ON April 27 1898, the British murdered Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi to secure their robbery of our land Zimbabwe.

The British robbed our land through armed invasion, lies, cheating, fraud and murder without compunction.

Today we are looking at fraud, cheating and lies as major tools used by the British to facilitate the armed seizure of our land.

On October 30 1888, they  signed an agreement with King Lobengula but it was rigged; the text of the so-called Rudd Concession and its provisions were different from what they promised him through  interpreters, Lotshe and Sikombo.

They were able to pull this because King Lobengula could not read or understand the whiteman’s language, but he trusted his indunas, Lotshe and Sikombo, who were able to read the whiteman’s language.

The Rudd Concession.

The gist of the Rudd Concession is summarised in the extract below:

“On the execution of these presents, I Lobengula, King of Matebeleland, Mashonaland, and other adjoining territories, in exercise of my sovereign powers, and in the presence and with the consent of my council of indunas, do hereby grant and assign unto the said grantees, their heirs, representatives, and assign jointly and severally, the complete and exclusive charge over all metals and minerals situated and contained in my kingdom, principalities, and dominions, together with full power to do all things that they may deem necessary to win and procure the same, and to hold, collect and enjoy the profits and revenues, if any, derivable from the said metals and minerals, subject to the aforesaid payment.” 

It goes on to say the British (the grantees) were given all the powers to do everything they deemed necessary to keep anyone else out of his kingdom, anyone else who might seek the same in the land.

What king can give anyone exclusive rights over all metals and minerals in his land, and powers do anything they deem necessary to procure these — it is to give them powers of rulership.

Lobengula did not.

The presents referred to above are: “…one hundred pounds sterling, British currency on the first day of every lunar month; one thousand Martini-Henry Rifles breech-loading rifles and ammunition as well a steamboat on the Zambezi with guns suitable for defensive purposes.”

The substance that was explained to Lobengula by his indunas was that the whites sought permission to hunt and to prospect for minerals within reasonable limits, and the hunting and prospecting would not introduce no more than 10 people into his land.

It was outrageous that Charles Rudd and fellow Britishers had made him sign a document which gave exclusive rights to all metals and minerals between the Zambezi and Limpopo, the right to enjoy these and to stop anyone else from doing so.

This meant that he had ceded all the mineral wealth of the nation to foreigners! 

What would be left for him and his people?

“Lobengula had investigated the white concessionaires and the missionaries, and determined that the Rudd concession was a fraud. Its sole purpose was to deceive him into giving away his country. He’d written his letter to the white Queen repudiating the concession. And now, two months later, in June 1889, the letter arrived in England” (Word press.com:2014)

The letter reached the Colonial Office on June 18 1898.

Thus, when  King Lobengula discovered the fraud, he immediately rectified the situation but the British would not ensconce. They had not entered into this agreement in good faith; they had achieved their aim,  which was to cheat the king into making it seem he had ceded his power to rule the land in exchange for some guns, British pounds and a boat on the Zambezi.

They made it seem, in that fraudulent document, that the king, a whole king, had exchanged the whole of the land between the Zambezi and the Limpopo for some guns, a boat and some British pounds, thus presenting Lobengula as a ruler who had no concept or understanding of what his land was worth, but worse still that he was a king who, instead of being the custodian of the land and its wealth, of this people, he could actually exchange it for a ‘few pieces of silver’. 

The king immediately killed the indunas, Lotshe and Sikombo, when he discovered they had betrayed him, and he also dispatched two indunas to the Queen of England to protest the fraud, which fraud he also published in British papers to set the record straight.

The two envoys Babayane and Mshete brought back a letter from the Queen.

The Queen scorned him “…for having given the whole kraal instead of just a cow and to be wary and firm in his dealings with concession seekers.”

Rhodes ignored King Lobengula’s protests and went ahead to use the fraudulent document to obtain the ‘Royal Charter’ from the Queen so that he could actually set into motion the wheels to seize the land, the armed robbery of the land between the Zambezi and the Limpopo.

On the basis of a fraudulent document, on the basis of fraud, the British invaded Zimbabwe and on September 12 1890, flew the Union Jack at Harare.

When they hanged Nehanda and Kaguvi on April 27 1898, 10 years later, it was on the basis of a fraudulent premise, engineered to make a country, which belonged to the Ndebele and the Shona, seem it was theirs.

A fraudulent premise used to justify armed occupation of this great gracious land; a land for Africans harshly claimed by whites from the Britain.


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