Personality Cult and Politics in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe

Ezra Chitando



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 in southern Africa in general. 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 Mugabe at a time when his tenure was coming under serious threat.


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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 theological consultant for the Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiative in Africa (EHAIA).