Religious politics in Africa: Fasting for Politics or Political fasting in Zimbabwe?

Joram Tarusarira*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    Abstract

    In the post-colonial history of presidential aspirants in Zimbabwe, no politician has been as overtly religious as Nelson Chamisa, the current leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Chamisa identifies himself as a politician and a pastor whose politics are guided by his Christian faith. However, he took religious rhetoric to mobilise support to an unprecedented level when he explicitly blurred the boundaries between functions by calling for and leading a week of fasting and prayer from 29th July to 4th August 2019. Through a digital ethnography of Chamisa’s Twitter posts and the direct responses to them posted by members of the public during the fasting and prayer week, this article investigates how this call was received by those who responded on Twitter and what this tells us about Zimbabweans’ perceptions of religious politics, that is, the deployment of dominant religions like Christianity in politics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)31-52
    Number of pages22
    JournalExchange
    Volume49
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

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