Chimurenga Resistance (Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe was colonized in the early 1890s by the British South African Company. The Company used a combination of deceit and violence to gain control of Zimbabwe and to take away the best land from the Shona and Ndebele peoples. In 1896/1897 in separate acts, both of these groups staged armed uprising against the European colonialists. Traditional religious leaders played an important part in leading these resistance movements. Chimurenga is the Shona word for uprising. The BSAC used brutal force to put down the Chimurenga.