ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: Political organization of the Ndebele State
- The Ndebele State was a centralized and militarized state
- This means that all the political, military, administration, judiciary and religious were in the hands of the king
- The king was responsible for the selection of indunas and chiefs and these reported on activites in their areas
- The kings wives were stationed in regimental towns as spies
- The Ndebele king distributed captives
- The Ndebele state settlements were located close to the king’s palace, i.e about 80 km radius.
- All national ceremonies were presided over by the king, for example, the Inxwala
- The king was assisted by two councils in ruling and administration of the state.
- The highest and first decision making council was the Mphakati and this comprised of the Zansi group members
- The second one with members chosen by merit was called the Izikulu. It had elders recognized for their wisdom on the Ndebele tradition and customs
- These two groups checked on the king’s political powers to ensure that he did not have absolute powers
- The Izikulu deliberated and communicated their views with the Mphakati
- The state was divided into regimental towns which include the Amanyama,
Amakanda, Amahlope and the Izigaba.
- Each town had a settlement of soldiers, civilians and leader called Induna usually from the Zansi class
- The chiefs and indunas distributed cattle at a limited level
- Chiefs and indunas took turns to travel to the royal court to be on the king’s advisory council
- Tribute was paid to the king to show loyalty and allegiance
- Failure to pay tribute was seen as rebellion and was punished by regular raids
To access more topics go to the History Notes page.
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