Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The 1964 Malawi Cabinet Rebellion: Time Magazine

This is how Time magazine of the US reported the 1964 Malawi Cabinet Revolt on 2 October 1964. The article was entitled Malawi: Challenge for Father 

The small, gnomelike man danced on the floor of the Parliament chamber, fluttering his fly whisk and shouting, "Decision! Decision! Decision!" He was Prime Minister H. Kamuzu Banda, 58, and he was demanding a clear choice by Parliament between him and a band of five rebel Ministers led by the second most popular man in Malawi (formerly Nyasaland), Education Minister Masauko Chipembere, 34. Parliament's members gave Banda a vote of confidence by acclamation.

Hypnotic Image. Instead of curing the crisis, the overwhelming vote deepened it. Malawi's first major crisis, after only nine weeks of independence, has all the bitterness of a family quarrel. The young dissidents had revered Banda as a father and, until now, he had regarded them as dutiful sons. As Hastings Banda, he had spent 32 years in the U.S. and Britain, where he built up a large, and mostly white, medical practice and fought at long range for the freedom of his native land.

Kamuzu Banda and Kanyama Chiume
When he finally returned home in 1958, the dedicated young nationalists made him a gift of the leadership of the independence movement. They built him up as the Lion of Malawi, Ngwazi (Supreme Chief), and called him Messiah. For his part, Banda dropped the Hastings and became H. Kamuzu Banda, a name more appealing to Africans. But what stunned Banda's ministerial "sons" was the discovery, after independence, that Banda believed his press notices and was hypnotized by his own carefully fabricated image as savior of his people. He took complete charge of the fledgling Cabinet, reserving for himself most of the important portfolios. He called the Ministers "my boys," seldom let them speak up with ideas of their own, and once boasted on the floor of Parliament, "I tell them what to do. I make all the decisions!"

Kamuzu and some of his first cabinet members
The Malawi crisis dismayed Western observers for, as one diplomat put it, Banda's "are the most realistic, sensible and encouragingly pro-Western policies in Africa today." Banda stood firm against recognizing Red China, even though Peking is reported ready to extend credits of up to $50 million in return for recognition. Another trigger of the revolt was Banda's negotiation of a trade pact with Portugal, whose policies in Angola and Mozambique are anathema to African nationalists.

No Jellyfish. When Parliament adjourned, the rebel Ministers took their case to the people, defying Banda's ban on public meetings. Banda defended himself by charging that the rebels "tried to hire a witch doctor" to murder him. Snorted Banda: "I am a Prime Minister with a spine, not a jellyfish kind of Prime Minister who is afraid of his subordinates — so now they have to kill."

The rebels' revolt struck a sympathetic chord among many Malawans who revere the Lion but wish he would soften his autocratic ways. Nevertheless, bustling little Prime Minister Banda was still hale and hearty last week and so confident of winning that he refused to attend a peace conference with the rebels arranged by the British Governor General.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Gwanda Chakuamba Speech in Malawi Parliament during 1964 Rebellion

Speech to the National Assembly (in Zomba) Made by Member of Parliament (MP) for Port Herald (Nsanje) North, Hon. Gwanda Chakuamba on the 8th of September 1964.

It is indeed very shocking and very disappointing and undoubtedly very, very disgracing. Perhaps my honorable colleagues will express themselves without equivocation in this unfortunate time in the history of our new nation. But I should say this that if I fail to express myself in this House, I shall supplement or fulfill my objectives by deeds outside this house. (Applause).

Mr. Speaker may you excuse me if I fall victim today to verbosity. This may be so because of the tragic situation that now exists in our country. A situation that has been very deliberately formulated by power-hungry maniacs; a situation that has deliberately been formulated by idiots who don’t know what they are talking about. These hypocrites…These traitors Mr. Speaker, used to tell us that whenever they go abroad they are respected because of the Ngwazi, but the same traitors when they go abroad go and project themselves as Deputy Ministers, Deputy Presidents of the Malawi Congress Party, these traitors now have a mission outside this country to preach to the people outside the boarders of this country the gospel, have been engaged in suppressing activities. They have been collaborating with traitors of fellow African countries in order to achieve their personal ambition.

Mr. Speakers, Iam going to single out one person in this whole collection because if I do so I will simplify the whole problem to me, and I think to my very honorable colleagues. Just imagine, Mr. Speaker, this man, Kanyama Chiume, Publicity Secretary of Malawi Congress Party, and just a few hours ago Minister of External Affairs, told himself and projected himself out of this country as deputy Prime Minister of the state of Malawi (Interjection: shame!). Just imagine Mr. Speaker, this man, Kanyama Chiume in the Pan African circles and international campuses against the Prime Minister Ngwazi Kamuzu Banda. His policy on external affairs, his policy on foreign affairs-just imagine, a man who preaches a gospel of unity, loyalty to the Ngwazi, obedience to the Ngwazi and discipline. Just imagine, Mr. Speaker, that this man Kanyama Chiume, in this House led us singing “Zonse Zimene za Kamuzu Banda.” In this house and attending to our self government this man, Kanyama Chiume, in this house told us there would be biblical war in Heaven between Lucifer and God Almighty. He told us in this House. I think that is what he is planning. He even fought against Kamuzu. He meant it; he knew what he was talking about. Now we are not surprised; we are not at all surprised. But he must also know one thing, that when Lucifer did it he met his necessary end. He was thrown down on earth, and here he is with us, but this earth itself is not Heaven. I don’t know where he is going to be thrown out. (Applause).

…It is indeed very disgraceful. People imbued with selfish goals have forced him to escort this course of action. People inherent with selfish characteristics and personal aggrandizement of power have forced him to disgrace for a while from his nation building task. These people imbued with malice have forced us to open a new chapter in the history of our nation. The steady pace of progress in the economic and social spheres has been deliberately halted by these people. I must say, and I must repeat, that the Honorable member referred to has got an account to settle with the people I represent. If it was his intention to make our history, the history of this country black, I must say here and now, we are prepared to make the devil black so that his origin is not traced. They will leave to regret the consequences of their actions as Lucifer now regrets on his earth awaiting his doom.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to address these remarks to the Ngwazi. With your permission, I want to say to the Ngwazi we still love him. (Loud applause). How many times Ngwazi do you want us to assure you of our unquestionable loyalty to you? How many times Ngwazi do you want us to assure you of our unquestionable confidence in you? How many times I ask? This motion of no confidence in you, your Government, and your leadership of the Malawi Congress Party should be the last motion to be debated in this House. Let this House no more debate motions of this sort. It is a very disgracing motion. Very wide powers were given to you; Ngwazi, by the four million people at a conference in Nkata in 1958, and very unlimited power were also given to you by the four million people of this country at their conference in Nkhotakota in 1960. These people who have disgraced us in the eyes of the world are no more fit to be members of the mighty Malawi Congress Party. They forfeited that privilege to be members of that Central Executive. Their continued presence in that Central Executive will not be to the interest of the country. It will not be to the interest of people that love you with their entire mind and their hearts. It will be on top of that, a gross embarrassment to you and the party. Ngwazi we ask you, we ask you to expel them from the membership of the Central Executive and from the membership of the Malawi Congress Party. Let them go out and challenge you openly and instead of being inside and challenging you from within; let them go out and form their own party so that we can be able to meet them as opponents in the opposite camps. If we meet as opponents within, it will be more dangerous and more damaging to the cause that we have been fighting for a long time. They have grossly disappointed us; they have grossly disgraced us; they deserve any sort of punishment and you know best what sort of punishment it will be. We are not going to dictate to you what sort of punishment befits them but I still contend that the word conspirators, the word traitors, is the most appropriate word to use.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, iam compelled by circumstances every day to ask my fellow honorable members to have a look into our country’s constitution. It is quite clear that the provisions are inadequate to deal with critical situations like this. We must have a constitution which will abolish the title of Prime Minister, because the Prime Minister according to our understanding of the word means the first amongst equals and I think that is why there has been this trouble. He has been regarded by the cabinet ministers as the first amongst the equals. Kamuzu is not the first among the equals in this country. He is not and will never be, so that if a constitution is devised to give him unlimited powers, to make absolutely clear that he and he alone, is a supreme in this country, I don’t think there will be any more confusion.

… And lastly I would like to ask my friends to join me. It is a short chorus but I consider it very important. I would like my honorable colleagues to say with me “Down with the traitors, down with the conspirators, down with power hungry maniacs and long live Kamuzu, long live Ngwazi and long live Malawi Congress Party.” (Applause).

Masauko Chipembere Speech in Malawi Parliament during 1964 Rebellion

Except of a Speech to the National Assembly (in Zomba) Made by Minister of Education and Member of Parliament (MP) for Fort Johnston East (Mangochi), Hon. Henry Blasius MasaukoChipembere on the 9th of September 1964.

…I, wrongly or rightly, regard myself as a man of some principles, a man of some honesty, a man of some courage, a man of some respect-respect which I enjoy among the members of the public and I wouldn’t dare for a moment retreat from my principles. I wouldn’t dare for a moment abandon my friends and colleagues. It would have been an act of real betrayal for which I would be ashamed for the rest of my life, if I had decided to remain in the Government, while some of my friends have been dismissed.

These are my colleagues. I have worked with them for a long period of many, many years. They have been faithful to me; they have been helpful to me; their work has earned them great praises, both from the public and from the Prime Minister (Dr. H.K. Banda). Today, here, they are being described as traitors. History will pass its judgment.

…Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have resigned in sympathy with my friends. I myself had not been dismissed, but I believe that I have a duty to lodge a humble and loyal protest by resigning my portfolio to show the world that I humbly refuse to agree that dismissal was the solution to the problem he was facing in this situation. I believe that a man of great resources like the Ngwazi could have thought of a better solution, wiser solution, a solution that would have ensured continued stability and peace in the country. He should, for instance, have called his Members here. He could have called a conference of the Malawi Congress Party as he often does to discuss particular situations, or District Committees, including Women Leagues, and the Youth League. He could have informed them: “This is what my ministers are saying. This is what my ministers are doing.” And the country would have been very happy and proud to have been brought into the confidence in that manner. The people of this country are never happier than when the Ngwazi shows clearly that he is taking them into his confidence, and wants to consult them at every level and on every step. He could have done that, but he didn’t. So i felt that I must humbly show him that I do not consider it to have been a wise step. And this is normal procedure, its normal procedure…So today I hope nobody will call me a traitor by resigning.

…Mr. Speaker, Iam a student of history, and as I keep saying, that when I was sent to Gaol by Mr. Justice Cram, I did nothing but cram, I did a lot of reading and one thing which I leant there from my reading was that history takes long to declare its verdict; history takes long to declare its judgment. The scoundrels of today may be heroes tomorrow, the villains of today may be declared saints tomorrow, it may be after their death. So, although today I may be condemned, I may be declared a traitor, I know that ultimately, however long it may take, my stand will be justified, and I wish to declare to my fellow Honorable members that, whatever will be the position, I will not have grudges against them. They are my fellow members of the Malawi Congress Party.

…Whatever allegations may be made against me today by men, who have held me in great respects before, and I know that there are quite a number who have done so; I will not hold it against them. I will realize that it is the strain and stress of the time that has made them say these things.

