic) turned

the Njanja chiefs reported that "Maromo protection. The
I

cl eared people to be as

the Zinzanga for out and

Zinzanga want

told him that they did not

imp1 icated in his affairs". (129) This incident is important it who shows the essentially local aspect of the confl ict. was involved in it saw it in racialistic or

No one

nationalistic

222

terms.

It

is also significant that Maromo should flee to having suppl ied Brabant

the with

Njanja who were "coll aborating", 120

levies to attack Mutekedza in July.

This illustrates that

even traditional confl icts, such as that between the Njanja and Maromo, Taylor did not always determine al ignment. On 26 September Range to will the

reported

that "Maromo came to my station at

surrender give act ion

himself;

not finding me there he returned and is an not

himself of a

up on my arrival there". (130) This man set upon "revol t
It

against

oppressi ve better of

intruder.

Maromo and at died

Muchengahuta, he the of fled to

however, his of

thought

surrender i ng Mashayamombe, Muchema, he

fellow

Guzho

chief, Chifumba In the

village

whose

brother,

sickness in January 1897.(131)

Maromo chiefdom, one house, that of Hokenya, was not implicated in the conflict; he protected some foreign Africans and made

his peace independently of his chief in September 1896.(132)
I

The

Mutekedza

chiefdom The

of the Hera is chiefdom's

the

biggest is

in

the

Charter Supported the form

District.

history

interesting, in

by the tribal spirit authorities and the Company of the local Field Cornet, the trader and

farmer,

Henry

Short,

Muchechirwa Chiwishira had managed to secure the o~ title of chief after a period of exclusion sons had

his house by

the Short was

of Dete.(133) This alliance between Chiwishira and been sealed by a diplomatic marriage, and Chiwishira

fairl y friendl y towards the Europeans. When viol ence erupted in Matabeleland in March 1896, W. M. Taylor raised some 200 men,

223

the per

bulk of whom came from Mutekedza's chiefdom, month and a blanket each.(134) This

hired at part

1 of

important

Mutekedza's Sal isbury

fighting force went south to Bulawayo with Column. Beach advanced the argument that

Beal's

Mutekedza and so cult to

believed this force had been wiped out with the column, dec ided to join in the rising when Bonda, a Mwari

official,arrived the of

June. (135) Henry Short was sacrificed in law's pol icy and killed in The situation became in June

needs of his father -

spite more with

his wife's efforts to save him. when the

complex

Salisbury Column reappeared

Taylor and the 200 Hera levies. Mutekedza then had men fighting on both sides. The Hera levies continued to serve loyally, and as many as 55 continued Mutekedza conditions in the

although given the option of leaving, on

to Sal isbury.(136) This unusual situation in the suggests that the in the general became disturbed

chiefdom which attacks

prevailed

Hera people

implicated there~fter on persons and property and were Major Jenner,

perceived

to be in "Rebel 1 ion".

commenting on Mutekedza's

offer of surrender, wrote;'

I th ink that Umtegez a's inf 1 uence with his people is not very great - of course he says he had no inf 1 uence, was powerl ess to prevent them rising and took no part in the rising". (137)
II

The people in the Charter laager had made a few patrols up till 8 July, when from Brabant arrived with ten men and Victoria. a waggon with of a

ammunition brutal i ty

He then attacked the Hera

that 1 ater 1 ed to charges being brought against him.

224 White's flying column, to Sa 1 i sbury , which overtook Beal's force on the Charter and patrolled way

reached

Mutekedza's of the and wore

country,doing month, attacked down, Taylor Brabant

a certain amount of damage.

At the end

made a patrol and collected Njanja troops The resistance of Mutekedza's Hera

Mutekedza.

and by early August cracks appeared in Hera who patrolled peopl e on his own,
1 earnt

sol idarity. "not all

that an

Umtegetze's

revol ted". (138)

By the time

Imperial finish to

Mounted Infantry off the

column appeared in early September to

main resistance in Charter,

a new factor appears

have developed in Hera politics. By early September, Taylor had contacted a brother of Mutekedza, had perhaps one "Shindwane" who

surrendered his rifles on 6 October and who was will ing to

cooperate. When Jenner's British and Natal troops arrived, they proceeded to Mutekedza's, from the to accompanied by a large force of

"collaborators" There, persuaded through him

Chirumanzu and the medium give of

Victoria
~

districts. they

Mutekedza's up on 15

brother,

himself

Sept~ber.(139)

Mutekedza Chiwishira was taken to Sal isbury, goal forced because saying of "deb i 1 i ty and 01 d age" on 23 June

where he died 1897. Jenner

in was

to undertake a subsequent campaign up to 23 the Hera had refused to surrender with

September, their chief

"they would only be beaten to death if they fr did lt .(140) Europeans. Hera had

This is an indication of their fear and distrust of However, resistance slackened and by 20 th the

virtuall y given up. absolutely quiet, the Range.

After this the Mutekedza chiefdom remained and surrenders on a large scale occurred at

225

Two south

other of

chiefdoms remained. Enkeldoorn in

Sango~s

Rozvi on Chigura the most

hill

were regarded

as

determined Enkel doorn chiefdom on

"rebel s" people the final

the district. (141) On 3 September the

attacked an outlying village of the Sango and on 30 October Rhodes,

Selukwe,

himself joined in the of of was

assault on Chigura Hill that broke up the resistance

this little polity.(142) The other polity involved was that Mudzimurema, pol iticall y which was on to the the north of the people of Sabi and

connected

the

Marandellas

district, but 1 ike Mashayamombe, they had their main stronghold on the other side of a major river Sabia By deserting but their village in this case, south of the they avoided Jenner in

September,

in Apri 1 they surrendered. (143)

That

Charter

should be one of the first districts to be "pacified" is due to its geograph i ca 1 passed forces get 1 oc:ation. first The European forces way from to

Matabeleland Salisbury; Charter to

through Charter on\ their
I

from Sal isbury and Umtali detoured to Hartley. The two laagers at

through and of to

Charter

Enkeldoorn attention suffer

ensured that the district received a great deal from the mili~ary. This was the first

district

the full

impact of the European war of conquest and the The looting and ravaging of
~he

least prepared. the

countryside by to resist. with

Europeans generated a desperate determination

Though the

in Charter -Chindundu..- is seen to begin in .July

arrival of the European forces,

in the Mtoko district the

concept of a "Rebel 1 ion" cannot be found.

226

The Budja peopl e of Mtoko have a particul arl y turbul ent history of resistance to impingements on their independence.(144) The

Budja had threatened Assistant Native Commissioner Armstrong in February under 1895 which led to a punitive expedition to the Two of Armstrong's police were shot area by

Brabant. (145) 1896;

February

a patrol was fired on by Mkota's Tonga shortly In May 1896 Ruping was acting Assistant Native Ruping was

afterwards. (146) Commissioner

during Armstrong's absence on leave.

encamped near Mtoka's kraal with a party of about twelve Native Pol ice. There were four isolated prospectors at the Kaiser

Wilhelm gold fields to the east of Mtoko's,

and between Ruping

and Salisbury were the Abercorn gold fields in which there were about a score of prospectors and a trading station. Towards the latter end of May, Ruping paid a visit for the purpose of

collecting hut tax to the kraal of Mahemba, nominal Chiseru country. Ruping was accompanied by at the kraal, a~out head of the six of his a

Native Police.

On arrival

the visitons found

beer drink in progress. lost

The chief,

an old man, had apparently but he sent Ruping a little

all control over his people,

meal, and a few men to build a shelter. Ruping's encampment was then attacked. and One Ruping pol iceman finding was wounded. out of The vi 11 ages

dispersed,

himself

ammunition, lay about a

decided to return to his station. day On

Mahemba's kraal

and a half's journey from the station near Mount 3 June Ruping decided to take his pol ice and thirty who was friendly,

Bismark. - five

native volunteers from Gurupira,

to infl ict

an exemplary punishment on Mahemba. Taberer sent out a quantity

227

of

ammunition

for this purpose.

On 6 .June,

Ruping

heard

a

rumour of a sub - chief of Mahemba,

called Cherewa,

raising a

force. Ruping sent his little force of pol ice and volunteers to reconnoitre; they found Cheewa's kraal deserted and the natives massing in force in the neighbouring hills. to attack such a formidable number, Thinking it unwise

Ruping had no alternative

but to return to Matoka's.(147)

The The

disaffection chiefs

then began to spread to the north and - iri, Kuterere, Doro,

east. of

Chembo of Wa

Rundio

Inyagui

district,

and Siyuramkota denied Ruping's

authority.

Consequently, Ruping warned Jenson, Horne and W. A. Fraser, who were prospecting near Mahemba's, station for their own safety. increased deserted, time on hearing that asking them to report to the

Ruping's concern on their behalf the prospectors' employees had

and the district chiefs were shunning them. was at Kakomwe's kraal a few kilo~eters At that east of

Ruping

Matoko's with the pol ice, called Magima.

This was in Chesserwa country,

.

forty men from Gurupira, Jnd a chief which remained On 7 bui 1 d day in

peaceful, June

though they had always refused to pay hut tax. and his sub - chief and Makoni began the to

Mahemba at

stockades

their One

kraals,

Ruping

spent

skirmishing.

of his native police,

a son (and ,;

immediate

heir> of Gurupira, was ki 11 ed. Two others were wounded, and all his assegai bearers deserted, Magima's. except a few from Gurupira's and Ruping was joined by

After this brush with Mahemba, a prospector.

Newman Smith,

Gurupira, probably angered by the

228

death of his son,

then became hostile.

Ruping retired to

his

station with the intention of fortifying it.(148)

In his

the last communication received from Ruping,

dated 9 June, his for

opinion was that the hostility had been occasioned by and the punishment expected

visit to Mahemba's on May 27, their have clear prior clear

earl ier hostile reception.

He regarded the hostility to is

flowed from the attempt to collect hut tax.(149) What is that no distinction is possible between the to that and during June from that thereafter. the violence was initiated by It purely

violence is also local

grievances.

The Mtoko district also highl ights the

importanc~

of communication between the European and African peoples. With the death of Gurupira's son, Ruping, a new man to the district, lost to his only 1 ink with Gurupira. His nerve broke and he fled The
~

be killed outside the Mtoko district. (150) of to Armstrong,

subsequent to get Jinks. the with

success Budja

on his return from leave, on his pers.onal during the

"coll aborate"depended With

Gurupira. (151) campaign, fear Budja people factor. and were on The these

Gurupira's death

subsequent and that again the of

channels of communication closed, led him to erroneously believe

suspicion

again preparing to "rebel".(152) The both sides able to communicate is

presence an

important

absence of these channels of cdmmunication led to "peripheral

the conceptual confusion evident in Beach's use of

violence" to account for the European change of perspective. The Lomagundi district had, as in Mtoko, witnessed several

229 incidents African Stanford Cooper Pocock of violent conflict between the few Europeans of and

peoples.

The most notable was the murder

Trooper

by headman Geneou in 1893,

and the murder of Trooper Commissioner to a on

on 5 August 1894,

while assisting Mining

to extract labour.(153) This second incident led punitive

notorious

expedition which inflicted retribution

the wrong people. (154) The Lomagundi district had

subsequently

remained unsettled and hut tax returns were poor. The Lomagundi district in 1896 was suffering from three years of drought and

locust plague. The war in Matabeleland had further depleted the scant European population. (155) Though Assistant Native

Commissioner

Mynhardt thought the local Africans were unl ikely he did urge that some precautions be taken.

to cause trouble,

In April the Government warned the Europeans in the district to take precautions and 1000 rounds of ammunition were sent out to strengthen their position.(156) The Mining Commissioner, Jameson, their
1

A. L.

noted on 15 May rumours that "the natives are 1 eaving the May

kraals going north and intend returning to wiPl out But the fi~st whites".(157) invol ved an

intimation of violence on 25 some Shona on some

attack

by

African

travellers. (158) Two days later a report was drafted by Jameson concerning workers. the The murder of a prospector, men The J. Docherty by his by was been

allegedly responsible were Lomagundi district

surrendered point had

Manyemba. (159) particularly

at'; this force

vulnerable.

The token

pol ice

withdrawn eight months previously, not

and there was thought to be Salisbury was slow in

a single trooper in the district.

reacting to Docherty's death,

and Jameson wrote angrily to his

230

superiors

to compl ain of the del ay. (160) The atmosphere in the yet chiefs like Manyemba were

district was tense and volatile, anxious to avoid conflict.

The

first murder in June was that of Herbert Eyre,

a

farmer, came these

killed on Sunday 21 June, ostensibly to trade.

by a party of six Africans who a servant,

According to "Pollie",

men came from "Chimbamawas", of the murders, Samkange,

"Chikombes" and "Mascombies". One was a former servant of Eyre. (161)

According to another servant;

I came on the main road from Umvokwe. I saw no natives on my way. I do not know the kraals or indunas who attacked Eyre. They do not live near Umvokwe. They came from a distance. The rebels came from the direction of Mazoe."(162)
If

Makombi's

kraal was in the Abercorn region of Mazoe h~ve district. place

The evidence from Mazoe hints that a raid may

taken
I

on the Lomagundi district by a small party of men;

"The Mazoe natives went to Makombis to look for white people and police to kill them. Makombi's people then went round to the surrounding kraals. (163)
If

A raid such as this would have been quite possible and it would expl ain Manyemba, several the features of the "rising" in Lomagundi. the alleged If have

previous

month,

had surrendered

murderers of Docherty and seemed anxious to avoid conflict. his position had changed, the killing of Europeans would

231 been a far more concerted process. But if the killings were

initially

undertaken by Africans from a neighbouring

district

the process would have been haphazard. Due to the uncoordinated nature and of the violence the Europeans were able as parties or individuals. to congregate in but the this

es~ape

Some Africans

district

may have become embroiled in the violence,

again was a lethargic process affecting only a small percentage of the population. on On 22 nd the Aryshire mine party and All was

attacked, Brand and

23 rd a party of four

Australians,

Messrs reached

Grove

were fired at on 27 June.·(164) People were, district therefore, several days

Salisbury safely. unhindered killings. the in These in the

still moving about after the first for the into the of 21

factors seem to suggest that the impetus Lomagundi may indeed be looked That the "rising" was for in

violence of on of

direction Lomagundi Africans Messrs June, a

Mazoe.

carried from

21 June and had not received the district,

support

is borne out by the experience
)

,

Bell and Franklin who came into Salisbury on Sunday without seeing a si~~le African and with no knowledge of into

"rising". (165) When Captain Godl y 1 ed the first patrol he found it deserted.

the district in October 1896, and the

Manyemba near of a

his people had fled to the safety of the fly country Zambezi.(166) This does not constitute the actions

determined "rebel".

Moving east of Lomagundi, artery of supply

the Umtali road was Salisbury's main River and

from the railhead on the Pungwe

232

Beira were Hotel

in 1896. isolated

Stretching out from Salisbury along European stores and farms. The

the

road Hooley

Balley

- a pleasure resort on the east bank of the Ruwa river Law's Store 10 km further on, then

was 19 km from Salisbury, Grahams' Store, Charter mission, road.

and White's farm 19 km from Marandellas on the There were Jesuit missionaries at their pioneer and on 16 km east of them, the Enterprise a gold was handful belt. of The

Chishwashe, and Native Campbell. George,

prospectors Assistant Duncombe brother,

miners

Commissioner of the district He owned a farm,

Alexander younger

managed by his

close to the kraal of Mashonganyika, off the as can be

Umtal i road.

The European presence in the district,

seen, wa s sma 1 1 •

Within

the

district there were a multitude of

Shona

headmen Seki's 18 of km the

under the paramount chiefs Seki, main kraal north Hunyani

Chikwakwa and Kunzwi.
\

under the headman Daremombe was at Chesumba, of Sal isbury, close to the north ban}< Mesethwe. Seki's

east

at its confluence.with the

headman

Simbanoota lived on the banks of the Ruwa, Makabusi river. town, besides

and Chiremba on the km from the country,

Closer to Salisbury was Besa, 6,5 the Umtali road. East of

Seki's

Chikwakwa was paramount, with his kraal on the west side of the Goromomzi Chikwakwa's separate massif. Under and a him were Zhanta,the the headman, k i 1 ometer Gondo, north of commander living on of a

warriors, kopje,

about

Chikwakwa. on the

Mashonganyika was two or 5 km south east of Chikwakwa, eastern edge of the Enterprise gold belt. His brother

Kuleya

233

lived in the hills of Mashona kop. Moving 8 km the kraal of Kunzwi Nyandoro, lived on the hill west a powerful

to the east lay

independent chief who river and close to

bank of the Nyagui

Shangari

on lands belonging by right to the

paramounts,

Rusiki and Mangwendi.(168)

On 18 June following on the news of the first murders, a public meeting was held in Salisbury. Judge Vintcent promised to issue rif 1 es, arranged were secured for the format ion of a defense commi ttee and

the completion of a laager. around were the town into and the

That night next A

pickets the under

placed

morning patrol

inhabitants

called

laager. (169)

Captain Dan Judson was sent out on 18 June, followed on 19 June by both another patrol to Mazoe under Captain Nesbitt. They were Mazoe

to experience fierce fighting in the relief of the

party at Alice Mine.(170) On 19 June martial law was proclaimed in Salisbury. Up to this point no disturbfnce had been June,

experienced

between

Salisbury and Marandellas.

On ;18

Campbell had come in with some headmen of Chikwakwa's kraal who had professed loyalty and asserted that they were

friendly.(1?1) Campbell had then left to warn the whites in the district accompanied by a Mr C. Hooley at dawn on 20 th, T. Stevens. He reached Balley settlers to

and arranged for the

assemble on his farm near Mashonganyika's. He went on ahead,had a friendly meeting with the chief, and then left to Ortons, the continue he and cart

his

warnings. (172) After warning Law and the were reconnoitring when they saw

Stevens

Ortons'

234 surrounded they by Africans. There was no one in the cart and all

could do was dash off to Sal isbury under heavy fire.(173)

Campbell was convinced that all the Europeans had been cut off, but there were several sensat iona 1 escapes. (174)

What

initiated the conflict at Mashonganyika's is the

not

clear.

Zhanta,

man who allegedly led the attack on the Europeans

gathering at Campbell's farm, stated at his trial;

"Thus I heard the natives were being attacked by the white men and that "George" (Campbell) had been killed. I sent Chulawa to the pol ice to warn the white men." (175)

During the subsequent peace negotiations it was reported;

"that in accordance with D.C. M.F.F. (sic) instructions I have indabered with Chiqwaqwa. He states his desire for peace and leave to sow; he says indeed that he has never fought against the Government at all and has never fired on the troops, fu~ther that at none of his kraals in the district has the 1irst shot ever been fired by his people - As far as I can find out this is very ~ossibl y qui te true." (176)

Kunzwi Nyandoro's attitude was similar;

"He al so states that their men had not borne arms against the Government and that they have every wish to be loyal and peaceful. Mr Campbell informs me that there is no proof of their having borne arms against the Government, the onl y doubtful case being very possibly Chinamore's men."(177)

From

the African perspective it was the Europeans who were the

235

aggressors.

The Africans in the district,

though informed

by

the Europeans of the "Rebellion" as early as 18 June, professed themsel ves changed "loyal" as 1ate as the morning of 20 .June. What

within the space of a few hours is not clear.

What is became

evident is that as the Europeans moved into laager they

defensively aggressive. This may have provided the spark. It is possible to that small elements in African society were attracted The possibility such as Mazoe, of a

give chase 1 ike hounds to the hare. party from a surrounding area,

raiding

where

fighting had already occurred, district, cannot

carrying the confl ict into this

be ruled out.(178) Zhanta clearly blamed the

Europeans for the escalated violence.

The search for the truth is hampered by several narratives from survivors which confl ict and contain a certain element of self

-aggrandisement which obscure the reality. Campbell's eVidence, for example, as reflect.d in the Reports, false \conflicts
~as

with done

subsequent tremendous aspect of

accounts.

Campbell's

evidence

damage to the historical perspective. (179)

Another is

these initial confrontations which is important

the aid given by Africans to assist in the escape of Europeans. White's Store, Sehumba's for example, was allegedly attacked by men from Lieutenant H. Bremner of 20 th
If

kraal.

Hussars,

a

passing traveller, was killed, and White was left badly wounded and dying. He was rescued by an African catechist, Mulete, and

taken to headman Nengubo. Nengubo was preparing to take them to the Wesleyan mission when the same force again attacked. White, Mulete and two children of Nengubo's kraal were killed. The

236

significant considered

aspect to have

of had

this a

incident strained

is

that

Nengubo with

was the

relationship

Europeans before the outbreak of "Rebellion".(180)

A

brief

glance at the history of Kunzwi yet another insight into the

Nyandoro's African

chiefdom

provides

perspective

against which the concept of "Rebellion" can be evaluated. Some years before Kunzwi had fled from a settlement in the Gwelo river. to a

district Rusiki, settle few

to Shangari Hill on the banks of the the paramount chief of the district,

Inyagui

allowed him Within

there subject to a yearly tribute of cattle. Kunzwi had built up such a strong

years

following

that

Rusiki did not dare to enforce his tribute. arrived, Nyandoro Many hel d a strong

When the in

Pioneers central

position

Mashonaland. into the

of his people had crossed the Inyagui river Mangwendi, but continued to

land of Noe of Chief

acknowl edge that Kunzwi

Kunzwi as their paramount.

The evi1dence indicates his to
I

exercised undisputed authority in such as "Wiri" Edwards were forced

chiefdom. rel y over on the

Europeans, Kunzwi's subjects Kunzwi,

good faith, of

and he exercised jurisdiction

other chiefs who transgressed in his· lands.(ISI) came into conflict with In September 1894,

it is not surprising to find,

the Native Department on several occasions. a transport rider's oxen, were allowed A to great

under the care of his Zulu servants, one done of and Kunzwi's the man

wander into the fields of deal of damage was

subjects.

complained to Kunzwi who sent his son, Panashi, to investigate.

237 A fight broke out and Panashi shot dead one of the incident messengers his was reported to Campbell in Salisbury. Zulus. The The

Native

sent to summon Kunzwi to Salisbury were chased from In absentia he was fined 20 head

territory.

of

cattle.

Kunzwi made no attempt to pay but remained on guard for several months with in his hill fortress, Campbell. refusing to have anything to did do not

An expected expedition to punish him

take place. The suspense, according to Edwards, became too much for Kunzwi, and he came and saw "Wiri" in an attempt to defuse

the confl ict.(182)

Kunzwi, however, remained committed to following an independent pol icy. men In October 1895 the police were fired on by Nyandoro's the first police

when Campbell attempted to coll ect hut tax for

time. (183)

In April 1896 Nyandoro again threatened the

and some local Europeans. It was reported that;
\

"the chief Kunzwi had refused to allow the Native Pol ice to collect hut tax in his district and ha~ sent the police back to Mr Campbell with a threat that he would kill all pol ice" and white men in his district." ( 184)

Ranger

regarded this incident as the "first intimation of

the

Shona rising". (185) Yet there is nothing to distinguish between
Nyandoro~s

posi t ion

before

June

1896

anEf

the

stance

he

maintained throughout the subsequent confl ict. protected his independence when attacked and

He asserted and resisted any

attempt to restrict his autonomy. district was minimal,

The European presence in the to

and the Native Department had failed

238

make

any

impact

upon

Kunzwi's

authority.

