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#351
Madagascar
Keymaster

As the completion of the Soanierana palace is delayed – it will never be finished – Radama attacks the hill of Ambohijanahary until Fiadanana, to make it a valley where to build beautiful houses and where to create a beautiful field. Shaving a hill as high, without technical equipment is killing. Understanding him, one day Radama gives money to the men who work there and grants them permission to go home “to wash your clothes and join your wives”. He also suggests that they ask people what they do not support in their sovereign.
When they return, they report what the people think. “The Vazaha have taken our strength … They force us to lower heights and we have to dig in the rock. If we do not succeed, the Vazaha will evaluate our strengths. We can not stop, but we will have the strength … It will be nice if we get there, but will we succeed … But what did Laidama do with the money he collected from us? Remunerating the Vazaha who do nothing … “Some believe that the work of Ambohijanahary must stop.
In hearing these grievances that no subject will ever dare to say to him in the face, Radama decides to follow this last idea, for “the people are right, they are tired.” But he is not going to do it all at once so as not to arouse the suspicions of the Vazaha. He gathers his subjects and is angry, asserting that the settlement of the hill will happen whatever happens, since he has thousands of strong men. He accuses some of them of trying to put men on their knees by making them trimer, and reproaches the others for forbidding their chiefs and high officials to take part in the work. He ends his kabary by sending them all home, each territory having one Week to give its share of labor.
When the time elapses, the king reunites his people and announces that he will proceed to the census of his men by regrouping them by 1,000, 100 and 10 per territory, “to better organize the work so that it More rational and faster “. But in fact, it is a question of giving the Vazaha a chance, because the work of setting up the hill of Ambohijanahary will not last.
After five days, Radama offers a meal to all those responsible for the work to explain all the decisions he has just taken. First, the tax “ilaiventy sy
Kirobo “which he collected by slave in the service of each subject, should have been used to buy various goods that he ordered from the Vazaha, but they are slow to arrive. He decides to give this sum to the various territorial chiefs who will keep it until the arrival of the products ordered.
Then, “you will announce to your men that the work of Ambohijanahary will cease”. But as the Vazaha do not have to know this decision, “the decision will be made progressively, at the rate of 100 men per day and per territory”.
A fortnight later, the sovereign once more assembled his people at Andohamandry to officially hand over the money for the goods he had ordered, and told him “publicly” that he would take it back as soon as the products were there. At the same time, he announced the urgent activities to be undertaken, such as cutting timber in the eastern forest to speed up the construction of the Soanierana palace.
When the crowd disperses, the king invites the various chiefs to the Rova again to tell them that he will not take back the money returned and that he himself will pay for the goods ordered. “I can not offer to the people the zebus which he is entitled to expect of me for the work accomplished.” And this, not to put the chip in the ears of the Vazaha
Since offering zebus means that all is over.
In Legros, prime contractor, the king declared: “I have already distributed the work to be done by my subjects at Ambohijanahary. But beforehand, I send them to cut wood to accelerate the construction of the Palace of Soanierana. Because if I am not there, they will drag the work to Ambohijanahary. “
Finally, it’s Legros who stops everything. Judging that he is wasting his time, he decides to
Returning to France, leaving his deputy Casimir to supervise the construction of a palace which will never see the light of day.