Churches in Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, are causing the City Father headaches after they amassed $2,7 million in unpaid rates and rentals.
Churches have also been accused of uncontrolled noise and self-allocation of stands in the city.
The city’s finance director Kimpton Ndimande urged churches to settle their bills with the council.
Speaking on Tuesday during a meeting between pastors and council officials at the Large City Hall, Ndimande said:
Churches in Bulawayo are owing to the city council $2,7 million and this is a lot of money. We have to work together as the council and the church.
This is your city and churches have to have an input into how we run it. We have to meet halfway. This means the churches have to do their part and the council also does its part, which is service delivery.
The churches were also accused of non-compliance with terms and conditions of their leases by the city’s valuer and estate manager Thabani Ncube. Said Ncube:
One of our challenges is high default rate by churches, non-compliance with terms and conditions of their leases, erection of unauthorised structures among others.
We also have a problem of uncontrolled noise by churches, the use of the bush system and self-allocation of stands.