This book approaches perceptions of Robert Gabriel Mugabe within Zimbabwe and beyond during his period in power and towards the end of his time in government.
The book examines how Mugabe became the focus of a thriving personality cult, studying the argument that Mugabe could be regarded as the founder of a new religious movement in Zimbabwe and the Global South. The contributors analyse the use of ideology and mythology in promoting Mugabe’s hegemony in Zimbabwe, looking at the appropriation of religious ideas by the Mugabe government and the impact this had on perceptions of Mugabe both within Zimbabwe and beyond. Focusing on the final years of Mugabe’s rule, the chapters provide new insights into how different actors, including politicians, African Traditional Religions, African Independent/Initiated Churches, Pentecostal churches, the media and others deployed religious idioms to support or critique Mugabe at a time when his tenure was coming under serious threat.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Southern African politics and religion.
Table of Contents
1. The interface between politics and religion in ZANU PF's succession struggles (1997-2017) 2. "The Suffering Servant": Robert Mugabe as the Sacrificial Victim for the Global South? 3. The Zimbabwean state and the case of Robert Mugabe in power: Through the lens of secularism 4. "My Husband shall rule from the grave!" M<ugabe as an African Traditional Religious Fundamentalist 5. 'Mutumwa Gabhurona' (Angel Gabriel): Religio-Political Discources on Mugabe and the White Garment Churches 6. "And it came to pass..." (The Book of Mugabe 3:1): The appropriation of biblical language in the last decade of Robert Mugabe's reign in Zimbabwe 7. Reflections on Mugabe's relations with Pentecostalism in Zimbabwe 8. The 'Word' in Politics, Monarchy and the Church: Unforgettable Utterances by Three Formidable Female Characters in Matters of Democracy, State and Dignity 9. "Munhu Wese Kuna Amai?" (Everyone to our Mother): A Pentecostal Perspective on the Deployment of Motherhood in Zimbabwean Politics 10. Robert Mugabe and the Politics of Civic Renewal in Zimbabwe: A Case for Comparison with Emperor Augustus 11. Re-imagining Zimbabwe beyond Mugabe's Sloganeering: A reconstruction theological reflection
Ezra Chitando is Professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Religious Studies, Classics and Philosophy of the University of Zimbabwe. He also serves as a Theology Consultant, World Council of Churches Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy.