Zimbabwe: Noisy Churches Operating in Houses Face Eviction, Warns Harare City Council

Zimbabwe: Noisy Churches Operating in Houses Face Eviction, Warns Harare City Council

THE Harare City Council has warned Pentecostal churches that are using residential properties as places of worship, saying they will soon be hounded out as they are in contravention of the city’s by-laws.

This comes amid reports that miracle churches led by charismatic pastors are conducting their services at people’s homes, sometimes giving neighbours sleepless nights.

The Residential Properties by-law (1974 SI 46 1/74) forbids unapproved change of land use.

Early this year, the council banned poultry projects that had mushroomed in some residential areas.

Banning the activities at the time, the local authority said there was continued “crowing, quacking, clucking, gobbling or like noise” that “tends to destroy the comfort of neighbourhood”.

Churches use generators to power their public address system during their praise and worship sessions.

In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, the city council’s principal communications officer, Michael Chideme, said residents should come and report such activities.

“We have no problem with people worshipping at designated places; that is why council has set aside places only meant for that.

“Residents must approach our offices, notifying us about what is happening, for example, if there are worshippers disturbing their peace.

“These home churches are also a threat to public health since the sanitation and water systems at those premises are only meant to cater for few family members.”

He added that sometimes the congregants disrupt traffic flow as they park their cars on either side of the roads and anyhow.

About five months ago, the council imposed strict regulation on open air churches without council approval, saying they required to have ablution facilities and portable water.

Categories: Church & Ministries

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