He

had

never

acknowledged European authority and never considered himself in "Rebel 1 ion". Nehanda Kunzwi al so denied being infl uenced by KagLlvi the conf 1 ict, and drew spiri tual or

during

inspiration

from Ganyeru, the lIhondoro resident at his kraal. The attempt by Campbell in 1897 to negotiate the surrender of Kunzwi met with

a foreseeable diplomatic rebuff;

"My opinion and the opinion of loyal natives at Chiwasha, who have been with the rebels until lately is that Kunzwi has not the slightest intention of surrendering, but simply wishes to gain time to get his crop harvested. If (186)

Kunzwi

may

have and

wished this

for

peace,

but

the to

price pay.

was The

subjugation, European

he was as yet unwilling

authorities in a sense admitted Kunzwi's independence

when on the conclusion of hostilities it was decided not to try him for "Rebel 1 ion". (187) i "Wiri"

Edwards,

the former trader in Kunzwi' s terri tory,

was

appointed Tax Collector for the Mangwendi district in May 1895, the office evolving into that of Assistant Native Commissioner. It was a large district which lay to the east of Sal isbury. It

extended "from the Mazoe - Nyanderi river junct ion in the north to the Sabi river so~th of it,

(to) Mt Wedza in

the

present way

Marandellas side

district".(188)

Marandellas in 1896 was a

stopping place and an important centre of communications, as it was at the junction of roads leading from

situated

239

Umtali,

Salisbury

and

Charter.

It consisted of

a

rambling and a

collection served

of brick buildings over an area of many acres,

as the administrative centre of a district with only There was virtually no

very tiny European population. done, inns, and

farming

the area consisted of individuals running stores or

or scattered officials of the administration. Edwards as Native Commissioner first camped at Mrewa for the

Assistant

winter and then moved to Marandellas,

"as it was impossible to

work the district from only one centre". Edwards's instructions as to his duties were simple and indicate the ephemeral

ELlropean presence; "get to know your district, and your people. Keep an eye on them, collect tax if possible,but for God's sake don't worry headquarters if YOLI can avoid it." (189) Edwards had one significant brush with Gezi, brother of paramount Mangwendi of Noe. a woman Gezi's kraal was 19 km west of Mrewa. In December 1895 accused of witchcraft was killed at his
1

kraal.

The and

messengers sent to summon Gezi to Salisbury were attacked, a punitive expedition under Campbell failed to reach
)

Gezi's

kraal due to the rains. until Gezi's March cattle 1896. which A

The reckoning with Gezi was surprise attack led to the were driven off under fire

postponed capture to of

Mrewa.

Thereafter Gezi remained hostile to the Europeans. (190)

On

Wednesday

17 June,

Edwards set off for Headl ands to to care Makoni. of

meet The

Taberer

to assist in the punitive expedition settlement was left in the

Marande 11 as

Trooper June, PanoLlse

Fitzgerald and a few African messengers. George Lamb, a transport rider,

On Thursday 18

and the Comte de la

240

passed

with

their wagons through Marandellas.(191) They heading

were for

overtaken Umtal i. his

by the Umtali coach and five white men

On the morning of 19 th, Lamb received a telegram from The party decided

brother warning him of the "Rebell ion". On the same day,

to return to Salisbury. received African the news

Edwards at Headlands He sent an

of the Norton

murders. (192)

messenger to Marandellas with instructions for Trooper

Fitzgerald to gather the Europeans at the hotel. This messenger arrived late on Friday afternoon. The news on the following day was worse. So at sundown on the 20 th, Edwards accompanied by

Kennith Jarkins,

a transport rider, left Headlands.They called

at Lewis's Store on the Macheke river, but he would not believe in a rebellion. Meanwhile, Lamb reinforced by the Comte de la

Panouse's part y, reached Wh i te' s Store on the even i ng of 20 th, where message Trooper they spent the night. White was out Lynch. bartering At and a

was left with his assistant, Fitzgerald had

Marande1las, the few

sent out messengers toiwarn

whites in the district late on Friday evening. morning, Marandera's men· moved

On thai Saturday towards Old to

threateningly

Marande1las, the

and attempted to capture the cattle belonging The Europeans,

settlement. had

having been warned by Trooper bar two. had in the

Fitzgerald, James White, ignored the

already moved into the stronghold,

1 i ving about 19 km away on the farm Mendemu, warning. already He and Lieutenant were Bremner, on

circumstances

described,

k i 11 ed

Saturday. (193) Another man, of uncertain identity, also ignored the warnings. (194) He lived only 5 km from the inn, between the

241

hotel and Mangwendi's kraal on Mohopo. of "rebellion" he saw until first light on

He experienced no Sunday. Warned by

sign an

African,

a party of men,

allegedly led by

Mechemwa,

Mangwendi's son,

approaching his house. He made a dash for the pursued by this party. At the hotel were

inn which he reached,

gathered nine European men and a Mrs van der Spuy and her baby. On dash the Sunday morning the Europeans decided to try and make for Headlands. Their progress was painfully slow, a but

despite their vulnerability they were not attacked on the road. At the Macheke they persuaded Lewis to abandon his store.

Headlands

was reached at dusk.

During the night the Headlands off. head The for

laager was attacked, next day it

but the assai 1 ants were driven and

was decided to abandon Headlands

Umtali, that it

which was reached without any trouble. was afterwards ascertained that the

Edwards states Africans but
LIS

who "the from

attacked them at Headlands were not Makoni's people, rebel s from Mangwendi and Soswe who had chased
\

Marandell a" • (195)

I

Hodder- Will iams, in his article, commented that, "The pecul iar pattern of the rebellion is beginning to take shape. It was not a well organized movement nor was the strategy coordinated". He went further, "It is surprising, in view of the nature of the

European settlement that there were not more c'iasualties. If men 1 ike the Whites and Harry Graham had believed the warnings they received, due to there the would have been even fewer deaths. nature of the This was Mashona to a

extraordinary haphazard the exact

rebellion,

purpose of which seems more akin

242

demonstration invading "Rebellion" an

than

a

determined

attempt

to

drive

out

an the

peopl e". (196)

Edwards's

impression

that

was a planned general rising is therefore It is further important to note

clearly that the had

overreaction.

"Rebel 1 ion" been

in Marandell as began onl y after the Europeans
19 th,

warned on

and had moved into laager.

The

first

tentative aggressive move was a raid on cattle belonging to the settlement. unaware of Even then, a man living within 5 km of the inn was any White "rising" rescued until the following was taken to morning. headman attempted messengers desert. journey The to
\

Furthermore, Nengubo, to save

by Mulete,

who though on bad terms with the Europeans him. Edwards also notes that his despite every opportunity as was Native to the

remained flight Umtali. confl ict violence intensity, behaviour violence to

"loyal"

Headlands was unhindered, evidence, any was to a

The with

if critically examined, of a "general be

would seem to What low the the

thesis would large

rebel 1 ion".

there and of

seem to

limited a

,

and

of to of

degree was

reactiqn

the Europeans.

The African perspective

is illustrated in the record of an interview

between

Assistant Native Commissioner Morris and Soswe's son in 1897;

"He (Soswe's son) then replied that he would consult his sub chiefs and hear what they had to,say, and if they were will i ng to surrender he wou 1 d th ink about it. I then said when shall I return for your answer. He repl ied, "What do you want to return for, are you leaving anything behind you, Go away and remain away. I wish to have nothing to do with you white men. Go and 1 ive in Chimioio and I will send you boys to work for you there if you want them.

243

Why did you burn my kraal, did I ever interfere with your waggons on the road. Go to Chimoio. I don't want any white man in my district."(197)

This and

interview illustrates the dichotomy between the African as perspective. Soswe's son clearly

European the in

regarded not

Europeans

the aggressors in the conflict.

He was

"Rebel 1 ion".

The

Mazoe

district to the north of Sal isbury is

a

difficul t

area to analyse. The available evidence as to the process which initiated the violence in this district is confusing and of

contradictory. Mhasvi, a

The influence of Nehanda; Policeman;
I

the instigation

Native

a reaction to Assistant of Shiwishi, are

Native all

Commissioner

Poll ard s

sjambokk ing

possible avenues to explore to account for the initial spark of violence. in The number of nominally independent African polities The eff~ct of so
)

this area also complicates matters. chiefdoms and was to create a

many

small

particularly

vol at i 1 e of

situation,

the Mazoe district has a turbulent history

violent warfare. That Salisbury should have been sited so close to this disturbed area of the country is a quirk of fate.(198)

The

Mazoe valley runs north and north - east from the near Salisbury.

river's

headwaters

At the small centre known as Mazoe

there was a Mining Commissioner, a Native Commissioner, a joint store and and hotel, others a telegraph office, the Vesuvius a number of prospectors and Alice mines. This

developing

244

administrative post could be reached from Salisbury by a via track to was to of from

Avondale to

to Mount Hampden, its

and then down the

valley There

Tatugura,

junction with the Mazoe river.

another track from Salisbury which went from Mount Pleasant fall the steeply from the plateau into the Mazoe valley by way Golden Stairs, a series of rough descents, 26 km

Sal isbury. From Mazoe, one track led over the hills towards the Jumbo Mine and another continued down the Mazoe some 32 k m away, valley, where

in an area known as the Abercorn, there was a

scattered mining community and a store. Beyond this, out of the Mazoe valley and close to the Luia river, was Major Patrick Forbes line

in charge of a party engaged in building a telegraph

toT et e • ( 199 )

The

events

leading

up

to the Mazoe

patrols

are

too

well

established in Rhodesian history to need recounting What in does need to be determined is how the violence Mazoe. An article by Sergeant Sanhonkwe of

here. (200) escalated

the l B.S.A.P.

derived from oral tradition', provides an important insight into the process of "Rebellion" in the Mazoe di strict. (201 )

Sanhonkwe states that Mhasvi, an African constabl e s'tationed at Salisbury, heard of the violence at Mashayamombe. He decided

then to desert to chief Hwata in the Mazoe valley with the news that Mashayamombe was fighting. Chief Hwata was persuaded to

organize his people to "rebel ". Nehanda, the spirit medium, was then consulted and she promised victory. people to shoot and led the attacks on Mhasvi taught Europeans.
Hwata~s

Sanhonkwe~s

245 article makes several interesting points; there was no

pl anned ,organized or coordinated "Rebel 1 ion", but there was, as in the case of Hwata and Mhasvi, Further, and it the seizing of a presented particular news of

opportunity. circumstances,

was a local response to

though allegedly prompted by the

Mashayamombe's fighting, other community.

it owed nothing to instigation by any to the but no

Religion is shown as clearly subordinate Nehanda was consulted only after and she gave sanction,

pol it ical

influences.

news of the fighting was brought, played

no part in its organization and certainly organized "Rebel 1 ion" • Sanhonkwe's evidence,

conspiratorial offers Mazoe.

therefore, violence attacks at in on the

a very sal ient insight into the escalated Mhasvi and did the play an important part in the evidence records his

Europeans,

presence

negotiations. (202)

Sanhonkwe's evidence must not be seen in isolation. It is known
\

that white

Pollard man

was

killed when investigating the murder i of

a

near

Mount

Darwin. (203)

During

the

subsequent

negotiations on 5, off ic ial violence. that they were

6 and 11 September,

the activities of this the

repeatedly said to have been the cause of the D.C.

Lieutenant Fairbain,

Mazoe Fort, reported chiefs Poll ard that had

in an indaba on 11 September with the Mazoe had. cl aimed they had "rebel 1 ed" becat.tse

sjambokked

Shiwishi,

an important chief. (204) In

sjambokk ing

8h i wish i, Po 11 ard may have transgressed accept ed bounds. He was chased by the Mazoe Africans and killed, seized. (205) In while his cattle were Mhasvi gained

these unsettled circumstances

246

influence violence.

while

Nehanda

gave

sanction

to

the

process

of

The activities of the Europeans also played a

part.

Having received warning of the Norton murders, laager in the at the Al ice Mine and the Abercorn, district.

they moved into

increasing tension the Mazoe

There were movements by some of

Africans to prompt the involvement of other peoples, did see most Mazoe take place over a distance.

and raids to

Yet it would be incorrect the

all the Mazoe peoples becoming involved in remained violence

violence; the all

undisturbed. (206) A significant feature of is that it was directed against

"foreigners", bl ack and white. <2(7)

These

brief

insights into the varied nature of

the

conflict such

necessitate as such

the questioning not only of factual aspects, or interpretive how and
·Oti __

the extent of the conflict, as

perceptions, but also

who initiated the violence, terms such as "Rebel 1 ion".

why,

conceptual to be a

.,19a·

woul d seem large

series of local conflicts precipitated

tOI a

degree by the actions of the Europeans. The volatile conditions prior to June 1896 rapidly escalated into a as the violent to war of

conquest

Europeans mobilised their forces·

assert large

their claim to rule.

·Chi......-enga· would seem to be in a

measure a reaction to European conquest, of violence initiated

rather than a process to drive the

by the African peoples

Europeans from the country.

As

-D1i...renga-

was a series of local wars fought by

various

247

African polities to resist European conquest, at no point did a general peoples campaign against the Europeans did develop. The African to

not combine their forces in a united

attempt

defeat the Europeans. "Rebel I ion" wrong failed,

Historians attempting to explain why the have asked the wrong questions due to the A racial polarity perspective white. views the

perspective.

conflict in simplistic terms of black against

However,

the overriding concern of each African polity was the desire to maintain local autonomy and to advance its own interests. Thus, some Shona polities "collaborated" or remained "neutral",

depending upon how there interests were affected. To view those who "colI aborated" of as fltrai tors to the cause", is a savage were to

distortion using give

historical perspective.

It was they

who

the Europeans, substance During to

though with hindsight they were used the European claim to have

colonised Shona

Rhodesia. polity

the war the recurrent refrain of each

was the desire to reestablish peace with the

,

Europeans African price
)

in order to retain local independence. perspective

Peace from the

was not to mean subjugation,

which was the

demanded by the Europeans. (20S)

The

details

of the war from the European perspective

can

be the the

obtained war,

from a various sources. (209) The significance of needs to be briefly assessed, Even after

however,

arrival too whol e few

of Colonel Alderson's forces the Europeans were in number to achieve an effective subjugation of The importance of the "levies"

still the from been

country.

"collaborator"

chiefdoms in the pursuance of the war has

248

underestimated. the
~udja,

Large forces,

particularly those raised from

Pfumbi,

Chirumanzu and the chiefs of the Victoria

district, played an important part in the fighting. The support given the turn wars. each rule. in terms of food and information also greatly assisted to

Europeans. The effect of the use of "collaborators" was the conflict to a large extent into a series of

African

In this manner, chiefdom Though of

through a process of "divide and rule", submit to European the was

was in due course made to

the "collaborators" had initially fought in their own interests, their independence

pursuance

subverted as the Europeans gained dominance.

That they did not

consider themselves to be subject to the Europeans, even though they had "collaborated", became a cause of complaint communities from only

several

Europeans. (210) Though many African

suffered the impact of the Europeans infrequently, suffer greatly,

and did not

the war of conquest of 1896 - 7 was important t~e because it was the first concerted attempt by

Europeans

to

give weight to their claim to rule. It would take sevt?ral years before authority first the to Europeans had sufficiently established was their the the

be in undisputed control, clash of perspectives,

but 1896 -7

major

from which

s.truggle

Europeans were to gain dominance. The psychological foundations of the Rhodesian colonial state were laid in 1896 - 7 with the of state the European perspective over comes into being when the the African. of A the

ascendancy colonial

ascendancy

colonisers is recognized by the colonised, so creating a shared perspective of psychological real ity. Colonialism is

249

psychological condition.(211)

I

250

Footnotes: Chapter Four

(1) The /96 Rebellions, p.51. (2) Ranger', p .368.

Revolt, chapter 6. Hole, The MakirrQ of Rhodesia, ll ,

(3) Cobbing, liThe Ndebele

p.41?

(4) Beach, "Ch imurenga", pp .403 - 406. (5) Beach, "Chimurenga", p .410. (6) See below, pp.210 - 218 for a discussion of the confl ict in the Makoni district which makes this distinction absurd. (7) Colonialism is dependent upon the recognition of a ruler by the ruled. This mentality is an essential psychological foundation for colonialism. Initially, colonialism is a concept only to be found in the mentality of the aspirant ruler. Until the people to be ruled accept this mentality they are not colonised. When the European perspective of events became a shared perspect i ve, when the ex i stence of a rul er and the ruled became accepted by both black and white as a reality, only then did the psychological foundations for colonial ism in Rhodesia - Zimbabwe come into existence. Thereafter, though the reaction and strategy of black and white diverged, they shared a common perception of reality. (8) These incidents will be briefly discussed in the context of the local studies. A brief description is to be found in Beach, "Chimurenga", pp.403 - 406. (9) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ed 6/1/1. (10) See below, pp.210 - 218, 226 - 228. (11) Beach, "Chimurenga", p.401. (12) Cape Town Archives, Accession 540 (32), Sir Lewis Michell collection, Trip to Rhodesia, (4 August - 7 September 1897), has this interesting account, p.50: "We reached Fort Charter at 2.45 pm and saw Rhodes in another mood. The young fellow in charge came to say that the Chief Umswitchwe, 25 miles away was mutinous and Had lately shot Major Ridley in the foot and killed one of the hussars and a policeman. He added that he himself had been defied the previous week when on patrol. The following dialogue then occurred. Rhodes - How did they defy you ? N.C. Officer - They jeered at me. Rhodes - What do you want done ? N.C. Officer - I want you to wire Sir Rich(ard) Martin to send a strong force to destroy Umswitchwe.
I

251 Rhodes - But jeering doesn't constitute a causus belli. N.C .0. - Doesn't it Sir? Well, I'm blessed if I know what to do. Rhodes (calmly) - I'll tell you what to do. You go right up to the kraal and be f ired at. That wi 11 make ita causus bell i . N.C.O. (saluting) - Very well sir, I'll go on Wednesday. This tranquil arrangement took my breath away but the fact is Rhodes has the absolute confidence of all young men in this country and at his bidding they would put their heads into the cannon's mouth." (13) NAZ N 1/1/1, N.C. Umta1i to C.N.C., 6 April 1896. (14) NAZ Lo 5/6/1, telegraphic conversation, Grey, Vintcent and Carrington, 25 June 1896. the Rebel lion,

(15) The '96 Rebel} ions. p .65, Mrs M. Cripps, "Umta} i during 1896", Rhodesiana, pub no 9, 1963, p.52.

( 16 ) NA Z N 1 / 1 / 11, N • C • Umtal i to C.N.C., 15 Apri 1 and 4 May 1896. In Apri 1 1896, Marange turned out an armed force to recover cattle taken by the Native Department. J.C. Barnes, "The 1896 Rebellion in Manicaland", Rhodesiana, pub no 34, March 1975, p.l. (17) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, p.475, Umtassa's "neutral ity" to his enmity with Makoni. attributes

(18) The rumours were a reflection of white fear and distrust of the African people in general. Many Europeans expressed distrust of Umtassa's intentions, though he offered assistance soon after becoming aware of the conflict. R. Howman's article, "Sir Herbert .John Taylor, Kt ••• , First Chief Native Commissioner", Rhodesiana, Pub no 35, Sept 1\976, gives an important insight into the uneasy relationship be}ween the Europeans at Umtali and Umtassa, and helps to explain their anxiety. NAZ Al 1/2/1, p.l1: "Up to the present the Chief Umtassa has shown no signs of disloyalty, but the reverse, having offered his services to the Chartered Company to assist them in quelling the rebellion. It would be well not to place too much dependence on this offer. The natives belonging to the Upper Zambezi, Tete and Sena, have cleared out from Chimoio, Massikessi and the construction camp." NAZ Hist. Mss. Bl 6/1/1, Reminiscences of a transport rider. In December 1896, there was also a false rumour that the Africans in Chimoio had risen, Bulawayo Sketch, vol 5, no 122, 12 December 1896. (19) The European population outside such settlements as Sal isbury, Gwelo, Umtal i and Victoria was extremely small. In districts, for example, such as Hartley, Lomagundi, Mazoe, Makoni and Charter, despite the pretensions of the whites to be in control, the African chiefs cl earl y remained the real authority. This is particularly evident in the history of Kunzwi Nyandoro of the Salisbury district, who had very few Europeans in his district and firmly resisted the attempts of

252 A.N.C. Campbell to collect hut tax. (20) This also depended to a large degree on the personality of the people involved. In the Victoria district, perhaps the hardest hit by European pressures, the relationship established between men such as Brabant, Weale, Coole, Eksteen and Forrestall, and the African leaders played an important part in ensuring no misunderstanding occurred on both the white and black sides. The same is evident in Melsetter, where Dunbar Moodie had established a very powerful presence. In Umtal i, the European presence was large enough to make them a factor, and the communication establ ished between Nesbitt and Umtassa was important in ensuring peace. (21) The presence of Europeans in sufficient force to make them a recognisable factor, gave credence to the claim of the A.N.C. to be taken seriously by the African people. The A.N.C. tended to be associated with one particular chiefdom, such as Weale with Chirumanzu, and largely neglected the others. The confl ict therefore, often took an alignment according to patterns of local political disputes, rather than of black against white. The importance of the missionaries in keeping people neutral lay in the channels of communication they establ ished which allowed for no misunderstanding of the other's intention by either side. (22) For example, the behaviour of A.N.C. Mooney in Hartley and A.N.C. Pollard in Mazoe, accounts for specific outbreaks of violence. The confl ict in Makoni's district can be traced to A.N.C. Ross's activities and the changed European perception of events following on 14 June, and the belief that Makoni's people had attacked the retreating Marandellas party at Headlands. In Mtoko, A.N.C. Ruping had be~n involved in confl ict from the end of May. His attempt to collect hut tax led to confrontations and skirmishes. In each dis~rict the incidents, bel iefs and ._isconceptions which prompted the violence must be sought. (23) The oral evidence from African sources indicates that it was the Europeans who were seen as the aggressors. The "Rebellions" were reactions to a process of military conquest initiated by the whites, rather than an attempted insurrection by African people against white oppressors. (24) NAZ A 1/15/4, October 1896. (25) NAZ A 1/15/4, November 1896. D.C. D.C. Victoria to Victoria to C.S.D. Sal isbury, Sal isbury, 26 6

"
C.S.D.

(26) NAZ N 1/1/12, N.C. Victoria to C.N.C., 28 December 1896. (27) Beach, The Risings", p.301. (28) Beach, "Politics of collaboration", p.l.

253

(29) Rennie, "Christianity, colonialism and the origins of national ism among the Ndau of Southern Rhodesia, 1890 - 1935", p.538. See p.165.
(30) Laing, The Matabele Rebellion. account of Laing's activities.

See pp.138 - 139,

for an

(31) The "'96 Rebe 1 lion s . Schedule A, p.80. ( 32) The "96 Rebellions. p.52. (33) The "96 Rebel lions. p.52.

(34) Beach, The Risings", p.312. (35) Beach, "Chimurenga", p.401. (36) Beach, "Chimurenga", p .401 • (37) Beach, "Ch i murenga" , p.403. (38) Beach, "Chimurenga" , p.410. (39) A criticism which must be made of the modern historiography is its acute awareness of the process of confl ict in Rhodesia during the civil war, 1965 - 1980. That the "present is too much with us" has distorted the work of Ranger, Beach and, though aware of the problem, Cobbing. Keppel - Jones"'s, Rhodes and Rhodesia is a curious study. The time taken in its preparation is revealed in the uneven nature of the analysis. There are several new insights which are of real value particularly in the chapters deal ing with the white and black experience between 1890 and 1896. Howevkr, there are incorrect statements of fact, such as on p.449: "Wi1)hin a few days, too, the rebel forces were well sLlppl ied wi th firearms, dug LIp from the hiding plac.es of 1893; but the initial murders were by knobkerrie and axe. The recovery of firearms took time". Firearms were not buried in 1893 since, as·J.M. Orpen notes on p.55 of the Martin Report (C 8547), they would have been destroyed by the white ants and rust; further, as chapter three indicated, firearms were present in every incident of violence, including the initial confrontation on the 20 March 1896. Keppel - Jones also allows untenable philosophical concepts and faulty logic to mar the analysis, such as the strange statement on p.475: "Great confl,;icts are often precipitated, but they are never caused, by trivial events". But Keppel - Jones's main failing is the use of inappropriate terminology, such as the statement on p.448, that "Mzobo was unable to restrain his patriotic zeal", or on p.441,that "various eager patriots acted too soon and the plan went awry". While the use of such inappropriate terminology may make racy reading, it is not supported by the facts and therefore does tremendous damage to historical real ity.

254 (40) Col. Harding, Far Bugles, p. 61:"Near·ly all of us fighting people (including Gurupila, our newly - found ally) have some ideal which we parade as a justification for the resort to arms. Personally, I do not for a moment believe that Gurupila cared a hang for either Armstrong or the Chartered Company, but he and his people had a grudge against one or two Mashona chiefs, a love for Mashona cattle, and still room in his well fi 11 ed harems for one or two young Mashona girl s." Beach, "The Risings", pp.326 - 328, provides an assessment of Matibi's Pfumbi involvement. (41) See below, pp.200 - 202. (42) See for example, NAZ Hist. Mss. Al 1/1/1, for details of Mazoe prisoners who escaped from goal in Salisbury, only to be Killed by other "rebels" in the Norton district, pp.31, 33,57. (43) Beach, The Risings", p.312. (44 ) Beach, The Risings" , p.312. (45) Beach, The Risings", p .334. (46) Beach, The Risings", pp.331

-

332.

(47) Beach, The Risings" , pp.331 - 340. (48) Beach, The Risings", p.312. NAZ Hist. Mss. Misc. Dr 211 11, pp .74, 83. (49) Beach, The Risings" , p.312. (50) Beach, The Risings", p.312. NAZ A 1/12~31, Insk ipp to Administrator, 26 March 1896, R.M. Victoria to Secretary ! Administrator, 30 March 1896. (51) NAZ Lo 5/6/7, N.C. Gwelo to C.N.C. Bulawayo, 30 November 1896. Driver stated that: "They (the Selukwe chiefs) seemed to wish however to convey that whatever part they have taken in it, was under coercion by the Matabele from adjoining districts, who not only came into these locations with the order, "ttaihla.de altakiwa", but in leaving tooK what cattle there were and also looted the stores. That the Matabele had been here and swept off the cattle I had heard several months ago." Llri ver added that the state of the district supported this story as the people were exceptionally short of food. (52) NAZ A 10/10/2, Gibb's column Order Book, 19 May to 25 June, 1896, A 1/12/36, Administrator to Vintcent, Bulawayo, 9 June 1896. (53) NAZ A 1/12/36, 4 and 5 May 1896. (54) NAZ A 1/12/36,
~.C.

Victoria to

Administrator, Sal isbury, Sal isbury, 12

D.C.

Victoria to Vintcent,

255

.June 1896. (55) NAZ A 1/12/36, D.C. Victoria to Vintcent, 12 .June 1896. NAZ Hist. Mss. Misc. Dr 2/1/1, p.83. NAZ A 1/12/36, D.C. Victoria to Vintcent, 19 June 1896. (56) NAZ Hist. Mss. Wh 3/2/6. (57) Beach, p.26. The Risings", p.338, "Politics of collaboration",

(58) NAZ Hist. Mss. Misc. Lo 5/1/1, Mrs Loots' memoirs. (59) NAZ Ba 3/1/2, C.S.D. Bulawayo to High Commissioner, 1 July 1896. (60) NAZ Ba 3/1/2, C.S.D. Bulawayo to High Commissioner, 7 July 1896. (61) NAZ Hist. Mss. We 3/2/6. (62) NAZ Ba 3/2/1, HoI e to Cape Times, 8 August 1896. NAZ Sa 2/92, Hurrell to G.D.6., 2 August 1896. NAZ Hist. Mss. We 3/2/6. (63) Beach, The Risings", p .339, interview, Mr .Jim Nyika (Headman Masunda), Chibi, 2 December 1968. NAZ Ba 2/8/1, Jenner to C.S.D., 17 November 1896. (64) NAZ Sa 2/9/2, Pagnet to C.S.D., 19 October 1896, 7 th Hussars Diary, 27 October 1896, Watson to Pagnet, 4 November 1896. (65) NAZ A 1/12/40, C.C. Victoria to Vintcent, 28 October 1896.
!

,

(66) NAZ Ba 2/8/1, D.C. Victoria to D.C. Sal isbury, 17 November 1896. (67) NAZ Ba 2/9/2, Watson to Pagnet, 4 November 1896. By 5 October at the latest, Watson was aware of Chaka's surrender, 7 th Hussars Diary, 6 November 1896. (68) Beach, The Risings", p.340. (69) The "'96 Rebellions, p.53. fr (70 ) The "'96 Rebellions, pp.52 - 53. (71) The "'96 Rebellions, p.52. (72) The "'96 Rebellions, pp.52, 61 • (73) A.N.C. Mooney had spies among Mashayamombe's people, one of whom reported in May that Mashayamombe had sent men to Mkwati, and an uprising was planned. After Mooney had consulted

2!,::i6

with

Mash~yamombe

he dismissed this report. Regina vs Pariama, evidence of Ml embere , 20

(74) NAZ N 1/1/3, September 1896.

(75) Beach, "Kaguvi and Fort Mhondoro" , Rhodesiana, Pub no 27, December 1972, p.40, interview with Mr Gutsa Mubuyira, 22 September 1969. Beach, "The Risings", p.349, interview with Mr S.M. Mutekwe Mondoro, 23 September 1969: "The coming of Moni (D.E. Mooney, N.C. Hartley) is the thing which caused the people of Mashayamombe to fight the white men, although they didn't want to. He flogged Muzhuzha. (Gobvu, who was a relative of Mashayamombe's). The man who was chief at the time was Chinengunda. His younger brother was known as Chifumba. That's the time when these relatives of Gobvu went to see Chinengunda about the case of this flogging. So when they were tol d about this flogging that's the time when Chifumba arranged a group of men to go and fight and they went to Moni and they killed him." Beach, "The Risings", pp.349 - 350, interview, acting Chief Mashayamombe, Mondoro, 22 September 1969: "Muzhuzho was beaten for two days and was the person that caused the rebellion." (76) NAZ S 401 no 253, Chiquaqua. Regina versus Rusere and Wampi and

(77) Beach, "I<aguvi and Fort Mhondoro" ,p .38. NAZ S 401 no 246, Regina versus Rusere and Gonye, 24 February 1898. (78) The '96 Rebellions, Mhondoro" ,p .38, fn .45. p.61. Beach, NKaguvi and Fort

(79) Beach, "Kaguvi and Fort Mhondoro",p.38. NAZ N 1/1/3, N.C. Hartley to C.N.C. Salisbury, 19 April 1898. (80) Beach, "Kaguvi and Fort Mhondoro", statement by Jan, 16 June 1896. p.38. NAZ

A 1/12/27,

(81) NAZ Al 1/1/1, statement by Jack, a Zulu: "The Mashonas who killed Norton came from Mashamgombi's. Yonewa told me not to come in, as Mashonas on the road would kill me. I came in now because Mutchanda's chief induna came to Yonewa and told him he wanted me kill ed and asked to know why I was there." A.S • Hickman, "Norton district in the Mashona Rebel I ion", Rhodesiana, pub no 3, 1958, p.14. (82) Ranger, 69. Revolt, pp.191 - 226, The '96 Rebellions, pp.51 -

(83) Beach, The Risings", pp.306 - 309. (84) Violence was already widespread before the murder of A.N.C. Mooney at Mashayamombe's. Makoni resisted the Native Department from 9 June. A.N.C. Ruping had had skirmishes in the Mtoko area from late May. In the Selukwe district, A.N.C. Driver had announced on 12 June the beginning of a second

257

rebellion. Kunzwi Nyandoro had been hostile since October 1895, and had issued threats in April 1896. There is al so evidence of widespread looting in Mazoe before June.
(85)

Beach, "Chimurenga", pp .410 - 415.

(86) Lists contained in The ~96 Rebellions. refer only to Europeans murdered or killed. Contemporary reminiscences and reports contain details of Africans killed who were working for or associated with Europeans.
(87) Beach, "ChimLtrenga", p .411 • (88) NAZ Lo 5/4/1, December 1896. (89)

Brabant

to

Administrator,

Salisbury,

lO

Beach, The Risings", p .350. p .350.

(90) Beach, The Risings",

(91) This appears to be the case in Lomagundi and Makoni, and may also be the case in the Salisbury district: see below pp • 110 - 118, 128 - 138. (92) NAZ A 2/1/6, Duncan to Brabant, 8 October 1894. (93) NA2 A 1/12/36, 1896.

C.N.C to Acting

Administrator,

17

June

(94) G. p .29.

Bond, Remember Mazoe, (Salibury, Pioneer Head, 1973),

(95) (96)

Beach, IChimLtrenga", p. 7. NAZ Hist. Mss. Ed 6/1/1.
I

(97) NAZ Hist. Mss. Bl 6tl/1, "Difficulties and the cost of transport in the early days of Rhodesia". Bland made two trips through Makoni's territory. He writes of the first trip to Umtali: "News of (the) rising was very vague and we did not know whether we might be attacked before we reachedUmtali, so we armed ourselves as best we could and kept a sharp look out, but nothing happened and we reached Umtali safely." Bland then made a trip to Sal isbury carrying provisions: "That the rebel s kept away from us under such favourable conditions can only be put down to the fact that they had not got ov~r their fear of the Matabele raiders of not so many years before, when they took care to keep out of the raiders way until all danger was passed." This is clearly a very bland explanation for Makoni's lack of "rebellion". (98) NAZ A 1/12/36, 1896. (99)

C.N.C.

to Acting Administrator, Taberer to Vintcent,

17 18

June Jul y

NAZ A 1/12/36,

tel egram,

258 1896. (100) NAZ Lo 5/6/1, telegraphic conversation, and Carrington, 25 June 1896. (101) NAZ Lo 5/6/3, August 1896.

Grey,

Vintcent
18 and 19

telegram,

Grey to Vintcent,

(102) NAZ Hist. Mss. Al 1/2/1, The Times, July 18 1896.
(103) NAZ Ba 2/8/1, 1896. (104) 1896.

Alderson to C.S.D., Alderson to C.S.D.,

Bulawayo, Bulawayo,

17

August

NAZ Ba 2/8/1,

17 August

( 1(5) NA2 105/6/3, telegraphic conversation, Grey to Vintcent, 18 August 1896. ( 1(6) NA2 105/6/3, telegraphic conversation, Grey to Vintcent, 18 August 1896. (107) NAZ 105/6/3, telegraphic conversation, Grey to Vintcent, 18 August 1896. ( 1(8) NAZ 105/6/3, telegraphic conversation, Grey to Vintcent, 18 August 1896. ( 1(9) NAZ 105/6/3, telegraphic conversation, Grey to Vintcent, 19 August 1896.

had surrendered. Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, pp.492 - 495, touches on the 1 egal it Y of Major Watt's act ions. However, the facts upon which previous assessments have been mac:tk reflect the information contained in reports written by, or dependent on the account of Lieutenant Fichat of the Umtal i Artillery Vol unteers. According to Fichat, he was on guard at a cave mouth when Makoni emerged and was attempting to escape. Fichat then moved forward, seized Makoni, and threatened to shoot him if he resisted. Fichat was adamant that Makoni was captured and did not surrender. However, the accoun t s of Dh 1 amen i and Manditshana, alias "Mary Jane", an African pol iceman from Umtali, (N.A.D.A., 1955, p.17), conflict with this official account. According to Dhlameni , he advanced into the caves and persuaded Makoni that he was needed as a witness at the trial of the "rebels". Makoni then emerged only to be "captured" by the African pol ice at the cave mouth. Fichat was then summoned by them. For this deed Dhlameni received the 100 reward that had been offered. "Mary Jane's" account does not support Dhlameni's claim of having entered the caves and tricking Makoni into surrendering. According to "Mary Jane", Makoni emerged from the caves and was captured by Dhlameni. Lieutenant Fichat was then call ed. "Mary .Jane" does corroborate Dhl ameni 's cl aim of having received 100 reward. "Mary Jane" does,

(110) There is debate as to whether Makoni was captured or

259 however, reflect a certain degree of jealousy of Dh1ameni. What is clear is that Lieutenant Fichat's account is rejected by both Dh1 ameni and "Mary Jane". The subject of Makoni's surrender - cum - capture is worthy of an articl e, where hopefully collected oral evidence may succeed in elucidating the conf1 icting facts found in the documents. ( 111> NAZ Hist. Mss. Misc. Dh 1/1/1, p.7. ( 112) NAZ Hist. Mss. Misc. Dh 1/1/1, p.7. ( 113) NAZ Hist. Mss. Misc. Dh 1/1/1, p.7. (114 ) NAZ Hist. Mss. Misc. Dh l i l l I , p.7. ( 115) NAZ Hist. Mss. Misc. Dh 2/2/3, p.2. ( 116) Har-ding, Far- Bugles, pp.40 ( 117) Beach, The Risings", pp .351 ( 118) Beach, The Risings", p .351 • (119) Beach, The Risings", p.352, interviews with Mrs Chiripi Much i bgwa Mudg i wa , Menyen i, and Ch i ef Nyok a, Manyer i, 14 September 1969. For a map reference as to the location of the Range station, see The ~96 Rebellions, Appendix 1, p.121. (120) Beach, The Risings ll ( 1 21 ) The
~
,

-

43.

-

352.

p.352.

96 Rebellions, pp .138

-

143.

( 122) The "96 Rebellions, p.54. ( 123) NAZ A 1/12/27, evidence of Merondowi, 13 July 1897. ( 124) The
~96

I

Rebellions,

p~)'138

- 143.

(125) Beach, The Risings", p.39B. (126) R. Hodder - Wi 11 iams, "Marandell as and the Mashona r-ebellion H , Rhodesiana, Pub no 16, July 1967, pp.41 - 49, S.J., "Reminiscences of the 1896 Rebellion", N.A.D.A., 1927, p.61, H. Possel t, "The Rebe11 ion of 1896 and the rel ief of Charter" , N.A.D.A., 1930, p.79, Annon, uBefor-e the Char-ter- laager-, 1896", N . A . D• A., 1 935, p. 95 . jf (127) Hodder - Williams, lIMarandellas and the rebel 1 ion", fn.70, as described by George Mc Duigal mother, 1 October 1896. (128) Beach, The Risings", p.381. (129) NAZ A 1/12/5, Charter Garrison Diary, 10
~Ugust

Mashona to his

1896.

260 (130) NAZ A 1/12/40, Taylor to Vintcent, 26 September 1896. <131> Beach, The Ri sings", p .396, interview, Mi ss Ch i ip i Machibwa, Manyeni, 14 September 1969. NAZ N 1/1/2, Ranger's Diary, 5 September 1896. (132) Beach, The Risings", p.397. Interviews, Chief MLlsararua, Narira, 8 JanLlary 1969 and Mr E. M. Dzwova, Manyeni, 13 January 1969. H.E. Summers, "Notes on the Moromo chieftainship", NAZ N 1/1/2, Ranger's diary, 15 September 1896. (133) Beach, The Risings", p.378. (134) NAZ A 1/12/10, Taylor to Vintcent, 1/12/13, Beal to Vintcent, 12 July 1896. (135) Beach, "The Risings", p.378. (136) NAZ A 1/12/13, Beal to Vintcent, 12 and 13 July 1896, A 1/12/29, Beal to Vintcent, 22 July 1896. (137) NAZ Al 1/1/1, report by Major Jenner, p.83. (138) Beach, The Risings", p.397. Garrison Diary, 10 August 1896. NAZ A 1/12/5, Charter 3 April 1896,
A

(139) NAZ Ba 2/8/1, Jenner to Alderson, Bulawayo, 17 November 1896. (140) Beach, The Risings", p.398. (141) Beach, The Risings", p.398.

in Alderson to C.S.O.

(142) NAZ Hist. Mss. Da 6/1/1, Darling to Singleton qarling, 4 31 November (sic October) September 1896, and to his father, 1896. (143) NAZ N 1/1/2, 1897. N.C. Charter to C.N.C. 180, Sal isbury, 9 April 184, 303 - 304.

(144) Beach, The Risings", pp.179 Ranger, Revolt, pp.14, 75 - 76. ( 145) NAZ Hi st. Mss. Ed 6/1 /1 .

(146) Beach, "Chimurenga" , p.404. NAZ N 1/1/$, N.C. Armstrong to Taberer, 17 July 1896 and "Report on Mtoko's district or Budgla". NAZ N 1/1/9, N.C. Sal isbury to C.N.C., 22 April 1895. (147) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ed 6/1/1. (148) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ed 6/1/1. (149) The
~96

Rebel lions, p.54.

261 (150) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ed 6/1/1, Diza, "The death of Mandevana", N.A.D.A., 1964, p.34. (151) NAZ Lo 5/4/2, Howard to Grey, 12 and 20 March 1897, Armstrong to C.N.C., 20 March 1897. NAZ Lo 5/4/4 Armstrong to C.N.C., 20 May 1897, NAZ Lo 5/4/5, Harding to Moleyns, 21 September 1897, NAZ Lo 5/4/6, Harding to Moleyns, 9 October 1897. NAZ N 1/1/6, Armstrong to Taberer, 17 July 1898, NAZ N 1/1/7, Armstrong to C.N.C., 27 February, 19 and 20 March, 14 and 26 May 1897. NA2 N 1/1/9, Armstrong to C.N.C., 20 March 1897. (152) Beach, "Chimurenga", p.15. (153) J.A. Edwards, "The Lomagundi district; sketch", Rhodesiana, Pub no 7, 1962, p.l1. an historical

(154) NAZ M 1/1/1, Ct 1/15/6, Reports by Mining Commissioner Lomagundi, May, July, August 1894, Ct 1/15/6, Hopper's report, 10 September 1894. NAZ Ds 1/1/1, Ferguson to Administrator, 29 March 1894. NAZ N 1/1/5, N.C. Lomagundi to C.N.C. Salisbury, 30 October 1894.

(155) Edwards, "The Lomagundi district; an historical sketch, p .11 , Jameson: "The effect of the outbreak in Matabel el and has been to put a stop to mining and prospecting to a great extent. Besides those employed at the Aryshire mine there are not a dozen men prospect ing or doing development work." (156) The "96 Rebellions, pp.51 - 52, 80. (157) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ja 3/1/1. ( 158) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ja 3/1/1 • (159) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ja 3/1/1 • (160) Edwards, p .12. "The Lomagundi district: an historical sketch" ,
I

( 161> NAZ Hist. Mss. Al 1/1/1, p.6, statement 23 June 1896. ( 162) NAZ Hist. Mss. Al 1/1/1, p.3. (163) NAZ Hist. Mss. Al 1/1/1, p.3. NAi A 1/12/27, examination of Shangaan boy, "Machine", indicates that Shona were going to Lomagundi to kill whites. (164) The "96 Rebellions, pp.60 - 61. (165) The "96 Rebellions, p.61. (166) NAZ Ba 2/1/1, Rhodes to Grey, 10 November 1896. NAZ Hist. re Mazoe

262 Mss. All/Ill, Captain Godley report, 2 November 1896. (167) P.S. Garlake, "The Mashona rebellion east of Salisbury", Rhodesiana, Pub no 14, July 1966, p.l. (168) Garl ake, - 2. "The Mashona rebel 1 ion east of Sal isbury", pp.l

(169) The "96 Rebellions, p.56.

(170 ) The "96 Rebellions, p.57. (171 ) The "96 Rebellions, p.58. ( 172) Garlake, "The Mashona rebellion east of Sal i sbury" , p.2. ( 173) The "96 Rebellions, p.58. ( l74) The "96 Rebellions, p.58. (175) NAZ S no 213, Reg ina versus Zhanta. (176) NAZ Lo 5/4/1, .Jenner to S.D. M.F.F., 21 November 1896, NAZ Hist. Mss. Al 1/1/1, p.l06, Major Jenner, Chiquaquas kraal, 18 November 1896: "I had an indaba yesterday with Chiquaqua and he wants peace - he states neither he nor his people have ever attacked the white men and as far as I can make out this is very possibly true." (177) NAZ Lo 5/4/1, Jenner to S.D. M.F.F., 21 November 1896, NAZ Hist. Mss. Al 1/1/1, Major Jenner, Kunzwi's kraal, 21 November 1896, p.l07: "(He) stated that he wishep to be loyal, had never borne arms against the Government and that he would pay his hut tax." I (178) NAZ Hist. Mss. Al 1/1/1, statement of Tom, 22 June 1896. The first killings of Europeans in Mazoe took place on the morn i n9 of 18 June. (179) NAZ S no 213, Regina versus Zhanta, no 253, Regina versus Rusere and Wampi and Chiquaqua, no 300, Regina versus Mashonganyika, Gonto and others. (180) Hodder - Williams, rebe 1 1 i on ", pp. 35 - 36. (181) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ed 6/1/1. (182) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ed 6/1/1. (183) NAZ Ec 3/1/1, minutes of Executive Council, 4 November 1895, NAZ A 2/2/1, instructions to C.N.C., 16 November 1895. (184) NAZ Ec 1/1/1, acting Secretary to Council, C . N • C ., 20 Apr i 1 1896 • Sal isbury to "Marandellas and the Mashona

263

(185) Ranger, Revolt, p.86. (186) NAZ Lo 5/4/4, Campbell to C.N.C., Salisbury, 29 May 1897. (187) Garl ake, "The Mashona rebel 1 ion east of Sal isbury", p.9. (188) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ed 6/1/1. (189) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ed 6/1/1. (190) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ed 6/1/1, R. Isaacson, "The Countess de la Panouse, 1871 - 1965", Rhodesiana, July 1966. (191) Hodder - Williams, rebel I ion", pp .31 - 32. ( 192 ) See p p • 105 (193) See pp.135 106. 136. "Marandellas and the Mashona "Marandellas and the Mashona

(194) Hodder Williams, rebellion", p.39. (195) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ed 6/1/1. (196) Hodder - Williams, rebell ion", pp .39 - 40.

