Zimbabwe is now in elections and we are witnessing an all too familiar episode albeit with different cast. Just a few weeks ago many of us in Zimbabwe encountered a message that was circulating on social media. The message was urging all prophets to declare their prophecies regarding the upcoming harmonised elections in Zimbabwe. To me, the message just made me wonder in both amazement and amusement at nature of the intercourse between the politics and the prophetic in Zimbabwe. There is no doubt that the prophetic voice has had space in the Zimbabwean political landscape but it is the way that it is influencing both the electorate and the candidates that has fascinated me.
Wikipedia defines a prophet as
“an individual regarded as being in contact with a divine being and said to speak on that entity’s behalf, serving as an intermediary with humanity by delivering messages or teachings from the supernatural source to other people. The message that the prophet conveys is called prophecy.”
The issue of prophecy has been a controversial one among Zimbabweans from across the religious divide. Zimbabwe has generally been a religious country and the interface between the divine and politics can be traced way back in ancient times. Prophets like Nehanda and Mkwati quickly come to mind and the role that they played in the First Chimurenga/Umvukela war can never be underestimated.
Wimbo prophecy Wimbo is well-known for his prophecy in 1957 that independent Zimbabwe would be led by a man with the name of an angel, Gabriel, which came to pass when Mugabe became the first post-colonial leader in 1980. Such a prophecy has seen prominent Politicians like president Mnangagwa and former minister Saviour Kasukuwere flocking to his shrine for reasons that need no guessing.
In recent times, we have had modern day prophets like the South African Based Shepherd Bushiri making a prophecy on Vice President Kembo Mohadi during one of his service in November 2016. Many of us dismissed it as a frivolous superstition but the events arising from Operation Restore legacy saw Kembo Mohadi being ordained as one of the Vice presidents of Zimbabwe, rendering prophet Bushiri’s prophecy as true.
There have been many other prophecies in regarding Zimbabwean politics and not all of them have come to pass. One cannot help but acknowledge that some are just false prophets and a good example can be seen in one Madzibaba Remy’s prophecy delivered through his emissary. In the prophecy the emissary boldly claims that God has ordained Grace Mugabe to be the next Vice President of Zimbabwe (this was before the sacking of Mnangagwa as Vice president). The “prophecy” came to nothing after Grace Mugabe was reduced to a private citizen following the “resignation” of her husband, Robert Mugabe, as president of Zimbabwe.
Regarding the imminent elections, there are numerous ‘prophecies’ doing circles in social media and one such prophecy that has tickled my interested concerns Prophet Makandiwa’s 2016 prophecy about the next leader in Zimbabwe. This and other prophecies doing rounds have punctuated the political campaigns that are ongoing. In hushed but excited tones, it is not uncommon to hear people making reference to this prophet or that…who is going to win and who is not going to last…
These are interesting times indeed and there is no doubt about the ground that the prophetic voice has gained in the political discourse. As the politicians canvass for votes and the electorate eagerly await the favourable results there is no doubt that a good number of politicians and the electorate alike will be silently praying for or against a certain prophecy.