Masvingo (Masvingo Star-New Ziana) – Churches that have illegally set up bases on undesignated open land and spaces around Masvingo city are to be forcibly ejected from those areas, Mayor Collen Maboke has said.
In an interview, Maboke said the council had adopted a resolution to clean out the city’s environs of churches that sprung up all over without the approval of the City Fathers.
Of particular concern are apostolic church and zion sect churches that have sprung up on open land on either side of Charumbira Drive near Mucheke River bridge along the Masvingo-Beitbridge road leading into the Central Business District.
Maboke said the churches are causing visual pollution and affecting the beauty of the city and painting a bad picture to the foreigners that used the highway to Beitbridge.
“As council we are worried about these churches and we will take measures to deal with them,” he said.
He said it was not only the churches just before Mucheke Bridge to be cleared but also others that were situated along the main road before Ndarama High School operating under trees, and at Exor and the ones besides Craft Centre.
The mayor said the church were conducting their religious activities at sites without water and toilets, thereby creating a health hazard to the community at large.
He urged the churches to come forth and register their churches so that the council would allocate them land with water and toilets.
Measures such as demolishing the churches, removing the cloths and prohibition orders were going to be taken if the churches did not vacate.
“They will pay for the land that we would have allocated them but for now the amount is still under consideration and we are going to provide water and toilets for them so that we can control them,” he said.
Masvingo Star-New Ziana