"Marandellas

and

the

Mashona

(197) NAZ Lo 5/4/1, Morris to C.N.C., Sal isbury, 16 January 1897: "He was then asked if Soswe did not want to surrender. He repl ied that he had never done anything to the white man and he was not going to surrender."
)

(198) Ranger, Revolt, p.390, Appendix, "Oral Tradition of the Rising in the Mazoe Distriet of Mashonaland". (199) E.E. Burke, "Mazoe and the Mashona rebellion, 1896 - 97", Rhodesiana, Pub no 25, December 1971, pp.4 - 5. (200) The . . 96 Rebellions, Schedule D. Hole, Old Rhodesian Days, chapter xv. E.E. Burke, "Mazoe and the Mashona rebellion, 1896 - 97 s , Rhodesiana, Pub no 25, December 1971 ,p.l, G.H. Tanser, "Notes on the Mazoe Patrol and Sal isbury laager photographs", Rhodesiana, Pub no 19, December 1968,p.49, pH. Pollett, "The Mazoe Patrol", Rhodesiana, Pub no 2,1957, p.29, A.S. HicKman, Sthe siege of the Abercorn Store", Rhodesiana, Pub no 9, 1963,p.18, "The death of Charles Annesty", Pub no 12, September 1965,p.93, Bond, Remember Mazoe. (201) D.M.S. Sanhonkwe, "Mhasvi; rebel pol iceman: the story of the Hwata people and the Mashona rebellions, Outpost, v 38, August 1960.

264 (202) Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, pp.481, The Mashonaland Field Fo~ce, pp. 179 - 180. 492.

Alde~son,

(203) The ~96 Rebellions. p.57. The death of M~ B~odie, telegraph operator at Mount Darwin remains a mystery. I have been unable to ascertain whether he died of natural causes or was murdered. If he was murdered this might provide a new insight into the violence in Mazoe.

(204) NAZ Hist. Mss. Al 1/1/1, pp. 62, 67, 84. Range~, Revolt, p .390, Append ix, "Oral trad it ion in the Mazoe district of Mashona 1 and" • (205) The '96 Rebellions. p.57, s~ates that he was attacked and murdered by his own pol ice. NAZ Hist. Mss. Al 1/1/1, statement by Zhoinette, Portuguese African from Tete: "While I was at the Mashona kraal, I heard them planning to go after the Gunyane (Native Commissioner Pollard). The Native Commissioner's cattle were brought in whilst I was there, I heard that the Native Commissioner had escaped to Ch'bianga's kraal (about 40 miles east of Mazoe)." Range~, Revolt, p.209. (206) NAZ Hist. Mss. Al 1/1/1, statement by Charl ie, John (Zulus) and Vleis Huismat, 23 June 1896, p.5: "Had heard that some Mashonas do not want to fight white men, for instance, Gootooma, Galseechier, Grootchalsoichro, Linamoia and Washawasha. The names of the kraals they know to be fighting are Garindi, Parleweyo, N'jabaozi, Makoombi, Ruako, Maroi vanyanga, Kameel i ." (207) NAZ Hist. Mss. Al 1/1/1, statement by Pungue, a "Zambezi". Burke, "Mazoe and the Mashona rebel1 ion, 1896 - 97", p.5, fn. 3. NAZ A 1/12/27, Intelligence Repol'"'\t, 8 .July 1896, NAZ A 1/12/27, statement of .Jim, a "Matabele", 19 .June 1896.
I

(208) NAZ Lo 5/4/1, Jenner to S.D., M.F.F., 18 November 1896,NAZ Lo 5/4/1, Jenner fo S.D., M.F.F., 21 November 1896,NAZ Lo 5/4/1, Brabant to Administrator, 10 December 1896, NAZ Lo 5/4/1, Taberer to Administrator, 31 December 1896,NAZ Lo 5/4/2, "Report on the present situation", 15 February 1897: liAs far as I may judge from all the indabas I have been present at, and also from the general behaviour of natives, I conclude that we are far from any peaceful sett 1 ement. I do not mean to say that natives will come out of their kopjies to attack a strong patrol or fort; but that they mean to remain independent. "Let the white man (they say) stay where they are, .nd we shall stay where we are I " " (209) Beach, The RisingsH, Range~, Revolt, Keppel - Jones, Rhodes and Rhodesia, Alde~son, With the mounted Infant~y and Hashona land Fi el d Fo~ce, Ga~ lake, "The Mashona ~ebell i on east of Salisbury", J.C. Barnes, "The 1896 rebellion in Manicaland", Rhodesiana, Pub no 34, Ma~ch 1975, Edwa~ds, "The Lomagundi district", Burke, "Mazoe and the Mashona. rebellion", W. Edwa~ds, "Memo~ies of the "96 Rebel 1 ion", N.A.D.A., 1926,p.20,

265

Beach, "I<aguvi and Fort Mhondoro", Poll ett, "The Mazoe Patrol" , Mr-s M. Cr-ipps, "Umtal i during the Rebel 1 ion, 1896", Rhodesiana, Pub no 9, 1963, Hickman, "Norton district in the Mashona Reb ell i on" • "Pol itics of collaboration", p .30. W. Mhl anga, "The stor-y of NgvJagazi" , N.A.D.A., 1948, p.71. According to Ngwagazi, Shangaans under Mapungwana and Chief Gwezi were sent to fight alongside the Europeans in Mashonaland. The following allilbutho went: Ama 1 ambo, Amapepa, Amangonde and Iz imbavumana • (211) See fn. 7. Resistance continued in certain areas into the early years of this century. Madzwanyika Tsomondo, "Shona reaction and resistance to the European colonization of Zimbabwe, 1890 - 1898",Journal of Souther-n African Affair-s, ii, 1977, A.F. and B. Isaacman, "Resistance and collaboration in Southern and Central Afr-ica, c 1850 - 1920", Inter-national Jour-nal of Afr-ican Histor-ical Studies, xi, 1977, A.F. Isaacman, "Social banditry in ZimbabweCRhodesia) and Mozambique, 18941907: an expr-ession of early peasant pr-otest" , Jour-nal of Southern African Studies, iv, 1, 1977, R. Stevenson, Through Rhodesia with the Shar-pshooters, (London, John Macquien, 1901) ,pp. 79, 89.
(210) Beach,

I

266

Chapter Five

Reflections on the debate

The deal

aim of

of this thesis has been to briefly challenge a the writing concerning "Chitaurenga tl and to

great suggest in

several the of

new perspectives from which the events of 1896 - 7

area known now as Zimbabwe may be considered. revision is an must ongoing phenomenon, be new

The process facts tested Concepts and and and

interpretations integrated perceptions for 1896 into

constantly

absorbed, past.

an understanding of the

found to be false must be discarded if the

search of

a comprehension of the complex nature of the

conflict

7 is to continue. It is now necessary to reflect on this

thesis's criticism of the previous historiography. It will then be possible to sketch likely paths of future revisionist study. Finally, 1896 themes, relating to the significance
~f

the events of will be

7 in subsequent Rhodesian - Zimbabwean societ'/l,

out 1 ined •

This thesis has argued that the explanation for the confl ict of 1896 7 is not to be found in the European impact on African

society prior to the escalation of violence. a

The assumption of On the

planned rebellion led writers to search for causes. that the cause of have the "Rebellion" was

premise

European white

oppression, activity.

historians This

exaggerated the impact of

simplistic analysis resulted in an

uncritical Though the

assessment of the European presence in the country.

267

lack

of correlation between pressure and reaction should

have

cast doubt on this simpl istic mode of analysis, historians have been reluctant to break free of their conservative of

phi 1 osophical

and interpretive perspectives.

The question

causes results from a naive rationalist philosophy and a racial conflict perspective. However, as this study has endeavoured to show, an explanation of the conflict is only to be found in an

understanding of the complex nature of the events of 1896 - 7.

In this

reassesing the impact of white activity on African society, thesis
1890

found that the number of whites and 1896 was extremely small.

in

the

country of the

between

The size

population, their age, established factors

their geographical distribution and concentration, sex and occupation negate the premise that they had an such oppressive as and intolerable terrain,
1

presence.

Other

geographical

communication

difficulties and personal financial any extensive impact by specifically, regards this th~m restraint, further hampered More in

on the indigenous people.(I)

thesis has found that their activities

to land was limited and unlikely to have constituted a Land al ienated for mining was minimal and did Farms were alienated, f~wer grievance. impinge

not an

on African settlement.

but

insignificant number were occupied and even Land

were

worked.

taken for urban settlement was small and was concentrated Bulawayo, Gwelo, Fort Victoria, Salisbury how inconsequential settlements, such these as

in five main areas; and Umtali.

Photographs were in
1896.

show

settlements

Other

268 Marandellas or Filabusi, might consist of only a few huts and

one or two white persons. Historians have failed to distinguish between the intentions and of the Company and its "paper" 1896. highly been were

development, These

the reality of actual displacement by and the language barrier, make it

factors,

unl ikely that the African people were aware that they had deprived by deed and register of their land. Since they

not made aware by forceful eviction, land can not be considered a cause of the subsequent conflict.(2) Forced labour as a

grievance,

linked as it is to land, has also been exaggerated. it was not universal

While such a coercive practice did exist, nor intensive in its demands. further reduced by

The potential for oppression was labour of to of

the availability of "foreign" and "Imbabanes". A number

"Shangaans", boys" country from

"2ambezis" South

"Cape the

Africa had accompanied the

whites

and they bore the responsibility for much of the early The evidence also indicates thai there worked i development. number whites. of

were for

a

Ndebele and Shona who voluntarily

the

The

ease with which the African peoples evaded forced As such, oppressive labour demands of the

labour is well establ ished. must

al so be considered a post bellum rational ization

conf 1 ict • (3)

By

1896

the European administrative and Judicial

system

was

extremely rudimentary. Claims to have "colonised" Rhodesia were pretentious. The system of Native Commissioners had been

operative for only a short while in districts too extensive for effective control. A rapid turnover in personnel further

269

diminished

the

likelihood

of an effective

presence. (4)

The

Native Police force, men in 1896. grievance initially recently Ndebele,

in existence for a year, consisted of 330

If it is argued that this small force was a major "rebellion lf was has the has

then it is a curious fact that the

perceived as a police revolt.(S) Though Stigger revised questions estimates still of cattle held and need to be asked. lost by

This thesis

advanced new estimations as to the number of cattle held by the Ndebele and the number removed from their possession in an

attempt to deflate the traditional assumptions. the

The success of

Ndebele in hiding their cattle and frustrating attempts at

cattle seizure still needs to be more closely examined, as does the effect of trypsomania and other diseases on the Ndebele

herds. In short, the question of cattle seizure is not quite as clear cut a grievance as previously thought. (6) The of hut tax in Mashonaland was not quite as have us of believe. tax most effe~tive collection as in Beach the which

would

There was a limited success, .notably in the districts

collection

subsequently "collaborated". Generally, the attempts to collect the tax were resisted and the Shona suffered little Punishment limited and inflicted though by harsh European in ti loss

of

1 i vestock • (7)

judic i al was

officers unlikely The

was

instances,

to arouse much bitterness among the African system of justice was of little

peoples.

European

Significance, tendencies

though

it may have restrained the latent rapacious

of individual whites.(S)

270

Despite conf 1 ict ,

the various debates surrounding the war of 1893, if viewed from the African perspect i ve ,

that was

significant

rather for the change in the distribution of power

within the Ndebele polity than for the devolution of power from Lobengula to the Company. The actions of the Europeans in 1893

were significant for their effect upon a Ndebele civil war, the origins 1896 see of which can be traced back to the the tensions within the Ndebele in a civil war where the 1830's. polity 1893 and

manifesting of the

themselves Europeans

intervention

acted to their own advantage.

The 1893 civil war is but not

significant as a prelude to another civil war in 1896, as a necessary scenario for "Rebellion".(9)

The

cultural

challenge, be seen

allegedly as a

provoked for

by

European No

technology,

cannot

cause

rebellion. 1896,
I

"cultural crisis" occurred in the period prior to saw the rending of the social fabric traditional and the new. lite,

which

in a conflict between the

The Europeans lived a rough and ready

which in a material sense was little different from that

of the African people. Their technology was basic and the Shona and Ndebele they had w~re already acquainted

with

it.

As

eclectic European certainly

peoples, religion

readily responded to innovations.(tO} by 1896 made very little headway' and

provoked no challenge from the traditional systems. It would be a fanciful distortion to view 1896 in terms of a "cosmic religious

conflict"

between Christianity and the

traditional

systems.(ll)

271

Finally,

a

development

in

the new historiography

which

is

concerned about the importance of economic factors, is creating a distortion which needs to be briefly rebutted. In those areas where the Europeans had establ ished an effective presence, i mmed i ate 1 oc a 1 population by 1896, would have had the

little

economic benefit. While they would have been able to supply the demands for fresh vegetables and meat, the market would have

been small and the benefit limited. Though the Europeans in the period African prior to 1896 for were heavily dependent food, this fact cannot on be the local to

population

used

explain why some Shona and Ndebele communities This

"collaborated".

type of analysis illustrates the sterility of determinist It is not acceptable to reduce the complexity materialist analysis to

economic theory. of the

human experience to a crude

explain historical developments. Further, this type of analysis is inconsistent and with an argument which highlights
1

European As in the the most the

oppression evidence immediate heavily

exploitation of the African though of it was the

peop 1 eS. j

indicates, vicinity brunt

communities which cause~ European settlement as

bore for

the

of the abuses listed

rebellion, it was these people who " coll a borated".<12>

Turning

to

the

events

of

1896

7,

Cobbi~g

succeeds

in

pinpointing

the weakness of Ranger's interpretation,

based as

it is on European myths. of Ranger,

However, satisfied with his criticism a It

Cobbing in his interpretation merely substitutes reli~ious political coordinative force for Ranger's

theory.

272

does force

not automatically follow that if a religious coordinative was not responsible for the conflict that force was. The presence of a a

political pol itical fails in

coordinative coordinative to do this.

force still needs to be proved and Cobbing

In support of his argument that the "Rebel 1 ion"

Matabeleland was planned and coordinated by a political

force,

Cobbing advances in his doctoral dissertation five points; First 1 y, the presence of guns and ammunition in great

quant i ties. (13) Secondly, the supply of corn and grain in the granaries. (14) Thirdly, the "simultaneous" outbreak of the violence. Fourthl y, the rol e of the Ullpalcathi.
(16)

(15)

Fifthly, that Nyamanda became King. (17) These five points will be dealt with briefly.

Guns had long held a prominent position in African society. Th.

Journal ill Llstrate

of

African the value

Historr

has

several

~rticles placed i

which on

African

commLinities

firearms. (18)

Guns had been acquired in increasing number from

the early nineteenth century from a variety of sources. African peoples had mastered the techniques of making gun powder and

their own ammunition. GLins were used for hunting and to protect crops statLis. from baboons and birds. Evidence suggests Guns endowed their owners used with to

that that guns were even

satisfy the labala contract. for their intrinsic value,

As such guns were avidly acquired with no thought of a future If he

rebel 1 ion. Cobbing's own thesis establishes these facts.(19) Cobbing wished to use this point as evidence of planning,

273

would a

need to prove the calculated acquisition of firearms for To simply prove the presence of guns is

rebel 1 ion.

meaningless.

The

argument

that not

corn

was

stored

in

preparation 1 ightest

for

a

rebellion, Documentary drought also

does

even bear up to the

scrutiny. of had

evidence stands as heavy witness to the effect Locust plagues

in the three years prior to 1896.

extracted a heavy toll on food supplies.

Rinderpest then

further threatened the survival of the African people. Far from being a "Rebellion" augmented by sufficient food was the reverse. supplies, it and This a the

Tensions arose through scarcity of food

the violence was aggravated by diminishing food supplies. resulted rebellion grannaries in of a conflict with far wider ramifications black against white. The corn raided been

than from

by the settlers was that which had

harvested

between March and June 1896. calculated storage of gra~n There is no evidence t9 support a in 1895. (20)

Cobbing

is

mistaken when he argues that the outbreak

of

the

"rebellion" was simultaneous. violence with

There was a steady escalation of The escalated violence began Ins"iza and Filabusi laager,

over a two week period. conflicts in

initial The

Umzingwani,

districts.

Europeans panicked and fell

back into

increasing in the process the tension among the African people. Once in laager, The the Europeans sent out a number of armed

patrols.

aggressive attitude of these patrols

heightened

274

the

tension.

The

role

of the Europeans

in

escalating

the

violence has not been given due emphasis. The initial conflicts caused the Europeans The settlers to overreact invoking further African of the

response. violence;

were not aware of the nature

exaggerated reports heightened their insecurity, and

to meet the expected onslaught they were undermanned and ill equipped. tactics, conflict. heightening Misunderstanding led to the adoption of incorrect

which instead of resolving the crisis, Many

escalated the of the This

African peoples were first made aware

confl ict when faced with European hostility.

led to a general escalation of the violence.

In the prevail ing

confusion peoples became involved in the violence against their will. Some merely retaliated, others took advantage of the

confusion to raid or settle grievances in an assertion of local independence. flight to Some attempted to extract themselves, such as the Matopos or by either by professing the
I

strongholds

"loyalty" revival of

to the Europeans.

The evidence also' indicates initially clearly

an Ndebele civil war,

distinct

from the conflict involving Europeans. However, as the confl ict developed it appeared to take the form of "friendlies" "rebels ll some


against

Sight should not be lost of the fact that there were communities in conflict with both the Europeans

African

and the "rebel Sll.

This aspect is an important;; dimension of the

events of 1896 which has not been fully explored by historians. The description of the confl ict as a "general rebel 1 ion" fai 115

to take cognizance of the number of Ndebele who were IIloyal" or "neutral". The events of 1896 are complex and the nature of the violence defies simple definition. It was in the opinion of

275

Ndansi

Khumalo

and Maduna Mafu,

like a fire

which

suddenly

flames up helped by circumstances. (21)

The

evidence as to the umpakathi, the is existence not of a

or advisers informal

of

Lobengul a , Its of a

suggest membership

very

c OLm c i 1 • not that

certain and its role was

centralized administrative body. Indeed, the u.pakathi seems to be a term applied to a shadowy group of izinduna who expressed supported or opposed the desires of the of King.

their opinions, The history

of the Ndebele reveals a great deal

tension,

jealousy, 1896

factional ism

and division which clearly in 1893 and interest. These to

ran deeper than any concept of national

divisions organize, unifying Lobengula king

would clearly retard any attempt by an

u~akathi

plan or coordinate a rebellion. There was no central force to impose allegiance since the death of

in 1894.

If there was an attempt to\make Further,

Nyamanda

this came in late June 1896.

several prominent umpakAthi,

Ndebele izinduna, should

who woulQ have formed part of an

it have planned,

organized or coordinated a rebellion,

were clearly unaware, Among Imbezu

or came in to report themselves "loyal ". of the to and on of

those who declared their neutrality were Umjaan aaabutho as who had an impeccable record of Lobengula's "head

loyalty

Lobengula, Sambambam, the

did Bul ina,

gardner",

Lobengula's It

brother who surrendered to the Lui

Zambezi.

is not possible to impugn the reputation Yet,

these men as has been done with Gampu and Faku. had been plans by an .....,.alcathi for a rebellion,

if there would

Gampu

276 certainly wOltl d have have been aware of it. Gamplt'S own pre - eminence and if

ensured his membership of the

Wlpakathi,

aware of an intended rebellion he would not have been caught in Bulawayo. "rebels" intended principal having The also evidence indicates relating that to the activities not aware of of the any and after Native

they were

rebellion.

Manyakavula,

a nephew of

Lobengula

induna of the Gwanda district,

only rebelled Assistant

returned

from an expedition to help

Commissioner kill ings. patrol. His

Jackson trace the perpetrators of the

Umzingwani

village was then attacked by a passing European woul d, if he had been a member of the

Manyakavul a

" ....... athi which was planning a rebellion,

hardly have assisted If Maduna Mafu had and coordinating to a the

Jackson in his expedition into the Matopos. played a role in planning, organizing
u.pak~hi

rebellion Mapateni

as a member of the

his withdrawal

district and avoidance of conflict with the Europeans If Umlungulu, the principal religious
I

confounds understanding. figure of the Ndebele, organization

\

had played the pivotal of a rebellion,

role

in to

the the

u ....... athi's

his f1 ight

Matopos

and failure to kill the Europeans in his own immediate The evidence is clear; in

vicinity equally defies comprehension. no

role can be assumed to have been played by an planning or coordinating a rebel 1 ion. was divided and dispersed over a vast

u.paka~i

organizing, leadership area. (22)

The Ndebele territorial

Cabbing Though

places undue emphasis on the personality of the evidence suggests that there may have

Nyamanda. been an

277

attempt to make Nyamanda king, it appears that this attempt was abortive. Nyamanda was clearly not recognized by the Ndebele as king, and therefore even if the intention was to Nyamanda was never a create a

symbol of un i ty,

it failed.

functional

king, and there is no evidence to show that he played a part in organ iz ing disorganized, Nyamanda did a rising. and not into a the

The

Ndebele

were

disunited

and

leadership was essentially in elevating struggle. the a series Nyamanda and

localized. of was even local not his

succeed

confrontations recognized as

a national leader in

fighting,

involvement is disputed. for his

Cobbing in looking for a likely focus inspired political rebellion This

thesis of a centrally that was fears Nyamanda

assumed

was the most

likely evidence

candidate. quoted

assumption European

not proved and the

reflects to

rather than the fact.

The alleged attempt

make Nyamanda king came in June 1896 and is more likely to have been a response to intensified settler aggression t?an of
Nyamand~'s

,

formal a recogni tion ri sing. (23)

pivotal

role

in

fermenting

In

the

light of this perspective it is

possible

to

finally

consider Cobbing's criticism of the Matopos indabas;

"In the first place they were not fully representative of the Ndebele state, and in no way comprised a summit between the B.S.A.C. and the top Ndebele leadership. According to Vere Stent and Sauer the Main Ndebel e spokesmen on 21 August were Somabul ana (Insiza) and Sikombo (Intemba) both of them regents (7) for younger men. Virtually all the izindlma mentioned by name were from the Amakenda or Amnyama i.usi of the Insiza,

278

Umzingwani or Tuli valleys. Few if any representatives of the nations leadership were there. Apart from Nyanda, no member of the royal family was present. Although the reports of Nyamanda being king were well known, no attempt was made to speak to him, on the contrary such a course was rul ed out because of possible future difficulties."(24)

Cobbing implies in this paragraph that the Matopo indabas surreptitious chief because Nyamanda, also as lawful king was states that it was not

were the

negotiator.

Cobbing

Company

policy to deliberately exclude Nyamanda from the Cobbing Matopos agreement between Nyamanda Nyamanda gives no footnote to substantiate did not end the hostil ities, The indabas izinduna negotiations. claim. not The an

this

indabas

it was were in the no

binding on the nation. Rhodes was to and then be the on Ndebele

initially Matopos; need for force

the Bembesi.

