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The truth about King Lobengula's treasure revealed

Historical notes from Percy Crewe who was close to King Lobengula has refuted reports that the King had lots of money and treasure given to him by the whites

Crewe writes that the King had a few hundred pounds given to him per annum.

Read his account below:

There has been a lot of nonsense talked and written about Lobengula's treasure. The Chartered Company paid him £100 per month from the date of the granting of the [Rudd] concession and the Tati Company paid a yearly rental. I forget the amount, but it did not amount to more than a few hundred per annum, but from this he bought every year a certain number of salted horses for cash.

When I went down country in 1893 he gave me £500 to pay expenses and he sent several hundred pounds as a peace offering after his flight from Bulawayo. This money was intercepted by some of the Bechuanaland Border Police, then stationed at Inyati and never reached its destination. If it had there would probably have been no massacre of Allan Wilson's party.

Lobengula had no other sources of income and I do not think that at the time of his flight from Bulawayo he can have had more than £3,000 in cash, if that. He may have had diamonds, but I never heard of any. Lobengula's wealth, like that of every other native King lay in his flocks and herds. Ivory of course had been plentiful, but at the time I came into the country it was scarce, and I do not think one thousand pounds was brought to the King in a year.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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