By Bulawayo Correspondent
BULAWAYO City council is experiencing an unprecedented upsurge in the demand of church stands as more people resort to the formation of churches as a form of business.
The city’s Housing and Community Services assistant director, Thabani Ncube told a Bulawayo pastors interface on Friday, that council is receiving an average of 40 applications for church stands every month.
“We have registered over 500 applications for church stands and thus far we have allocated 759 church stands.” said Ncube.
Ncube said the number of churches in the city has already surpassed the city’s recommended quota.
“According to our planning standards, we are supposed to have one church for every 500 stands. Bulawayo has got 145 000 stands and 300 church stands should suffice,” the official said.
Ncube also decried the erection of unauthorised structures at church stands, uncontrolled noise and the upsets of sanitary facilities at some churches. He also complained about that many have failed to pay their rates as well as and self -allocation of stands.
“All developments are to be done according to approved plans and relevant by-laws. Sound must be contained within the premises. There should be also no occupation without approved sanitary facilities such as water” the assistant director told the clerics.
Ncube suggested the high demand for places of worship in the city could be alleviated by the construction of prayer halls where members can share.
Speaking on behalf of the pastors at the interface, Bishop Christopher Choto urged church members to be responsible citizens.
“As churches, we do not want lawlessness. We want to make sure that we have got authority to use that place (church). Try to reduce your noises,” said Bishop Choto.