Original Research

What about the Vapostori now? The ambivalence of politics of relevance among indigenous churches in Zimbabwe

Bekithemba Dube
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 1 | a5202 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i1.5202 | © 2019 Bekithemba Dube | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 July 2018 | Published: 20 March 2019

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


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Abstract

In this theoretical article, I problematise the role of Zimbabwe’s Vapostori movement in the country’s political and religious landscape. I contend that the Vapostori (white-garment churches) has, over the years, been active in attempting to ensure that the former president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, remained in power, while at the same time casting aspersions on political players of other persuasions and on other churches, and acting as a mobilisation tool of the political party, Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front. In a quest for relevance, the Vapostori promoted the politics of hero worship. In problematising the role of the Vapostori in the political arena, I respond to two questions, namely, what themes or trajectories emanated from the nexus of the Vapostori and the Mugabe era; and how can an indigenous church achieve politics of relevance that are devoid of political capture and hero worship? To respond to these questions, I couch my views in critical emancipatory research, which advocates for social justice, emancipation and improvement of human conditions. The main argument of the article is that the Vapostori, in their quest to achieve a politics of relevance, should avoid centring their narratives around the idolisation of leaders, and hero worship, and instead, champion a theology that values social justice and religious collaboration.


Keywords

Vapostori; Politics of relevance

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