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Meeting Minutes Gungunhana 1890

Minute of the Meeting held at Violante on the 29th December 1890, at the request of the Chief Gungunhana.

ON the 29th December, 1890, near "Chigocho" belonging to the Chief Gungunhana, at Violante, at 11 A.M., there being present the said Chief and his chief Indunas, as well as the Superintendent-in-chief of Native Affairs in Gazaland, Councillor Jozé Joaquim d’Almeida; the Superintendent of Mussunge, Arthur Antonio Matheus Serrano; the Superintendent or the Upper Savi, Adrião Miguel Xavier; the Vice-Superintendent of Inhaoxe, Ricardo Carneiro de Souza e Faro ; the Ensigns in the Portuguese Army, Antonio Moreira de Souza, Jozé Augusto de Quadros, and Manuel de Jesus Barreira; the Russian subject, Maurice Torbeau Breterman; the British subject, Alexander Deans; the interpreters, Quelimane and Victorino; as well as myself, Ignacio de Paiva Rdposo, Superintendent of Bilene, Acting Secretary to the expedition to Gazaland :

There and then appeared, as summoned by the powerful Vatua Potentate, the following Englishmen: Aurel Schultz, Frank Colquhoun, G. Mackillican, M. A. Barnett, Fels, and his wife, who have for some time past been encamped in these lands; in whose presence the aforesaid Potentate was desirous to make of his own free will, as he said, a few declarations which he looked upon as indispensable, although the same would be merely a repetition of other similar declarations which he had at various times and at different times made ("subsequentemente") in succession.

On taking their places, his Excellency the Superintendent-in-chief remained at the right hand of the Chief, and then after him all the Superintendent’s officials, and then Messrs. Breterman and Deans. The Indunas were placed to the left of Gungunhana, who caused Mr. Colquhoun and his companions to take their seats in front of him, quite apart from the Portuguese and Vatuas. After the assembly had thus been formed, the Chief was requested by his Excellency the Superintendent-in-chief to deliver his speech, and to state what he had to say, which he did, and explained that his object was to make it quite public, in the face of the foreigners who were present, that he and his people, as well as his grandfather, Manecusse, and his father, Muzila, were the faithful and submissive vassals of His Majesty the King of Portugal, and that whatever statements might be made, and. whatever intrigues might be carried on, the region of Gazaland would be Portuguese as long as he lived, and he was its Governor. That the flag which they all saw hoisted near his house would never be replaced by that of any other nation, and that the promise which he made was so sincere that, in order that his sons should respect that promise, he had delivered them to the Secretary (the Superintendent-in-chief), together with some other children, who would in future be the magnates of the country, for the purpose of receiving their educaton in Portugal, and learning there the language and customs of the nation to which they were to belong, and in order that they should be thoroughly imbued with the affection, fidelity, and respect which they ought to profess for that nation.

That he, as well as the whole "famine" family, who were the descendants of the great Zulu Chiefs, adhered to his word ; and if there was in his heart the slightest inclination to accept the British flag, he would have the courage to so there and then in the presence of the Portuguese, as he had the courage to say that he refused to accept it in the presence of the English who were listening to him. That this matter should be settled once for all, and that he requested the Secretary never again to entertain any doubts as to his loyalty, because any such doubt was to him just as deep a source of pain as that felt by an innocent and honest woman accused of unfaithfulness.

That it was true that many Englishmen, who all professed to be his friends, and gave him presents of greater or less value, visited him, and some endeavoured to trade with him in hides and ivory; others wished to obtain from him Concessions of auriferous soil; and others, finally, tried to induce him to place himself under Great Britain; but it was likewise certain that as regards the first named he merely confined himself to trading with them, if it suited him; and he answered those named in the second place, among whom Shiboquana (Mr. Colquhoun) there present, as well as Dr. Bertrand, who left this region two months ago, were included, that it was only the King and the Secretary who could attend to them. As regards the last named, he invariably replied that he wished his corpse to be wrapped up in a flag similar to that in which the body of his mother, the venerable Uzio, was buried.