…But let me not hide one thing, lest I should be alleged to have deceived. I have a duty to go and explain to my voters why I have resigned. They used to take great pride in the fact that their constituency was represented in the Cabinet of the country. They will be shocked and sad to see me returning as an ordinary back bencher, going to join them in fishing at Malindi. So it is my duty to explain to them, and I will do so in public; I will not hold secret meetings as has been feared in this House. I will organize public meetings, and I will invite my nearest colleague, Mr. George Cecil Ndomondo, member of Fort Johnston West. I will invite him, and any other Malawian, to come and attend this meeting, where I will explain myself along the same lines which I have explained this afternoon. I will add not a single word, nor will I retract a single word. That is what iam going to do, and let no man believe that anything has been organized. The crowd which is cheering outside, when did I organize it? I noticed when I came in. Am glad to hear that the Honorable member is in doubt because he says it is possible it was organized. It shows that he is not quite sure.

Henry Masauko Chipembere

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Deb 28 July 1959 vol 610 cc317-454

Mr Reginald Manningham-Buller The Attorney-General (Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller)

I beg to move, That this House takes note of the Report of the Nyasaland Commission of Inquiry and the Despatch from the Governor of Nyasaland thereon, and extends its thanks to the Chairman and members of the Commission for their work; endorses their conclusion that a policy of violence was adopted by the Nyasaland African Congress Leadership and that the declaration of the state of emergency was fully justified, deeply regrets the loss of life that occurred but acknowledges that prompt and effective action by the Governor prevented the development of a more serious situation; expresses its gratitude to the Administration and to the Security Forces for their loyal service in circumstances of great difficulty and looks forward to the restoration of normal conditions in Nyasaland and to the continued constitutional and economic progress of its people on the basis of respect for law and order.
This Motion begins by taking note of the Report of the Nyasaland Commission of Inquiry and the despatch from the Governor of Nyasaland thereon, and proposes that this House should extend its thanks to the Chairman and members of the Commission for their work. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Yes, I did not suppose there would be any controversy about that. The Commission was appointed on 6th April. Members of the Commission spent five weeks in Nyasaland, they sat for a week in Southern Rhodesia, they heard evidence from 455 individual witnesses and, they say, about 1,300 witnesses in groups.
May I say, in passing, Mr. Speaker, that I am rather intrigued about how that was done. Hearing witnesses in groups strikes me as a somewhat novel procedure. It would certainly save time in the courts, but it sounds rather a noisy business, and questioning witnesses in groups must have been rather difficult. Still they did it, and they studied no less than 585 memoranda.
I mention these facts, which the Commission itself records, for they clearly establish that its task was no light one. I should not like it to be thought by anyone in this House, or by anyone outside, that because the Government do not accept all the Commission's conclusions and all its criticisms we are not grateful to the Commission for voluntarily devoting so much time and effort to its task.
I have seen it suggested in various quarters that the Government, having appointed a Commission such as this, presided over by a distinguished High Court judge, are under a duty to accept all that the Commission says. That really is not right. It is, of course, the duty of every Government to give careful consideration to the report of any commission they appoint, but no Government, by appointing a commission or committee, either pledge themselves to, or are bound, to accept all its conclusions or criticisms or recommendations if any are made.
I remember, in the days of the Labour Government, serving on a very powerful committee with the hon. Gentleman the Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Cross-man). We were the only two Members of Parliament on it and, odd though it may seem to some, we got on very well; we even shared a cabin on the "Queen Mary" without quarrelling. That committee was presided over by not one but two eminent judges: an American judge of high repute and an English Lord Justice. It presented a unanimous report, but the greater part of our conclusions were not implemented.
No one at that time suggested that the Labour Government were bound by what we said, and the present Government are not bound to accept all that this Commission has said. I can assure the House, however, that the Government have given the fullest possible consideration to the Report and to the despatch, and it is my task today to tell the House to what extent the Government accept the conclusions and criticisms and, where we do not, our reasons for not doing so. But before I start on that, may I remind the House of the circumstances which led to the appointment of the Commission.
The House may remember that when my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies announced, on 3rd March, that the Governor had that morning declared a state of emergency, the hon. Gentleman the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) alleged that the Governor was not acting freely and that my right hon. Friend was—and I quote the hon. Gentleman's words—"abdicating his responsibilities to the Central Government". The hon. Gentleman the Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) went so far as to allege that there had been a disgraceful surrender on the part of our Government and a conspiracy between the Prime Ministers of the Federation and of Southern Rhodesia. The members of the Commission say that they were satisfied that they were given all the information bearing on this and that they had, and I quote their words, … no reason to think that the decision to declare a state of emergency was not the Governor's own.
I hope that in the light of this finding we shall hear, if not an apology, at least no more of an allegation that was, and has been found to be, wholly unfounded and which cannot have helped to alleviate the situation which existed on 3rd March.
The Opposition that day really challenged the need to declare an emergency at all. The hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East asserted, and again I quote his words, that:… the real position in Nyasaland … is that a few panic-stricken people are now precipating trouble."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 3rd March, 1959; Vol. 601, c. 217.]
The Commission says, in paragraph 149 of the Report: We apprehend, however, that it will be generally agreed that on the facts we have found and in the situation that existed on 3rd March, however it was caused, the Government had either to act or to abdicate; and … it had to resort to emergency powers.
May I remind the House of some of the facts the members of the Commission found. They were satisfied that by the beginning of 1959 the extremists had made up their minds to adopt a policy of violence—[An HON. MEMBER: "The right hon. and learned Gentleman accepts that one."] In January, there was the emergency meeting of Congress, and I sympathise with the members of the Commission in their difficulty in finding out many months later exactly what happened. They say that there was an acute conflict of evidence as to what was decided and discussed. The agenda was so secret that Mr. Chipembere, in his letter to Mr. Chiume, avoided committing it to writing, but he said that Congress would adopt "action" as the official policy and "action in the real sense of action."
The Commission thinks that the document set out in Appendix II of its Report gives as good an impression as can be got of what went on at the meeting, and concludes: Perhaps the effect of it all can best be summed up by saying that there was to be an all-out campaign to defy the Government, violence not excluded.
Then follows the pregnant sentence: When would the violence begin, how far would it go, and what form exactly would it take? The only answer is that it would depend on what happened. If it started in some places and was not checked, it would certainly have spread"—
these are the Commission's words— 'and might have gone very far. That was the real danger in the situation.
It was not long, as the Report shows, before violence started, and it was not just in one place but throughout the country.
On 11th February a crowd of 400 people assembled at a court in the Central Province. They refused to leave, assaulted two court messengers, an officer of the veterinary department whose collar bone was broken and who was knocked unconscious, and two of his African staff. On 17th February, in the Zomba district, a crowd armed with pangas and axes took a man out of his vehicle and threatened two of the District Commissioner's messengers, one of whom was struck. On 19th February a District Commissioner and about 20 policemen faced a crowd of 600 or more. The District Commissioner was attacked with sticks and received a scalp wound which had to be stitched. Considerable damage was done to an airfield. Thirteen prisoners were released.
On the 20th, Mrs. James, one of the two Europeans left on the airfield at Fort Hill, was in the radio hut when a mob of about 200 people, armed mostly with pangas and suchlike, advanced towards her. Some of the crowd were saying that they would kill her. She was not injured, but it must have been a terribly unpleasant experience indeed for her. Fort Hill was not reoccupied for a week.
On the 22nd an African leader of a group of Africans spoke to the head of an American mission and, pointing to an African servant, said that when they spilt the European blood they would spill his. On the 23rd, a warning letter was thrown through the window of an African District Assistant threatening him with stoning or death if he associated with Europeans.
On the 28th a crowd of about 100 Africans surrounded the house in which an African Federal Member of Parliament was staying, threatening to kill him. The Commission found that the hand of Congress was at work here. There was clear proof of it in a letter written by one Congress member to another. That is what the Commission said. The letter said: Mr. Mzemba was staying here. … He had organised an underground movement of villagers of more than 100 people. They came and besieged the Mandale store where he was staying. Fortunately enough, it was after the K.A.R.s had arrived. That was going to be the end of him.
I ask the House to note those words in the letter sent by one Congress member to another.
I have briefly summarised some of the events which took place between the emergency conference and 3rd March. These events are all recorded in the Commission's Report, and they confirm the correctness of the Commission's finding that at the conference Congress decided to adopt a policy of violence. The assaults to which I have referred, the threats to murder the African servant when they spilt the European blood, the threats to kill Mrs. James and the apparent attempt to kill the African Federal Member of Parliament—[HON. MEMBERS: "How many were killed?"]—all, I suggest, indicate that violence, personal violence, the killing of Europeans and Africans—[HON. MEMBERS: "How many were killed?"]—was not excluded.
In addition to these facts, the Nyasaland Government had received before 3rd March reports of informers. It is true that the Commission regarded their evidence as the least valuable, as less valuable than the evidence of detainees who made statements which they subsequently withdrew. The Commission gives no grounds for treating the evidence of informers in this way. As the Governor points out in his despatch, the information which came to him came from seven separate and independent sources.
They were not all informers in the ordinary sense. They were in different parts of Nyasaland. Each was ignorant of the others' existence and of the others' reports.
The fact that so many reports were received from different sources so widely apart and substantially to the same effect, all of them saying that bloodshed had been discussed at the emergency conference—and the Commission found that it had—four of them mentioning the murder of Government officers and three of them the murder of Africans, was something the Governor would have been failing in his duty to ignore.
The Commissioner of Police had told the Governor that his view was—I quote the Commissioner's words: … that the information about a plan for the mass murder of all Europeans and Asians, men, women and children, in the event of Dr. Banda being arrested, was correct and must be accepted seriously.
In the light of these facts and in the light of this information, I submit to the House that the Governor deserves not condemnation or criticism but commendation for declaring the state of emergency. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I further assert that the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East was entirely wrong in asserting that the real position in Nyasaland was that … a few panic-stricken people are now precipitating trouble …


John Chilembwe and family

The following post deals with the possible causes of the John Chilembwe uprising in 1915. It was one of the first uprisings against British power in Nyasaland and has been extensively studied by scholars who have come up with their own versions of the causes. In this article Dr Ian Linden and wife Jane explore the possible causes using past studies and their own studies on the causes. I hope you will learn alot about this beloved son of Nyasaland.

John Chilembwe and the New Jerusalem
Author(s): Jane Linden and Ian LindenSource: The Journal of African History, Vol. 12, No. 4 (1971), pp. 629-651
Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable Jrournal of African History, xii, 4 (1971), pp. 629-651 629
Printed in Great Britain

War in Europe, war here against the Germans,a religious war, persecution almost. You might think that we were close to the end of the world.

