Mzilikazi Khumalo

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

To access more topics go to the History Notes page.