ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: Political organization of the Ndebele State
- The Ndebele had a standing army
- The Ndebele also practiced the age regimental system
- Membership in the regimental system was hereditary
- The men could marry after they had been granted permission by the king
- The Ndebele army was not only used for war purposes but also for raiding the Shona and Ngwato
- The army also maintained law and order in the state
- The soldiers were cattle herders in times of peace
- In the late years of Mzilikazi’s reign the army consisted of about 20 000
- Almost every male in the state was enrolled in the army
- Soldiers were allowed to marry and stay with their wives in regimental towns
- Married soldiers were the reserve of the army and called in times of emergency
- Young men in the army played more of production roles such as farming and herding cattle rather than being full time soldiers
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