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Madagascar News Forums The Transformation of Antananarivo Reply To: The Transformation of Antananarivo


The land has always had great value for the Malagasy, whether it is the inheritance from the ancestors or they have bought it. And for a long time, land problems have arisen, which are summarized in disputes of all kinds.
In order to avoid this kind of incessant conflict, in the course of many kabary as it should be, Andrianampoinimerina decrees all that must make it possible to preserve the property of others, “otherwise I will be severe”. Penalties range from the payment of fines (100 piastres, 50 piastres and
10 zebus, 7 piastres and 7 zebus) to imprisonment, or the loss of one half of property, or even slavery. But when the thief recognizes his fault, this penalty may be reduced by half if it is important, otherwise it amounts to sacrificing an ox in honor of the king.
“The land belongs to me,” he says. “I give it to you for your sustenance and that of your family. In return, everyone will pay the property tax. In general, a land dispute ends on the payment by the defeated of 7 piastres and 7 zebus to the holder of the land.
Anyone can sell the plot or exchange it under several conditions: the sale or exchange must be between two inhabitants of the same territory, otherwise the final sale (varo-maty) is prohibited because the land will then pass under the The authority of another, which can complicate disputes. Property tax is payable regularly by the new owner and the “fehivava”, a dissolvable contract (renting, sharecropping), must be limited in a relatively short time (one or two crop seasons).
That is to say that the presence of witnesses during the negotiations until the final agreement is compulsory and anyone who does not respect this last condition will pay 10 piastres and
10 zebus in case of conflict. Moreover, if one of the contractors denies the agreement (mitsoa-bato), he will pay 100 piastres for the king and 30 piastres with a zebu for the Fokonolona. In addition, no one can sell land to the servant of a third party. On the other hand, sharecropping is authorized in this case if witnesses attest the contract.
With regard to the witnesses, the king considers it more judicious that they are numerous so that the death of one of them does not cause a conflict since “1,000 men do not die in one day”. Andrianampoinimerina recommends a minimum of three witnesses. Their responsibilities are great. They are the “horns and ears” of the agreement: they have no right to distort their meaning as they have an obligation to ensure its proper application.
Thus, if for one reason or another (intimidation, corruption …) they are led to make false testimonies, they incur a minimum penalty of 10 piastres and 10 zebus, firm and without hope of reduction. If the damage is considered more important, they go through the test of the tanguin on dogs that represent them: if these animals die, they will not be entitled to a decent burial.
“If we can no longer trust the witnesses, the kingdom will go to the water.” “
Similarly, the alleged victim (rather a usurper) who awaits the death of witnesses before making claims or harming the opposing party (miandry teza ho lavo), is at risk of heavy penalties. Not only does he lose his trial, but he pays 10 piastres and 10 zebus, without hope of pardon, even if he confesses later his fault, for usurping the property of a subject of the king.
Another crime that incurs severe punishment: the displacement of the boundaries delimiting each land. In this case, the guilty party will pay 100 piastres for the king and 30 piastres and a zebu for the Fokonolona.
As for the heirs who want to override the agreements of sale or exchange made by their parents (raràna tsy zaka), they will pay 100 piastres to the king, 30 piastres and a zebu to the Fokonolona. If a buyer only pays part of the land and
Full payment (manao lefilany) the seller recovers his property without any other form of lawsuit.
This law of Andrianampoinimerina contains the settlement of all sorts of disputes as varied as today and inherent to the life in society, irrigation diversion, sharing of inheritance or even Of wear rate …