ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: The First Chimurenga: The Ndebele Uprisings
- The battle began in March 1896 when the British initiated the Jameson raid.
- The Ndebele killed many British soldiers by end of March
- The Ndebele also killed farm and mine Shona workers who worked for Whites
- The Ndebele used traditional weapons, for example, arrows, assegai, axes and knobkerries
- The Ndebele were led by the most senior induna as they did not have a king
- These political leaders worked hand in hand with religious leaders
- The Ndebele were helped in their victory by religious leaders, i.e. Mabwani, Umlugulu and Mkwati
- These leaders blamed the whites for the calamities that were affecting the Ndebele such as locusts and rinderpest
- When Major Plummer became the commander of the Matebele Relief Force he managed to defeat the Ndebele soldiers and drove them out of Bulawayo.
- The Ndebele were defeated at Umguza in June
- The Ndebele army then retreated into Matopo Hills
- The British force tried to do the scorched earth method to starve the Ndebele but could not sustain this as new uprisings began in Mashonaland
- The British forces then followed the Umguza battl with another one in at Ntaba Zika Mambo
- Rhodes then thought it wise to make peace with the Ndebele and it led to peace talks called Indaba Talks because:
- The war was now expensive for the BSAC
- Mines closed and BSAC was losing profits
- The British parliament wanted to withdraw the Royal Charter
- Rhodes’ forces could not fight both Ndebele and Shona uprisings
- The talks were done in Matopo hills by Rhodes, Dr Sauer (his friend), Vere Slent (a correspondent of Cape Times) and John Calentranoleri (interpreter)
- A settlement was reached and Rhodes used bribery to secure the agreement on 13 October 1896
- He promised that:
- He would remove the BSAC force and only leave a small permanent force
- He would the give seed and food supplies to the Ndebele
- He would pay all Ndebele indunas
- In return the Ndebele were supposed to:
- Hand over all their weapons to Rhodes
- Give Rhodes all who had murdered the white forces
To access more topics go to the History Notes page.
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