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Zimbabwe’s problems more political than spiritual
25/02/2017 00:00:00
by Learnmore Zuze
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The economic turmoil in Zimbabwe has created a fertile ground for the wanton abuse of her people.

JUST before last week, The Sunday Mail, a State-controlled weekly paper, headlined its Religion section of the supplement with a story in which one Apostle Chipoyero is claimed to have made an impassioned declaration of intention to “kill all witches and people causing bad luck, unemployment, poverty and general hardship to others.”  The man is further quoted as having said such people would not live beyond March.

Just like the never-ending list of prophets and apostles born or created every day in Zimbabwe, the tendency, consistently, is to cast all blame for the suffering of people in Zimbabwe on some imaginary spiritual foe.

This, however, is not to dispute the existence of evil or the devil but to try and refocus the badly damaged thinking process of Zimbabweans as a people who have been exposed to traumatic suffering for a long time. Zimbabweans now suffer some kind of trauma.

It is a living fact evident through history that when human nature is exposed to intense suffering, it can accept virtually any proposed, real or perceived, remedy that has capacity to relieve pain. Probably, this is what some philosopher tried to express by saying that, to a drowning man, a straw presents an alternative; it’s true- a drowning man will catch on to a straw.

Zimbabweans will catch on to a straw to escape the grinding poverty and general adversity in their country. There have been cases of Zimbabweans being found in the most unthinkable ends of the world as they try to keep body and soul together. In a damning indictment to the Zimbabwean government, Zimbabwean professionals were last year found stuck in abuse and slavery in Kuwait and had to be assisted to get back home after life turned sour in these unchartered territories. That’s how bad the Zimbabwean story is.

These hardships have now birthed a new spiritual dimension in the charismatic church where the suffering is attributed to spiritual foes. This suggestion is unlettered to the core despite its massive popularity. It is faulty from both a biblical perspective and a general political viewpoint.

This bizarre yet common claim that a mortal man can command the death of other creatures willy-nilly indicates a profound lack of understanding of Scripture, but I digress; that is not the object of this article. The prerogative to take away life, anyway, belongs to God.


One can go into the spiritual messages awash in Zimbabwean charismatic churches today and one theme that stands out head and shoulder above the rest is that of “restoration”. Restoration of the things that have been robbed by the devil. This popular concept is seen through mega crusades like the UFIC’s Judgment Night where all enemies are presumed to be judged. This is the claim that the devil or some evil-minded ‘haters’ have caused the impoverishment in people’s lives. There are categories of people targeted by this kind of message. And it resonates very well with the pitiable situation in Zimbabwe. The sick; the jobless; the unmarried; the poorly paid and the barren form the bulk of those targeted by such messages.

But on closer analysis, it is no rocket science why there is ubiquitous suffering in Zimbabwe. Before we delve into the spiritual, it is clearly palpable from statistics what kind of country Zimbabwe is. Zimbabwe has an estimated 90 percent unemployment rate, with graduates and post-graduate qualifications holders vending in the major cities. It is a country which can’t create jobs for its people. It is a country were nurses, lawyers, engineers and accountants among other professionals have nothing to do. Naturally, we know the importance of a job to the average person.

Thousands of young men who have finished college and university look up to a job to sustain their livelihoods and that of their parents. They look up to a source of income to raise money to start a family. Young women, likewise need jobs and marriage can’t be happening at the same rate as that of a functional economy where income is disposable.

Almost everybody in Zimbabwe who lives outside the parasitic elite is experiencing extreme hardship of some sort. It has to be understood that much as the devil is the arch-enemy of God and good, the all-pervading poverty in Zimbabwe has little to do with him and should never be seen in that context.

There are far evil countries that should be suffering more if this penury was spiritual as these so-called apostles would want us to believe. For starters, most Zimbabweans won’t even want to see a homosexual yet, just across Limpopo, the practice is rampant a yet their country flourishes. It’s nothing spiritual, it’s simply a case of bad governance, period. It’s the politics that needs to get right. The truth will set us free. The economic turmoil in Zimbabwe has created a fertile ground for abuse of the people by both politicians and spiritual leaders. Where will the people hide?

The terms ‘apostle’ and ‘prophet’ have actually become an open cheque to anyone who can lay claim on the ability to predict events and heal in the face of economic deprivation.

In Zimbabwe, it is the government’s profligacy that is the problem. The majority continue to live on less than a dollar a day while others purchase small items of personal pleasure for obscene amounts. The national leadership needs to get it right. The people have suffered enough.

Zimbabweans must look unto God but indeed their problems are more political than spiritual.


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