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The historian Raombana, who appreciates little Ranavalona I, relates in his own way the relations between the sultan of Zanzibar and the queen of Madagascar. Notably by criticizing the mission report made by the Malagasy delegation composed of five officers, including three from the Palais, sent to Syed Said Ben. According to him, when the first messenger of the Sultan of Zanzibar (whom he calls Sied Sied Bin) arrives in Madagascar in 1833, the queen wants to give a high idea of ​​her greatness and power. It orders the soldiers of Imerina to
Gather in Soanierana where officers and over 1,000 men dress in English uniforms. Ambassador Khamisy Ben Osman received military honors – including “cannon shots and musket shots” – to impress him.
When the ceremony ends, he is taken to a village west of Antananarivo where he must stay. “The queen had not allowed her to stay in the city itself, for she was afraid lest he should throw malicious charms upon her capital, upon herself and on her subjects. The Arab ambassador is thus installed “in a poor house, in a miserable village full of rats, mice and fleas and practically uninhabitable”. Raombana does not specify that it is a situation quite common to many villages of the time and not chosen especially for the envoy of the sultan. The next day the queen sent him five marshals to ask him for the object of his mission and to take note of the sultan’s message. After having handed them the letter, he verbally informs them that he is despatched by his king to assure Ranavalona of the friendship which prevails between the two countries; That Syed Said Ben considers the Queen of Madagascar as his sister; And that the good understanding which prevailed “between her ancestors and the previous kings of Imerina” must be perpetuated between her and him.
The sultan also asked the queen for a favor. Mombasa, one of the islands of his sultanate, revolted, favored by the remoteness of Muscat, his capital where most of his soldiers are. That is why he asked Ranavalomanjaka to give him, at least
Lend, 2,000 soldiers to subdue the revolt. Khamisy also suggests that his sovereign wishes to ask the queen the hand of Razanakimanjaka, daughter of Radama Ier
– deceased husband of Ranavalona- with the princess sakalava Rasalimo. “He had learned that she was one of the most beautiful princesses. In addition to this verbal message, in order to reconcile the queen’s good graces, he presents beautiful sultan gifts for the queen, composed of magnificent and valuable coral beads and an assortment of Arab and Hindu garments, Of a splendid craft work “.
According to Raombana, as the “Sikidy” orders, the Sultan’s letters addressed to the Queen and to the five greatest officers of the Court are transcribed four times. Three specimens are torn to pieces and thrown into the fire. “It was so, for the Queen vaguely suspected the Arab sultan and his messenger of having cast evil charms into the letters, which would injure his officers and herself. In addition, as soon as she becomes aware of Syed Said Ben’s verbal message, Ranavalona I says she will not give any soldiers. She is, in fact, convinced that no colony has risen, and that the object of the Sultan is quite different. She believes him allied with Moheli’s prince Ramanetaka, for if he is still alive, it is surely not thanks to her. Thus, according to her, once the troops have been obtained, the sultan will give them to Ramanetaka, who, in his turn, “by dint of cunning and corruption,” could gain the affection of the soldiers to turn them against her and seize Of the throne. Moreover throughout his reign, Ranavalona was afraid of an armed intervention in the Great island of this general Merina. In short, the queen thinks Syed Said Ben is exasperated that Prince Ramanetaka dominates on one of his islands. To get rid of him, he intends to make him return to Madagascar. She does not know that for the same reason the two princes are enemies.
Ranavalomanjaka replied to Khamisy that she was unable to satisfy the Sultan’s request for the 2,000 soldiers. Application “which was contrary to the principles which Radama had set itself and which it itself continued to respect”. But she did not allude to it in her letter to the Sultan, in which she contented herself with asking for some good horses and other coral beads. The five marshals of the Court do the same. The origin of these latter letters is later denied by the queen and her officers. The Malagasy ambassadors sent to Zanzibar will assert that they are false letters written by Khamisy for reasons known to him.