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From the writings of historians, Radama I, the “civilized King of Madagascar”, is known for its often excessive rigor.
A great warrior and a great strategist who largely fulfills his father’s dream of making the sea the frontier of his kingdom, he is very severe towards his dishonest officers who are caught in the act of embezzlement or Malversations of royal tributes obtained by victories (homana tongoa-mionkona). Or who deprive the soldiers under their command of their share of booty. The king does not tolerate these acts which he describes as criminal because their authors defy his sovereignty. “Radamamanjaka tsy azo andramana. “
From the outset, the young sovereign, who usually leads the conquest expeditions himself and knows the quantity and value of the booty, has posters at the gates of the Rova inviting his officers to deposit at the Palace what is due to him . But nothing does. At the end of his patience, he assembled them at Antsahatsiroa and, through his spokesman Razafimbelo, harangued them.
First, he accuses them of having handed him “chipped plates, table legs and iron pots” instead of the share of royal booty, and the sum of returning him “his property” otherwise he will be rampant. Obviously, the officers deny having committed this crime of lese-majeste. This is true for most.
But the culprits believe that the young king, although of fiery temperament, will never go to the act, even if he makes clear that he has “long reflected and long ripened” his decision. They think that with the successive victories he obtains, he will eventually forget everything. This only serves to fuel the righteous anger of the sovereign.
But he still mastered it and showed the maturity that was denied him and tolerance. He does not immediately act like a tyrant who abuses his power – “manao teniko fe-lehibe”. He gathered together the twelve “Olon-kendry”, notables of the kingdom, to seek their advice as they ought. Their answer is clear: Radama must “take back” his booty from war and crack down on those who have dispossessed it. Thus the honors Ralaifotsy and Rafaralahidera are condemned to death, while other officers undergo public degradation.
Subsequently, officers no longer dare to act in an unclear way with the royal tributes, they catch up by robbing their soldiers of their share of booty. Thus, in 1827, Radama became annoyed again. He officially publishes a Note which is displayed everywhere and in which he expresses his “disgust” in the face of such acts, moreover committed in his name.
“No one in my kingdom can take from the common people, especially my soldiers and the disadvantaged, even a single sweet potato plant or three cassava roots. Everything belongs to and returns to the king that these acts dishonor. “
Then add to the victims: “Whoever steals you, even if it is my mother, my wives or my children, I will punish him; For I am the protector of your wives, your children, and your goods. “
Radama still shows tolerance and continues with warnings. Thus, he said, if the authors of these robberies who denounce a flagrant abuse of power against ordinary soldiers, persist in their actions, they will go through the worst tortures. And if such examples are not enough, they will have to pay the high price. For no one, whatever it may be, can defy the king with impunity: “… Fa ny Andriamanjaka tsy mba azo andramana, fa Radamamanjaka tsy mahazeny tavan’olona, ​​tsy mahazo hotairin’olona, ​​tsy mahamena handrin’olona koa andro iray hanaovako azy . “
The King, while publishing this Note, invites his officers to denounce the guilty parties in order to separate the wheat from the chaff. What ultimately some do. But there is no death penalty
Punishable by a maximum penalty of degradation.