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.

chapter |23 pages


Personality Cult and Politics in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe

chapter 2|13 pages

“The Suffering Servant”

Robert Mugabe as the sacrificial victim for the Global South? 1

chapter 3|14 pages

The Zimbabwean state and the case of Robert Mugabe in power

Through the lens of secularism

chapter 5|15 pages

“Mutumwa Gabhurona” (Angel Gabriel)

Religio-political discourses on Mugabe and the white garment churches

chapter 6|14 pages

“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

chapter 8|20 pages

The “Word” in politics, monarchy and the church

Unforgettable utterances by three formidable female characters in matters of democracy, state and dignity

chapter 9|12 pages

“Munhu wese kuna Amai”? (everyone to our mother)

A Pentecostal perspective on the deployment of motherhood in Zimbabwean politics

chapter 10|13 pages

Robert Mugabe and the politics of civic renewal in Zimbabwe

A case for comparison with Emperor Augustus?

chapter 11|15 pages

Reimagining Zimbabwe beyond Mugabe’s sloganeering

A reconstruction theological reflection