Howard Unwin Moffat

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Howard Moffat
2nd Premier of Southern Rhodesia
In office
2 September 1927 – 5 July 1933
MonarchGeorge V
Preceded bySir Charles Coghlan
Succeeded byGeorge Mitchell
1st Minister of Mines and Works
In office
October 1923 – September 1927
PremierSir Charles Coghlan
Personal details
Born13 January 1869
Bechuanaland Protectorate
Died19 January 1951(1951-01-19) (aged 82)
Political partyRhodesian Party

Howard Unwin Moffat CMG (13 January 1869 – 19 January 1951) served as second premier of Southern Rhodesia, from 1927 to 1933. Born in the Kuruman mission station in Bechuanaland (now in the Northern Cape province of South Africa), Moffat was the son of the missionary John Smith Moffat and grandson of the missionary Robert Moffat, who was the friend of King Mzilikazi and the father-in-law of David Livingstone. Howard Moffat attended St. Andrew's College, Grahamstown in 1885.[1]

After service in the Bechuanaland Border Police, Moffat moved to Bulawayo and served in the 1893 Matabele War and the Anglo-Boer War. He was elected to the Legislative Council in 1923 as member for Victoria and served as Minister of Mines and Works under Charles Coghlan.[2] He succeeded as premier after Coghlan's death in 1927 (his title was later changed to Prime Minister).

Moffat was viewed as a conservative who believed that Rhodesia would eventually join the Union of South Africa. He oversaw the purchase, for £2 million, of the British South Africa Company's remaining mineral rights in Southern Rhodesia. His government passed the 1930 Land Apportionment Act, which defined the pattern of land allocation and ownership and is viewed as being one of the ultimate causes of the land disputes during land reform in Zimbabwe from 2000. He resigned in 1933 and was succeeded by George Mitchell. In the 1933 general election he lost his seat.

In the 1939 general election Moffat attempted to restart the Rhodesia Party but this met with failure.


  1. ^ Poland 2008, p. 470.
  2. ^ Wetherell 1979, p. 212.
  • Poland, Marguerite (2008). The Boy in You: A Biography of St. Andrew's College, 1855-2005. Fernwood Press. ISBN 978-1-874950-86-8.
  • Bridger, P., House, M., and others, 1973. Encyclopaedia Rhodesia, College Press, Salisbury, Rhodesia.
  • Mungazi, Dickson A. (1998). The Last Defenders of the Laager; Ian D. Smith and F. W. de Klerk. Greenwood Publishing Group.
  • Mungazi, Dickson A. (1999). The Last British Liberals in Africa: Michael Blundell and Garfield Todd. Greenwood Publishing Group.
  • Rey, Sir Charles (1988). Monarch of All I Survey. Botswana: James Currey Publishers.
  • Wetherell, H. Iden (April 1979). "Settler Expansionism in Central Africa: The Imperial Response of 1931 and Subsequent Implications". African Affairs. 78 (311). JSTOR 721912.
Political offices
Preceded by
Sir Charles Coghlan
Premier of Southern Rhodesia
Succeeded by
George Mitchell
(Prime Minister)