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 Form 3 History: European Invasion and the Process of Colonization of Africa

Causes of the Chimurenga war.

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Answer Text:
Causes of the Chimurenga war.
a) The war broke out because the Shona and the Ndebele feared disruption of their age-old and valued trade and trade routes.
b) They fought for economic and trade independence. The company had stopped shona Gold and ivory trade with the Portuguese and forced them to trade only with the
company only and at low exchange rates.
c) They were fighting against land alienation. The BSA Company had alienated the Ndebele land and pushed them to the Gwaai and Shangani reserves that had no water and were infested with tsetseflies.
d) The war eroded the Ndebele traditional authority. When Lobengula’s sons were sent
to South Africa by Rhodes for education, they were denied chance of succeeding their father.
e) They detested the removal of the rights of chiefs to allocate land. The British ruined the regimental system and refused to recognize the power of the indunas and Ndebele laws.
f) The British began to assume the rights to punish the subjects on behalf of the
chiefs. Sometimes even the chiefs were also punished. E.g, Chief Moghabi’s village was burnt.
g) They revolted against taxation which was an interference with their economic independence. The hut tax, introduced in 1894 was collected with much brutality.
h) The Ndebele were not pleased with the recruitment of the shona in the police
force. They felt humiliated as the shona took the chance to revenge for the many years of oppression.
i) They resented the general brutality of the whites when dealing with the Africans, like threatening the black people with punishment just before pay, to cause them to run away.
j) They wanted the removal of the policy of forced labour on European mines
and farms where workers operated under deplorable conditions, often whipped with syambok (whip) and worked for long hours without chance to engage in activities of their choice.
k) The company disregarded the Ndebele customs especially the class system. They treated everybody equally, including the Holi – who were traditionally slaves to the Ndebele aristocrats. The traditional leaders were sometimes flogged before their subjects.
l) The confiscation, by the company, of 250,000 head of cattle in 1893 from the Ndebele. Leaving them with
only 50,000 affected by cattle disease. The rights to raid the shona for cattle was also denied.
m) The people were resented more by the Natural calamities that continued to afflict them and which religious mediums like Mlimo blamed on the presence of the whites.
n) The influence of the Mwari cult leaders who
urged people to resist with an assurance of victory against the British and immunity against the European bullets.