There was not the

present as he was

pol itical

coordinating

the Ndebele.

There was no pol itical coordinative
I

force. Each indwla had to personall y submit. (25)'

Beach,

despite

his

detailed

research,

developed

several

concepts in his interpretation of the conflict which obscure an understanding of the nature of the events of 1896 - 7. major His Beach's

fault derives from his romantic approach to history.(26) search for a pan - Shena consciousness which viewed the conflict as the l~ him to write of

a a

history

CUlmination

historical As

process

forging an embryonic sense of Shona

unity. the

such he viewed the Shona conflict with the Ndebele and of to the the Portuguese treaties of 1889 subsequent rebel 1 ion. as a

signing preambl e

necessary to Beach,

According

279

European

oppression was the midwife of the embryonic sense It -

of is

Shona unity conceived during the previous half century. evident that Beach's attempt to find a pan

Shona had

consciousness developed. in his

led him to assume that such a consciousness

I t cl earl y had not, and the interpretat ion contained di ssertat ion is the resLll t of th i s flawed

doctoral

perspective. treat ies, as

The conflict with the Ndebele and the well

Portuguese

as the alleged oppression by the Europeans,

forged no base for Shona unity. (27)

The concept of "peripheral pan of a 1896 various assuming Shona racial 7

viol ence" deri ves again from Beach's is more specifically the result Beach viewed the conflict of by the By a

interpretation, but

polarity perspective. as

the consequence of a conscious decision chiefdoms to rebel the confl ict of against the

Shona that

Europeans. result of

1896 - 7 was the,

conscious decision by the Shona to rebel Beach uses the concept of evidence which As conflicts "peripheral

against the ~ropeans,

viol ence" to discount all confines of this the an The

with the narrow

perspect i ve • various

such Beach ignores the conf 1 i cts between peopl es and even manages the to establ ish

Shona

approximate logical

date

for the beginning of between the

"Rebellion". of

contradiction

concepts

"peripheral

viol ence" and main "rebel 1 ion",

is perhaps best highlighted by

the history of the Budja. According to Beach's terminology, the Budja moved from a position of "peripheral violence" to

"rebellion" then to "neutrality" and

"collaboration". After the

280

"Rebel I ion" violence".

the Budja are again seen to engage in Ultimately such concepts as "peripheral

"peripheral violence",

"rebellion", "neutrality" and "collaboration" must be reassesed because of the contradictions involve~ which make a mockery of all

any rational analysis.

The basic understanding underlying

these terms is the racial dialectic where "peripheral violence" and "rebell ion" is is in directed against to the the Europeans, Europeans, where and

"neutral ity" "collaboration"

relation

is with the Europeans.

This racial

dialectic

distorts the real ity from the African perspective. The Budja of Mtoko whom did they not perceive the Europeans as a dominant were subservient, or at any stage in force to

"rebellion"

against. to

To the Budja the Europeans were simply another threat the

be resisted indistinguishable from the other forces in context such as the Portuguese or other Shona, with i f interests

African be

and to of

all ied

were

mutual.

The
1

concept
I

"periphera 1 perspective

violence" is an integral part of a racial polarity and eurocentric interpretation which obscures the

compl ex nature of the events of 1896 - 7. (28)

Beach's such spread as

writings contain several other unacceptable the "pr'incipal of contiguity" and a "ripple

concepts, effect"

of the "rebel 1 ion". (29) These concepts ildre the vehicl es

Beach uses to convey interpretative assumptions which cannot be substantiated by the facts. perspective of racial These concepts derive from Beach's Though Beach s
I

confl ict.

research

contains a great deal of valuable detail, interpretive concepts such as these diminish the value of his work.

281

The future of revisionist study 1 ies in an indepth analysis the process whereby each locality became embroiled in

of the

conflict. Studies, similar to that undertaken by Beach in south - western country century as Mashonaland, need to be undertaken throughout 17 the th the

has been undertaken for England during the wC:\r. (30) Aspects of the confl icts

civi 1

between

various African peoples should provide an interesting topic for research. It is suggested that a process similar to that of the fecani mfecane

in

South

Africa

may

have

developed

as

displaced peoples raided their neighbours. Very 1 ittle evidence is available to piece together the effects or nature of the In

confl ict in areas such as those that border on the Zambezi. the search for this dimension of the conflict oral

evidence

could prove invaluable.(31) The study of the events of 1896 - 7 shoul d al so assume were in a far wider in regional the

,

perspective.
)

Disturbances territories, is

experienced
Zout~ansberg

Portuguese

claimed

the

of the Transvaal

and in what would

now Botswana. (32) A particularly interesting subject

be the reaction of the Lui to the attempted Ndebele crossing of the Zambezi. indepth new The future of revisionist studies lies in further analysis. so As a new

local studies and in a wider regional of the events of 1896 -

understanding

7~evelops

questions

open as to the nature of Ndebele and Shona

society,

and their interaction. confl ict them as

Past study has tended to emphasis their to on study the

relationship with the Europeans and failed entities within themselves.
Europ~ans

were

"

.

\

-...--;,::----t

-----



" THEMATABELE SETTLEMENT.
\I'\Ih~r i~ thr<Zc\~'-lned

A-" ..
.~

.:

"

!

( wi t-hou t- blame 1-0 !-he C enczral )

Rhodesio d~mands ce.srigahon. (i~ ~h~y hQ,vc "0 do i~ th~msclw...)

282

periphery historical Europeans. their

of

African

society

and

it

is

a

distortion

of the

reality to view the Shona and Ndebele viz a viz Finally, the

question of European penetration and
+~is

impact,

as touched upon in

thesis,

needs a deal yet

more of more

critical hi storica 1

indepth assessment. research to

There is still

a great reveal

be done which will

facets of the complex nature of the events of 1896 - 7.

Finally, Rhodesian

the influence of the events of 1896 - 7 on subsequent - Zimbabwean society provides the material for

several promising research themes. 1896 - 7 sees the foundation of the psychology of the colonial state of Rhodesia. The

experience of the confl ict of 1896 - 7 profoundly affected both the African and 1896 of European - 7 psychology. From the European rule. post The - war in

perspective, significance period oral

establ ished their right to

this psychology in the immediate

probably accounts for many of the abuseJ remembered
I

tradition. (33) However, The process

some communities still

remained into the still of the

independent. early needs events years to of be

of subjugation continued This is a process

of this century.

which

carefully researched. (34) The influence - 7 can The be traced throughout
~he

1896

subsequent European turn of and the of

Rhodesian African

history. peoples

psychology of both to

needs

be studied from the

century to the 1960's,

and the influence of the experience

1896 -7 needs to be assessed. During the civil 1980 both

war from 1965 to the after

sides drew heavily upon the cultural legacy of The Rhodesian forces named military units

conflict.

II...,.""'" - .. ",., ~
-

N

""'."..

~~ <If tAtt *mr-

0' "~"h

-.t

Reproduced from The Herald, 26 June 1984.

283

legendary figures such as F. drew inspiration

C. Selous, while the Nationalists modern

from figures such as Nehanda.(35) In ll Zimbabwe the first -Dli-.arenga by

is a powerful myth,

symbol ized outside

the the erection of statues of Nehanda and

Kaguvi

the Houses of Parl iament in Harare in 1894.(36) The myth of the first deal
Chilll.r'ellga-

has clearly inspired and influenced a great - Zimbabwean history. Its influence on

of

Rhodesian

pol itics, social psychology and culture provides several themes to be researched. of 1896 - 7 As critical revisionist study of the the events myths

proceeds so should critical study of

derived from the confl ict. The field promises to be as exciting a subject for historiographical debate as are the English

c i vi 1 wars.

i

284
Footnotes: Chapter FiYe
(1)

See pp.45

47.

(2) See pp.47 - 56. (3) See pp.56 (4) See pp.71 (5 ) See pp.72
(6)

61. 72.

-

75. 85. A
.J. Ford, The role of the stud~ Trr~ansomiases

See pp.75

African 1971> .

ecolog~:

of the Tsetse

fl~

~roblem,

in (Oxford,

(7) See pp .85

88.

(8) See pp.61 - 69. (9) See pp.69 - 71 . ( 10) See pp.80
(11)

91 • 92. 69, 83 - 84, 91, Ranger, Revolt, Preface, pp. 409. 410.
I

See pp.91

( 12) See pp .61 , xv - xvi i •

( 13) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", pp.408 ( 14) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", pp .409

( 15) Cobbing, "The Ndebel e" , pp.493 - 495. ( 16) Cobbing, "The Ndebel e'~ , pp .385 393.

( 17) Cobbing, "The Ndebel e", pp.417 - 420. (18) R.W. Beachey, "The arms trade in East Africa in the 1ate Nineteenth century", vall, p.451, S. Miers, "Notes on the arms trade and government pol icy in Southern Africa between 1870 and 1890", Vol 12, p .571, P. Sanders, "Sotho arms and ammunition in the Nineteenth century", vol 12, p.535, J. M. Chirenje and S.·]. Mudenga, "Firearms in south - central Africa", vol 12, p.545, R.A. Caul k , "Firearms in Africa: an introauct ion" , vol 12, p.173, H. J. Fisher and V. Rowland, "Firearms in the Central Sudan: a revaluation", vol 13, p.591, S. Marks and A. Atmore, "Firearms in Southern Africa: a survey", vol 12, p.517, J.J. Guy, "A note on firearms in the Zulu kingdom, with special reference to the Anglo - Zulu War, 1879", vol 12, p.185. (19) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", pp.189 - 191,193 195.

(20) Chigwpder'r.~, "The 1896 PindE?r'pest d:i.~:;easf:~ and it_~::; cunsequences". NA2 Lo Eil:Z/l, "~~e t.he Matabele Hising", by W.E. Thomas, 29 April 1896, NAZ Hist. Mss. Pa 1/1/2, NAZ Lo 5/2/46, Secretary to Administrat.or to Acting Secretary, Cape Town, 13 December 1895, Lo 5/6/5, Jackson to Secretary Native Affairs, 30 September 1896, Lo 5/6/3, Jackson t.o C.N.C., Bulawayo, 5 September 1896, Lo 5/6/2, C.N.C. Report, 7 December 1896,
Bel ous,
~=:unsh

i

rtf?

a.nd Stelr'IT, ,

p. 11,

~;ee

C:hap ter' :3,

fn. 172.

(21) See pp.l10 - 150.
L~~2)

See pp .110

1 ~iO •

(23) See pp .154 C;::4) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", pp.431 -- 432. (25) See pp.159 - 164. (26) The term "Pomant.ic" is one which 1 ike "Liberal" has undergone a change. The t.erm is used here to refer to a particular world vision which assumes that. the historical process is one which has inate meaning and is moving towards a predest.ined culmination. This ideal ism is reflected in Beach's search for the growth of Shona unity and nationalism. (27) See pp.25 - 28.

(28) See pp.181 - 249. (29) Beach, 414. "The Pisings", pp.298 -- 305, "Chimur-enga", pp.410 ---

(30) B. Cowa~d, The Stua~t Age, pp.464 - 465, provides a useful list of county studies which have been undertaken foH England during the 17 th cent.ury civil wars. The work of the Indian school of local historians has recently been brought to my attention and the ideas and questions raised by these academics could be fruitfully developed in relation to Rhodesian Zimbabwean history. For an int.roduction to this school see Rajat 1<. Ray, "Three inter-pr-etations of Indian National i~-m", in B.R. Nanda, ed., Essays in Mode~n Indian HistorY,CDelhi, Oxford University Press, 1980).
Dl) Cobbing, "The case against the mfecane", (Rhodes University, pr-ivate manuscript). This analogy refers t.o the under'st.and i ng of thE' term fe"tcani as sa 1 vaged by Cobb i ng in his ,:'Inal ysis of the de\/elopment of the concept. of mfecane. Indeed, as Cobbing draws attent.ion to the importance of droughts and natural disasters, the emergence of emaciated raiding groups and refugees and the part played by the whites in the escal ation of viol £:?nce in the pr-ocess now termed the m-fecane, perhaps it is in an underst.anding of t.he events of 1896 - 7 that we have the concept of fet:cani in its prist ine sense. The converse is that this study of the event.s of 1896 - 7 might

,

286 provide the base for the revisionist analysis of the ~ecane that Cobbing calls for. It is also to be noted that the confl ict of 1896 - 7 determined to a large extent which land areas were to be subsequently designated as Tribal Trust Lands in Rhodesia, just as Cobbing suggests white actions in the process termed the ~ecane helped to establish the geographical basis of the South African homelands policy. (32) H. Saker and J. Aldridge, "The origins of the Langerberg Rebe 1 1 i on J • A • H., VOL 1 2, P. 299, C. van On se 1 en, .. Reac t i on s to Rinderpest in Southern Africa", NAZ Lo 5/6/1, telegraphic conversation, Vintcent, Grey and Carrington, 25 ·June 1896: "Col. Machado wired me today that there was every indication of the natives in north and east of this Territory rebelling and to day the Railway people 2, 000 of Zorogozas people working on the Railway construction have deserted and it is feared they intend joining the rebellion. This being so Machado must help keep open the road from Chimoio to our boundary."
H ,

(33) L. Vambe, pp • 135 - 1 40 •

An 111 Fated People,

(London, Heinemann, 1'?72),

(34) NAZ Hist. Mss. Bo lOll. See Chapter 4 fn.211. (35) D. Martin and P. Johnson, The StruQQle for (Sa 1 i sbury, :2 imbabwe Pub 1 i shing House, 1981), P .50. Zimbabwe,

(36) Sculptured by David Mutasa and Barnabus Ndadzo, The Herald, 26 June 1984: ·When President Banana opens Parliament in Harare today, the two original prosecutors of the anti colonial struggle will 100m large over the occasion. Statues of the leaders of the first Chimurenga of last century - Sekuru Kaguvi and Mbuya Nehanda - wi 11 stand tall at tthe Baker Avenue entrance of ParI iament overlook ing the arri va 1 ceremony." David Mutasa commented that, "the works in the doorway wbul d hel p maintain the dignity of Parliament, because without them there would always be something missing from the buildings. The statues would stand to fulfil the just cause of the Zimbabwean peopl e." Another interesting example of the use of this myth is to be found in the Senate Parliamentary debates, vol B, no 7, Thursday 8 March 1984, pp. 200 - 201. Speak ing to oppose a motion condeming the Republican Front on the discovery of the mass graves at Rusape, Senator Shoniwa urged reconcilliation and began by stating: "Let me beg 1 eave to remind hon. senators that I speak as the grandson of the man who ~lazed the trail for resistance in 1896, Chief Chinamore. It is he who started Chimurenga. We are now talking of the Second Chimurenga which was waged under the brave and val iant leadership of the honourab 1 e Robert Mugabe and his war COLtnC ill ors." Senator Shoniwa uses the myth of the first Chimurenga to establ ish his pol itical legitimacy so as to oppose the motion.

-.

"

""

........ .. . ..

'-

...

.
",

,-

.

\

.

,

.

"

,"'"

~

..
.
,

TJu

"111,1 Sir!', m Ih~

.,
7fl)h~.i:?;II'"iF~. -..
~

..~'.

287
Appendi x One

The structure of Ndebele society

This

analysis

of

the structure of Ndebele society

forms

an

integral part of the revisionist study of the events of 1896 7. It will therefore be necessary to briefly outline the

different models advanced by Ranger and Cobbing, this analysis within may be contrasted. The theory

aga inst wh ich of be inherent tested

conflict

an "amalgamative state" will then

against the available documentary and oral evidence relating to Ndebele conflicts socio - pol itical structures. and This essay argues retarded that any

divisions within Ndebele society

movement towards effective centralisation or unity. emphasis internal will be placed upon the effect these

Particular and This in
1896.

divisions
1896.

conflicts

had on the events of 1893 and

revisionist

analysis

of Ndebele society should assist

an

understand ing of the compl ex nature of the conf 1 ict

04:

The important debate in relation to the events of 1896, the has

as

to

nature of the Ndebele state and the impact of the 1893 war been between Ranger and Cobbing. Ranger represents the his the whose Ranger mil itary of

traditional

assessment of the Ndebele state when he based of the events of 1896 on the belief autocratic social that

interpretation Ndebele military bel ieved state. state

was a central ised

kingship,

structures determined that The

relationships.

the 1893 war crushed this centralised destruction of the traditional

structures

288

leadership

created the essential psychological

conditions

to

allow Mkwati, the necessary

a charismatic priest of the Mwari cult, influence to organise and inspire a

to gain

millennial

rebellion against the white settlers. (1)

Cobbing challenged Ranger's interpretation on two levels. In an article, the "The evolution of the Ndebele a.abutho" , published in he questioned and in a the

Journal of African History xv,4(1974), in a centralised military state,

bel ief article,

subsequent

"The absent priesthood; another look at the Rhodesian 1897", he chall enged the postul ated theory of Cobbing bel ieves that and

risings of 1896 a millennial the draws

inspiration for rebellion.

Ndebele state was not primarily a mil itary structure, an important distinction between the concept a kraal or village, He and of

umusi or by

(pl .imisi), "regiment". Lobengul a

and ibutho (pl .a.abutho) , exercised i argues that political power was his ',..,akathi, or King in
\

- Counci 1.

Whi 1 e and

recognising a tension between the powers of centralisation locality, comprising partially Ndebele Cobbing sees a form of consensus central the I<ing and his izinduna, who

leadership, the the the a

represented which

decentralised state was

chieftaincy or izigaba of Despite local

was composed.

influences, providing

"'lpakathi

at the heart of the Ndebele s1kate

central focus of power.

Cobbing

then challenges the belief that 1893 saw the

crushing

of the Ndebele state,

and argues that the necessary structures

289

of

central

command

remained relatively

intact

after

1893.

Cobbing since

bel ieves that a religious inspiration was the izinduna unnecessary able to

representing izigaba were still

consult each other in meetings of ' the u.pakathi. Cobbing argues that the the rebellion was planned by these royal councillors royal fami 1 y. Cobbing draws particular attention and to

Nyamanda, whom he believes was made king in 1896. Cobbing seeks to explain the organisation of the as distinct rebellion in terms theory of of

political

leadership,

from Ranger's

rel igious leadership. (2)

It of war the

is evident that both Ranger's and Cobbing's

interpretation the of to

the events of 1896 and the significance they attach to of
1893 are influenced by their different perceptions

structures Ndebele on

of

Ndebele social

society.

However, in

the this of in

need

reassess following which

interaction arose

thesis,
1896 -

a close examination of the attention to the

event~

7

drew

incongruities

Rtanger

and

Cobbing's Ndebele

perspective.

An awareness of the conflict among the an

in 1893 and 1896 necessarily led to the search for of that disenssion and resulted in a

explanation

different

understanding of Ndebele social and political

interaction.

Cobbing portrayal

has

adequately

revealed the weaknesses

of

Ranger's ah

of Ndebele society,

but Cobbing's assumption of

organic community still needs to be reassessed. developed, pressure, influenced by modern academic

The bel ief has and pol itical and

that pre - colonial African society was unified

290

ruled

by

consensus. of

(3)

Though

Cobbing

demi1itarised that

the he and

portrayal failed tensions upon the to

Ndebele society, sufficient

it is contended here emphasis on the

place

divisions to

within that polity. understanding of

The intention here is a demi1 itarised society to

build and to how or

explore deep

the factions within the Ndebe1e pol ity,

show

divisions within that society acted against consensus

centralisation. (4)

The

historical polity

process which underlay the

formation

of as

the an

Ndebe1e

suggests that it may be best described

amalgamative peoples north further local

state.(5) As a society composed of many different with the settling of these more people complex,

from South Africa,

of the Limpopo,

this society became yet

fuelling conf1 icts. autonomy grew

As a sedentary society developed, developed i as an identification

with

a

particular geographical area. and

Confl icts between'the localities physical expression. (6)

central authority gained a clear

Family loyalties were also a cause of conflict. Old established famili.s found themselves in conflict with the new elites

formed by the process of amalgamation. For example, Lobengu1a's succession formed was secured by what was perceived as a new to th~ elite, a

by the process of amalgamation,

detriment of

traditional established elite. origin of

(7) A difference in the Ndebele

racial SOCiety,

many of the peoples who composed

linked to social pOSition, on the local level.

led to a great deal of tension even in terms of terrain

(8) Natural factors,

291

and

distance

clearly The

hampered

any

attempt

at

effect i ve the local

centralisation. evidence does

localities did act independently and that these was a process of

suggest

imperialism. (9) on the local to the

It is clear that decisive decisions were taken Some actions were referred to or but the ability of the reported central it

level.

central

authority,

authority

to enforce decisions depended upon the influence

could command from izinduna representing izigaba. central But unified response was inhibited by local

Generally, a antagonisms. which

even within the local community there was

conflict

must be appreciated if we are to understand the social dynamics which determined were activities within the Ndebele the conflicts associated with polity. different Most age

important

groups with different aspirations, sides Ndebele of a house wi thin am i-.Jsi, laws

confl icts between different and personal i ty clashes. a

of succession often led to the appointment of

regent for a minor, came of age. generative portrayed

which often led to a clash1when that minor

(10) The Ndebele polity was a living, d~namic and

community, by concepts

an~ as such far more complex than

that or

of

a

unified

central

authority

harmonious consensus 1 eadership.

In

brief,

the

Ndebele polity is perhaps best described as of largely autonomous local together in izigaba ,

a or

complex

organism gathered

communities

offering

voluntary Due

allegiance to the idea of a central confederal to the independent are attitude of the

authori ty.

iZigaba,

precise periphery

del ineations

impossible,

and the state on its

292

blended
(11)

indistinguishably

among the various

Shona

pol ities.

The Ndebele polity was of a local ised nature, as the local could and did act independent of any central

authorities control. evidence concept

Local loyalties and allegiances were stronger, as the collected of on national by R.F. Windram
(12)

illustrates, There were

than

any

allegiance.

internal which The

conflicts interacted

a personal,

district and regional

1 evel

with a discernible fissure in Ndebele society. those of 1868 - 71,

most severe crises,
1893 and 1896,

1877 - 78, 1888 - 91,

emphasis a basic fissure which can be traced to This basic fissure in Ndebele society will oral tradition. that of the

the crisis of 1839. now The

be examined through a study of collected use of ora 1 tradition and oral

evidence

require up as

caut i ous evidence.

conclusions be drawn after a careful weighing It is often not possible to be prec ise

evidence is in conf 1 ict .

Oral evidence does,

however, allow a
\
)

broad general analysis to be made of Ndebele history.

