Hunter and Guide Courtney Selous

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes:The Pioneer Corps

  • After obtaining the royal charter, Rhodes organized a party to occupy Zimbabwe
  • It was led by Frank Johnson and its guide was Fredrick Courtney Selous who was once a hunter in Zimbabwe
  • He sent out adverts worldwide for people to apply and only 200 were selected who had African experience and were 30 years and below
  • The selected were put on Rhodes’ payroll and had various skills including teachers, miners, blacksmiths, carpenters, farmers, bakers, nurses and also traders.
  • Each member of the column was promised 3000 acres and 15 gold mines upon reaching Mashonaland
  • Each member was paid 75.6 pounds per day
  • Mashonaland was to colonized in the form of a military invasion
  • The Pioneers went with a police force of about 500 officers led by Colonel Pennefather with Barrow and Heanry as juniors
  • The force was supposed to suppress any resistance from the
  • Seretse Khama of Botswana helped the Pioneers by giving them 500 Bechuanaland Border Police and 200 men to work as labourers.
  • The Pioneer column marched from early 1890 with 117 ox wagons into Mashonaland
  • They crossed the Macloutsie River in June and Shashi river in July
  • Lobengula’s Amabutho wanted to march towards the column in frustration but they were prevented by Lobengula because he was aware of the how the powerful the white man gun was.
  • The Pioneer established Forts as they were moving into Zimbabwe such as Fort Tuli and Fort Victoria
  • They reached Fort Salisbury (Harare) on September 12 1890 and raised their flag known as the Union Jack

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