Original Research

Postcolonial religious hope as stratagem to achieve political enslavement in Zimbabwe: A decoloniality approach towards an uncaptured theology of hope

Bekithemba Dube
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 41, No 1 | a2007 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v41i1.2007 | © 2020 Bekithemba Dube | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 May 2019 | Published: 11 February 2020

About the author(s)

Bekithemba Dube, Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, Qwaqwa, South Africa


In this article, the author has shown how postcolonial religious praxis has contributed to political oppression in Zimbabwe. This is done by analysing prophetic messages of hope in the face of economic trajectories and argued that prophetic discourses have, covertly and overtly, become a stratagem for political oppression. To this end, religious leaders play a leading role in the zombification of people to accept oppression and marginalisation, thereby relegating citizens to the periphery. To develop this article, the author has analysed incidents associated with Prophets Walter Magaya and Emmanuel Makandiwa, and the Mapostori movement in Zimbabwe. The author has used decoloniality as a lens to challenge postcolonial prophetic hope that contributes to oppression. He is guided by two questions: (1) How have Magaya, Makandiwa and the Mapostori contributed to sustained political oppression whilst acting on the pretext of giving people hope? (2) What could be done for Christians to free themselves from a captured theology of hope? The author argues that religion that is premised on political ambivalence with the aim of oppressing and sustaining oppression does not deserve a place in democratic society; thus, there is a need to confront religious narratives, enact uncaptured theology and move towards the criticalisation of religious curriculum in Zimbabwe.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article is interdisciplinary in the sense that it touches issues such as politics, religion, sociology and education. In this article, the author has shown how all these disciplines come into play and that malfunction of religion can contribute to oppression and underdevelopment in a society.


decoloniality; captured theology of hope; education; prophetic movements; Magaya; Makandiwa


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