On Wednesday 18 of the month of Adaoro in 1863, Rasoherina, formerly Princess Rabodo and widow of Radama II victim of a regicide, ascends the throne of Antananarivo. A week later she sent her first Kabary to her subjects in Andohalo, in which she wished to make it clear that she, Rasoherimanjaka, did not drink strong alcohol. This is to cut short any possible noise, since alcohol and licentiousness are the pretexts raised by the Conservatives’ party in order to commit a regicide and to murder the companions of pleasure and not less close collaborators of Radama II, the menamaso.
On the 10th of the month of Adimizana of the same year, the 15 honors Raharolahy and the Great of the Ravahatra kingdom, surrounded by the officers of the palace and the “Olombaventy”, develop the laws of Rasoherimanjaka before the “Ambanilanitra” Again on the place of Andohalo.
In fact, it is a reminder of much of the legislation instituted by the great peace-maker of Imerina. Moreover, like all dissuasive and repressive laws, they reflect the way of life of the time.
“No killing is allowed without the agreement of the Ambanilanitra.” It also confirms “that the test by the tanguin will never again be seen”, method of killing already abolished by Radama Ier, but reestablished by Ranavalona I to mark his attachment to ancestral customs.
Moreover, Rasoherina emphasizes that the Christian religion can be freely practiced, while specifying however that “no one has the right to erect a religious edifice in Ambohimanga”.
The crimes punishable by capital punishment remain the same and concern those against the State and those of lese-majesté: revolt, debauchery of the sovereign’s wife, burglary in the royal palaces (manani-drova), (Manao lefom-pohy), the incitement of the people to revolt (mandrendri-bahoaka), the murder, the transgression of A pact (mangala-belirano) and the illicit use of the seals of the State (forgery and forgery).
The royal emissaries also evoke the social life, starting from the various current disputes on which the different jurisdictions (fokonolona, Menakely, Menabe, king) have to rule. Thus of the necessity of the mutual assistance between fokonolona in the works of repair of the dikes that do not withstand the thrust of the waters. Or the punishment of any person who abuses the ignorance of a “vahiny” (foreigner in the locality) to defraud him.
Rasoherina also reminds us that a slave, even a rich man, can not adopt a child without the permission of his master. And that a person who releases the slave from another, without the approval of the latter, risks imprisonment. We also talk about the right of parents to remove the goods they have bequeathed to them from the hands of their children, if they squander them. Still about the inheritance distributed by the parents during their lifetime, no dispute is admissible after their death. And if a person takes care of a child of his family whose family is poor, and if he does not adopt it, the child can not claim any share of inheritance.
The non-payment of a debt on the date fixed is also prohibited. In addition, anyone who distorts the words of the sovereign, a lord or a leader of a clan is liable to a fine …
Other acts considered to be an offense: false testimony due to pressure (imprisonment plus an indelible mark on the front), use of a “tsitialainga” (lance of money carried by the royal messengers as Sign of their authority) to travesty the truth, betting on the property of parents, selling wealth to foreigners (prohibition of wearing a white lamba and a hat, besides an indelible mark on the front)
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