ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: The Portuguese in Zambezi Valley: Portuguese attempts to colonise the Mutapa State
Due to a decline in trade the Portuguese decided to send an emissary to the Mutapa State
He was tasked with tracing the trade route and work on ways to control and monopolise this route.
He was also tasked with getting to know the ruling class, the Mutapa himself, his sub-chiefs and try and enter into mutual and friendly treaties.
The primary aim was to improve the mining and trade in gold.
Antonio Fernandes was the emissary who was sent to Mutapa state by the Portuguese in 1513.
He was versed in the coastal and interior languages and customs.
He visited a lot of places including Manyika, Barwe, Tavara, Tete, Mbire, Fura and Harava and talked of the abundance of gold in the area.
He urged the Portuguese to enter the hinterland and establish trading ports and develop mining and trade in gold and copper.
The Portuguese sent other emissaries who reached the same conclusions.
The Mutapa later asked for a permanent representatives of the Portuguese to be stationed in his kingdom who was given the title “Captain of the Gates” who was in charge of relations between Portuguese traders and the Mutapa King.
Fernao de Proemca was the first Captain of the gates, he was appointed by the Portuguese but had to be approved by the Mutapa..
He resided at Masapa.
He also had the title “Great Wife bestowed on him and his appointment was permanent.