A.S. Rogers, Controversial British Official

A.S. Rogers, Controversial British Official

A.S. Rogers, Controversial British Official Alexander Stuart Rogers was a less than satisfactory official used by the British during their early days in East Africa. He had been born in Peshawar, India (now Pakistan), on 13 November 1862, to a family which originated in Bath. When he grew up he joined the Punjabi Native Police, and it was with 200 of his policemen that he was lent to the Imperial British East Africa Company to join troops in Mombasa, in August 1890. The Company was having trouble in Witu, recently ceded to Britain by the Germans, despite the protests of the local inhabitants, so Rogers and 150 men were sent north along the coast in October of that year. He successfully took control from rebels of the fort at Golbanti a couple of months later, and he was left in charge of Witu. But the IBEA withdrew from Witu in 1893 and Rogers transferred to Lamu, where he became British vice-consul when the British Government took control of East Africa from IBEA in 1895. He was appointed Collector of Lamu and Witu. Many complaints were received in Zanzibar about Rogers’s administration, including one from a Parsi clerk who said Rogers forced him to help put the body of a slave girl in a boat and dump it in the harbour. Judge Francis Collinson was sent to investigate at the end of 1899 and found many instances of maladministration. Among them was the accusation that Rogers failed to supervise the punishments he authorised, and in one case it was thought that a man sentenced to fifty lashes probably had three...