Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Bulawayo councillor praises Mthwakazi

by Staff reporter
06 Jun 2024 at 12:32hrs | Views
A Bulawayo councillor has praised the Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) for evicting apostolic sect churches that had set up shrines in undesignated places, noting that the local authority has failed to remove them.

The local authority has attempted to remove these religious groups, who operate mostly in bushy areas without proper structures, but has faced resistance over the years.

To understand the prevalence of these churches, the BCC conducted a study between April and May on the nature and extent of open-air worship in Bulawayo.

The findings revealed that the open-air worshippers were occupying council land without authority. The land was inaccessible, with no potable water source or sewer reticulation. All the urban requirements for a settlement were not available, leading to land and social invasion.

Last month, the Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) conducted raids on apostolic sect shrines around the city, claiming they were cleansing the environment of activities deemed alien to Matabeleland culture and tradition.

Their unsanctioned operation was supported by Ward 15 Councillor Ashton Mhlanga, who said they accomplished something the local authority had failed to achieve over the years.

"I would like to thank the members of the Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP). They are doing a great job out there, something that the Council has failed to do. They are evicting these apostolic sects from undesignated places," he said at a full council meeting held on Wednesday.

However, Ward 10 Councillor Khalazani Ndlovu said the council should allocate them stands so they can put up proper structures.

"I don't blame them as they are our voters, but I blame the Council management for not giving them stands where they can worship. They should be given legal places where they can do their activities," said Cllr Ndlovu.

Cllr Mhlanga also supported the proposal, urging Town Clerk Christopher Dube to look into the matter.

"There is research here that was conducted. We have 46 percent of these apostolic churches who are aware of the local authority by-laws. They understand that you have to acquire a stand and they have applied, according to the report. Why is the Town Planning Department not availing land for those churches?" asked Cllr Mhlanga.

"The research also said 23 percent of these churches are worshipping in Cowdray Park. Look at how Cowdray Park is; there is plenty of land. Why can't those churches be given legal stands so that they can worship there?"

Source -