Original Research

White garment churches (Vapositori) and ZANU-PF party politics in Zimbabwe: True marriage or marriage of convenience during and post-Mugabe era

Phillip Musoni
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 1 | a5412 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i1.5412 | © 2019 Phillip Musoni | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 February 2019 | Published: 29 November 2019

About the author(s)

Phillip Musoni, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

The white garment churches’ (Vapositori) involvement in party politics, particularly in favour of ZANU-PF, continued to flourish in Zimbabwe even after the demise of Mugabe. Robert Gabriel Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe from 1980 until he was deposed by the Zimbabwean Army on 21 November 2017. Unlike other Christian boards in Zimbabwe, the Vapositori churches played a significant role in authenticating and validating the continuation of ZANU-PF holding onto power from 1980 till the present even after the removal of Mugabe. This article describes the relationship between ZANU-PF and Vapositori analogically as a marriage. This article posited that this marriage between Vapositori and the ruling ZANU-PF political party did not end with Mugabe. President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and his vice president, Constantino Kuvheya Chiwenga, are seen masquerading Vapositori by attending and addressing Vapositori church gatherings. Thus, this article interrogates whether the marriage between Vapositori and ZANU-PF was borne out of real love or is just a marriage of convenience. Moreover, if it’s a marriage of convenience then who controls whom and why? These and other related questions require a critical investigation to deepen our understanding of the ‘Church and politics’ in Zimbabwe during and after the Mugabe era.

Keywords

AICs; marriage; Mnangagwa; Mugabe; politics; ZANU-PF; Zimbabwe; white garment

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