Slaves toiling. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: Zimbabwe 1894-1969: Methods used to Recruit Labour

  • The settlers used force to get labour at first chibharo, slave or forced labour
  • They forced local chiefs to supply able bodied men
  • Policemen would raid villages and force all able bodied men to go and work
  • In 1903, the Native Labour Bureau was established to recruit native labour
  • It was used to recruit by force men from Zambia, Nyasaland (Malawi) and Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique)
  • The workers worked for twelve contracts and earned very low wages
  • African workers were subjected to cruel punishment if they tried to escape such as being jailed with hard labour
  • Arresting and sentencing those who ran away was also used as a way to secure cheap labour
  • Africans evicted to the reserves found them less productive and this forced them to work for the settlers
  • Landless natives were taken advantage of as they were heavily exploited by the settlers because they had nowhere to go
  • The settlers also employed system of tying the peasant to a farm which was a system whereby a worker was payed after the farmer had harvested their crop
  • This was to make sure an employee stayed with one farmer
  • Europeans would also extend a good hand to keep their workers such as lending them food stuffs
  • The introduction of taxes ensured that African worked for them to raise the monies

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