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Ask Takudzwa 15 – Political Influence, Political History: Zimbabwe’s Governance Heritage


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Canadian Atheist

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/11/16

Takudzwa Mazwienduna is the informal leader of Zimbabwean Secular Alliance and a member of the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe. This educational series will explore secularism in Zimbabwe from an organizational perspectiveand some more.

Here we talk about governance in the history of Zimbabwe.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: If we examine the history of Zimbabwe, and its modern leadership, who have been bright lights of science, cosmopolitanism, and the like?

Takudzwa Mazwienduna: The former minister of Primary and Secondary education Dr. Lazarus Dokora has been the most progressive force and he has faced backlash from the ultra-religious Zimbabwean population because of it. He banned religious prayers and proselytizing from public schools. He also introduced a program that enhanced science education in schools.

Jacobsen: Has anyone identified as a humanist, freethinker, atheist, or something akin to simply rejecting the religious beliefs of the general public without accepting them?

Mazwienduna: There hasn’t been a public figure that has come out as a Humanist or Freethinker in the history of Zimbabwe. It is political suicide considering that Zimbabwe is ultra-religious.

Jacobsen: How is the inherited political legacy of past generations holding some aspects of Zimbabwe back from progress? How is this bringing Zimbabwe forward in its efforts to modernize?

Mazwienduna: Patronage is the biggest problem in that regard. Liberation war credentials are the ultimate golden ticket for Zimbabweans to benefit from the corrupt, totalitarian system. The system of patronage impacts everything to do with progress.

Jacobsen: How can the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe utilize these heritages of national governance to bolster the efforts for humanistic progress in Zimbabwe?

Mazwienduna: The Humanist Society of Zimbabwe finds itself in a tricky position in this situation. Its mission is not a priority for the totalitarian government hence unlikely to receive any genuine support. Some government ministries have been welcoming however, since they had the same goals and initiatives, such as the ministry of education under Dr. Lazarus Dokora. The government is obliged to respect secularism as the constitution dictates, but they do otherwise very often and opposing them almost always ends in death. As long as the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe stand for secularism without crossing the government or countering its interests, they are safe.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Takudzwa.

Mazwienduna: It’s always a pleasure Scott.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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