After the Boers had expelled the Ndebele from the Transvaal

in

1837, two separate parties moved up to Matabeleland. The Amyama

were
(13)

under Dambisa Mahubo, Nkuluman

and the Amhlope under

Mzilikatzi. Amyama. was

was with the Zwangendaba,

part of the

(14)

The evidence is in confl ict as to whether

Lobengul a

with the Gibbeklexu of the Amyama, or the Mhlahlandhlela of the Amhlope. (15) What is clear is that Lobengula is generally

associated with the Mhlahlandhlela:

293

"Gwabal anda was the big indtma of Mz i 1 ikaz i. He was the chief indlma of the Amhlope. He did not go lip to the Zambezi. He stayed with Mzilikazi. Gwabalanda did not hide Lobengula at the time of the killing. Lobengllla was of the Mhlahlandhele, and he was with the Mhlahlandhela at the time, not where the killing took place. Told that Lobengula in a letter said that he had been hidden by Gwabalanda at the time of the kill ing he says he doesn't believe that is correct."(16)

"Lubane: When the chiefs were ki lled at Gibbekle>:u, meaning Thabas Induna, Lobengllla was hidden away by Gwanbal anda. Stambe: He was hidden in a grain bin - iSibula, it was not a beer pot. Lubane; Gwabalanda was a chief of the Mshlashlandhlela. He heard that these chiefs were going to be killed, so he went there and hid Lobengllla. We cant tell whether he was sent by Mzil igazi, Gwabalanda was a big induna and might have done it on his own." (17)

The allabutho and i.isi LInder Dambisa Muhubo incl ude the Uyingo, the Intunte, the Godhlwayo, the Mzinyati, Intemba, the Dukada, The principal induna of the Amhlope i \

the Insinda and Gibbelexu. was Gwabulanda.

This party contained the Amamlumbo,

Iaizenda,

Dubinhlanga, Megdonza, and the Mhlaahlandhlela. The evidence is in conflict The with i-.si the

Amakanda

allegedly the

being Amakanda

with

both

parties.

which

comprised

included

Insinge, Intenana, Dhlodhlo and Mzinzi. (18)

The

history of the format ion of ... isi and amabutho is

compl e:·:

and confusing,

and the evidence often contradictory. The broad

outl ine of this analysis is that two distinct divisions emerge, the Amyama, with whom Nkuluman is associated, and the Amhlope,

294

with

whom Lobengula is associated,

as rival claimants to

the

Kingship. This basic fissure is fundamental of Ndebele society and pol itics.

to an understanding

The

division into these two parties between 1837 and 1839 a breakup of the Ndebel e kingdom, a strategic division. (19) The or it may oral

may

represent have been

simp 1 y

evidence,

however, Mzil ikatzi

makes it clear that a forced reunion took place under in Matabeleland. In the meantime, the Amyama under Mzilikatzi k ill ed

Dambisa Muhubo may have made Nkuluman king. the

disaffected izinduna and drove Dambisa Muhubo into

ex i 1 e.

The fate of Nkuluman was uncertain. Hobansi Kumalo states;

"When Mziligazi heard this he ordered Nkuluman back to the South and Gibbeklexu and his whole family to be killed. He did not order them to kill Nkuluman. But everybody at Gibbeklexu was killed. Lobengula was not at Gibbeklexu at the time. He was in the Amashlogoshlogo regiment. Certain people were sent to warn him not to be at Gibbek 1 exu • " (20) i Ginya1etsha states;

"Ncumbata was tol d to take Nkul umane back to Zulul and. I cannot remember well who the people were who were appointed to take Nku1uman back; but Ncumbata was in charge. On the way Ncumbata kill ed Nku1umane." (21)

Nkuluman

was

either

killed

or

driven

into

exile.

It

is

suggested in the evidence that Ncumbate bore the responsibility for a failed attempt on Nku1uman's 1 ife, and as such on the

death of Mzilikatzi was anxious to safeguard his own

interests

295

by kill

ensuring

Lobengula succeeded. sure

It may also be that he that Lobengula was

did the

Nkuluman and as such was

heir.

Whatever the truth, the oral evidence makes Ncumbate the for the turmoil which rent Ndebele society after a The and

scapegoat 1868. This

uncertainty as to the fate of Nkuluman provided society. Nkuluman

rationalisation for the divisions within Ndebele disaffected could always rally to the ghost of

claim they were asserting the rights of the legitimate heir.

The

death of Mzil ikatzi in 1868 brought these latent

tensions

in Ndebele society to the fore. 1870

The succession of Lobengula in the the

set a pattern for conflict which decisively affected of the the Ndebele polity. Induba, the Umbigo Ngubo and was the induna history

of

Zwangendaba,

Nyamandhlovu. on the death

NkulLtman had been a member of his u.wsi.

Umbigo,

of Mzil ikatzi, insisted that a search be made for Nkuluman. Two delegations were sent south. The oral evidence records that:
\

i

"When Mz i 1 ikaz i died, .Ncumbata had died, 1 eaving his son Mhlaba in his place. Mhlaba called the nation together and told them that the heir to the throne was still alive and was in the custody of Somtseu. And Umbigo agreed with Mhlaba that if Nkuluman was. alive he was the heir." (22)

"During the 1 ifetime of his father Lobengula was not , treated as the heir to the chieftainship. When Mziligazi died, the people looked for Nkuluman. People were sent to look for him. Lubane: another. Mshlala, son of Ncumbata was sent joined with the

I<al angubo, sister of Siatcha, (who had group): The other man was Nlotje.

296

When they got to Basutoland, the people there said: "You are the one who is looking for Nkul uman. Well, if he is made king then he is going to kill you, because your father took his blanket". So Mshlala came back and told the Matabele that he could not find Kuluman. He was sent twice, and each time he said that he could not find him." (23)

"They stayed for a long time, until, when they could not find Kuluman, they decided to have Lobengula for King. Gwabalanda and Ncumbata (presumably Mshlala) suggested Lobengul a as king, and one other induna whose name we have forgotten. They told the people, "We can't hel p it, we have looked for I<ul uman, and we can't find him. We think we had better take Lobengul a. (24)
II

II

Th i s i s what caused the troub 1 e, because when Ncumbata was sent to fetch Nkuluman after the death of Mzil igazi he was afraid to fetch him; because he had tried to kill him. He was afraid that if he came he would kill him, Ncumbata, and all his people in revenge. So that is why Ncumbata got hold of some of the chiefs of Amashlope and said, "I have kill ed Nkuluman, and Walai is my witness, and so the best thing is to appoint Lobengula as king." (25)

"There was a big argument then. The Zwanger.fdaba insisted that Nkulumanshould be sent for, and the rest of the regiments said no, and that they should appoint another son of Mzilikazi in his place. All the sons of Mzil ikazi were present. Then Ngazana of the Mhlahlandhlela regiment stood up and indicated Lobengula of the Mulindila house (the house of Lobengula's mother Futela). The Zwangendaba and Umbiko left then and went to the Bembesi (in the Queen's area) and the remainder of the regiments appointed Lobengul a." (26)

The

personality to

of Umbigo and the battle of

Lwangendaba

are often of

subject depended deeply

varied interpretations.

The interpretation

on the al ignment of the informant, entrenched local loyalties.

an indication

297

"I remember the trouble between Lobengula and Umbigo. There was nothing wrong with Umbigo, the only thing was that he hated Lobengula. The reason they quarreled was that Umbigo wanted NkLllumane and not Lobengula." (27)

II

(In rep 1 y to a quest. ion) • It is true t.hat Umb igo was a bit mad. While Mzil ikatzi was still al ive the people reported t.o him that. Umbigo was a bit. mad. And Mzil ikatzi asked what he had said to them, and the people said that he had not said anything. Then Mzilikatzi said he is not mad: he is going to tell you a good word at the last. This was Just before Mz i 1 igatz i died." (28)

"Umbigo was chief over the Zwangendaba, the Induba, the Ngobo, and the Nyamandhlovu. He was a clever man because these were big regiments. The Zwangendaba was the biggest. There was nothing wrong with Umbigo. He was quite all right. The people liked him. Umbigo was quite right, because Nkuluman was the eldest son - the heir." (29)

"Lobengu 1 a now sai d : "Umb igo was in the right all along". That is why you have heard people'say that Umbigo was mad. When the people sent to Mzil ikatzi) and said Umbigo was mad, Mzil ikatzi said, "No, Umbigo is going to tell you something one day". And so it came to pass, because Umbigo told them the truth in the end. This is the truth about Kuluman." (30)

Umbigo

and

Lobengula's Depending

motives on

have

also

been

variousl y an

interpreted.

the alignment of the informant j! attempt is made to impugn either Lobengula or Umbigo:

"The Lwangendaba were killed because they wanted Umbigo to be king. Umbigo was very popular so people suggested he should be chief, and they would not acknowledge Lobengula. They said, "We are not going to be rul ed by a man who eats zebras". That was Just a

298

term of contempt. When Mziligazi died these people did not want Lobengula to be king. All the time Lobengula had been living outside as was the custom with the heir during the lifetime of his father. When they heard that Lobengula was to be king they protested and said, "Why not Umbigo. He is our chief". The reply to this was that Lobengula was of the royal blood and Umb i go on 1 y belonged to the Masukus." (31)

"Umbigo didn't like Lobengula because of what he was told by Mziligazi, who loved Umbigo greatly and trusted him. When Mziligazi was about to die he called all the big indunas, of whom Umbigo was one, and told them "I am sorry that I can't die with you people; but the one who will be king after me will have his own peopl e". Mz i 1 igaz i meant by this that the one who would be king it would not be right for him to be king over those people, that is to say, it would be wrong to have a young man over the old people - because he loved the Zwangendaba greatly. Though he did not actually say it, the people thought he meant that it woul d be much better for Umbigo to rul e the Zwangendaba. Umbigo took it that way. The old people knew perfectly well that the new king would be Ku I Llman • " ( 32)

"It is not true that Lobengula did not want to fight the Zwangendaba. He did. The Zwangendaba had refused to come to IntLlmbane because of their hos,ti 1 i ty to Lobengul a. They refused to come to the funeral of Mzil igazi at Intumbane because they knew jthat LobenguTa was to be king. They wanted Umbigo to be King." (33)

Thomas Baines, the pioneer artist, wrote that Lobengul a;

"is now on the very edge of the milk jar and would rather jump in and drink for himself than $0 away and ca I I another." (34)

The intransigence of Umbigo in the face of Lobengula's election led to the battle of Zwangendaba. event in Ndebele history. That battle is a significant

It brought to the fore many diverse

299

tensions evidence tensions despite reveals

and

conflicts within Ndebele history. even seventy years after the

As

the

oral those over,

reveals,

battle

were still very acute and had not been glossed fifty years of colonialism. The confl icting

evidence

the loyalties of the 1870's.(35) Some oral

sources say to to the he

Lobengula initiated the fight, take the field. Umbigo, He as

others say he was reluctant a personality, is subject provoked maintain

opposing confl ict

assessments. through

is accused of having while others

1 ies and deceit,

asserted the rights of Nkuluman with quiet dignity. The attempt to besmirch Umbigo's character is interesting; claims that he

was mad are staunchly denied, as is the claim that he wished to be made King himself. Each side attempts to impugn the social Lobengula was considered

position and breeding of the other,

inferior as the son of a Swaz i princess, and as a "man who eats zebras" , Mbigo for was the brushed death off of the as a "Msuto" father and the man

respons i b 1 e

of 1 the
I

Ndebel e, support

Manyeba. (36) Lobengula is claimed to have only had the

of a minority, while other informants assert that he was widely supported. Some informants present Lobengula as a reluctant

candidate pushed into accepting the kingship on the instigation of Mshlala, while others insist that he was very much an active advocate of his own interests. interpretat ions divisions is the The importance, of these diverse they give into the deep

insight

within Ndebele society in 1868 - 70,

and which were

projected into subsequent Ndebele history.

300

Some

of

the defeated Zwangendaba

fled

the

country,

others

remained behind.

Lobengula appears to have shown some clemency

to the defeated who were prepared to accept his authority. Some of the "rebel s" accepted the new status quo wi th an indifferent real ism;

"That is why I said Lobengula was a good man. My father Mantilengwane, was in the Njuba regiment. He fought against Lobengula. My father said to the Zwangendaba; "If there are two th ings you want and one is near by and one is far away, which one can you get first" , and the peop 1 e answered; "the nearest one meaning Lobengula. So they submitted then. My father told me all about it. My father liked Lobengula after that." (37)
II ,

The

"I<uluman"

factor

thus created further

divisions

within

Ndebele society.

"After that the Zwangendaba and the Nduba were divided. Some stayed with Lobengula and some went off and did not return. Some went South and some to Basutuland. After a long time Kuluman came up to Matabeleland, and he came right into Matabeleland, to a place called Ematojeni, to a kraal called RwadJ1alo, near Suloswe mountains in the Matoppos - near the end of the Matoppos. News of this came through to Lobengula and he sent an i..,i to destroy Kuluman. When the illpi had got there Kuluman had gone, I am not quite certain, but I think Kuluman heard he was going to be killed. Lobengula then ordered them tb kill Rwadalala, because he was afraid Nkuluman might join these people." (38)

The

"Kuluman"

factor kept Lobengula in a position of

e:-:treme

insecurity. He distrusted his people and was constantly wary of plots or rebell ions.

301

"The Imbezu was the onl y regiment the King kept at Bulawayo. The reason why the King was suspicious was that the people were divided, and some used to tel 1 him that Nkuluman was coming back to fight him. The Imbezu were collected from different places because Lobengula did not trust the old people. Some of them were not loyal to him but wanted Nkuluman. He collected the young men from different places because he wanted a great many and he only wanted young people because they would have no knowledge of Nkuluman. That is why he took them so young."(39)

Lobengula's There was

position no

is thus seen to be

extremely and

insecure. Lobengula's

form of consensus

leadership

absolutism and the

was a myth.

Ndebele society was extremely divided, due to the

danger of a fresh eruption of rebell ion factor, ever present. Ncupela,

"1<ulLtman"

daughter of Lotje,

1 inks the confl icts from 1870 to 1889 directly to the "I<uluman" factor;

liThe troubl e over Lotje was a matter that 1 asted for many years. The indunas were dissatisfied with Lobengul a as king. Theseindunas had accepted ,Lobengul a as king, there were none of the Zwangendaba indlalas left, but they changed their minds. They ~ere influenced by the Zwangendaba men who followed Kuluman down south. They were. infl uenced by communications with them. The Zwangendaba people used to pass to and fro. They did not come right into the country. They used to come as far as the Matopos and return, without the knowledge of Lobengula. This trouble of the Zwangendaba started at the time Lobengula was made King." (40)

The major confl icts in Ndebele society after 1870 can be traced to this fissure. made When Nkuluman, a protege of Sir Matabeleland, Theophilus Lobengula him.
(41)

Shepstone, sent

an attempt to enter

an impi under Ntunzi and Umtigan to intercept was the son of Dambisa Muhubo,

Umtigan

leader of the Amanyama

302

section in 1839, the

and the father of Maduna Mafu,

an induna

of

Godhlwayo izigaba.

Cobbing attributes to Maduna Mafu

the

prime rol e as instigator of the 1896 "Rebel 1 ion". (42) To assign to him this role confl icts with the historical Mafus, wide alignment of the and a

with Maduna's own account of the events of 1896, range of documentary evidence. (43) The oral

evidence

clearly indicates the Godhlwayo people supported Nkuluman;

"l<uluman got the cattle from Rwdalala's people because these people were under Ntunzi. When Kuluman got to Rwdalala's kraal the people thought they must give him some food, and they gave him cattle - I don't know how many. This happened before Ntunzi arrived. When Ntunzi arrived they gave him some more cattle and said; This is your food, by the orders of Ntunzi. These people were Basutos, but they were under Ntunzi. When Ntunzi arrived on the scene, instead of kill ing Kuluman, as Lobengula had ordered, they told him to run away. When I<uluman left there he went to another white man, whom they called Somtseo who was at Gungundhlovu. Kuluman brought Basutos with him when hew came up. Mlusimbele was at Esizeze he was at the Tshatshani river, which is the other side of the Antelope mine. (They corroborate the story of Mbusimbele arid Ntunzi.) After that Mbusimbel e was kill ed for join ing N'I!unz i • Kuluman made a camp at.Esizeze and built huts; but he did not stay long - not more than a year. For some time it was not known that he was there. This was at Rwdabala - because Rwdabala, a Basuto headman under Ntunzi, hid him. Afterwards the messengers were sent out, and the king got to hear of it. We are not certain, but we believe that Lobengula noticed that Kuluman was under Ntunzi's people. Ntunzi was one of those who favoured Kuluman and remained faithful to him after the· battle Zwangendaba. Ntunzi fought against Lobengula Zwangendaba, as did Mantea and Mganula." (44) who of at

Another informant ampl ified this incident in Ndebele history;

303

"How it started was that some of the remnants of the Lwangendaba fled to Esizeze and after some time they went about spreading news, saying utsho N.ial0 Dllya.a
~a

l.iwzize

e.asindMeni ezunyamayan inkuli zanke ezi.ya.a Esizene (Thus saith the black one who drinks

water out of the holes made by the footprints of the wild animals all the black cattle are to be brought (to him) at Esizene). The "bl ack one" refers to Kul uman and so does the e>:pression Onat.o &asendweni ezinYCUlilZaan. They gave I<ul uman these names to "banga" him. These messengers started at Kumalo's kraal, the chief of which was Mkoke, and they went to Ndweni, another regiment of which the chief was Tunzi, and then to the Isizenda, the induna of which was Chief Mapisa, taking this message around the country. Mapisa instructed the messengers to remain inside the cattle kraal and he went to the isigodhl0, the kraal of the Queens stationed there and fetched some beer and gave them some beer. And as they were drinking this beer he told the Isizinda regiment to surround them and kill them which was done. There were four. They killed three but one escaped but they chased him and caught him and killed him too. Then Mapisa sent messengers to report back to Lobengula. This happened after Nkuluman had been and gone - after he had left Esizeze. Lobengula thanked Mpisa very much for what he had done. That was where the grudge came against Tunzi because he had not reported this business. It was only after that that Tunz i was k ill ed ." (45)

Mapisa's

change

of

allegiance was clearly interest. disunited

mdtivated

by

an the The are

advancement basic

of personal which

confl icts

.

This tended to shkrpen the Ndebele people.

different

reasons given for Ntunzi's subsequent execution

interest ing;

"There was a relationship between Umtigane, Ntunzi and Kuluman. Ntunzi and Mzil ikatzi's motherfrwere of the same sibmnga, the Ndawene. This is why Ntunzi and Umtigan were kill ed. (46)
If

"Yes it is true that Umtigan was with Ntunzi in charge of the i.-pi. The i.-pi was under Ntunz i. He was married to Lobengula's sister, Makwa. He was blam~d but he was

304

not kill ed unt i 1 along time afterwards." (47)

"Tunzi was killed because he was married to Nkuluman's sister and Lobengula then held that he must have been hid i ng Vu 1 uman ... (48)

The light

stress upon

upon the personal family tie also casts the mystery of the execution of

reveal ing

Lomandhlozi,

Lobengul a's favourite "si ster" ;

"Umouka had two sons and a daughter, was the el dest • The other two, Lomandhlozi died." (49)

of whom Nku1uman U1andh1u1e and

Interpretations kill ed because

advanced she was

which

argue

that to some

Lomandhlozi have

was

believed or due to

.. bewi tched" quarrel evidence.

Lobengula's misinterpret

royal the

wife,

domestic oral
1

allegorical

meaning of the

Lomandhlozi was sister to Nku1uman, clearly soc iety. identified

wife to Tunzi, and as such faction
~f

with the disaffected

Ndebe1e

It

is difficult to sustain a theory that the royal family were in un i ted light by of common the interest evidence as which advanced

and by

' ....akathi

Cobb ing,

the

highlights

conflicts and tensions within the ranks of th6 ruling el ite.

"The Zwangendaba wanted Kuluman for chief, but when they looked for him they could not get him. It was the family of Lobengula that was looking for Kuluman. They said it would be better if Kuluman were king, but the whole idea was that Umbigo should be king. They had

305 the idea died." (50) of making Umbigo chief (when) Mz i 1 i gaz i

The

execution of Mshlala,

Ncumbata's son,

is also linked

in

oral tradition to the "I<uluman" factor.

"When Lobengula was appointed, after so many years he got gout, and he had no sons yet. And then Lobengula said to Ncumbata, the thing which kill s me now is because you didn't give me the power, how my father ruled this country you did not give me that power. What Lobengula meant was - this was spoken to Mshlala - he wanted to find out what Mshlala was keeping on sending scouts out to look for Nkuluman; because he had heard that they had only bluffed him. They had not told him the actual truth. They had told that Nkuluman was dead. Mshlala replied to Lobengula's question: "Mzil igazi did not tell me that you would be appointed as king, and even my father Ncumbata only bluffed you. He meant you had better just act until Kuluman arrived". Lobengula replied: "I did not want to be king. That was the fault of your father; he said he had a witness he had killed Nkuluman. You people want to bul ala me". Then Lobengul a instructed the peop 1 e. There were a certain group of people called the Amanusa, which is different from a regiment - they were executioners. Lobengula instructed them to kill the whole family of Ncumbata and Mshlala al~o and all his family were killed. Even their dogs were kil.led. All the relatives of Ncumbata far and near were k~led by the executione~s. This was long after the battle of Zwangendaba." (51)

The

"I<ul uman"

factor

was a source of constant

division

and

conflict within Ndebele society. The execution of Lotje in 1889 emphasises the increasingly precarious hol d Lobengula

maintained over the Ndebele. Lotje had accompanied Mzilikatzi's section into Matabeleland. of the Amhlope. His interests therefore were those

As a young man he was head of the

Insindeni.

After

the battle of lwangendaba,

Lotje was promoted to become

306

head

of

the Nduba.

The Nduba had fought with

Mbigo

against

Lobengula. political dissenting,

Lotje's appointment can, therefore, be seen to be a strategy to place a personally loyal rebel 1 ious people, to man ensure over a

potentially

their

allegiance. As Siatcha stated earlier, there were those will ing to affirm allegiance to Lobengula. adviser, and Lotje was Lobengula's chief

as such an obstacle to the Nkuluman faction.(52)

His rapid advancement also aroused a great deal of jealousy.