Nzama Montfort Mission Diary, 30 January 1915.1

IN THE search for the progenitors of modern mass nationalism, inter tribal movements which culminated in armed resistance to colonial rule have been studied in some depth. The intertribal Nyasaland rising of 1915, which seriously threatened white rule in the southern region of the protectorate for a brief period of three days, is no exception. Although less than 900 Africans were actively involved, it bears with the much larger scale Maji-Maji war in Tanganyika an inordinate weight of hagiography and historical analysis. That its leader, John Chilembwe, would come to occupy pride of place in the pantheon of Malawi's nationalist heroes, and so become shrouded in mythology,2 was already predicted by Shepperson and Price in their now classic biography, Independent African.3

The desire to demonstrate a continuity in African aspirations, from the early resistance movements of the beginning of the twentieth century to later secular nationalism,4 has meant that the political goals of rebellions have been stressed. Religious elements, when they have been given emphasis, as in Ranger's treatment of the Ndebele and Shona risings5 and Gwassa's discussion of the religious ideology of Maji-Maji,6 have been fitted into a Weberian framework. Traditional religion has been treated as an integrative force bringing together disparate tribal groups, and Christianity, far from being an opiate, has been shown to have provided radical apocalyptic themes through which Africans articulated opposition to colonial rule. The authority of the Bible legitimized the use of force by both charismatic prophets and leaders of Christian sects. Nonetheless, the ideological content of Africans' religious beliefs has been given short shrift. In contrast to the detailed consideration of the theological niceties involved in the politico-religious movements of Europe, such as the English Puritan revolution,7 those of African Christians are labelled en bloc 'Christian revolutions'. The heuristic value of such broad categories is debatable. In Nyasaland, Protestantism was a religion of the Book. Biblical piety provided the reader with a Jewish concept of linear time and with images of oppression that stimulated the growth of political and historical consciousness. Catholic piety, eucharistic devotion, was centred in the synchronic duality of Christ's immanence and transcendence, in Sacred Host and Church. Its missionary manifestation was profoundly ahistorical. And, of course, within Protestantism itself the distinction between the institutional churches and Troeltsch's sect type proved as fundamental in colonial Malawi as in Europe.8 A full understanding of the political postures adopted by the different churches during the critical period 1958-64 in Malawi demands insights into the ideology of Calvinism and Catholicism.9

Another danger in a simplistic treatment of Christianity and its denominations is that the actual beliefs and religious behaviour of African Christians are either assumed or ignored. Yet the equation of the credal formulas and confessional statements of mission societies and churches with the beliefs of individual African Christians is mere wishful thinking.10 The leading officials of rain shrines in Malawi today do not disguise their allegiance to the major churches in the country. Furthermore, European missionaries visiting their African pastors were for ever complaining that they were preaching a private and idiosyncratic version of the scriptures. The relationship between Christian thought and African political consciousness will only be elucidated when the difficult task of analysing the interaction between social position in colonial society, religious beliefs and political behaviour is undertaken.

Accounts of the Nyasaland rising shed little light on this interaction. In Independent African, religious ideology is a theme secondary to the presentation of the radical political influences on Chilembwe, especially those of Booth and American blacks. Within Nyasaland the development of religious radicalism is referred to with Booth as fons, if not origo, and discussed as a succession of individuals. Chanjiri, the traditional Kunda prophetess, 'Daughter of God',1" gives way to Kamwana and Watchtower. The time between Kamwana's deportation and the rising is filled by Charles Domingo.12 It is impossible to assess the religious beliefs of their followersand the rest of the population. Whether they change in step with the individuals who broadcast them is not clear. The inference is that they do, since the hiatus between such chiliasts as Kamwana and Chilembwe's supposed southern Baptist orthodoxy is positively underlined.

One of the most colourful additions to the European legend of John Chilembwe is the persistent assertion that he was an adherent of the Watchtower movement ... but the demonstrable fact is that Chilembwe had no more connection with Watchtower than was imposed on him by the adherence of the few Africans who may have been influenced at some point by millenarian teaching.13 With limited data, it is easy to show connexions between movements, but it is methodologically impossible to prove the contrary. One piece of positive evidence destroys the argument. That Shepperson and Price are willing to take this risk, and unwilling to leave the influence of millenarianism an open question in an otherwise cautious discussion of motives, signifies that some pre-judgment has been made. Chilembwe, it can be inferred, is to be placed, not against a background of revolutionary chiliasm, but in the future perspective of proto-nationalism.

What thanks to Shepperson's Bultmann-like pre-occupation with demythologization is only a tendency, becomes in Rotberg's The Rise of Nationalism in Central Africa, and his later Protest and Power in Black Africa,14 an unquestioned premise. The Nyasaland rising has become one man, an asthmatic, charismatic nationalist martyr with qualities of Padraig Pearse and John Brown. The view that Chilembwe may have been planning to 'set up an independent government in the Shire Highlands', and that 'unlike Kamwana and Domingo, he eschewed millennial teachings'15 has given way to a portrait of a leader who 'radiated (newly discovered?) sources of incandescent illumination'.16 It was, of course, Rotberg and not Chilembwe who newly discovered the 'incandescent illumination' as the only way to transform an apparently ineffectual pastor into the leader of several hundred Africans.

Tangri, with access to new material in the Zomba archives that was unavailable to Price, keeps well within orthodoxy: Though some of Chilembwe's following may have been swayed by Watchtower, there is no direct evidence to suggest that he himself was in any way influenced by such doctrines.17

When Kamwana's successes in Tongaland in I909 are remembered, and the strength of Watchtower in colonial Zambia and Malawi from 1919 onwards, 18 it seems reasonable to ask what became of millenarianism in the First World War- In fact the reports of the rebels' trials and their unpublished, confiscated correspondence, which were unavailable to Shepperson and Price, now make it clear that millennial expectations were held by many of the Africans involved in the rising.

Rotberg's analysis of the rising rests on George Simeon Mwase's second hand version in 'A Dialogue of Nyasaland, Record of Past Events, Environments, and the Present Outlook within the Protectorate',19 written in 1932. According to Mwase: John said this case stands the same as that of Mr. John Brown..... Let us then 'strike a blow and die' for our blood will surely mean something at last.20 Rotberg assures the sceptic that 'Mwase's circumstantial account can hardly have been manufactured'.21 But, since the rest of Mwase's account is interspersed with literary flourishes, and Mwase is known to have entered a literary competition in the 1930s,22 it is difficult to see why not. Mwase was the leader of a predominantly Chewa Native Association in the 1920s, and was strongly opposed to the influence of Christian mission teachers in the Central Region.23 He certainly received Garveyite literature from America.24 It would be consistent that the head of a secularly orientated association of tobacco growers, with his own literary interests and a knowledge
of black history, should create a Chilembwe in the image of John Brown. When Mwase is taken seriously as an interpreter, rather than a chronicler of the events of 1915, he becomes an important source for understanding 'The Present Outlook'-in 1932-but thoroughly unreliable as a 'Record of Past Events'. His account will therefore be given little weight here.

The conditions in colonial Malawi which produced the rush into Kamwana's Church in I909 had deteriorated further by I9I4. Although pressure from a Liberal government in England had resulted in labour recruitment being officially forbidden in I907, recruiting posts merely moved across the border to resume business as usual. There were an estimated 20,000 Nyasaland workers in Rhodesia alone in 190,25 and a conservative estimate put the total number of workers out of the country by I9I3 as 25,000.26 The pressure of tax collection, with its attendant burnt huts and massive migration of labour, induced social changes in village life. While the Ngoni lamented an increase in divorce,27 the matrilocal Chewa husbands brought their wives to the village of their matriclan so that their family could watch them in their absence.28

In the Shire Highlands, with a large African population increasing by the immigration of Alomwe labourers from Portuguese East Africa, a high density of European planters generated tensions over land and labour. Conditions on the Bruce estates, the focus of the southern side of the rising, were not appreciably worse than on many other plantations in the Highlands.29 A combination of famine and an increase in the hut tax in I9I2 further aggravated African feeling in the protectorate. The District Administration Ordinance of that year only came into force in I9I4-and then only in two districts-so it did nothing to shore up the fast disappearing authority of chiefs and headmen.

The period I909-14 was one of growing alienation from European rule. Recruitment into the western institutional churches slumped30 as solutions to social ills were sought in traditional remedies,31 or in millennial dreams preached in the proliferating semi-independent churches. For the 'new men', the African pastors, businessmen or government employees, excluded from traditional offices, unable to obtain capital for business, and with no place in white society that did not carry with it daily humiliations, it was a period of profound social malaise. Cohn's description of the membership of chiliastic movements in the Middle Ages can be applied, with obvious reservations, to the 'new men' of Nyasaland: These people lacked the material and emotional support afforded by traditional social groups . .. they were not effectively organised in village communities or in guilds; for them there existed no regular, institutionalised methods of voicing grievances or pressing their claims.32

The social changes that occurred at all levels of Nyasaland society before the First World War were a sufficient cause for the growth of revolutionary chiliasm. It remains to be shown to what extent millenarian expectations were widespread before the rising, and what role they played in stimulating armed revolt. Or, in more general terms, what role did religious ideology play in the rising?

The first of several rumours of impending trouble came from the north of the administrative capital, Zomba, in the beginning of I9I4. It was only communicated to the government by the Roman Catholic Bishop, Louis Auneau, after the outbreak of the rising.

Some time ago I heard from our fathers of Namkunda Mission ... that there was some agitation amongst Mahommedan people; they were all saying that the Arabs will come and we will kill all Europeans and natives who will refuse to accept our creed.33

The Yao had suffered heavily from Johnston's punitive raids and the end of the slave trade. More adapted to trading under the loose control of the Sultan of Zanzibar than to the enforced economic stagnation of the Pax Britannica, they were perhaps the most disaffected group in the protectorate. An Islamic renaissance reported by missionaries in I9I2 34 was the first symptom of what might have become a tribal revolt.35 More news of seditious talk came from the Ntcheu district as Catholic catechists returned in June I914 from their harvesting.36 A month later, Paulos Mwenye, a Catholic catechist teaching within a mile of Chilembwe's Providence Industrial Mission, reported that he had been warned by a P.I.M. member, Mawson, that: you are a scholar of a European mission but be ready this year, I914, as the Europeans are going to try to destroy us, we must agree, all of us Natives, to be ready.37

This information was passed on to the assistant district commissioner for the sub-district of Chiradzulu, Mitchell, who confronted Paulos-'a very sanctimonious and typically mission youth and a thorough rascal from the look of him'-with Mawson. The result was hardly in doubt; Mawson denied everything and the resident believed him. However, Moggridge, the DC in Blantyre, received a report of the incident and put the P.I.M. under close surveillance. From October I914 onwards, all letters in and out of Chilembwe's mission were censored at the Chiradzulu Boma.8

The government's attitude towards Chilembwe was one of caution tempered by the suspicion that the Catholic warnings were a product of inter-mission rivalry.39 Auneau was French and ultramontane, and had recently outwitted the Blantyre Town Council in the purchase of land in the township for a mission.40 Moggridge did not know the district well, respected the Scots after a spell near Livingstonia, and felt that Hetherwick, the head of the Church of Scotland Mission, was 'probably far better informed on subjects of this sort than anyone else in the District'.41 Church of Scotland teachers were sent round the Chiradzulu district at the beginning of December I9I4 to make a thorough investigation. Six weeks before the outbreak of the rising, Moggridge was able to report that after 'three weeks hostile and fairly close scrutiny, there is little to be feared from this man' 42

Intensive surveillance failed to uncover any preparations for a rebellion because, probably, no such preparations were being made. The Catholic catechists had more likely heard the result of discussions about the end of the world, the belief that there was to be a Final Battle in which many Africans would be killed. Several months after Kamwana's deportation, in a remote area several days journey from Tongaland, the passage of Halley's comet brought hundreds of villagers fleeing into the bush to confess their sins and prepare for the end of the world.43 If an apocalyptic mood prevailed in 1910, it would be even more likely in I9I4, the year Kamwana prophesied would bring the millennium.

