Takudzwa Mazwienduna is the informal leader of Zimbabwean Secular Alliance. This educational series will explore secularism in Zimbabwe from an organizational perspective, and some more.
Here we talk about democracy and secularism in Zimbabwe.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: If we’re looking at the ways in which Zimbabwe lost one of its leaders, and the ways in which religion continues to influence political life, how can a secular outlook, a humanistic worldview, provide an alternative to the pervasive religiosity in politics?
Takudzwa Mazwienduna: A secular worldview would definitely inspire citizens to participate in the political discourse, becoming active members and reviving democracy. Most Zimbabweans turn to religion rather than facing their political problems like corruption. Civic awareness would also increase if the Zimbabwean population cease to see their leaders as gods whose faults they choose to ignore although they suffer the consequences. Zimbabwean politicians also endorse and appease churches that allow child marriages and deny children medical care or vaccinations to ensure their votes. This definitely comes under scrutiny from a secular perspective.
Jacobsen: If this is done, and if this is accepted, how might this change the overall landscape of policymaking?
Mazwienduna: Policymaking will be based on reason and human centered, rather than blindly nationalistic and culture centered. Both the government and the society would have more respect for human rights and repressive legislation from colonial times that is still in law today would be removed.
Jacobsen: What have been the central laws preventing full equality of the freethinkers and humanists in Zimbabwe?
Mazwienduna: The Zimbabwean constitution upholds secularism, but people act as if it was a theocracy anyway because of low civic awareness. The majority of Zimbabweans believe that the country is a Christian nation when the constitution says otherwise. There are however anti-gay laws in the constitution and homosexuality is punishable by lengthy prison sentences. There are colonial repressive laws that have been maintained to outlaw protests and free speech such as the Public Order and Security Act (POSA). Zimbabwean leaders still use these laws to silence activists, civil society and their political opponents.
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Takudzwa.
Mazwienduna: It is always a pleasure Scott!
Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.
Canadian Atheist Associates: Godless Mom, Nice Mangoes, Sandwalk, Brainstorm Podcast, Left at the Valley, Life, the Universe & Everything Else, The Reality Check, Bad Science Watch, British Columbia Humanist Association, Dying With Dignity Canada, Canadian Secular Alliance, Centre for Inquiry Canada, Kelowna Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists Association.
Other National/Local Resources: Association humaniste du Québec, Atheist Freethinkers, Central Ontario Humanist Association, Comox Valley Humanists, Grey Bruce Humanists, Halton-Peel Humanist Community, Hamilton Humanists, Humanist Association of London, Humanist Association of Ottawa, Humanist Association of Toronto, Humanists, Atheists and Agnostics of Manitoba, Ontario Humanist Society, Secular Connextions Seculaire, Secular Humanists in Calgary, Society of Free Thinkers (Kitchener-Waterloo/Cambridge/Guelph), Thunder Bay Humanists, Toronto Oasis, Victoria Secular Humanist Association.
Other International/Outside Canada Resources: Allianz vun Humanisten, Atheisten an Agnostiker, American Atheists,American Humanist Association, Associação Brasileira de Ateus e AgnósticoséééBrazilian Association of Atheists and Agnostics, Atheist Alliance International, Atheist Alliance of America, Atheist Centre, Atheist Foundation of Australia, The Brights Movement, Center for Inquiry (including Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science), Atheist Ireland, Camp Quest, Inc., Council for Secular Humanism, De Vrije Gedachte, European Humanist Federation, Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations, Foundation Beyond Belief, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Humanist Association of Ireland, Humanist International, Humanist Association of Germany, Humanist Association of Ireland, Humanist Society of Scotland, Humanists UK, Humanisterna/Humanists Sweden, Internet Infidels, International League of Non-Religious and Atheists, James Randi Educational Foundation, League of Militant Atheists, Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, National Secular Society, Rationalist International, Recovering From Religion, Religion News Service, Secular Coalition for America, Secular Student Alliance, The Clergy Project, The Rational Response Squad, The Satanic Temple, The Sunday Assembly, United Coalition of Reason, Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics.