The origins of the North Eastern Rhodesian Territory

19 September 2016
Author  Saleya Kwalombota, Barotseland Post
The pink area represents North-Western Rhodesia and the blue area North-Eastern Rhodesia from 1905 until 1911, when they were unified. The red line denotes the border between them from 1899 to 1905. The green area is Barotseland.

 

One great thinker once said an ignorant person is not only a danger to himself but also to the people surrounding him. In this vain I would urge most of those people especially Zambians to just read through this brief article below in order not to become a nescience in the society.

The origins of the North Eastern Rhodesia territory is here explained.

Following the Berlin Conference of 1885 on the modus operand of partition of Africa, the British secured for themselves what became known as the British Central African Protectorate. This territory comprised the land east of the Kafue River including present day Malawi, and it was administered from Zomba.

On 29 October 1889, a Charter was promulgated in England giving birth to the British South African Company Chartered and Limited. This company then went into negotiations for mining concessions in Southern and Central Africa as a consequence of discovery of diamonds in Kimberly, South Africa in 1886. This hunt for concessions was spearheaded by Cecil John Rhodes who sent out two expeditions. One of these, led by Joseph Thomson and Alfred Sharpe went to the British Central African Protectorate while the other, headed by Frank Elliot Lochner, was sent to Barotseland.

The Thomson expedition had an encounter with and entered into concessions with a number of personalities. Whether these were chiefs or not will be decided by the reader. They were as follows:

On 12-5-1890, Mwape-chief of the Lukusasi country. His witnesses were Msoni and Zuza. The company was represented by Thomson with Sharpe as witness. The company paid 40 British pounds for this concession.

On 10-9-1890, Kambwiri - Paramount chief of Kibende, acting in conjunction with an Arab Salim bin Nasser who signed as a witness. 40 British pounds were paid by the company for this concession. The company was represented by Thomson as signatory while Charles Wilson and I.S Grant signed as witnesses.

On 15-9-1890, Katara- chief of Kusa and the Mchinga Mts. He had no witness. 20 pounds paid. Thomson signed for the company with Wilson and Grant as witnesses.

On 22-9-1890, Nansara- Female chief of the Bisa people. She had no witness. 10 pounds paid. Thomson on behalf of company with Wilson as witness.

On 4-10-1890, Chitambo-paramount chief of the Bisa plateau. He had no witness. 20 pounds paid. Thomson and Wilson on behalf of company.

On 11-10-1890, Mshiri- paramount chief of the Baushi country on the east of the Luapula and the Kabende people to the west of the river. No witness. 50 pounds paid. Thomson on behalf of the company.

On 16-10-1890, Kalonga- Sultan of the Eastern Lamba. 50 pounds paid. No witness. Thomson on behalf of the company with Grant and Wilson as witnesses.

On 18-10-1890, Simesi- Sultan of Western Lamba. No witness. 50 pounds paid. Thomson on behalf of company with Grant and Wilson as witnesses.

On 26-10-1890, Mkwemba- Sultan of the Central Lamba. No witness. 60 pounds paid. Thomson for the company with Wilson as witness.

On 6-11-1890, Mshiri- chief of Southern Lamba. 10 pounds paid. No witness. Thomson on behalf of the company.

On 12-11-1890, Chipepo-Sultan of the Lenje, a country occupying the middle basin of the Lukanga river and the upper basin of the Mulungushi river as far south as latitude 140.15 South. No witness. 20 pounds paid. Thomson for the company.

On 22-11-1890, Kanyesha of the south-western country of the Lala people. No witness. 20 pounds paid. Thomson for the company with Wilson and Grant as witnesses.

On 25-11-1890, Chavira- chief of the western Nsenga. No witness. 20 pounds paid. Thomson for the company with Wilson and Grant witnessing.

On 27-11-1890, Chevia and Miembe-chiefs of the Nsenga. No witness. 20 pounds paid. Thomson for company with Wilson and Grant witnessing.

In all these transactions an Arab, Jumah Abubakar, served as interpreter. Whether or not he was fluent enough in the diverse languages of the Bisa, Bemba, Lamba, Lala, Chewa, Lenje etc is a matter of speculation.

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