Abushiri Uprising 

  • This was the earliest resistance against German rule in Tanganyika.
  • It took place on the Tanzania coast between 1888 – 1890.
  • It was basically a revolt of the coastal slave traders and it included some Africans and Swahili traders.
  • The Abushiri uprisings were divided into two.
  • The one in the northern coastal area around Pangani was led by Abushiri.
  • The one in the south near Dar-es-salaam and Kilwa was led by Bwana Heri.

Causes Of The Abushiri Uprising

  • The rebellion was intended to keep the coast independent and free from German domination.
  • The coastal traders and Swahili were protecting their economic power i.e. the German East Africa Company had abolished slave trade which was the major trade item of the Arabs.
  • The coastal people were also angered by the Germans who had taken over the collecting of mainland import duties or taxes.
  • The coastal people were also protesting against the loss of their property e.g. GEACO had started confiscating Arab houses to be used as bases for German administration.
  • The GEACO had started issuing economic restrictions on ownership of land and property which the Arab traders challenged.
  • The Germans did not respect the cultures and traditions of the coastal people mainly because the Germans were Christians and Arabs were Moslems.
  • The Coastal people were also angered by German attempts to alienate their land. E.g. in 1888 they came up with a new land regulation which required people to have proof of land ownership.
  • The Germans demanded heavy taxes from the traders and local people e.g. poll tax, hut tax and inheritance tax on top of brutally collecting the taxes.
  • The Germans had recruited the Akidas and Jumbes in their administration who were mistreating the Arab traders yet they were related to the coastal Arabs.
  • Presence of able leadership by Abushiri in Pangani, Bwana Heri in Uzigua and Matoro in Lindi also led to the outbreak of the revolts.
  • The local rulers were being humiliated and harassed by the Germans who flogged them in public and embarrassed them before their subjects.
  • The Germans forced the Africans to grow cash crops under severe conditions which angered the coastal people.
  • The rise of nationalistic feelings also led to the outbreak of revolts. There was a desire to regain their independence that had been eroded.
  • The Arabs had participated in the Indian Ocean trade for so long and had gathered weapons e.g. guns which forced them to engage the Germans in war.
  • The Germans disrespected the coastal Arabs e.g. they drank and slept with peoples’ wives and even entered Mosques with their dogs which annoyed the Moslems.