Small Watchtower groups with centres at Limbe44 and near Ncheu had survived Kamwana's deportation. Letters from Kamwana in Chinde came into the protectorate by diverse routes, and his brother, Eliot Yohan Achirwa, visited Watchtower supporters in several districts. Another Tonga, Bennet Gospel Siyasiya, was the main distributor of Watchtower literature in the Ncheu district, and was found after the rising with a certain Beswick Kangaulenda in possession of several tracts in ChiTonga, evidently from Kamwana.45 Apart from this faithful remnant, Watchtower literature and Bibles reached a number of the semi-independent church pastors like David Shirt Chikakude, who was later found with the Watchtower book Millions now living will never die.46 Another Church of Christ pastor, Fred Singano in Likabula, acted as a secret mailing address for
Kamwana after the latter had moved from Chinde to Mlanje in September 1914; he was caught with a considerable volume of Watchtower literature after the rising.47

When rumours of war between the great powers became widespread in Nyasaland during July 1914, interest in Watchtower was rekindled. In villages the mood of impending doom gave rise to a rash of witchcraft accusations,48 but amongst the more sophisticated mission elite in Blantyre it increased the interest in the apocalyptic books of the Bible. On 7 July 1914, Haya Edward Mlelembe, alias Peters, one of Chilembwe's closest associates, wrote to America for Watchtower books for his school.49 Peters was no simpleton. He had been a past associate of Domingo and the founder and secretary of a 'Negro Industrial Union' that had an ephemeral existence in I909 under Chilembwe's patronage.50 He was, moreover, an admirer of the conservative politics of Booker T. Washington,51 and an obssessive imitator of European ways.52 His business interests included timber and tobacco, and Chilembwe was heavily in his debt by 1914.

A few weeks later, Gordon Mataka, who had travelled to Natal with Chilembwe and Booth in I896 and was in business with Duncan Njilima, one of the leading rebels, wrote to Chilembwe: The European war will I think put matter into a shape and people will see that our local ministers were quite right.-4 On being questioned at his trial what he meant by this, Mataka replied: I meant only according to the Bible. John Chilembwe came to Duncan's village either in June or July I914. I was there. Duncan said to me: 'Did you not know that 19I4 is the end of the world?' I said I did not know. Then he (Duncan) said to me: 'You had better repent and take the land (i.e. our estate) and be one denomination and build a church. I never agreed to this and did not repent.'55

It is interesting to note that both Peters and Mataka were far from the centres of revolt when the rising began, the former on a hunting expedition on the P.E.A. border and the latter at his store in Fort Jameson. That Chilembwe also was thinking about the Final Battle can be inferred from a letter sent to him by Eliot Yohan Achirwa in the middle of I914. There had evidently been some discussion of Armageddon, with Chilembwe advocating that the Elect should be prepared.

Reference to our conversationI will call your attentiont o what Paul says, 'let every soul be subject unto the higher powers'.... From these you will see we are not thinking about war so far as we know that God is to our side and He said to us 'avenge not yourselves but rather give place unto wrath for it is written that Vengeance is mine and I will repay'..... It is our duty to say to the household of the faith, 'Fear ye not, stand still and see Salvation of the Lord'.56

As Shepperson and Price point out,57 this is the orthodox pacifist position of Charles Taze Russell, President of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, and reveals Kamwana's brother as a strict Watchtower adherent.
The news of the outbreak of war reached Nyasaland in the first week of August and put the Kamwana-Chilembwe debate on to a new footing. By October rumours abounded in the Blantyre area. A group of women told Mloggridge that: a Church of Christ teacher near Limbe and John Chilembwe had received messages that the end of the world was coming within the week.58

Hetherwick's scouts came back with news of a widespread belief that the Americans were fighting at Karonga against the British, and that the name of Chilembwe's church was 'Noah's Ark'.59 Mitchell's replacement, I\Iilthorp, collected a number of rumours that Europeans were about to kill all the Africans.60 This fear was sufficiently general for the askaris in the Chiradzulu district to refuse to sleep away from the Boma.61 These rumours clearly stemmed from apocalyptic themes: the battle of Armageddon and the Karonga war, the saved remnant and Chilembwe's sect, the war between the Just and the Unjust, the fear of an attack by the Europeans on the Africans.62

Again, this heightening of millenarian expectations was not limited to illiterate villagers. Two of Chilembwe's teachers, Damson Buloweza and Wilson Kusita, Ngoni elders of the P.I.M., became full-time Watchtower preachers at about this time and preached in the Ncheu district where Kusita formerly directed a P.I.M. school.63 Duncan Njilima, the richest businessman in Nyasaland with three stores and a timber business, who had been prominent in Chilembwe's second attempt at an industrial union in 1911 and whose son, Richard, attended the P.J.M. school,64 was later reported to have made mysterious references to the fact that 'the bugle was ready to sound'.65 Johnston Zolongola, a P.I.M. elder, told villagers during the rising that; 'We are the people on Noah's Ark and know the real truth'.66 All of these men were in Chilembwe's inner circle of conspirators.

When Moggridge questioned Yotan Bango, alias Saiti, in October I9I4, he admitted that Chilembwe expected the second coming at the end of the month.67 Bango was later Chilembwe's emissary to the Germans. Another witness after the rising said that Chilembwe had told him that: 'God would come and all except John Chilembwe's christians would be killed.' 'And I believed it.'68 To what extent such statements were projections on to Chilembwe of beliefs held by the rank-and-file is difficult to assess. He might easily have interpreted his debilitating asthma, bereavement, failing sight, heavy debts, government surveillance and probable coming deportation as the suffering foretold in the Book of Revelation before the exaltation of the Just. World War I, with its multi-national ramifications of which educated Nyasalanders were well aware,69 was easily seen as the war prophecied in the Book of Daniel that was to precede the arrival of the Archangel.70

The period from December 1914 to January 1915 provide more telling evidence. A 'Christians' Roll Book during the war', only half completed and in the handwriting of Stephen Mkulichi, secretary to the inner circle of conspirators, was discovered by government troops at the P.I.M.71 It enabled the government to round up many participants in the rising who might not otherwise have been suspected, and is difficult to explain in anything other than an eschatological context. The 'Book of the Predestinate' is a theme running through many apocalyptic passages in the Bible,72 and Chilembwe would certainly have been aware of it. The link between phrases used by Chilembwe and P.I.M. elders and the 'Christians' Roll Book during the war' is provided in the Books of Daniel and Isaiah.

There is going to be a time of distress unparalleled since nations first came into existence. When that time comes, your own people will be spared, all those whose names are found written in the Book.73

This was to occur after the Final Battle between the nations, and it is not difficult to appreciate how, in January I9I5, Chilembwe might take it literally.74

The last extant letter from Chilembwe does nothing to dispel the impression that Chilembwe thought he was in the last times. It was sent to Wilson Kusita and Jordan Njirajaffa in the Ncheu district75 and dated 22 December 19I4, thus written after Chilembwe had become aware that his mail was being censored.76 Chilembwe had been bypassing the Boma by using runners since mid-November, so he would not have been likely to write in biblical code.77

We are not yet in prison.... It is true that I have written a letter to ask the government for the rights of my people. Brother Chinyama will tell you all about it as he has read the copy of the letter. My dear brethren be strong, preach the true Gospel trusting that our Heavenly Father will help us. Strengthen all weak brethren. Preach the Kingdom of God is at hand.78

It is difficult to reconcile such an undisguised escatological proclamation with portraits of a nationalist martyr. By the beginning of 1915 Chilembwe was moving towards a messianic consciousness that he would inaugurate the 'New Jerusalem'.

The strong circumstantial evidence that Chilembwe was profoundly influenced by millenarian expectations does not explain, however, why almost nine hundred Africans rose in armed rebellion. To answer this more important question it is necessary to return to Kamwana and Watchtower, and the spectrum of belief about the coming of the millennium. Something of the feeling after the outbreak of war amongst hard-core Watchtower adherents can be gauged from a letter sent to the Watchtower magazine from Nyasaland in August:
Surely we are living in the Time of the End, according to the Scriptures.... In Nyassaland we see many things which have been preached in our churches, and what we are learning the Volumes79 and Watchtower-all these things are now being fulfilled.80

But when the parousia failed to dawn in October the excitement began to turn to frustration. In the middle of November, a Seventh Day Baptist supporter of Watchtower wrote to Bennet Gospel Siyasiya to reassure him:
But we will believe that Brother Eliot is a wise man. He would not mislead you because he is a man of understanding. You tell people that this is not the time to learn English as the time has now passed.81

By December recent converts to Watchtower like Kusita began to fall by the wayside.

I am going to let you know about our sayings please I am try to think or thought it, then I find best way that it is impossibility to be in Watchtower. I will not be as one of you in business I am return back my own old place as P.I. Mission.82

From Achirwa's letter to Chilembwe it is clear that the critical issue was pacifism v. activism. Kamwana and his disciples preached Pastor Russell's passivity, while at the other end of the spectrum were men like David Kaduya, an extreme activist. Kaduya, who effectively took command of the southern side of the rising, was the son of an Mpotola chief near Phalombe and travelled widely as Chilembwe's school inspector.83 He had signed on at Fort Lister and gone to Somaliland with the Nyasaland troops to fight in the campaign against the 'Mad Mullah'.84 His experiences of an Islamic religious war in Somaliland seem to have made a deep impression on him. It was reported after the rising that as early as February 1914 he travelled around the Zomba district elaborating on Isaiah, Chapter 52: 'Awake, awake.'85 He explained that it meant Africans should 'fight for their own nation' and told people:

Jesus! You believe that he is the Saviour of all people? He is not the saviour of all people but he is the Saviour of the Jews. He fought on the hill of Calvary with the Romans to save Israel.86

Chilembwe's plans for rebellion at this time may be judged from the letter he wrote to Peters in which he said that he was thinking of leaving Nyasaland for Europe or America.87

Kaduya's unorthodox and singularly martial doctrine of salvation did not go unheeded. In June I914, Daniel Mungalama, a clerk and typist at Port Herald and a P.I.M. member, wrote significantly-to Kaduya and not to Chilembwe-that four askaris at the Boma 'had expressed themselves as willing to destroy Europeans'.88 If the origin of the idea of an armed nationalist uprising is to be sought, then it should perhaps be in Africa and Islamic nationalism,89 rather than in American slave revolts.

The conduct of the rising lends itself to the interpretation that Chilembwe's forces saw themselves as the Just and assumed they would be afforded supernatural protection. After the abortive attack on the Mandala stores on Saturday night, groups were still moving towards Blantyre in broad daylight at 7 a.m. on Sunday morning. A priest on his way from Blantyre mission to say mass at Limbe was lucky enough to be mistaken for a Protestant minister.

I had got to within a mile of Mandala stores on the Zomba road when I was stopped by a band of about 60 men armed with spears, axes, sticks and a few rifles.... Finally after I had told them I neither made war nor carried any arms, they hesitated and, handing me back my breviary-my 'bibulo' they called its aid 'If it is true you are not a man of war strike your Bible'. This I did. Then they let me go.90 The same pre-occupation with the 'men of war' marked the whole rising. Women were to be spared and sent to the Chiradzulu Boma after their husbands had been killed.91

The Ncheu side of the rising was even more quixotic and confused. Cardew, the local D.C., a veteran of the Rhodesian Pioneer Column, had been stationed in the district since I902 and knew it well.92 When a relative of James Kamwamba, a local Ngoni chief who was friendly with Philipo Chinyama, informed the Boma of seditious meetings, Cardew immediately rounded up all pastors in the area with known Watchtower sympathies.93 Chinyama, a Seventh Day Baptist pastor, had visited the P.I.M. in the last two weeks of December94 and then tried to win over local pastors and headmen to the idea of rebellion. 95 On 23 January 19I5, as the Moggridge, 22 Feb. I9I5. Sio/i/6 and SI/46/I9. Auneau, in some notes prepared for an article on the rising, recorded that several of the rebels when caught were wearing amulets as war-medicine, a typical Yao practice from the nineteenth century. L. Auneau, Brouillons Montfort Archives, Rome. These must have been Kaduya's recruits.

rising was beginning in the south, a very worried Chinyama wrote to his American patron, Walter Cockerill:
Now regret is this Brethren B. Siyasiya and Jordan96 and David97 they has caughted by Resident yesterday but even myself I am very near to catching by the hands of Resident.98

After Chilembwe's runners had reached Dzunje during the night, on Monday morning, 25 January, Boma police arrived at Chinyama's village to confiscate his papers. 99 Despite protests from his chief, Makwangwala,100 Chinyama had assembled 200 spearmen and now moved south towards the Shire to link up with the other rebels.101 It was, of course, two days too late.

