This book sheds light on the early colonial period of Zimbabwe when many of the current land disputes originated. In particular, the book examines the Rudd Concession, the seminal southern African land and mineral agreement signed in 1888 by Cecil Rhodes and Lobengula, King of the Matabele. The Concession was not merely a land agreement, but also legal transfer of all political and economic control of the entire Matabele kingdom to Cecil Rhodes and the British. Why would Lobengula sign such a seemingly disastrous agreement? The question is fundamental to an examination of the Rudd Concession and to understand Zimbabwe's fierce conflicts today. Moreover, this question underscores the historical nature of many post-colonial dilemmas throughout Africa. This book looks to understand from a late nineteenth century perspective why Rhodes sought the agreement, and more interestingly why Lobengula ever signed it. It also discusses the essential similarities between 19th century colonialism and African capitalism today, illustrating significant implications for contemporary relations between the developed and developing world.
Publisher: University Press of America