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#633
Madagascar
Keymaster

After Radama’s mother, Rambolamasoandro, and his nephew Rakotobe, one of the first high personalities to be the victims of the supporters of Ranavalona I, if not the queen herself, is Ralala. He is the Prime Minister of the deceased king since 1816 and he does not dip in the conspiracy, quite the contrary. Besides, he is out of the capital when he is murdered, having completed an inspection of his cattle on the northern border of the Imerina.
According to Raombana, Sunday, August 2, 1828, without asking the Queen’s advice, Andriamambavola sends three men to kill him. The latter meet him in the neighborhood of Ambohimanga, when he returns home. As Ralala travels in a palanquin, the “three killers” order the porters to stop under the pretext of news to transmit to him.
And while one of them occupies him by telling him nonsense, the other two creep behind him and stab him. Ralala believes at first that it is his bearers who murder him. But one of the killers contradicts it:
“It is not your slaves who execute you, but the men sent by Ranavalomanjaka who reigns in Radama’s place. “
And Raombana said: “At these words the old man brought a piece of his lamba round his head, and died without groaning under the repeated blows of his assassins. “
The news of Ralala’s death, “murdered by brigands on the way back to Antananarivo”, spread immediately and came to the queen’s ears. She shows herself pained and orders to arrest the brigands and to bury the body of the minister with honors.
But Andriamambavola enters this in the Palace. Then “with passion”, he explains to him that the murderous hand took place on his order because Ralala is an ardent defender of the royal family. “If he had been there at Antananarive, at the moment of the king’s death, you would not be a queen at this hour, you might be in the tomb.” These words have the effect expected of the queen.
She remembers, indeed, that at the beginning of the reign of Radama, Ralala was the main
Instigator of the death of his parents and his brother. He therefore altered his orders and caused to be proclaimed throughout the city that “Ralala, having been guilty of a serious offense, had been executed on his orders, and that by reason of his crime,
Its many slaves, its possessions and its rice fields will be confiscated “.
Thus the slaves of Ralala and his money are distributed between the queen’s parents and the conspirators. Part of his rice fields are divided between the queen and the leaders of the conspiracy, Andriamambavola, Rainiharo and Rainijohary, another between Rainiharo and his brother Rainimaharo. And his fiefs are attributed to Ravalontsalama.
Thanks to these countless confiscations, especially to the “immense slave herd” of Rambolamasoandro, Rakotobe and Ralala, “the conspirators who, with the exception of Andriamambavola, were miserably poor, Rich and flourishing eye “. So it is with the two sisters of the queen, Rafaramanjaka and Ramasindrazana, or her nephews, Ramboasalama, Ramahatra and Ramonja, or her niece Rabodo.
But what about the daughter of Radama, Raketaka, and her two sisters, Ratsiadala and Ramarivelo still in Antananarivo Ranavalona does not cause them to be killed, the better they do them harm, judging them harmless. Notably Raketaka, too young and too little sustained in Merina country to be able to shade him.
In addition, the Queen has other reasons to spare her and to spare her mother, the Princess of Menabe, Rasalimo. She remembers Radama’s sakalava policy and deems it necessary to pursue it.
Still according to Raombana, if Ralala was in the capital at the time of the king’s death, the palace revolution would not have occurred. Attached to the royal family, a fine and cunning man, according to Raombana, he would have known before the women of Radama the gravity of the king’s illness and he would have taken without delay the necessary measures to ensure the succession to the benefit of Raketaka.
“For he was loved and feared of the Tsimandoa and all the people, both civilians and soldiers. “