AMH is an independent media house free from political ties or outside influence. We have four newspapers: The Zimbabwe Independent, a business weekly published every Friday, The Standard, a weekly published every Sunday, and Southern and NewsDay, our daily newspapers. Each has an online edition.

  • Marketing
  • Digital Marketing Manager: tmutambara@alphamedia.co.zw
  • Tel: (04) 771722/3
  • Online Advertising
  • Digital@alphamedia.co.zw
  • Web Development
  • jmanyenyere@alphamedia.co.zw

Are we becoming a spiritually captured nation?

BY TAPIWA GOMO A FRIEND recently opined that the end of human imagination is the beginning of belief and faith. Both faith and belief do not require evidence. He argued that when humans face tough challenges which they are unable to answer or comprehend, they either attribute or refer to the Supreme Being or their […]


A FRIEND recently opined that the end of human imagination is the beginning of belief and faith. Both faith and belief do not require evidence. He argued that when humans face tough challenges which they are unable to answer or comprehend, they either attribute or refer to the Supreme Being or their gods.

In most societies, this is the premise that guides rituals and prayers under the belief that supernatural powers can provide answers.

In a world where development is led and guided by science and technology, submitting earthly and human problems to supernatural powers is seen as a sign of weakness, backwardness, the end of human imagination or simply laziness. However, scientists have not dismissed the existence of God.

Science is a wonderful and very productive tool for spawning innovation and technological advancement but the question about God is not approachable by the empirical methods used in science.

A typical example of how science transformed the world and drifted from monarchal and religious institutions can be seen during the industrial revolution, a period of transition to new manufacturing technologies in Europe and the United States, in the period from 1760 to 1820 and 1840 traditional institutions were seen as barriers to progress.

The state of the world’s social, economic and political systems today is an outcome of these developments and countries that have achieved poverty reduction and economic growth, pursued science and technology-driven growth models.

Middle Eastern countries such as United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and others known to be deeply religious have also adopted scientific and technological approaches.

This has resulted in a major transformation in their economic growth and standard of life.

While there is a growing realisation that earthly aspirations can only be addressed by human solutions, our country seems headed towards the other direction.

That would not have been a concern if there was a sound economic growth strategy for people to pursue but there seems to be a new wave of thinking that supernatural powers have a role or are responsible for turning the economic fortunes of the country.

This is not only disturbing but worrying as this thinking conceptualises that economic success occurs as a blessing from the gods and spirits.

When a society gets too rooted in supernatural powers, its work ethic tends to shift to prayer and rituals instead of work and innovation.

All positive outcomes cease to be seen as outcomes of human effort but blessings or miracles.

Thus, poverty becomes either a curse or punishment from supernatural powers. A lot more issues associated with the human mind begin to get twisted.

There is now growing evidence that our leadership seems to be preoccupied with spiritual people or spirit media. On March 17, President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed an evangelist as his envoy and ambassador-at-large to the Americas and Europe to seek trade and investment opportunities.

On May 2, another social media pastor was appointed vice-president of the Affirmative Action Group of Zimbabwe (AAG). In the month of May, Strive Masiyiwa was announced as the first black billionaire in the United Kingdom and he would have been a perfect fit as a global representative for our economic growth.

While in Gokwe in May, Mnangagwa claimed credit for the good rains citing the power of rituals and prayer.

He claimed good rains were received because he allowed traditional chiefs to conduct rainmaking rituals and religious leaders to pray for the rains.

“The rains had gone for many years. When this new dispensation came, we then said what should we do?

“I summoned all the chiefs to come together and told them to go to their homes and conduct rituals, which they may have forgotten. I told them to go and do those rituals and pray so that we get rains.

“I also asked those from churches, ‘go and pray from your churches for the rains’, and the rains came. I thank you for the work that you did,” he said.

Rituals and prayers are seen as an effective solution to national problems.

This was said ahead of the unveiling of Mbuya Nehanda’s statue on May 25, that is, after the leadership had spent the month of May visiting and praising everything traditional and spiritual across the country.

Surely there is no harm in doing these, that is if we are not submitting national challenges that can be addressed via technocracy into the hands of spirit mediums.

“The unveiling of the statue of Mbuya Nehanda Nyakasikana is the manifestation of the bold commitment to reconstruct our country’s rich past and history.

“It equally stands as a symbol of unity, identity and inspiration to present and future generations on the importance of unflinching patriotism, loyalty, fortitude and determination to defend and work for our beloved country against any odds,” Mnangagwa told the nation.

But the Mbuya Nehanda story did not end with the unveiling of the statue. The Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage ministry assured the nation of the return of the remains of Mbuya Nehanda . . . “so that proper burial can be accorded in line with our cultural norms and values.” So, there is more to come.

In short, we are witnessing the enlisting of spiritual people and mediums — alive and dead — in addressing national challenges.

This means that in the long-term, it will likely be difficult to blame government for failing to deliver as it can easily turn the blame on spirits. And the spirits will also say it is not God’s time.

The nation must be patient.  The spirits may also decide to determine who governs.