Original Research

Regime enablers and captured religious mandate in Zimbabwe

Bekithemba Dube
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 41, No 1 | a2126 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v41i1.2126 | © 2020 Bekithemba Dube | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 June 2020 | Published: 14 December 2020

About the author(s)

Bekithemba Dube, School of Education Studies, Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, QwaQwa Campus, South Africa

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Zimbabwe’s second republic, born after the fall of Robert Mugabe on 17 November 2017, has been characterised by many controversies. Some of the most important of these include claims that human rights, accountability and democracy are being disregarded, and religious leaders are acting as regime enablers to maintain injustice. This article problematises the role of Nehemiah Mutendi and Andrew Wutawunashe, the harbingers of the second republic. I look closely at Mutendi’s and Wutawunashe’s roles in the second republic, in the light of human rights and show how their involvement in the political matrix has the potential to disrupt social cohesion, stoke hate and misrepresent the religious mandate by assuming the role of regime enablers. I argue that, although religious leaders have a constitutional right to be involved in politics, their primary mandate is to promote morality and human rights, fight for the poor and marginalised and not to surrender these rights for the sake of obtaining benefits.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The article draws from the nexus theology, religious studies, politics, economy and sociology. The article attempts to show how religious leaders in their involvement in politics affect social arrangements, economy and peace. Therefore, it is interdisciplinary in the sense that it discusses religious issues informed by politics, economy and peace narratives.


Wutaunashe; Mutendi; politics and second republic; decoloniality; regime enablers; social justice


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