"The plotting behind Lotje's back went on for years •.• from the time he was promoted to the command of the Nduba regiment." (53)

Ncupela, against downfall;

Lotje's daughter. Lotje with the

alleged that the izinduna intention of securing

plotted

Lobengula's

woul d not name any part icul ar induna that plotted against Lotje because they all did. They did not come to Lotje and tell him they were plotting against the I<ing, nor did they tell him they were plotting to/kill him (Lotje). They plQtted secretly to kill him. It happened like this. These indunas, when they met Lobengula in front of Lotje, said to him: it is no good believing what Lotje says, that you must be friendly with these whjte people. That was a way of getting Lotje out of the way. Then Lobengula could be conquered by the Europeans, if he fought them at all ." (54)
"I

Ncupela insisted;

" Yes, it is than Lotje to by plotting doing. They

true that these indunas were doing more bring the white people into the country against him. They knew what they were were doing it deliberately ~ecause they

307

wanted the white people to conquer Lobengu1a."(55)

On Lotje's execution, Ncupela states;

"Lobengu1a granted the concession without the consent of his indunas, on Lotje's advice. Lotje was then killed. They went behind his back again. They told Lobengula: Even if you refuse to get rid of Lotje we are going to kill him. Lobengula refused to have Lotje ki 11 ed; but these indunas kill ed him against his wi 11 • It is not true that Lobengula ordered him to be killed. Yes, I am telling the truth." (56)

Ngungu confirms part of Ncupe1a's statement;

"Lobengu1 a call ed all his peopl e and said that since the Europeans had come as far as Victoria he wanted to tela to them and all the peopl e refused e:.:cept Lotje who supported him, and that is why Lotje was killed. It was not the wish of Lobengula that Lotje should be put to death." (57)

Mvutu states; i "We were both present at the Indaba when Lotje told Lobengula not to fight the white people. (The story of the indaba as told by Ntabeni, is read to them, and they corroborate it). Lotje said: "Because they are so many they wi 11 kill YOLi. These peopl e have got a sthtel a (train). They will come up by train, many of them. And they have guMs which they haven't given YOLi yet. They have only given you the small guns. They have oth~r big guns which they haven't given to you. r have seen these things. " The indlmas said: Lotje is tell ing 1 ies becaLise he wants to go and live with the white people. The best thing is to kill him."(58)

308 Mvutu also gives an idea of the restricted nature of

Lobengula's authority;

"Sikombo was not killed. Sikombo sold some sheep to Thompson, the one who ran away, for a gun; and Lobengula saw Sikombo with this gun and wanted to kill him; but Gxugutwayo refused to allow him to, because Sikombo was under him and he 1 iked him. The day when Lotje was killed they also wanted to kill Sikombo, and it was then that Lobengula accused him of having this gun without his permission and wanted to kill him. But he didn't kill him."(59)

Lobengula izinduna, was unable to prevent the execution of Lotje by

his

and his own attempt to e>:ecute Sikombo was resisted. a clear indication of the restricted nature The divided nature of the Ndebele of his may

This

is

authority.

leadership

have had an influence on the 1893 war;

"Then Manyeo took the letter to the white people when the i~i had already killed the boys. Then the white people asked Manyeo: "Why didn't you bring this letter first: now your people have killed our boys'and taken the cattle" and Manyeo said, "It was not my f,ult: that was Umgandaan's fault". Manyeo 1 ied. Manyeo wanted Umgandaan to get into trouble so that he, Manyeo, could take Umgandaan's place." (60)

Mvutu and Posela simply say;

"There was a lot of trouble between the indunas. They used to be very jealous of each other; but we cannot tell whether this was the case between Manyeo and Umgandan • (61)
If

Ginyuitsha rep 1 ies;

on

being

told the story of

Manyeo

and

Umgandan

309

"I am not going to tal k about what took pl ace privately between Umgandan and Manyeo because we were not told. But what happened was that we started kill ing the ~swena before we had taken the letter. We had already taken some Europe~~ cattle too. A great many Mashonas were k i 11 ed, and we bllrnt a lot of their huts."(62)

Following on the July raid on Fort Victoria, L.S. Jameson began his preparations for the war of 1893. The oral evidence shows

Lobengula as a bitter man, deserted and betrayed by his people. The oral evidence places the blame for the war on the the

impetuosity Imbezll.

of Lobengula's young soldiers,

in particular

"The Matabele loved the Europeans greatly. They never molested them or threatened them. It was only Lobengula's regiments that did these things without his authority. Longwena: Lobengula loved the Europeans al~hough his regiments did things without his authority."(63)
I

"The first to fight with the white people were the Insugameni. When the Imbezu went out, Lobengul a advised them not to fight the white people at Egodade. But the Imbezu said: "No, you are a coward. We will go and finish off these white people, and then we will come back and plough". It was just before the plough i ng season. Lobengu 1 a told them No. "The best thing for you is to come with me, then you will fight them when they find me." But they would ~ot listen. They said, "No. YOll are a coward." "(64)

"The Imbezu did not 1 isten. They went straight to Ntatasindllna, to the place called Egodade, wher~ the mission is today, and found the white people had already made their camp there. So they started to fight there, and the ImbezlI were destroyed. Lobengula

310

had moved to the Shangani, and some of the people went to report to him that the Imbezu were destroyed. They found Lobengula at Lupani, on the way to Shangani. And Lobengul a repl ied: "Well they have disobeyed mll orders. I first told them to come with me, and they refused. Secondly, I advised them not to fight when the white people had already made their camp; and they didn't listen to that ." Then Lobengu1a spoke his last words to these people: "I think these people want me to be captured by the white people; but the white people wont see me. I am going to drop myself into a place where nobody will ever see me." (65)

I<ul ungu1 a's

account

illustrates

some

of

the

difficulties

inherent in the use of oral evidence;

"Siatcha: Lobengula man. The trouble Umgandan.

did not want to fight the white started with the indaba with

Kulungula: It is not correct that the trouble started with Umgandan. The trouble was going to begin in any case over the question of paying tax. It was the people themselves who were talking of paying tax. The white people had not asked for a tax; but some of the people themselves had said the best way was for them to live under the white people and pay tax. This talk of tax was just among themselves. And then the Majha said that sooner than pay tax they would ~ight. The wh i te people did not say that everybody must paYj ta>: , but they said Lobengul a must pay for his peopl e, because they were refusing to let the white people come and make mines here. That is how the trouble started. That is where Lotje stood up and said: "No, the best thing is to pay the tax, because I have seen the white people." Siatcha continues with the others: Then the Imbezu regiment blamed Lotje and Lotje was kill ed. The Imbezu said: "Our King can ,not pay ta>: unless we fight. Then after that we'll pay, if we don' t succeed." It was then the impi of Umgandan that started the fighting; but before that there was talk of fighting because the peopl e did not want the white peopl e to make mines here." (66)

311

This extract from the oral evidence is and Siatcha view the kill ing of Lotje,

interesting. the 1893 war,

Kalungula tax and by

mines as being related.

In fact these events are separated

several years, but the 1 inking factor is the conflict among the Ndebele themselves. Though the facts are distorted, the The
1893

dissension

within Ndebele society is the pervading truth.

oral evidence relating to Lobengula's last speech and the war, enforce the interpretation of a divided society:

"It is quite true that Lobengula said: "0 Ullkumbu1a 0 Lotje - I am now thinking of Lot je" - Lotje had told him not to fight with the white people. But that was on the way to the Shangani - before the fight took place. Lobengula also said - "Umbigo told the people that Nkuluman was alive and the people misled me and told me Mkuluman was dead. Now these people have run away from me." He was tal king to the impi. "All my property will be taken by the white people. You can take my cattle back, but you won't have them. The white people will take them all." And he said: "You said I used to ki 11 people, and yet I didn't kill anybody. You were the ones who were kill ing people. Now you see the white p~ople are coming here you are all pleased." He was referring to those who had deserted. Nobody repl ied to that, ithey all kept quite. And Lobengula said: "The white people are coming now. I didrr't want to fight with them. I want you to take a stone and put it on my head lekalit je kanda - and tell them I no longer want to be king. It is finished today."

Be

kali~zikandfa meant Lobengula as king." (67)

that

this was

the

end

of

Mvutu and Posela insist that Lobengula only spoke of Lotje, and did not mention Umbigo or Nkuluman:

"Lobengul a said: "If I had 1 i stened to Lotje there would have been no trouble, and these chiefs who have

312

deceived me, now they have hidden away instead of coming out to fight the white people". He said oh sengkumhula a.uzui go Lotje 0 wate angilite, meaning, oh, I am thinking of the words of Lotje that I must pay ta>:." (68)

Lobengula is seen to be a deserted and betrayed king:

"I know noth ing of the death of Lobengul a because trusted nobody when he disappeared. He trusted no because some of the Matabele were already with white people, and he was afraid they would give away. When the i~i went to report to him he disappeared, and they don't know what happened him." (69)

he one the him had to

Siatcha provides a gentle assessment of Lobengula, tone

the wistful the

engendered perhaps by fifty years of colonial ism and

longing for an age then past:

"The Bantu are never satisfied with a I·<ing. They will always find fault with their king. Lobengula was a good king, but it is custom among the people to be dissatisfied with a man in his 1 ifetime, artd then when he is dead they say he is a good man. It is not a native custom to say that a man is good i~ his presence, because he might get proud. When his people praised Lobengula t6 his face it was just formal praise, usually at feasting time. But the people never made any complaint against Lobengula. To complain privately does not mean to say he is a bad king but just that they don't want to praise him in his presence or to his knowledge." (70)

In assessing the confl icts within the Ndebele polity, in a centralised and unified state is shown to be

a belief a myth.

Lobengula was neither an autocratic despot obsequiously obeyed, nor the focus for consensus rule through an untpakathi. The

"Nkuluman

syndrome" was a powerful divisive force

in

Ndebele

313

society. bel ieved

In 1893, it is recorded that some Ndebele communities that the invading Europeans were bringing Nkuluman to

be restored to the kingship. (71) The failure of prominent men, such as Gampu Sithole, to of to engage the European Ndebele forces
(72)

gives The into

emphasis divisions

the disunity within

society.

1893 this thesis has argued were projected

the resumption of a civil war in 1896. any

This disunity prevented to plan,

attempt by the Ndebele royal family or izinduna

organise or coordinate a "Rebellion".

In general as an

terms,

the Ndebele polity is perhaps best described or

interaction of largely autonomous local communities consisting of imisi izigaba,

and

ibutho,

which or

offered The and

voluntary allegiance to a confederal authority, Ndebele did act state was localised, independently.

King.

the local authorities could conflicts

Entrenched

cont inual 1 y confl icts is

threatened were that

to shatter the facade of unity.

In~ernal

diverse and compl e}(,

but the most prominent

flissure

which can be traced to 1839 with the forced reunification

of the Ndebel e under Mz i 1 ikatz i. The "Nkul uman" factor remained a powerful source of conflict within Ndebele society throughout It led to the development of a complex system at in a times prompted by convenience, The King as but such, equals. Europeans only from of

its history. allegiances, entrenched essentially bel ief found in

often was The who the

deep historical ties. local authority,

the first among

his absolute power derived from the at his kraal. Seeing 1 ife

themselves

314

perspective the

of the royal kraal gave a distorted impression

of

real ities of the distribution of power within the

Ndebele

pol ity. The pervading beliefs of the Europeans as to Tshaka and the
ZUllI

people may also have influenced their

perception

of

the Ndebel e. (73)

Lance

F.

Morrow

in his University of London and white attempted penetration to expl ain

seminar in the the

paper, Ndebele of

"Factional kingdom

politics

before

1885",

system

allegiances recognised that ties. support

whereby the Ndebele pol ity was ruled. the insecurity of Lobengula's position,

(74) Morrow and notes

allegiances could be sustained by personal or It is noted that many of the izinduna since they had were

historical bound to his the the they

Lobengula

initially

promoted "However increased

candidacy and so alienated the Nkuluman faction. king's dependence that on his personal following

1 ikel ihood

other coal ition leaders would ,feel that

were

not getting their due."

(75) Morrow notes that i Lobengul a He

also relied on pol itical patronage to sustain his position. attempted to replace persons of doubtful appointees of his own. loyalty with

reliable

It is noted however,

that. Lobengula's as a

ability to remove opponents and instal placemen was limited there "was al ways the chance of rebel 1 ion if he removed

popular officer."

(76)

Unfortunately, the

Morrow

was influenced in his interpretation by interaction in terms of

modern tendency to explain social

economic theory.

Morrow's dependence upon deterministic theory

315

reduces soc ia 1 his

his

rich

insight into the

complexities

of

Ndebele of

interaction to an emaciated economic base. is that; "This popul ar demand

The sum for

argument

European issue in

products Ndebele could state.
II

transformed white penetration into a major domestic alter the Morrow pol itics because control of balance of political

European wi th in

trade the in

power

(77)

believes that Lobengula was far poorer

cattle, such,

the traditional measure of wealth, than his father. As Lobengula had less largesse to distribute than

Mzil ikatzi,

in an effort to sustain loyalty through patronage.

(78) According to Morrow, Lobengula overcame this difficulty by creating a trade monopoly with the Europeans. to continue a system of patronage reliant
(79)

This enabled him upon control explains of the "This Ndebele hostility of

European hostility pol icy

trade. of the

This,

Morrow

contends, the

Nkuluman faction to rival factional

Europeans. within

threatened

interests

society and there are indications that their towards the

ap~arent

white penetration was at least partly a refl~ction com~ercial king's success in exploiting white purposes.
II

activity for

domestic pol itical

(80)

Morrow's

interpretation

can

be questioned

on

a

number

of

points. The establ ishment of a trading monopoly by Lobengula is not sustained by the evidence. Lobengula was powerless and to he

prevent

his izinduna from trading with the Europeans,

certainly commanded no obedience from the disaffected factions. Further the trade was small and unlikely to have been

316

significant Lobengula Ndebele mines,

even had

from a point of limited patronage. to gain a trade monopoly,

Even as

if the

attempted

had travelled south to work on the Rand and the influx of trade goods by those

Kimberley to

returning

disaffected izigalba would have countered this intention. was also possible Economic with the Portuguese to the north the

Trade and vogue

east. (81)

explanations are unfortunately

among many historians. Morrow draws his evidence from Europeans who view it were in Matabeleland primarily for the factional economic reasons. To

confl icts from the European evidence

gives

an economic overtone,

but this is to isolate one aspect of This appendix tensions were the

the conflict and to perceive it as the conflict. has been concerned with emphasising that these of Europeans and trade.

independent result of

These confl icts were

the historical experience which formed the

Ndebele "state".

pol i ty, and as such part of the nature of the Ndebel e

I

317
Footnotes: Appendix One.
(1) See pp.2 (2) See pp.ll 11. - 20.

Sole, "Culture, Politics and the black writer: A critical look at prevailing assumptions", English in Africa, vol 10, no 1, May 1983, pp. 37 - 84, (Grahamstown, Institute for the Study of English in Africa, Rhodes University).
(3) K.
(4) This appendix does not intend to provide a complete revision of Ndebele society, but simply to focus on those divisions which retarded a unified response to the settlers in 1893 and 1896.

(5) In an amalgamative state, as a heterogeneous society, there is likely to exist a degree of tension which is greater than in a homogeneous state. A dichotomy of interests may develop between the central authority and the local ities. Internal confl icts may restrain the military effectiveness of the state, especially when the state is threatened, as the localities safeguard their own interests. The tensions within an amalgamative state are 1 inked to geographical local ities and the racial , social and CLll tural origins of the peopl e. Conflicts are 1 ikely to arise between new elites formed by the process of amalgamation and the establ ished elites. In an amalgamative state, since racial origin is likely to be linked to social position, a form of class tension may develop. Class tensions, racial origin, family confl icts, geographical identification and the emergence of personally ambitious men, may manifest themselves in a struggle for local autonomy. These tensions may divide the state against itself, reducing its effectiveness as a defensive and offensive weapqn. Factions may perceive their local interests best served by acting against the interests of the central authority and the st~te as a whole. Though an amalgamative state may appear to be ruled by an absolutist monarch, this power is likely to be real only in the area over which he holds immediate sway. The central authority depends, therefore, upon its ability to win sufficient support from factions to maintain power. However, the central authority may be resisted, and such tensions would reveal themselves in outbreaks of rebellion, executions and punishment expeditions within the state itself. Natural factors would also further inhibite effective centralisation. As amalgamative states are likely to spread themselves over vast areas, difficulties of communication between ~ocal and central authorities mean that a local community inevitably acts on a day to day basis as an autonomous body. Some local authorities may take advantage of this independence to embark on a process of local imperial ism. Should that local ity gain sufficient power, it may in due course lead to a break - away from the parent state. Amalgamative states are likely to be in constant danger of civil war and fragmentation. (6) Cobbing, "The Ndebel e", Chapter two is a very important

318 source of detail for the growth of local ism and the confl icts it precipitated. Cobbing in his analysis of the events of 1896 - 7 failed to bear in mind the lessons he so clearly enunciated in th is chapter.
(7)

NAZ Hist. Mss. Wi 8/1/1 - 2.

(8) NAZ Hist. Mss. Wi 8/1/1, statement by Mvumi, p.B. (9) NAZ Hist. Mss. Wi 8/1/2, statement by Ginyalitsha, pp.15, 26 - 27, NAZ Hist. Mss. Wi 8/1/1, statement by Ntabeni Kumalo, p .56, Cobb i ng, "The Ndebe 1 e", Chapter 2. (10) Cobbing "The Ndebele", Chapter 2. This was the case with Faku and Tala as well as with Mahlahleni and Maduna. NAZ Hist. Mss. Wi 8/1/1, statement by Ntabeni Kumalo, p.67, as well as the evidence given below, indicates that a great deal of the opposition to Lobengula came from within the royal family. (11) This point has also been made by 8hebe, Traditional religion, Chapter one. Christianity and

(12) NAZ Hist Mss. Wi 8/1/1 -2. The oral evidence given by Ntabeni Kumalo is to be found in NAZ Hist. Mss. Wi 8/1/1. NAZ Hist. Mss. Wi 8/1/2 contains a series of statements made by several Ndebele informants. Hereafter the oral evidence taken from the Windram collection will simply state the name of the informant and the page number at which the quote may be found. (13) Statement by Ngungu, p.3. There is dispute at to who led the Amyama, Ginyalitsha, p.2, claims it was Gundwaan. (14) statement by Ginyal itsha, p.2. (15) statement by Ginyalitsha, pp.3 - 4, 9, Hobasi K4ma1o, p.l, Nd ak ama, p. 1 . (16) Statement by Ngungu, p.9. (17) Statement by Siatcha, p.8. (18) Statement by Ngungu, pp.2 - 3, 10, Ginyalitsha, p.2. (19) This episode is normally presented as a strategic division, however, the impression derived from the oral evidence by this writer leads to the sugges~ion that in the turmoil following on the clash with the Boers, the two groups which evolved in the flight north were but part of several refugee movements following on the dissolution of the Ndebele kingdom south of the Limpopo. Before their forced reunification they had evolved into two distinct pol ities independant of each other. The intentionality ascribed to this division is a rationalisation of the subsequent reunification whereby the oral tradition seeks to give a "wholeness" tq Ndebele history.

319 (20) Statement by Hobasi
~:::L1ma 10,

p.3.

(21) Statement by Ginyal i t.sha, p.4. (22) Statement by NgLlngLl , p •
0;:,_I.

(23) Statement by Siatcha, p.3. (24) Statement by Siatcha, p • ,_I.
0;:-

(25) Statement by Ginyal itsha, p.5. (26) Statement by NgLlngLl, p.5. (27) Statement by Nk ungLisi , p.2. (28) Statement by Ginyalitsha, p.6.
(29) Statement by Hobasi KLlmal 0, p .4 •

(30) Statement by Ginyalitsha, p.8. (31) Statement by Mvumi, p.5. (32) Statement by Siatcha, p • (33) Statement by Mvumi, pp.5
( :34) R• Br own ,

-

6. Historical Association, 1966),

..;.T..:.;h;...:;e'--......;N'-'-=d""e""b:...;e~l:...e=---=S....::;u'-"c:..;c;;...e;:;..s=s....::;i....::;o;..:.n.:...-C;;:.:...r.;;.i....::;s:...:i:...::s"----=-1-=8....::;6:...:8=--_-_..:.1....::;8'"'"7~? ,

(Sal isbLlry, P .10.

Central

African

(35) Observation made by R.F. p.69.

Windram, NAZ Hist,Mss. Wi 8/1/1,

i (36) Statements by Ntabeni KLima 1 0 , p.9, and Ginyalitsh, pp.6 7, deny that Umbigo was responsible for Manyebo's death.

(37) Statement by Siatcha, p .12. (38) Statement by Siatcha, p.8. (39) Statement by Ginyal itsha, p.30. (40) Statement by Ncupela, p.3.
(41)

Statement by MvutLi and Posela, p.2.

(42) Cobbing, "The Ndebele", pp.393 (43) See pp .110

-

394.

-

167.

(44) Statement by Mvutu and Posela, pp .1 - 2. (45) Statement by Ngungu, pp.6 - 7.

320

(46) Statement by Ncupela, p.4. (47) statement by Mvutu and Posela, p . ..::.
~\

(48) Statement by Ngungu, p.6. (49) Statement by Hobasi Kumalo, p.4. See also Ntabeni Kumalo, p.4, and p.16, where he states that Mcenceningi, a full sister of Lobengu 1 a, was k ill ed because: .. The susp ic i on came up that Mcenceningi took some things (l"Ipashli) and handed them to the Zwangendaba, because they used to see Kuluman privately. The King got suspicious that his sister was taking his property and sending it to Nkuluman." (50) statement by Mvumu, p.6. (51) Statement by Ginya 1 i tsha, p.7. (52) Statement by Ncupela, p .1(53) Statement by Ncupela, p.5. (54) Statement by Ncupel a, p.4. (55) Statement by Ncupela, p.5. (56) Statement by Ncupela, pp.6 - 7. (57) Statement by Ngungu, p.12. (58) statement by Mvutu and Posela, p.3. (59) Statement by Mvutu and Posel a, p.4. (60) Statement by Siatcha, pp .14 - 15. (61) statement by Mvutu and Posela, p.5. (62) Statement by Ginyalitsha, p .13. (63) Statement by Nkungusi, p.3. (64) Statement by Siatcha, pp .16 i -

17.

(65) Statement by Ginya 1 i tsha, p .16. (66) Statement by Siatcha, p.13. (67) Statement by Ginya 1 i tsha , pp.21

-

22.

(6B) Statement by Mvutu and Posela, p.7. (69) Statement by Ginya 1 i tsha, p.21.

321 (70) Statement by Siatcha, p.ll.
(71) (72) Br'ovm C.lAl.
~

The Ndebel e Succe:.:.i c.n Cr·i :.i :., Pagden a.nd R. Summer's,

p. 17.
(Cap e TOliJn,

The l.oJa.rric.r·:"

i:looks for Africa, 1970), pp.l02 -

111, 127 -

128. 460, for European

(73) See Cobbing, "The Ndebele", pp.446 misconceptions as to the Zulu and Ndebele.

(74) L. Morrow, University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, African History Seminar, 15 March 1972.
(7~i)

Morrow, "Factional pol itics and white penetration", p.4. Morrow, "F-actional Morrow, "Factional politics and white penetration", p.4. pol itics and white penetration", pp.l

C/6)

(77)
..::..
~

.

(78) Morrow, "F-actional pol itics and white penetration", pp.4 I:

"_,

.

C/9)

Morrow, "Factional Morrow, "Factional

politics and white penetration", p.5. pol itics and white penetration", pp.6 219.

(80) 9.

(81) Cobbing,

"The Ndebele", pp.152 -

i

322

Appendix Two

The Native Department in Matabeleland and Mashonaland

(1)

The

origin

of

the Native Department in Matabe1eland the Rhodesian

can

be

traced

to a report of 26 January 1894 in

Herald

which been

stated that Johan Co1enbrander and a Mr appointed at Bulawayo with special

Carruthers to

had pay

instructions people.

attention had when group.

to the affairs of the African

Co1enbrander
1888,

been in Matabeleland at the King's kraal since July he had accompanied Rennie Taylor's concession

hunting

He had also accompanied E.

