Religious Leaders and the Regime in the Second Republic of Zimbabwe looks at the nexus of religion and politics in Zimbabwe. Religious leaders and institutes are discussed as either regime enablers, resistors, or transformers. This book focuses on how religion has played a role in thwarting democracy and has acted as a machine to silence dissenting voices, repression, and poor governance. The book addresses religious figures such as Andrew Wutawunashe, Talent Chiwenga, Bishop Mutendi, and Mapostori. In discussing these figures, the book highlights how ZANU PF has taken advantage of religious power to thwart democracy while rewarding regime enablers. The book also discusses the road to 2023 Zimbabwean elections and highlights the role of the church in creating an enabling and catastrophic environment. This book challenges oppressive systems perpetrated by religious leaders and politicians.
Bekithemba Dube is associate professor and Head of Department at the University of the Free State.
Introduction: Religious Enablers/Resistors and Thwarting of the Democratic Space in Zimbabwe
List of Abbreviations
Chapter One: Mapostori as Regime Enablers and Endangered Group: The Case of Zanu PF and Operation Dudula
Chapter Two: Evangelism as a Regime Transformer? Evangelical Political Engagement in the Undemocratic Zimbabwean State
Chapter Three: The Church and Politics in Zimbabwe’s Second Republic
Silindiwe Zvingowanisei and Sophia Chirongoma
Chapter Four: Andrew Wutawunashe and the Politics of Zimbabwe’s Second Republic
Chapter Five: Religious Leaders as Psychic Destabilizers: Ambivalent Terrain of Regime Enabling in Zimbabwe
Bekithemba Dube and Gift Masengwe
Chapter Six: Displacing to Occupy the Space: Apostle Talent Chiwenga’s Tactic to Enter the Zimbabwean Religious Gallery
Martin Mujinga and Ezra Chitando
Chapter Seven: Religious Comedians and Regime Enabling in Zimbabwe: The Case of Passion Java, Mai TT, and Madam Boss
Chapter Eight: The Ideology of the ‘Underbelly’ and the Biblical Prophetic Responsibility of Andrew Wutawunashe in Zimbabwe
Gift Masengwe and Bekithemba Dube
Chapter Nine: Church Conferences as Campaigning Ground for the Ruling Party (Zanu-PF)
Chapter Ten: “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?’’: Church and Politics in the Second Republic of Zimbabwe
Robert Matikiti and Maybe Zengenene
Chapter Eleven: The Trajectories of the Church’s Regime Enablers and Regime Resistors in Zimbabwe
Chapter Twelve: Preaching, Parrhesia and the Political in Zimbabwe: A case of Apostle Talent Chiwenga
Theophilus Tinashe Nenjerama
About the Contributors
Here is another valuable resource for the church, governments, and the academy today. Every page of the book rhythms under the overriding theme of an intersection of the church, religion, and politics. Originating from an African soil, it will serve as a timely reminder of the need for the church to recapture its moral-high-ground of religious purity. Clearly laced with vivid contextual biblical, theological, and spiritual insights, the book redefines the church’s mission today in the most heartbreaking contexts of the continent. It calls for the church to go beyond celebrating its occupancy of a central space in African communities and controlling a major share of the spiritual market but to expound what it means and how the church can move from being regime enablers and resistors to regime transformers, to use the editor’s prominent words. The book is far-reaching, thought-provoking, inspirational, and applicable to Africa and beyond.
‘All Zimbabweans must go to heaven because they have already experienced hell on earth under ZANUPF regime’. The statement comes from a people who are trapped in a dilemma caused by the brutality of the ruling ZANUPF regime. Those who have gone through suffering at the denial and compromise of democracy and violation of human rights by regime elites and their enablers had better tell the stories. Where does the Church stand and the prophetic voice of religious leaders? This is a ‘must read book’ that avidly captures the complex sad realities of Zimbabweans caused by the regime, that poses as the Second Republic but pursuing the politics of suppression, exploitation, brutality and elimination of critics.