Runesu Gwidi Herald Correspondent
Masvingo City Council will engage leaders of religious sects mushrooming at open spaces on the need to have ablution facilities at their places of worship. Councillors and council management have resolved to block congregations that do not comply with the city’s public health by-laws.
Masvingo Mayor Councillor Hubert Fidze said the full council meeting held on Monday this week agreed to remove churches located at areas without toilets.
“The first step is to engage and hear their concerns. It is our position as council that these open-air worshippers should not continue to mushroom unchecked,” said Councillor Fidze.
“We are particularly afraid of the outbreak of deadly diseases such as typhoid and cholera due to the accumulation of waste at their places of worship,” he said.
Clr Fidze said they expected the churches to comply with the directive.
“We are doing this in line with provisions of the Urban Council by-laws and the Public Health Act. Some of these worshippers have already built makeshift Blair toilets at their shrines, but this is not good enough. They have to come to council so that they are relocated to places with proper sewer and water systems. It is council which should offer them the land, not their leaders,” Clr Fidze said.
He also urged the church leaders to approach council departments on how to establish their churches in line with council by-laws.
“Masvingo has won several accolades for being a clean city over the years, which is the sole reason why management and councillors are guarding against various forms of pollution,” he said.