Charles Rudd.

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes:The Colonization of Zimbabwe:The Rudd Concession of 30 October 1888

  • Rhodes thought that Lobengula could cancel the Moffat treaty so he came up with a plan on how to secure Zimbabwe.
  • He had to secure mining rights hence the need for a concession.
  • This led to the sending of Charles Rudd and his negotiators to go and seek a concession with Lobengula called the Rudd Concession
  • The team consisted of Rochfort Maigure (a very close friend of Rhodes and a law graduate from Oxford), Francis Thompson (an interpreter fluent in Nguni languages) and Charles Rudd (a business associate of Rhodes in the De Beers company and the team leader)
  • The team found Lobengula in a no negotiation mood as he was under pressure from his amabutho who wanted to kill whites in the Ndebele state
  • They could not talk to him for a full month but they remained persistent
  • Charles Helm a missionary of the London Missionary Society was already operating in the Ndebele state and was Lobengula’s close ally was bribed by the team
  • He supported the Rudd Concession seekers and pleaded on their behalf to the king
  • The Concession seekers also bribed also bribed Lotshe and Sikombo who were senior indunas and these began supporting them too
  • Sir Shippard also tricked Lobengula into signing the treaty as he said that they were sent by the British Queen
  • It was signed with Charles Helm as the witness

Written terms of the Rudd Concession

  • Lobengula received 100 pounds per month
  • Lobengula was to get 1000 rifles (guns)
  • Lobengula was also to get 100 000 rounds of ammunition (bullets)
  • A gunboat was to be stationed in the Zambezi River
  • A minimum of 10 unarmed British soldiers were to be allowed into the kingdom at a time
  • The whites were to do what they deemed necessary
  • The Whites were granted all metals and minerals in Matebeleland

Non – written terms of the Rudd Concession

  • Lobengula promised that no more than ten men would enter his kingdom.
  • The whites agreed to follow the Ndebele rules
  • The British also promised to help Lobengula defend his state when required
  • There was to be entrance of British men and weapons before the payment of the 1000 rifles promised to Lobengula
  • A concession notice was to be published in the newspaper to notify other European powers
  • The Whites were supposed dig one hole and go back to South Africa.

Lobengula’s Reaction to the Rudd Concession

  • Lobengula wrote a letter complaining to the queen that he had not given away his country
  • The letter went with his indunas Mshete and Babayane
  • The queen told Lobengula that he was supposed to have given a cow not the herd to a stranger
  • Lobengula even killed Lotshe and Sikombo for betraying him
  • He even published notices in the newspapers explaining that he had not sold the country and sent a chance party to follow Maigure but it was to no avail
  • He invited many explorers to his court to explain himself but it did not stop the occupation of Zimbabwe
  • Lobengula signed the Lippert treaty to frustrate Rhodes but Rhodes bought the treaty
  • The Lipperty treaty granted exclusive rights to German financier Lippert for a hundred years

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