The confusion that characterized the rising can easily be dismissed as a result of hurried planning; by mid-January Smith, the Governor of Nyasaland, had plans to deport Chilembwe and some of the P.I.M. elders.102 And there were P.I.M. members in government service who could have, and doubtless did, warn Chilembwe.103 But after the initial attacks on Blantyre, there was more than confusion; the rebels simply did not know what to do. Survivors of the rising can give no coherent account of Chilembwe's movements.104 From Rotberg's story of meditation on a hill105 to the government report that he watched the raids on Mandala from the 'old road railway bridge',106 Chilembwe does not appear to have played a prominent part in the rising.107 It may have been that after the initial raids there was a general expectation that some supernatural intervention would occur.

Another enigmatic feature of the rising which finds explanation in a chiliastic interpretation is the selection of Roman Catholics, alone amongst missionaries, as targets for attack. The Ngoni chief, Njobvualema108 at Kaloga, next to the Montfort mission of Nzama, received a letter from Chinyama with orders to kill the priests. They were only saved by the coincidence that the chief had already left for Ncheu to defend the Boma, and the letter was handed over to one of the only literate members of his entourage to read; this was the head catechist from the mission.109 The letter was immediately burnt, and Njobvualema razed and looted
Makwangwala's village to prove his loyalty to the Boma.110 The Montforts in the south were not so fortunate. Nguludi mission, only four miles from the P.I.M., was burnt to the ground in the early hours of Tuesday, 26 January. The attackers, led by Kaduya, left a priest who had stayed to defend the mission for dead in the cemetery."'1 Fr. Swelsen, a tough six-foot Dutch carpenter, survived, but a coloured orphan inadvertently left behind by the sisters perished in the blaze.112 Onlookers say that the raiders stayed from about 3.30 a.m. until almost daybreak singing hymns in the half-built shell of the cathedral.113K aduya was shot in the leg by a local Catholic headman, Sumani, and left carried in a machila; he was later killed by government troops near the P.E.A. border.114

Rotberg presents the attack on Nguludi as a probable accident when Chilembwe had lost control of his forces.115 Shepperson, on the other hand, makes the more perceptive suggestion that it was a deliberate attack on the mission that had first informed the government.116 The priests would have agreed to neither view. For them the rising was a deliberate act of religious persecution carried out by a fanatical Protestant sect against the Catholic Church.117 Their intemperate verdict contained some insight. Auneau, with a training in Church History that concentrated on the glorious Middle Ages, saw Chilembwe as an 'illumine' against a backdrop of Hussites and Anabaptists.118 Eken, who wrote a short book on the revolt after discussions with the Nguludi priests, Dutch fathers who had visited Chilembwe for tea on a number of occasions, suggested that the war and expectations of the end of the world had precipitated the rising. It comes as something of a suprise to find an insignificant Dutch Montfort, writing in 1924, suggesting that Chilembwe's problem was that he, and his associates, were 'gedeclasseerden'-marginal men.119

The Catholic view was not just a symptom of a ghetto mentality. The smaller Protestant sects were virulently anti-Catholic. An example of this is Cardew's translation of one of the ChiTonga tracts found at Ncheu:

The Kingdom of Great Britain is increasing itself, like the church of Rome, because Great Britain collects together all the churches of Babylon that they may pray for their chief, the Pope. . . . such churches are in agreement with the Church of Rome, and whoever refuses to adhere to their teachings will be persecuted and perhaps banished.120
It is not hard to understand how Christians, interpreting Chilembwe's possible deportation and their experience of school disputes121 with the Catholics through the distorting prism of this style of teaching, could come to see the Catholics as the 'Beast' of the Apocalypse. Bennet Gospel Siyasiya does use the expression 'chirombo popa of the Roman Chalolika' (the Beast, Pope of the Roman Catholics) in one letter.122 When 'Babylon' was attacked, the 'Beast' could not be spared.

The development from a passive waiting for the millennium to active rebellion, from Kamwana to Kaduya, took place between October 1914 and January 1915. By November, the prophet's mantle had begun to slip from Kamwana as it became apparent that the parousia would not dawn without resort to arms. Although Kamwana seems to have pushed the date back to April 1915,123 the tremendous upsurge of millennial expectation caused by the world war could not be dammed. Wilson Kusita, a useful barometer of the change from passivity to activity, was writing to Eliot Yohan Achirwa in December; 'I know that you are Great Pastor in the Lord',"24 but sometime between g-23 January he wrote again:

The people will not be saved by you but here it is possible that we will be saved (because) that John Chilembwe is really American. Here I am with people that I know and we are not afraid.125

Although it was Kamwana who had focused hopes on October 1914, and had been supported by the apparent accord between the biblical apocalyptic prophecies and events in the world, Watchtower teaching could not provide a legitimization for violence.126 None of Kamwana's close followers joined in the rising. Only Chilembwe, with the prestige of his foreign travels to America and black helpers, like Cheek, and his pre-eminent knowledge of the Bible, could produce the supernatural mandate for revolt. By bringing together the images of oppression in the Babylonian captivity and the two great eschatological themes of the Final Battle and the saved remnant, he was able to lead himself and his followers from passivity to revolt.

Why then has this chiliastic interpretation been shunned, or overlooked, by former writers?127 The most important reason seems to be the dissociation of religious ideology from the beliefs and social consciousness of Africans in the rebellion. The Europeans whose 'legend' Shepperson mocks, and Shepperson himself, never get beyond the obfuscating abstraction 'Watchtower' to the beliefs of men in the Nyasaland of I9I4-I5.

The Europeans, aware of the millennial overtones of the rising and of Chilembwe's planned 'theocracy',128 concluded 'Watchtower' was to blame. Shepperson, without the material that showed the extent of millenarian
beliefs in the protectorate, emphasized the hiatus between 'Watchtower' and the rising. That Kamwana's views were merely the articulate expression of a widespread, more inchoate sense of impending catastrophe could only be discovered when the focus of analysis moved from the elite to the crowd.

The failure of the rising to reach the scale of the Maji-Maji war, in which the critical role was played by traditional religious beliefs, seems to lie as much in the nature of Christianity as a religious system as in the social conditions in colonial Malawi. The different missions with their varied theologies split Chilembwe's potential Christian support. None of the Catholic peasants on the Bruce estates joined the rising. They had access only to collections of Bible stories, 'Mulungu Yekha' and 'Za Mpulumutsi', 129 which, of course, lacked the apocalyptic passages of the Bible. More importantly, they would have been unlikely to have heard sermons on the Second Coming from their priests at Nguludi. On the other hand, the Churches of Christ, with whom Chilembwe appears to have attempted to unite on I2 January I9 I5,130 while having millennial expectations, were strongly influenced by Watchtower pacifism.
The problem of enlisting the support of the Yao was even more acute. Despite Kaduya's efforts to recruit chiefs and headmen in the Zomba and Mlanje districts, the attacks planned in these areas were a fiasco.131 However great Chilembwe's prestige, he could not produce a Biblical legitimization for revolt that would be acknowledged by readers of the Koran. This absence of concerted tribal support from the Yao was more serious than the indifference of the Ngoni chiefs. The Yao had many grievances, and a successful attack on Zomba from neighbouring Yao chiefs might have prolonged the rising and thus encouraged more widespread support.
While it may be agreed with Worsley132 that the important criterion for assessing religious movements is not 'millenarian v. non-millenarian' but 'passivism v. activism', it is plain that members of pacifist movements with millennial expectations can experience intense deprivation, social and religious, driving them to realize their frustrated hopes by violence.133
Neither did Christian ideology provide an integrative, legitimizing force in the Chilembwe rising. Quite the reverse. Just as the Bible separated Chilembwe from his own Yao, the inherent divisiveness of Christianity further split his already fragmented Christian support. The essential dualism of Christianity, its grace and works, passion and action, cross and sword, provided a formulation of the latent needs of Africans in the protectorate, but an ambivalent one. Ideally a dialectic, this duality never seems to have been solved by Chilembwe. As Rotberg recognizes, Chilembwe never appears to have resolved whether his role was that of the suffering servant or the prophet armed; in this sense he did personify the African response to revolt. As praxis, his Christianity integrated neither himself, it seems, nor Nyasaland Africans. The Nyasaland rising of 1915 provides a paradigm of the divisiveness of missionary Christianity as an ideology of political action in the colonial period.


The Nyasaland rising of 1915 has been dealt with previously within the perspective of proto-nationalism, and a hiatus has been emphasized between prophetae like Kamwana and the Baptist orthodoxy of Chilembwe. An analysis of the beliefs of many of the lesser lights in the rising, however, shows that millennial expectations were rife at the outbreak of the rising. Kamwana's prophecies of the advent of the millennium in October I914 were provided with support by the outbreak of the First World War. The rising is analysed within the context of millennial belief in an attempt to show how a development from passivism to activism from October 19I4 to January 1915 was the proximate cause of open revolt. The failure of the rising is discussed in terms of the religious ideology used to legitimize it, and the role of Watchtower beliefs is clarified. Evidence of millennial hopes is taken from trial reports of rebels and from correspondence confiscated after the rising at Ncheu and Chiradzulu.


A list of Africans with some connexion with the rising for whom there is a body of information concerning social position, religious belief and degree of involvement.

ELIOT KENAN KAMWANA. Tonga. Resident at Chinde 1910-14 where he conducted a wide-ranging correspondence. Moved to Mlanje at his own request in September I914. Received visits at Mlanje from Watchtower pastors from Port-Herald and Limbe and conducted services contrary to government instructions. Maintained contact through his brother Eliot Yohan Achirwa with Watchtower representatives in Nyasaland. Refused to join the rising. Lyall-Grant, Attorney the failure of the millennium to dawn into active preparation for its inauguration by the sword. On 27 Feb. 1534 an armed uprising expelled Lutherans and Catholics from the town of Muntazer. Cohn, Pursuit of the Millennium, 279-86.

General, in 1915 opposed his deportation on the grounds that he preached submission and pacifism. He was deported for attempting to escape, not for Watchtower views. S2/68/1I9.

ELIOT YOHAN ACHIRWA. Tonga. Came to Nyasaland c. 1914 to organize Watchtower groups. He was at Bennet Gospel Siyasiya's village when the rising broke out and was given six months imprisonment for seditious words. In correspondence with Chilembwe, he took a pacifist line like his brother, Kamwana.
Deported in I916 to Mauritius. SIO/I/8/5, S2/68/I9 and NCN 4/I/I.

LOT COLLECTION CHIMWEMBE. A relation of Kamwana. Convicted of seditious words after arrest at Siyasiya's. Sentenced to six months and afterwards detained.
Tonga. NCN 4/3/I, Sio/i/8/5, S2/68/I9, SI/2I8/I9.

BESWICK KANGAULENDA. Ngoni. Sentenced to six months at Ncheu for seditious words. A committed Kamwanaite. While in detention at Kota-kota baptized four people and preached that Europeans were 'hirelings' and not 'true shepherds'. He was in possession of numerous Watchtower tracts. After release given three month sentence again at Ncheu for failure to notify village headman of meetings.
Similar cases: Esau Sinos Chadza and Jackson Banda. Ngoni. SI/46/i9, S2/68/I9, NN 1/20/22.