A. Maud and Lobengu1a's two

izinduna,

Mtshete and Babayan, to England in the early part of

1889 on a mission to Queen Victoria. He was at the King's kraal

when the Pioneer column passed through Matabeleland en route to Mashonaland, Lieutenant del ivered at and he carried messages from Having to Dr
\

Jameson which
I

and he he

Colonel the

Pennefather

Lobengula received

Lundi river.

repl ies

returned to Lobengula and then left for the south.

By November

1890, he was back at Lobengu1a's kraal with his wife Molly, and

shortly

afterwards

accepted the post of

Chartered

Company's

representative with Lobengula. He appears to have played a part in spreading rumours of an impending invasion
~mong

the Ndebele

in an attempt to provoke a reaction to serve as the pretext for the 1893 !Alar. (2) The t-1atabeleland News and Mining Record of

the

7 and 18 April,

and 30 June 1894 refer to Colenbrander as
8ulpin in The White Whir·lwind claims

Native Commissioner. T. V.

323

that this Select

he

was Chief Native Commissioner from the

beginning of

of a

engagement. Committee dated

(3) The Appendix to the Second Report of the House of Commons on British

South Chief further

Africa, Native detai 1 s.

13 July 1897,

sets out that he had been in
1894 without

Commissioner,

Matabeleland,

No

further appointments can be traced until Government This notice divided the

Notice

No 14 of 4 Oecember 1894.

"Territory"

into five districts, each with an Assistant Native Commissioner in charge, together with a sixth assistant in Bulawayo and

district. These districts were roughly: No 1 No :2 No West of Bulawayo, with headquarters at Gampu's kraal North of Bulawayo, with headquarters at Inyati. 3 - North east and east of Bulawayo, with headquarters at

Murenis. No 4 - South east of Bulawayo, with No headquarter~ at Bel ingwe.

5 - South and south west of Bulawayo,

with headq_arters at

Gjatul a's kraal. Respective appointments were W. Taylor, A. M. Graham, E. R.

Miller, H. P. Fynn, H. Driver and D. Pennent.

On and name

1 May 1895 the Administrator proclaimed the name "Rhodesia" divided the "Territories" afresh, to each district - Bubi, giving an Gwelo, appropriate Belingwe,

Bulawayo,

Gwanda,

Bulalema,
(4 )

Mangwe, Wankie, Sebungu and Mafungu Busi in The history of the appointment of Assistant

Matabeleland.

Native Commissioners is a complex one.

J. P. Richardson and W.

324

J.

Leslie were appointed to Gwanda and Bulawayo of whom it seems stayed long. Driver

respectively, room for

neither

(5) To make

Richardson, in

it seems was shifted to Gwelo where he was his

March 1896.

(6) About this time Colenbrander resigned

appointment to be replaced by H. Justice of

J.

Taylor,

who was gazetted
1895.

the Peace for Bulawayo on 9

September

(7)

Lesl ie also resigned and his place was taken by R. was (8) appointed to the Bulawayo district on 17 At the same time H.

Lanning who
1895.

September appointed to

J.

~ynn

was

the

Battlefields block of farms, in

a special area,

already included

the descriptions set out in the Proclamation of March 1895. further appointments produced two new which were carved out of gazetted districts,

(9) On 11 November 1895, areas,

namely Umsingwaan and Insiza,

some of the previously,

and so recently,

and to whom H. M. C. Jackson and H. P.Fynn respectively. Richardson,
(10)

(from Bel ingwe) went

At the same time C.

G. Fynn took over from

who resigned at Gwanda, and B. W. Armstrong and S.
(11)

Carter were appointed to Mangwe and Bulawayo respectIvely. By
17 December 1895, (12)

S.

N.

G.

Jackson had assumed duty Carter

at to

Bel ingwe. Inyati, was: Bulawayo

There

were

other changes such as

but the"1 ikely situation in Matabeleland iri March 1896

H.

J.

Taylor (Chief Native Commissioner, absent on

leave), D. Pennent, R. Lanning. Bubi - A. M. Graham, S. Carter. Gwelo - H. Driver. Belingwe - S. N. G. Jackson.

"""'C" 3 .s::.._t

Gwanda - C. G. Fynn. Bulalema - W.
~.

Thomas (acting Chief Native Commissioner)

Mangwe - H. M. Armstrong. Umsingwaan - H. M. G. Jackson. Insiza - H. P. P. Fynn. Battlefields Block - H. J. Fynn. Filabusi - A. Bentley. No appointments can be traced for
(13)

Tuli,

Wankie,

Sebungu

or

Mafungu Busi.

The

history

of

African

administration

in

Mashonaland

is

similarly obscure. with African

On being appointed to head a body concerned in Mashonaland, turned the Fort Victoria the

affairs

interpreter,

J.

S.
(14)

Brabant,

to his comrades in W.
E•
\

Pioneer column. control appointed matters

His first recruit was A. Salisbury.
( 1::5 )

Campbell to Wea 1 e wa s

around

M•

to Marandellas,

shortly after Brabant and

Campbell

started operations.

(16) Brabant's companion of Pre)oria days,

W. E. Clarke opened up an pffice in Lomagundi in October, while another comrade,
189~i

W. of

A. Armstrong was sent to Mtoko's in April these men styl ed themsel ves "Nat i ve



(17 )

Al 1

Commissioner", the Hut

but it is 1 ike1y that they were appointed under as "Co11 ectors". This

Ta>: Ordinance (No 5) of 1894

ordinance was published on 12 October 1894.

The

Administrators Proclamation of 1 May 1895 set on its feet with the definition of Hartley, Lomagundi, the

the

Native

Department districts

fo1 lowing Mazoe,

- Charter,

Mak on i ,

326

Mengwendi(sic) , Tul i and

Mel setter,

Mtibi,

Sabi, Salisbury, Victoria, the Native In be

Umtal i. during
1 ist

The history of appointments to this early period is not always of "Native Commissioners" is

Department Charter the

clear. to

known

incomplete.

A man referred to as "Thompson" can be traced, who

was probably replaced by Peter Forrestall, who was appointed to Charter on 1 October 1894. (18) L. C. Meredith became Assistant Native Commissioner in May 1895. (19) W. M. Taylor also claims (20) In Hartley, 1894.

to have been appointed in May 1895 to Charter. Henry Thurgood was appointed "Collector" on 1

November

(21) D. E. Mooney took over on 10 September 1895. (22) Thurgood went to his farm where he was murdered in late June 1896, as

was Mooney on a visit to Mashayamombe's kraal. In Lomagundi, W.

E.

Clarke

opened up an office on about 5 October

1894.(23)He

appears to have moved away in February or March 1895. For about a month, have office between April and June 1895, T.

B. Hulley claims to

been "Native Commissioner". (24) Hulley wa

T shifted

to the an

of the Chief Native Commissioner in Sal isburw after

attempt to collect labour led to the murder of a white and from Jul y.

trooper

the shooting of an African headman. (25) Mynhardt was moved Mel setter to Lomagundi where he arrived on about Mynhardt the 30 men,

was murdered at his camp with two other on Sunday 21 June 1896.

Slater and Cove, claims

(26) L. C. Meredith , to have been appointed to Makoni's district in November His first gazetted appointment was (28) On 4 June 1895, Makoni's ward, T. that of Field

1894.(27)

Cornet at Rusapi. Field Cornet for

Pretorius was made having moved to

Meredith

327 Charter. Headlands. Lesapi Pol lard on Pretorius A. 20 April appears R. 1895. to have been storekeeping at at H. and

Ross became "Nat i ve Commi ssioner" (30) On 10 December 1895, H.

was appointed Field Cornet for the ward of Mazoe,

had his headquarters in the vicinity of the Al ice Mine. kil led by his own police in June 1896. to have been a "Native Commissioner"

He was

(31) M. E. Weale claims in Marandellas during

1894.

He did not stay long and W. Edwards was appointed to the district as from 1 May 1895. (32) This district

Mangwendi

incl uded Marandell as, impossible When 1896,

where he bui 1 t a second camp, "as it was one center". (33)

to work the district from only

Edwards a Mr

went on sick leave towards the end of Morris took over from him and

September from Mrewa

worked

Marandellas.

On his return from leave,

Edwards went to

and Morris continued at Marandellas.(34) According to the Civil Service 1 ists, 26 April A.H. Newnham was appointed to Mel setter on the Due to his i 1895 and resigned in October of that year.
\

experience

in

controlling Shangaan Africans while a T. B.

compound

manager in Basutoland, Sep t ember 1895. 1896,

Hulley was sent to Melsetter in W. Nesbitt on 30 May

(35) On the death of J.

Hulley moved to take his place at Umtal i. L. C. Meredith (36) In Victoria, Commissioner" A. Drew on 1

replaced him arriving in June 1896. claims that he was J. appointed W.

"Native

September

1894.

Eksteen was at N'danga from 1

August

1895.(37) P.

Forrestall was transferred to Victoria from Chibi (38) W. E. Weale, once at Marandellas, assumed (39) E. H. Compton

in January 1896.

duty at Chilimanzi during the war of 1896. - Thompson was appointed
II

Ta}: Coll ector" for Umtal i on about 21

328

September 1894. (40) He was replaced by J. W. Nesbitt., who was succeeded by T. probably B. Hulley in June 1896.(41) W. E. E. Scott was the

appointed at this time to an out station towards probably Mutanbare's section.
(42) J.

south east, was

S. Brabant Executive

dismissed

as Chief Native Commissioner by

the

Council in November 1895 and replaced by H. M. Taberer, who had become Assistant Chief Native Commissioner in June 1895.
(43)

No appointments can be traced for Sabi, Mtibi or Tuli.

The 1 ikely situation in Mashonaland in June 18q6 was: Lomagundi - J. Mynhardt. Mazoe - H. H. Pol lard Charter Hartley Sal isbury Campbell. Mangwendi W. Edwards.

w.

M. Taylor (absent in Matabeleland).

D. E. Mooney. - H. M. Taberer (Chief Native Commissioner), D.

Makoni - A. R. Ross. Umtal i T. B. HLllley, W. E: E. Scott.

Mel setter - L. C. Meredith. Victoria - J. W. Eksteen, P. Forrestall.

3L:9

Footnotes: Appendix Two

(1) This Appendix is derived in a large measure from H. A. Cripwell 's collection of notes, documents and research on the Native Department which forms part of the Historical Manuscript collection of the National Archives of Zimbabwe. The reader is also referred to J. Mclean, The Guardians, (Bulawayo, Books of Rhodesia, 1974), J ..J. Taylor, "The origins of the Native Uepartment in Southern Rhodesia, 1890 - 1898", University of Rhodesia, History Department Seminar paper no 7. (2) C 7171, Cobbing, "The Ndebele", pp. Glass, The Matabele l..jar, (Lc1ndon, Longman, Green, 1968), pp.163 - 172. (3) T.V. Bulpin. 1961), p. 300 • The White Whirlwind, (Cape Town, Nelson,

(4) Administrators Proclamation, 1 May 1895. (5) Government Notice no 77, 9 Notice no 99, 11 November 1895.
(6)

September

1895;

Government

._, Government Notice no 140, 1'"'" December 1896.

en
(S)

Government Notice no TI, 9 September 1895. Government Notice no 77, 9 September 1895.

(9 ) Government Notice no 81 , 17 September 1895. (10) Government Notice no 99, 11 November 1895. (11) Government Notice no 21, Notice no 99, 11 November 1895. 25 February
1~96;

Government
I

(12) Government Notice no )10, 7 December 1895. (13) NAZ Hist. Mss. Cr 2/12/4/2. (14) Rhodesia Herald, 7, 21 September and 21 December 1894. (15) NAZ Hist. Mss. Cr 2/12/4/2. (16) NAZ Hist. Mss. Cr 2/12/4/2. (17) NAZ N 1/1/12, NAZ Hist. Mss. Ed 6/1/1. (18) Beach, "Pol itics of collaboration", p .19, notes el even personnel changes at the Range Station within one year. NAZ N 1/1/9, list of officials dated 4 June 1896. (19) NAZ Hist. Mss. Cr 2/12/4/2, Civil Service 1 ists. (20) NAZ Hist. Mss. Cr 2/12/4/2, Civil Servite lists.

330

(21) NAZ N 1/1/3. (22) NAZ N 1/2/1. (23) NAZ N 1/1/5. (24) NAZ Hist. Mss. Cr 2/12/4/2, Civil Service lists. (25) See pp.228 - 229. (26) NAl N 1/1/12.
(27)

NAZ Hist. Mss. Cr 2/12/4/2. 1895.

(28) Government Notice no 35, 30 April

(29) Government Notice no 48, 4 June 1895. (30) NAZ Hist. Mss. Cr 2/12/4/2, Civil Service lists. (31) Government Notice no 105, 10 December 1895. See p.245. (32) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ed 6/1/1. (33) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ed 6/1/1. (34) NAZ Hist. Mss. Ed 6/1/1. (35) NAZ Hist. Mss. Cr 2/12/4/2, Civil Service 1 i sts • (36) Government Notice no 68, 9 .June 1896. (37) NAZ Hist. Mss. Cr 2/12/4/2, Civil Service 1 i sts •
I
\

(38) NAZ Hist. Mss. Cr 2/12/4/2, Ci vi 1 Service lists. (39) Government Notice no 19, 23 February 1897. (40) NAl N 1/1/1. (41) Government Notice no 119, 21 October 1896; Notice no 129, 17 November 1896, NAZ N 1/1/11. (42) NAZ Hist. Mss. Cr 2/12/4/2. (43) Government Notice no 100, 26 November 1895. Government

Bi b 1 i ography A. Primary Sources
1)

331

Documents from the National Archives of Zimbabwe. (In the text prefixed by NAL)

The reader is referred to T. W. Baxter , ed.,Guide to the t-='ubl i c Arch i ve-:- of Rhclde-:-ia. vol. 1• 1890 - 1 '7'23! (S-.=._1 i sbury. National Archives, 1968) ,for details of the documents whose codes are quoted here. British South Africa Company. Ser-ies A: Administr-atc,r-s Office. A 1./2_/1, A 1/4, A 1./8, A 1.,.....7', A 1/11, A 1/12/1 -42, A 11::i/l -4, A 2/111 -9, A 2/8/1- 6, A 2/9/1- 8, A 2/14/1-2, A 8/411 - 9, A 3/18/1 -45, A 10/1/1-2,A 10/6, A 10/9, A 10/10, 1-4, A 10/2/1-6. Series C: Census. C 1/1! C 3/2/1 - 7. Ser-ies D: Ci~.Ji 1 Commi-:-siclner-s and t'lagistrates. De 1_/1/1 -2, De 1.1211 10, lIv -/121 1- 3, lJt 1/10/1 -6. Ser i es Sa: Gener--.=._1 Of fie er Command i ng 1896 Rebe I I i on For-ces. B-.=._ 1/1/1, Ba ~/l/1, Ba 2/8/1, Ba 2/9/1-~, Ba 3/1/1-7, Ba 3/2/1.-3, Sa 4/1/1 -~, Sa 5/1/1-2, Sa 5/2/1 -2, Sa 6/1/1 - 6, Sa 8/1/12, Ba ~/l/1, Ba 8/2/1. Series 0 and S: District Courts. 0 1/1/1 -12, 0 3/6/ -20, S 303, S 304, D 3/18/1 -22, D 4/17/ 1 - 13, D 1/2/ 1-9, D 2/2/1. 14, D 3/5/1 -11, D 4/~/l - 14. Series N: N-.=._tive Department. Chief N-.=._tive Commis\=-ioner. N 1/1./1 - 12, N 1/2/1-4, N 3/3/1 -10, N 3/4/1 - 5, N 3/14/1 -8, N 9/111 - 10, N 9/5/6. I Series S: Native Department. out stations. S 716. Series T: Division of the Treasurer. T 2/27/1 - 8, T 8/4/1 - 5. Series J and S: Division of the Attorney General. J·l/1/1, J 1/2 - 8! Jb 1/1, Jdb 1/1, Jg 1/2, Jgb 1/1, S 401, S 412. Series M: Mines Department. M 1/1/1 - 3, M 1/3 -5, M 2/2 -3, M 3/9/1 - 3, M 9/12/1 -10, M 9/18/ 1 -3, M 9/141 1 - 5. Ser-ies Ct: Cape TClt/m (Kimber-Ie;..') Offices. Ct 1/8/1-7, Ct 1/11/1/1 -11, Ct 1/11/3/1 - 26, Ct 1/15/1 -8, Ct 1/19/1 -5, Ct 1/22/1, ct 1/24/1 -12, Ct 2/1/1 -10, Ct 2/4/1 -5, Ct 2/5/1 -2, ct 2/11/1 - 22.

Ser· i es Ec: 6/111 - 2.

Execu ti ve Cc,unc i 1, Ec 2 . /1../1

-2,

Ec

1..-···1../1

-

4,

Ec Rc

Series Lo: London Office, Lo 4/1/1-9, Lo 5/2/0-58, Lo 5/6/1 14, Lo 5/10/1-8, Lo 8/211. Ber·ies Rc: Resident Cc,mmissic,ner·, 1 I ?, Rc 6/2, Rc 5/1. Rc 1/1, R,- 1./2,Rc 1/:3,

2) Historical Manuscript Collection of the National Archives of Zimbabwe. (I nth e t ext pre fix e d b)-' NA Z His. t, t·'l s s· , )
The reader is referred to Guide to the Historical Manuscripts in the National Archives of Rhodesia, (Salisbury, National

Archives, 19~0) ,which contains details on most of the documents quoted here. Ac l i l l i , H. Adams - Acton Diary. Al 1/1 - 6, Lieut - General Sir ~.A.H. Alderson. Al 411 - 4, E:..8. Al ston . Ang 1/1/1 - 6, Angl ican Church. Ang 1/2/1 -2, Angl ican Church. Ang 1/8/1, Anglican Church. Ang 1/101 ~, 8, Anglican Church. Ar 4/1, W.L Armstrong. Misc. Ay I l l , C. Aytoun. Ba III - 2, A. B. Balfour. Ba 4/1, M.D. Barker. Ba ~/l- 2, W. Bath. Misc. Ba 6/1, M.W. Barnard. Ba 9/1/1, F.R.T. Balfour. Ba 10/1/1 -2, A.C. Bailie. Ba 13/1/1, W.H. Barry. Ba 15/1 - 2, O. Baragwanath. Be 6/1/1, C.W. Benson. Be 9/1/1, C. H. Berger. Be 9/3/1 -2, C.H. Berger. Be 10/1/1, A.E:.. Bechley. Misc. B1 5/1, I--.T. Bl yth. Be 12/2/1, E.A. Beghie. Bi 3/1/1 -4, E.C. Tyndale - Biscoe. Bi ~/4/1, E. C. Tyndale - ~lscoe. Bl 111 - 3, .J.L. Blakinsten. Misc. Bl 6/1 -2, J.B.A. Bland. Bl 7/1 - :2, E. Bl atch . Misc. Bl 8/1, C.H. Blackenberg. Bo 1/1 - 2, A. Boggie. Bo 2/1 - 3, W.J. Boggie. Bo 3/1/1, Sir. G.J. Bower. Bo 4/1/1, D.P. Bottomley. Misc. Bo 10/1, E. F. Boultbet. Bo 11.41 - ~" H. J. Borrow. Br 8/1/1, Bishop S.W.H. Knight - Bruce. Misc. Br 1011, R. Bray.

I

Misc. Br l~/l, ~. Bradley. Mise. Bu 2/1/2, F-.R. Bur-"nham. Ca 3/1/1, D. Carnigie. Ca 4/1/5 -~, J. Carruthers. Ca 4/4/1, ~, 6, J. Carruthers. Ca 4/4/10 - 11, J. Carruthers. Misc. Ca ~/l, M.M. Carnegie. Misc. Ca 6/1, E:.. W. Cal decott . Ch ~/4/1, Cooper - Chadwick. Ch 6/1 - 2, Chamber of Mines, Salisbury. Mi sc. C 1 1 I i l l , "j. eli n t on • Co 1 / 1 I 1, .J. Cook. Co 4/1/1, J. Colenbrander. Co 4/8/1 -2, J. Colenbrander. Co 6/1/1, C. Cowan. Cr -/16/1 -2, H. A. Cripwell. Cr 71113/1 - 2, H.A. Cripwell. Cr -/18/1/1 ,If, 10,11,12, 18, 20, H.A. Cripwell. Cr 7/9/3 -2, H.A. Cripwe"ll • Cr "//24/1, H.A. Cripwell. Cr 7/26/1/3, H. A. Cripwell. Da 1/1 - 3,4, J. Dawson. Da 3/1, 3, A. Davis. Da 6/1 - 3, Darl ing. Misc. (lh 1/1/1 - 2, T. Dhl amini. Misc. Dr 2/1/1, W. I. S. Driver. Misc. Ed 6/1/1, W. Edwards. Misc. Fi 1/1/1, R. F-isher. Misc. Ga 2/1/1, Gambo. 8i 3/1 11, A. Giese. Misc. G1 1/1/1, L. S. Glover. Go 1/1/1, Genera 1 Sir A. .J. God 1 ey • Gr 1/1/1, Earl Grey. Ha 14 11 I 1, C. H Ha 1 k et t • Misc. He 6/1/1, H. J. A. Hervey. Ho 2/1/1, H. M. Hole. Ja 3/1/1, A. J. Jameson. Ja 4/1/1, Sir A. W. Jarvis. Ja 5/2/1 -6, S,N.G. Jackson. Jo !:./l/1, F. Joyner. Misc. Lo 51111, H.M.M. Loots. Ma 1/2/2, .J. Ma>:wel 1 • Me 1/1/1, J. Meikle. Mi sc. Mh 1 I 1 / 1, Mh 1 ah 10. Mo 1511/1, J. Moore. Misc. Nj 111/1, L. Njube. Pa 1/1/1 - 3,G. Parsons. Misc. F-'h. 1/2/1, L. C. Phillips. Po 1/1 - 2, R. S. S. Baden - Powell • Ro 5/2/1 - 2, R.V. Rorke. Misc. Sa 14/1/1, J. W. Salthouse. Be 2/1 11 - 2, J. E:.. Scot t • We 3/2/5,6, M. E. Wea1e. Wi 8/1/1 - 3, R.F-. Windram. Wi 13/1/1, H. H. Wi 1 1 i ams •

"

384

3) Historical Manuscripts in the Cape Town Archives.

The reader is referred to Guide to Accessions in the Cape Town Archives Depot, (Pretoria, Government Archives Service, 1982), for details of the manuscripts whose codes are quoted here. A 88, A 256, A 251, A 260, A 302, A 607, A 6~12 , A 7::;:8, A 823, A 987, 1 ~r~;2, A 1993, A 2112, A 2199.
37~i

, A 431 , A 476, A 540, A A 1336, A 1442, A 1456, A

4) Historical Manuscripts in the Transvaal Archives The reader is referred to Gids of Aanwinste in die Traansvaalse Argiefbewaarplek, (Pretoria, Staatsargief, 1981), for details of the manuscripts whose codes are quoted here.
WHA /' 1, WHA 122,

WHA

1~~,

A 16(,

A

1~21,

A

1~25,

A 1283, A

1364, A 1369.

B. Printed PrimarY Sources 1) British Government Command Papers

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335

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