That he had already said, and he now repeated it, that some time ago he had sent Guro-Guio to Katal; when seeing himself abandoned by the residents, and threatened by Inhambane and Lourenço Marques, he thought he had forfeited the esteem of His Majesty, and that Portugal wanted to wage war against him because he had defeated Binguana; but that now, as he had then, he declared that the emissary had not been charged to say anything that might compromise his nationality as a Portuguese. That he wanted to, know whether anything was known there as to our proposing to wage war against him, and, if so, to ask the English to interfere with the King on his behalf. He reverted to the subject at the present moment because the Englishman Bube (Mr. Aurel Schultz) was present, who had come on the part of the Government of Natal to ascertain what wap the state, of the relations now between him, Gunganhana, and Portugal, and to bring him a "saguate," and he defied him on this occarion to contradict him.

That these were the only declarations which he wished to make publicly known, and he felt a relief at having made them, and he had nothing further to say.

His Excellency the Councillor and Superintendent-in-chief then spoke, and asked Gungunhana to declare before every one to whom Chissambobuco ("Chifambobsico"), the son of the deceased Mutassa and Chief of Manica, belonged. The Chief Vatua answered this request by saying that every one was aware that Chifambobsico belonged to him ever since the submission of Mutassa had been imposed upon him by force of arms; that there could be no doubt concerning this matter, either on the part of the Secretary who had for a long time his own people exploring mines and also a Portuguese authority, or on the part of the English, inasmuch as they are daily applying to him for Concessions in that territory.

The region in question could not but belong to him, Considering that his dominion extends as far as Dumas (Mashona) and reaches Motoco. Moreovers, Manica has ever had since its conquest a Vatua Governor; Maguiguana in the time of Manecuse and Muzila, and now Michava; and as the latter was how at Violante he would summon him to present himself before us.

Oh his Excellency the Councillor inquiring whether the Chief had regularly received the taxes due from Manica, he replied in the affirmative and said that the last oxen which he brought frorh that place as a tribute had only arrived about two months ago and were now grazing in the lands Chopes of Malache, at a short distance from this place.

A quarter of an hour afterwards Michava made his appearance and was introduced by Gungunhana to all the persons present. After this, the Superintendent-in-chief said that he trusted in the loyalty of Gungunhana and that he was glad to have heard him to speak, but the foreigners who came to visit him tried on the coast to make him out to be not very truthful and a bad Portuguese.

This was no vague assertion, because in the presence of them all he accused Mr. Colquhoun, who was present, of having at Lourenço Marque's stated to the Superintendent, Ignacio de Paiva Raposo; that the fact of our flag being hoisted here did not mean anything, inasmuch as Gungunhana had told him that he; Mr. Colquhoun, might also hoist his own. That Mr. Brettermann had also been informed by Mr. Colquhoun in the same city that the Indunas had offered him their children to be educated in England, and that one of the Indunas wanted to become an Englishman.

The Chief and Indunas replied that all this was untrue, and told Mr. Colquhoun to present his defence in case the charges brought against him to his face were not true; but he merely declared that in point of fact Messrs. Brettermann and Raposo spoke the truth, and that it was he who had not spoken the truth, because he was drunk when he had that conversation with them.

At Gungunhana's request, the Councillor and Superintendent-in-chief then inquired from Mr. Colquhoun whether he obtained any Concession from the Vatuas. The person questioned, however, refused to answer, although, his Excellency warned him that inasmuch as at that place the authority of Portugal was, quite legitimate and recognized, he was questioning him officially and that he well knew what it was his duty to do in order to get the wished-for answer.

It being 3 P.M., the meeting was declared to be at an end; of the proceedings of which the present Minute or Record has been drawn up, which is about to be signed by the Councillor and Superintendent-in-chief, by the other officials, by Messrs. Brettermann and Deans, and by me, Ignacio de Paiva Raposo, Superintendent of Bilene, Acting Secretary, who wrote it out and signed it.