JAMES RAMSAY APHIRI. Resident of Ndirande from South Nyasa District. Full time head of Limbe Watchtower group. In correspondence with Siyasiya and made official reports to Achirwa. On Sunday, 24 January, he conducted his usual morning service in Limbe. No evidence of any complicity. Similarly JAMES ASAFAITI known to have visited Kamwana at Mlanje, and RICHARD ZUZE, cook to a Goan who worked on Limbe railway. Sio/i/8/5, NCN 4/I/I, Sio/i/6.

WILSON FOSTER MALUNGA. Church of Scotland adherent in Mlanje district especially working amongst Alomwe, where he made many converts. Member of the Negro Industrial Union of 1909 but no apparent business interests. Under strongest suspicion of complicity in the Midima conspiracy. At Nkanda's, Mlanje, during rising. His house was razed by Midima volunteers and his gun never found. He refused to speak while under arrest. Released. Together with Kufa he was thought to have been unable to reconcile fighting with his Christian principles. Sio/i/8/3, Sio/i/6. Oral Testimony: Pio Ntwere.

BENNET GOSPEL SIYASIYA. Worked in the North Rand in 1913. Virulently anti-Catholic and an active Watchtower pastor. A close contact of Jordan Njirayaffa and Philipo Chinyama. A note found on him when arrested on 22 January 19I5: 'Please send your boy every day for letters. P. Chinyama.' He was only sentenced for seditious words and given six months. Later detained. He called his church at Msakambewa's village both 'the Watchtower Church of Christ' and 'the Watchtower Bible Society'. NCN 4/I/I, S2/68/I9, SI/46/I9, Sio/i/8/5, Sio/I/6.

JORDAN NJIRAYAFFA. Ngoni. Disciple of Hollis (Church of Christ) and attended the Negro Industral Union in I909. Close associate of Siyasiya. Appears to have been a Seventh Day Baptist at one time and became a Watchtower adherent in 1911. He was linked by Chilembwe with Wilson Kusita. Strong connexions with Chinyama. Life imprisonment and recommended for removal from Nyasaland because of political influence on other convicts. SIo/I/8/3, NCN 4/2/1, SIOI/I/8/2, S2/68/I9, S2/102/23.

DAVID SHIRT CHIKAKIJDE. Ngoni. Corresponded with Siyasiya who was on the Rand. Sentenced to ten years but released on ticket of leave in 1921. Brought before resident at Ncheu for holding night meetings without permission, upon which he explained that he was teaching the doctrines of the Church of Christ as expounded by Njirayaffa and Hollis. Also had Watchtower literature. SI/ 168/22, S2/68/I9, S2/IO2/23, NC 1/23/2, Sio/i/6.

WILSON KUSITA and DAMSON BOLOWEZA. See text. Escaped into P.E.A. SIQ/1/3.

ANDERSON CHIMUTU. Teacher at Tambala's village for the Nyasa Industrial Mission but allowed Chinyama to establish a Seventh Day Baptist school in his home village. By I915 said by the government to be a Seventh Day Baptist.
Executed. NCN/4/2/i, S2/68/I9.

MATTHEW JADALI. A letter sent to Siyasiyain November I9I4on behalf of Achirwa, although Jadali was, according to the government, a Seventh Day Baptist. Address 'Seventh Day Baptist Church of Christ, Dzunje' i.e. Chinyama's. 
Executed. S2/68/I9, NCN 413/I.

FREDERICK SINGANO. Church of Christ teacher who received Watchtower literature and acted as a mailing address for Kamwana. According to government closely identified with Hollis. After release from a sentence of seven years returned to Church of Christ as a teacher and received funds from Mary Bannister in Glasgow. He gave evidence against Chikakude that the latter was a Watchtower adherent. SI/486/I9, S2/85/23, NCN 4/I/I, NN 1/20/22.

GEORGE MASANGANO. Began his career as an interpreter in the resident magistrate's office, Zomba. Then became a Church of Christ teacher at 3 shillings per month. Went on a preaching expedition to Bandawe, Kamwana's district, in i91I and then joined an independent Church of Christ led by Barton Makwangwala at Zomba (executed). Worked as a cotton kapitao in government agriculture department and was contacted by David Kaduya. Given seven year sentence. S II468/I9, S2/85/23. Shepperson and Price, Independant African, pp. 352, 489.

RONALD KAUNDO. Accompanied Masangano to Tongaland in I9I I. He was contacted by Kaduya whilst a teacher with the independent Church of Christ at Zomba. Given a five-year sentence and later rejoined Church of Christ on release. SI/486/I9, S2/85/23-

JOHNSTONZ OLONGOLAA. lias James Stone. Nyanja, ex-kapitao of Magomero but a resident on the Bruce Estates. P.I.M. elder, said to have attended church in the village of Chimbia. Leader of the smaller gang that killed Ferguson and said' We are the people of Noah's Ark....' Fled to Likabula with Kaduya where he was caught. SIOI//3. 

Other Kapitaos: WILSON MZIMBA, ex-kapitao of Ferguson in the attack on Livingstone, probably the leader. SIO/I/3. Also LIFEYU, exkapitao of Robertson in the gang that attacked Magomero and according to A. L. Bruce had led a deputation for a P.I.M. school/prayer-house. Dismissed for attending P.I.M. services instead of working. SIO/I/3. Similarly two cotton kapitaos FRED MAGANGA and JAMES SAMUTI were in the Magomero attacks. SIO/I/3.

ABRAHAM CHIMBIA. Yao. P.I.M. pastor and ex-cook of a local planter, Anderson. A leader in the attack on Livingstone, possibly the one who cut off his head. He took with him many followers from his village. SIO/I/3. Other house servants involved: 'Faithful' Hinges (cf. Shepperson and Price, Independent African, p. 283). Shot by court martial. Let attackers into the house. SIO/I/5. Oral Testimony: P.I.M. survivors of raid. Also Graham, C. S. Ingall's cook attempted to kill Ingall but attack unsuccessful. SIO/I/5, and Robin Edward a cook and Z.I.AM. member. Executed. Sio/i/5.

DUNCAN NJILIMA. Originally a Church of Scotland member but close connexions with P.I.M. where his adopted son Richard Njilima was educated. He owned an estate, three stores and a timber business, the most prosperous African businessman in Nyasaland. His two sons were in America where they had been taken by the Rev. Cheek. Worked at one time as a house servant for a U.M.C.A. missionary. His connexions with the Ncheu district were a store and business run by his brother, Clair, a Church of Scotland elder, who was cleared of all complicity in the rising. According to Mataka, Njilima believed in the imminence of the Second Coming and was reported to have said on several occasions, 'the bugle was ready to sound'. Believed by the government to have been in charge of bribing the Blantyre police. Msalule, a relative of Njilima, killed the one askari to die in the rising. Like Kufa he may have lost heart at the last minute. Mang'anja. Executed. S2/68/22, Sio/i/6, SIOII/5. Oral Testimony; Pio Ntwere.

GORDON MATAKA. Yao. Partner of Njilima on the Nsoni Estate. Rejected millenarianism before the war but became interested by August I914. Travelled with Chilembwe and Booth to Natal in 1896. Church of Scotland teacher. Tried but found innocent. SIO/I/3 and see text.

WILLIAM MULAGHA MWENDA. Mentioned here because of his statements to the effect that Kamwana had become Chilembwe's pawn by the beginning of the rising. Worked in the office of the superintendent engineer for the A.L.C. at Chinde. Appears to have been Kamwana's Watchtower general secretary. Keen Watchtower supporter. Not, however, in Nyasaland during the rising, so any of his accounts about Kamwana at this time are, at best, second-hand, at worst lies to get himself out of detention in Mauritius and to dissociate himself from Kamwana. SIo/I/8/2, NCN 4/I/I, S2/68/1I9 and Mulagha to Governor of Nyasaland 19/9/26. S2/8/26 quoted in Rotberg The Rise, p. 69, footnote 34.


  1.  Trans. French Montfort Archives, Rome.
  2. G. Shepperson, Myth and Reality in Halawi, Fourth Herskovits Memorial Lecture, Northwestern (1966), 113-I8.
  3. G. Shepperson and T. Price, Independent African (Edinburgh, 1958), 4I6.
  4. T. O. Ranger, 'Connexions between "primary resistance" movements and modern mass nationalism in East and Central Africa', J. Afr. Hist., ix, no. 3 (I968), 437-53.
  5. T. O. Ranger, Revolt in Southern Rhodesia I896-7, London, I967.
  6. G. C. K. Gwassa, 'The Role of Religious and Other Traditional Beliefs during the Maji-Maji War 1905-7', Dar/U.C.L.A. Conf. on the history of african religious systems, University College, Dar-es-Salaam, June I970.
  7. C. H. George, 'Puritanism as History and Historiography', Past and Present, no. 4I (December I968), 77-I05.
  8. E. Troeltsch, The Social Teaching of the Christian Churches, London, I93I, I. 24I-6 and G. Shepperson, 'Church and Sect in Central Africa', Rhodes-Livingstone Journal, XXIII (1958), I2-46.
  9. For example the formation of a Christian Democrat party under the patronage of the Archbishop of Blantyre by Chester Katsonga, see Malawi News, 22 Oct. I960, vol. 2, no. 2I, an unsigned article 'Vatican Imperialism by Archbishop Theunissen and Katsonga'. The formation of the party was not supported by the White Fathers' Bishops, however, nor by many of the clergy who lacked a Dutch Catholic political background. For the influence of Calvinism, see the preamble to Rev. A. Ross, 'Origins and Development of the Church of Scotland Mission, Blantyre Nyasaland I875-I926', Ph.D. thesis, Edinburgh, 1968, which gives a fascinating insight into the way the C.C.A.P. had cast itself in the role of the future state church of independent Malawi.
  10. This was particularly true of Watchtower in the 1920S, when its African version in Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia was disowned by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in South Africa. T. Walder to Zomba secretariat, 2I Aug. 1926. NN I120/3. National Archives, Zomba.
  11. Chanjiri is one of four Chewa names for the deity. Her movement seems to have been not unlike that of the Bisa 'mfumu ya pansi' who toured the northern Ngoni with great success in the nineteenth century. W. A. Elmslie, Among the Wild Ngoni (Edinburgh, I899), 64. For Chanjiri's prophecies see Nzama Mission Diary, 23 June I907
  12. Shepperson and Price, Independent African, 159-65 and R. I. Rotberg, The Rise Nationalism in Central Africa (Harvard, 1965), 70-72. In I9I6 Domingo was sent to Chinde as an army clerk but was transferred to Zomba in 19I7. In 1919 Moggridge accepted him at Mzimba as a tax kapitao, where he appears to have stayed until 1927, when he was being offered some promotion classes to rise from the level of a third grade clerk. SI/927/19 and NN I/23. National Archives, Zomba.
  13. Shepperson and Price, Independent African, 4I7. Our italics.
  14. R. I. Rotberg, 'Psychological Stress and the Question of Identity: Chilembwe's revolt reconsidered', in Protest and Power in Black Africa, ed. R. I. Rotberg and A. A. Mazrui, (Oxford, I970), 337-77. 
  15. "I Rotberg, The Rise, 77, 85.
  16. Rotberg, Protest and Power, 372.
  17. R. Tangri, 'African Reaction and Resistance to the Early Colonial Situation in Malawi: I89I-I9I5', Fifth History Conference of Central Africa (September i968), Salisbury, Historical Association, no. 25, I3.
  18. J. R. Hooker, 'Witnesses and Watchtower in the Rhodesias and Nyasaland', J. Afr. Hist., vi, no. i (I965), 9I-I06.
  19. Published as Strike a Blow and Die, ed. R. I. Rotberg (Harvard, I967).
  20. 29 Rotberg, The Rise, 84 and Protest and Power, 357-9. 
  21. Rotberg, The Rise, 84.
  22. B. Pachai, Transafrican Journal of History, i, no. i (January 1971), 13I-4.
  23. M. Chanock, 'The New Men Revisited. An essay on the development of political consciousness in colonial Malawi', to be published.
  24. For example, Negro World, 28 July I926, NC I1/23/I.
  25. F. E. Sanderson, 'Nyasaland Migrant Labour in British Central Africa', M.A. thesis, University of London, 1956, 43.

