Leander Starr Jameson. Image credit MediaWiki

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes:The Colonization of Zimbabwe:Treaties Signed between Zimbabwe Leaders and British Officials

The Moffat Treaty of 1836

It was signed between Mzilikazi and Robert Moffat


  • It was friendship treaty
  • it allowed whites to move and settle into the Zimbabwean area

The Tati Concession of 1870

It was signed between Lobengula and Sir John Swinbourne


  • It gave them him the right to search for gold and other minerals on the land between Shashi and Ramaquiban rivers

The Gobler Treaty of 1887

It was signed between Piet Grobler a Boer representatives and Lobengula


  • To promote trade between the Ndebele king and the Transvaal government
  • The Boers wanted to use the Ndebele kingdom as a foundation for expansion northwards
  • They allso wanted to prevent those interested in Zimbabwe from advancing


  • There was to be eternal peace between the Boers in South Africa and Lobengula
  • Lobengula was to be recognized by the Boers as a paramount chief and ally
  • Lobengula was sometimes called to assist the Boers in battle
  • Lobengula was to catch and return all who escaped from South African republic
  • Boer hunters and traders were allowed to move Ndebele kingdom freely
  • A Boer Consul was to be stationed in the Ndebele kingdom to administer justice to Boer citizens who violated Lobengula’s laws
  • Lobengula was to protect all Boer citizens in his kingdom
  • A permanent Boer representative was stationed in the Ndebele state
  • The Boers also promised to protect Lobengula from his enemies

Treaty cancelled

  • The treaty was later canceled by Lobengula stating that there were no independent witnesses at the signing and also Grobler was the only one who could read of those who signed
  • The treaty is argued to have been a less important one
  • It served a base for events to follow as some events to follow
  • Cecil John Rhodes reacted quickly by sending John Moffat to go and sign a treaty with Lobengula

The Moffat Treaty of 11 February 1888

  • John Moffat was once a missionary but later turned out to be a British agent.
  • He was sent by Rhodes after the signing of the Grobler treaty.
  • Lobengula knew John Moffat because he had known his father personally and had signed a treaty with Robert Moffat in 1836.


  • To nullify the Grobler treaty
  • To prevent other foreign powers from occupying Zimbabwe
  • Lobengula wanted British protection

Terms of the Treaty

  • Lobengula was not to sign a treaty with any foreign nations without the approval of the British Queen’s High Commissioner for South Africa
  • Peace was to exist between Lobengula and Her Majesty and her subjects

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