At a time when Zimbabwe normally experiences its heaviest and most widespread rains, the country is experiencing a drought. January and February are known as some of the wettest months of the year, yet as of 15 February so far this year there has been no rainfall.
With crops failing throughout the land; President Robert Mugabe had held a witchcraft ceremony in Zvimba, his home area in Zimbabwe. The ancestors were invoked by the President – but to no avail. The rain ceremony spectacularly failed. (More recently prayer services in some parts of the country have been rewarded with some rain).
In his speeches Mugabe increasingly refers to "the spirits". He claims to speak with ancestral spirits, goblins and demons. Mugabe has also been reported to claim that he is "possessed by the spirit of Murenga." Murenga was the witchdoctor who inspired the war against the white settlers in 1896. This very brutal war was called the Chimurenga because it was waged in the name of the spirit of Murenga.
The vicious bush war against Rhodesia which led to the independence in 1980, was called the Second Chimurenga. Spirit mediums and witchdoctors were very involved in supporting the communist insurgents of ZANU and ZAPU in that struggle.
It is significant that Mugabe and his followers are calling the farm invasions the Third Chimurenga. In political rallies, Mugabe has threatened those who do not support him with curses and evil spells. He has warned anyone who votes for the opposition that the ancestral spirits will torment and destroy them. Mugabe even threatened that "if" he dies he will come back to haunt his opponents and curse them with sickness, drought and death.
Some have observed that they have all that already – with Mugabe alive!
All this talk of evil spirits, spells and curses seems quite inconsistent with Mugabe’s avowed Marxism, and its inherent atheism. It is also surprising that Islamicists like Col. Muammar Gaddaffi would want to align themselves with such witchcraft by so generously supporting Mugabe with fuel, finance and armaments.
Dr Peter Hammond