    26 B. S. Krishnamurty, 'Land and Labour in Nyasaland: I89I-19I4', Ph.D. thesis, University of London, I964, 305. Casson's government estimate.
    27 J. A. Barnes, Marriage in a Changing Society, Rhodes-Livingstone Paper, no. 20 (Oxford, 1I951I), I121-5.
    28 M. Read, 'Migrant Labour in Africa and its Effects on Tribal Life', International Labour Review, xiv, no. 6 (June I942), 628. For a different assessment of effects on the Tonga, see J. Van Velsen, 'Labour migration as a positive factor in the continuity of Tonga Tribal Society', in Social Change in Modern Africa, ed. A. Southall (Oxford, I961), 230-4I.
    29 Nzama Mission Diary 3 1 Jan. I9I5. A letter from Nguludi from the Montfort Bishop suggests that it was another planter altogether, a Mr Dickie, who had 'fanatacise les Angourous'. The Bruce Estate secretary claimed during the Commission of Enquiry that practices on the estate were normal. He pointed out that Magomero was the only estate with a proper hospital and free medical attention. Similarly Mrs Livingstone pointed out that all planters were targets for attack, not just her husband. This was certainly true. SI/3008/23. National Archives, Zomba.
    30 I. Linden and J. Linden, 'Eklesia Katholika: Roman Catholics in protestant Nyasaland 1889-1939', chapter iii. Forthcoming publication.
    31 For example, nyau societies, witchcraft accusations and polygamy were recorded to be on the increase. Church attendances dropped away, see M. W. Retief, William Murray of Nyasaland (Lovedale, 1958), II 7.

    32 N. Cohn, The Pursuit of the Millennium (London, i962), 3I4-I5.
    33 Moggridge to Turnbull 3 Feb. 1915 with letter from Auneau Siofi/6. National Archives, Zomba.
    34 A. G. Blood, The History of the Universities' Mission to Central Africa Vol. II I907-1932 (London, I957), 62.
    35 Although the Ngoni were strongly opposed to colonial rule, even by the early 1890s hundreds of Ngoni were working in the Shire Highlands. The raiding pattern of life was displaced by periodic 'raids on the cash economy'. On the other hand the Yao slave trade disappeared with nothing to take its place.
    36 Oral Testimony. Fr. Auguste Basle S.M.M. A Montfort missionary at Nankunda in 19I4-arrived in Nyasaland I908. Interviewed at Pirimiti mission, Zomba, Oct. 1970.

37 Copy of depositions taken by Milthorp in Aug. I9I4, Sio/i/6. National Archives,Zomba.
38 By early Nov. more than twenty letters in and out of the P.I.M. had been censored without any incriminating material being found. Moggridge to Zomba secretariat, 3 Nov. 19I4. Sio/i/6.
39 The fields of evangelization of Nguludi and the P.I.M. overlapped. Further, since the arrival of the Catholics in i 90 I, the government had been faced with repeated squabbles between Catholics and the rest over spheres of influence. This was especially acute in the Central Region where Dutch Reformed Afrikaaners faced French, Canadian and Dutch White Fathers.
40 Blantyre Mission Diary. Preamble to foundation 20 Aug. I913. Diary kept at Blantyre Mission.
41 Moggridge to Hetherwick, I4 Nov. I9I4. Sio/i/6.
42 Moggridge to Zomba secretariat, 11Dec. I9I4. Sio/i/6.
43 Rapports annuels de la Socidtu des Missionnaires de Notre Dame d'Afrique. Report for Ntaka-taka, 1910-11. A bound copy of cuttings from the Nyasa vicariate in the White Fathers' Archives, Via Aurelia, Rome.
44 Limbe railway station was their mailing address. The group was led by J. R. Aphiri of Ndirande. NCN 4/I/I, NCN 4/I/2.
45 Affidavit of H. Silberrand, Ncheu DC, I7 June 19I5. S2/68/1i9.
46 NC I/23/2. A government report on Watchtower compiled after the rising stated that Watchtower literature was circulated to Seventh Day Baptists, Church of Christ, Native Church of Christ and other 'independent native religious teachers'. S2/68/I9.
47 See Eliot Yohan Achirwa to Lot Collection Chiwembe, 6 Oct. 19I4. NCN 4/I/I.
48 Utale Convent Diary 7 Aug. I9I4. A witchfinder from Mbalaze village had considerable success. We are indebted to Sister Marie-Terese, Providence Teachers' Training College, Mlanje, for allowing us to read this diary. 4 Sio/i/8/3.
50 Chilembwe to Peters 20 Oct. I908. The first meeting of the Union was on 24 Apr. 1909 and the last scheduled meeting in December that year. SIo/I/8/3.
51 Peter's opening speech drew heavily on Washington's writing, e.g. 'I have never met one who had learnt a trade and regretted it in manhood'. Blacks had to work 'quietly, patiently, doggedly' to create 'visible, tangible, indisputable . . products and signs of civilisation'. 'Truck-farms', i.e. market gardens are also mentioned. Many of the words carried over them a dictionary definition where Peters had looked them up. For Washington's influence see Rotberg, Protest and Power, 364.
52 Rotberg, Protest and Power, 36I.
53. Shepperson and Price, Independent African, 69-72.
54 Extract of a letter read at Mataka's trial. SIO/I/3. 55 SIO/I/3.
56 E. Y. Achirwa to John Chilembwe 26 July I 9 I4, cdo Richard Zuze, Limbe. NCN 4/ I/I.
57 Shepperson and Price, Independent African, 232.
58 I Moggridge to secretariat 11Dec. 1914.
59 Mitchell to Moggridge i8 Aug. I9I4. Sio/i/6.
60 Milthorp to Moggridge I9 Oct. 1914. The testimony of Lupiya Zalela, alias Kettleo, was that Johnston Zilongola rallied his group in the attack on Ferguson and Robertson by telling them that the Europeans would attack the Africans on 25 Jan. 19 Feb. 1915. SoI0/I/6, S 10/11/3. 
61 Milthorp to Moggridge, i9 Oct. 1914. Siio/I'/6.
62 Revelation 2o: 7-10 'Satan will be released from prison and ... deceive all the nations in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, and mobilise them for war.... They will come swarming over the entire country and beseige the camp of the saints which is the city that God loves.' Cf. a ChiTonga Watchtower tract found at Ncheu: 'The Europeans are Magog because they are of the tribe of Japhet and the people of Ham, the natives, are crying because the people of Magog are stealing all their possessions.' S2/68/I9.
63Turnbull to Moggridge, 23 Feb. 1915: 'Wilson Daniel Kusita, Ngoni, resided for about ten years at John Chilembwe's village. Closely identified with Chilembwe's Church. Recently a preacher of the Watchtower Society at Maganga's village, Mphezi, Liwonde sub-division and in Ncheu division.' Sio/i/6. Cardew and Turnbull, unlike Moggridge, were far more aware of differences between the churches. Kusita appears in a photograph taken c. 1912 of P.I.M. members, see Shepperson and Price, Independent African, 294. Turnbull to Moggridge, I5 Feb. 1915, describes Boloweza as 'nominally' a teacher of the Watchtower Society at the same villages as Kusita. He appears with Kusita on the 19I2 photograph. Sio/i/6.
64 Oral Testimony. Pio Ntwere, Catholic catechist at Nguludi 1910-71. Interviewed at Nguludi mission, Mar. I97I. S2/i8/22.
65 Evidence given by Betty, wife of Gordon, Mataka in Blantyre 1 Feb. 1915: 'One such occasion was Saturday January i6th 1915.' It is not improbable that she could recall something said by Njilima only two weeks earlier. SIO/I/5.
66 Statement made by Moffat Kuchandika, cattle kapitao at Ferguson's for eighteen years. Not a suspect. SI0/I/5.
67 Moggridge to Secretariat 24 Oct. 1914. 'Chilembwe by the way, although he apparently holds the belief in a znd advent due this month has nothing to do with the Church of Christ.' Moggridge invariably confused Church of Christ with Watchtower, some measure of the penetration of the smaller Protestant sects by Watchtower literature. Sio/i/6.
68 Statement of P.I.M. member, Amon Mankaule, 24 Mar. 1915. S IO/I/3.
69 An open letter to his 'Dear Brothers and Co-Labourers in the harvest' was sent by Kamwana from Chinde as soon as he heard about the war. He informed them that Germany, Austria, Hungary and Turkey were fighting against France and England. 9 Aug. 1914. SIo/i/8/z2
70 Daniel, chapters I 0, I I and I 2.
71 Turnbull to Moggridge, I4 Feb. 1915: 'I shall send you and Milthorp a copy of the P.I. Mission "Christians' Roll Book during the war" written on January 25th 1915. It contains I75 names.' It 'was not completed as a number of important rebels are not entered'. Sio/i/6.
72Exodus 32:32-3; Psalms69:28and I39:I6; Isaiah4: 3; Luke 10:20; Revelation 20:I2.
73 Daniel 12: I-2.
74 For example Isaiah 4: 3 has a very similar passage: 'Those who are left of Zion and remain of Jerusalem shall be called holy and those left in Jerusalem noted down for survival.'
75 See appendix for details of Njirayaffa.
76 A treasury clerk wrote to Stephen Mkulichi, Chilembwe's brother-in-law, on I I Nov. to tell him that it would be safer to send letters by runners. On 17 Nov. Milthorp wrote to Moggridge that Chilembwe was no longer sending for his letters at the Boma. Sio/I/6.
77 Chilembwe was not an over-cautious personality, and surprised a number of the Ncheu pastors by his letter to the Nyasaland Times, 'in behalf of my countrymen'. Shepperson and Price, Independent African, 234-5.
78 Chilembwe to Kusita, 22 Dec. 19I4. NCN 4/2/I. Italics ours, but the same passage was underlined by a government source when the letter was later found at Ncheu.
79 The Watchtower doctrines of Pastor Taze Russell contained in a series Studies in the Scriptures, no. 4, The Battle of Armageddon (Brooklyn, 1897) being the most important in this context. See Shepperson and Price, Independent African, 458.
80 The Watchtower, Sept. 19I4. Quoted in Shepperson and Price, Independent African, 230.
81 Matthew Jadali to Bennet Gospel Siyasiva, I4 Nov. 19I4. Trans. ChiChewa. NCN 4/3/I.
82 Kusita to E. Y. Achirwa, i 6 Dec. I 9 I 4. NCN 4/ I / I .
83 Oral Testimony. Pio Ntwere and Ben Mononga, Alomwe, plantation worker from Mkanga's village. Employed on Bruce estates at time of rising. He described Kaduya as 'in charge of school affairs'. Interviewed Mar. I969 at Chiradzulu Boma. Ntwere's and Mononga's information was confirmed by Kosamu Mpotola, Mpotola's village, Chiradzulu, in an interview at P.I.M. in Aug. I969. Mpotola fought in the defence of the P.I.M. under Kaduya's command.
84 Shepperson and Price, Independent African, 406.
85 Evidence of George Masangano taken by E. Costley-White on 26 Jan. I9I5. SIO/1/2. 86 Ibid.
87 Chilembwe to Peters, 26 Mar. 1914: 'Believe I will square before I leave this country for Europe or America.' Chilembwe was referring to his debts. Sio/i/8/3.
88 Turnbull to Resident, Port Herald 19/2/15. The four askaris were Corporal Chidawale, Lance-Corporal Chikoko, Private Achille and Private Marekebu Njala, alias Joseph, bugler. Chidawale and Achille were Muslim Yao. NSP I/2/2.
89 Chilembwe was certainly interested in Islam and had several books on the topic in his library-Turnbull to Moggridge, 3 Feb. 1915. Sio/i/6. Similarly two out of the three headmen detained after the rising, Majawa and Fundi, were Muslim Yao-Turnbull to
90 Blantyre Mission Diary, 25 Jan. I9I5. The priest was Fr. Guimard.
91 Statement of Mrs Roach confirmed by Mrs Stanton and Mrs Livingstone. SIO/I/2. It is interesting that in the Final Battle of Isaiah 4: I there is the same selectivity. 'Your men will fall by the sword, your heroes in the fight.... And seven women will fight over a single man that day.'
92 Claud Ambrose Cardew was born at Sandhurst in I870, the third son of Sir Frederick Cardew, former governor of Sierra Leone. He joined the British South Africa Police and guarded the Limpopo drifts against Boer incursions. He arrived in Nyasaland with a letter of introduction from Rhodes for Johnston. A. S. Hickman, Men who made Rhodesia, B.S.A. Co., S. Rhodesia, I960.
93 Nzama Mission Diary, 4 Feb. 1915: 'Kamwamba has been given a £4 reward.' In Jan. 1915 James Kamwamba wrote to Chinyama: 'You mean about the war, but I cannot try to do so.... I cannot try to speak this to which I have heard.' Nonetheless, Chinyama wrote again on i 8 Jan. I 9 I 5 pleading with him to keep quiet, obviously too late. NCN 4/ I /2.
94 The timing of the visit can be guessed from a number of letters. On 14 Dec. 19I4 Chinyama wrote from his own village to Njirajaffa with 'Rev. Chilembwe' as a forwarding address. On 8 Jan. 19I5 James Poya Malangui wrote to Chinyama from Ncheu district: 'Glad to hear that you have come back all right.' Chilembwe to Kusita 22 Dec. I914 indicates that 'Brother Chinyama' is at the P.I.M. It was then approximately from I7 Dec. 19I4-7 Jan. I9I5 that the Ncheu side of the rising was planned. NCN 4/2/i and 2.
95 NCN 4/2/I.
96 Jordan Njirajaffa. See Appendix.
97 David Shirt Chikakude. See Appendix.
98 Chinyama to Brother W. B. Cockerill, 23 Jan. I9I5. Letter forwarded by Cockerill to Moggridge, 3I Jan. I9I5. Sio/i/6.
99 Oral Testimony. Griven Chinkasi, teacher at Nthinda at the time, and Tom Kabanga-Ndau, chief nduna to present chief Makwangwala. Interviewed at Malondo village, Dzunje, June 1969. Makwangwala 'beat them with a stick to stop them going'. These oral testimonies are confirmed in case 9I of Philipo Chinyama in the Ncheu District Magistrate's Book, National Archives, Zomba.
100 Makwangwala was a product of the Baptist Industrial Mission at Gowa and went to Blantyre c. 1905 for further schooling. He was known at Chiradzulu by P.I.M. members and Pio Ntwere, who had no difficulty in distinguishing him from Barton Makwangwala, a Zomba headman, involved in the rising. According to Kabanga-Ndau, Makwangwala went to Durban in 1903, hoping to go on to the coronation of Edward, but never left South Africa. His trip to South Africa would coincide with that of Kamwana and provides an interesting parallel with other important politico-religious figures in the pre-war period. A Ngoni chief, he belonged to the same war division, Mvimbo, as Chinyama, whose father had been an nduna of Makwangwala's father, Kabanga-Ndau. Personal Communication, Inkosi Willard Gomani III. Makwangwala was described in a handbook for DCs produced c. 19I2 as 'of some education and requires watching'. Chiefs and Headmen of Nyasaland,
Society of Malawi Library, Blantyre.
101S hepperson and Price, IndependenAt frican, 293.
102 Governor G. Smith to Governor of Mauritius, I4 Aug. I9I6: 'I regret I did not follow up the telegraphic communication which passed with Sir John Chancellor at the beginning of I9I5 with a fuller statement of the situation. There was at the time grave reasons for believing that under the cloak of a missionary movement certain natives were preaching a seditious propaganda and I had in view the deportation of the leaders of the movement.' Before action could be taken, the matter culminated in the rising of 23 Jan. I9I5, led by John Chilembwe. S2f68"/i9.
103 For example, Moses Chikwanje, the government clerk who warned Mkulichi, later tried and convicted of unlawful assembly. S IO/1I3. B. Pachai also records an oral testimony that Chilembwe was warned of deportation-see 'The Nyasaland rising of I 9I5; an assessment of events leading to it', unpublished paper. Chancellor College Library, University of Malawi.
104 All accounts given in interviews were strongly Biblicized, e.g. Chilembwe was forever disappearing for periods of three days and then appearing suddenly to his followers as they prayed. 'Major' Kaduya, on the other hand, could be traced from his direction of the defence of the P.I.M. to his death as his machila carriers left him to flee. Interviews at P.I.M., Aug. I969 and a collection of interviews with old P.I.M. members, kindly lent to us by a Peace Corps worker, Lee Higdin, teacher at Chiradzulu Secondary School.
105 Rotberg, The Rise, 87. Possibly also a Biblicization.
106 Moggridge to Turnbull, 6 Feb. I9I5. He was with Morris Chilembwe and Stephen Mkulichi, SIO/I5. 107 Oral testimonies: Ntwere, Monoga, Mpotola.
108 Njobvualema, who had accepted a Montfort mission in I9OI, was by I9I4 thoroughly opposed to the Catholic missionaries. See I. Linden and J. Linden, Eklesia Katholika, chapters II and III.
109 Njobvualema had left Kaloga on 27 Jan. The letter was taken to Ncheu by a catechist, Montfort, and read by the head catechist as the chief was illiterate. Nzama Mission Diary, 27 Jan. I9I5 and 2I June 19I5 and Oral Testimony of Maurillo Karvalo, Ngoni, Catholic catechist, interviewed at Nzama Mission, June I969.
110 Nzama Mission Diary, 30 Jan. 19I5. Makwangwala then put a rifle to his throat and committed suicide. Oral Testimony: Griven Chinkasi. According to Karvalo, Njobvualema was known to have been jealous of Makwangwala's education and the machila he used to travel in. An enormous brick monument to Makwangwala is to be found at Malondo village, an obvious act of defiance to the colonial authorities. See also Shepperson and Price, Independent African, 295.
111 Oral Testimony: Valentino Mwasika. Eye-witness and mission cook at the time, interviewed at Nguludi mission, Mar. I970.
112 L. Auneau, 'Report on the burning of Nguludi Mission', handwritten MS. and a letter of 5 Feb. I 9I 5 to La Regne deyesuspar Marie, Feb. I 9I 5, I I I-15, Montfort Archives, Rome.
113 Oral Testimony. Mwasika and Augusto Liboti, house servant at the mission, George village, Chiradzulu. Higdin interviews. Feb. 1969.
114 Auneau, Brouillons. The machila belonged to Auneau and was later returned. I Rotberg, The Rise, go.
116 Shepperson and Price, Independent African, 300-I. The authors proffer a number of suggestions as to why the attack was made.
117 Fr. Brung in a letter to Messager de Marie-Reine des Coeurs, Feb. I9I5. The Montfort magazine for their Canadian province. 'Ce fameux John Cilembur (sic) fier, orgueilleux et quelque peu illumine', and L. Auneau, 'Christenvervolging in Shire', Onze Missionarissen (our missionaries), May I9I5. In a letter sent before the rising to the Montfort magazine of the Dutch province he wrote: 'Under the pretext of driving out the Europeans his main aim seems to be to attack the Catholic Religion and deal it a mortal blow', trans. Dutch.
118 Brung and Auneau, ibid.
119 P. W. Eken, Een Afrikaansch Oproermaker (An African Rebel), Meersen (c. I925), 14, I5. This book is in the possession of Rev. Dr J. M. Schoffeleers, Likulesi Catachetical Institute, Phalombe. We are very grateful for his directing us to, and helping to obtain, Dutch material on the rising.
120 In an affidavit of H. Silberrand, DC Ncheu, 29 June I9I5, Government Trans. S2/68/I9.
121 Pio Ntwere: Hostility grew up because Chilembwe thought Bruce was allowing Catholic schools on the estates. Ben Mononga: Chilembwe was annoyed at the collusion of Catholics in the burning down of P.I.M. prayer houses on the estates. Ntwere confirmed that on one occasion Chilembwe had warned Swelsen about one such incident.
122 B. G. Siyasiya to D. S. Chikakude, 27 Dec. 1913. A letter sent by Siyasiya from the North Rand. NCN 4/3/I.
123 Mwenda to Governor of Nyasaland, I9 Feb. 1926. S2/8/26, quoted in Rotberg, The Rise, 69. Auneau gave a first date as 2 Nov., when an attack was due. 'The hostilities were due to begin on the night of November 2nd 2914. We do not know what the future holds in store for us.' Onze Missionarissen, May 1915. This would fit Kamwana's earlier prophecies of the parousia at the end of Oct. well.
124 Kusita to Achirwa, i6 Dec. 2924. NCN 4/I/I.
126 Letter 'E' (Letter D was 9 Jan. 1925). Kusita to Achirwa Trans. Chichewa NCN 4/I /I. Siyasiya then wrote to Zuze 25 Jan. 2915, 'Wilson Kusita has left the truth because he wants to be as those people in that place (P.I.M.)'. NCN 4/3/I.
126 For example, a typical Watchtower response was that of Achirwa to Kusita's defection: 'Although we are suffering in the flesh we are rich in spirit and in hope and our true treasure is in heaven.' Trans. ChiChewa. NCN 4/I/I.
127 Even in G. Shepperson, 'Nyasaland and the Millennium' in Millennial Dreams in Action, ed. S. Thrupp (The Hague, I962), 144-59.

128 Report of the Commission of Enquiry into the Nyasaland Native Rising, Nyasaland Government Gazette, Supplement, 31 Jan. I9I6. Zomba, paragraph 14.
129 'God alone' and 'About the Saviour'.
130 Report on Hollis and Churches of Christ. Undated. SI/486/i9.
131 Moggridge to Milthorp, I4 Feb. 1915: 'I think many of them were sitting on the fence'-in reference to Yao chiefs and headmen. SIO/i/5.
132 P. Worsley, The Trumpet shall sound (London, I957), 236.
133 Another example comes from the Middle Ages. A mystic, Melchior Hoffman predicted that the end of the world would come in Strasbourg in 1533. He was imprisoned for life but his followers in Muntzer awaited the millennium with calm and confidence. By the beginning of 1534 a Dutch anabaptist, Jan Matthys, was able to direct their frustration at

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