African adaptation to the Colonial Law Enforcement System in the Livingstone and Kalomo Districts of Northern Rhodesia 1890-1939
Tembo, Marko Vincent
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This is a study of the social history of the Kalomo and Livingstone Districts of Northern Rhodesia. It covers the period 1890-1939. The study focusses attention on the theme of African adaptation to the colonial law enforcement system. Chapter 1 describes the area of this study and the people who inhabit it. There is also a brief outline of the geographical and ecological features of the area. In Chapter 2 we examine Toka-Leya means of social control and their social and political institutions as they appeared in pre-colonial times. In doing this we have paid attention to the six main chiefs of this area: Chiefs Musokotwane, Siakasipa, Mukuni, Sekute and Momba. This Chapter gives a background to the understanding of people's attitudes to the imposed system of social control which we shall consider in subsequent chapters. In Chapters 3 and 5 we describe the setting up of Company administration and Crown rule, in 1890 and 1924 respectively. Chapters 4 and 6 deal with African adaptation in the 1890-1924 and 1924-1939 periods respectively. In both chapters we examine the question of adaptation by focussing our attention on the Chiefs and headmen and their roles in the periods of Company administration and Crown rule. We further discuss adaptation in relation to witchcraft offences, theft and marriage disputes. The conclusion in Chapter 7 is that the colonial law enforcement system did not offer the Africans a favourable atmosphere for adaptation because of its coercive nature. Lack of education among the Africans and an insufficient interaction between the local system of social control and the imposed one also rendered adaptation difficult. Instead, there was much continuity in the way people viewed crime and punishment. Nevertheless, the Toka-Leya sought to deal with the situation through evasion, the use of witchcraft to try and circumvent law enforcement mechanisms and the manipulation of the imposed system of social control. Hence, by 1939 there is little evidence to show that the colonial system had established itself in competition with the indigenous one except as a system of coercion.