Bishop Dr Rocky Moyo challenges BCC to reverse decision against open-air worshipers

Danisa Masuku

THE president of the Council of Churches in Africa (CCA), Bishop Dr Rocky Moyo, has come out guns blazing challenging the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to reverse its decision to penalise and stop open-air worshippers that include apostolic sects and Zionist churches.

His displeasure and concerns were sparked by a recent move taken by BCC to penalise open-air worshippers as it accuses them of degrading the environment as they construct illegal structures.

The council has said open-air worshipping has become a major concern for the city with numerous enforcement and engagements not producing the desired results.

According to the latest council minutes, Housing and Community Services director, Dictor Khumalo said his department conducted a survey between April and May to establish the nature and extent of open worship in the city and its environmental impact.

Khumalo said the findings of the research established that there was rampant disregard for the protection of land laws by the sects involved in open-air worshipping.

“The open-air worshippers were occupying council land without authority. The land was inaccessible, with no potable water source and even sewer reticulation. All the urban requirements for a settlement were not available. There was land and social invasion. As a result, local communities have taken the law into their hands and this led to social disharmony, especially the paraphernalia hanged around the city,” reads the report.

Bishop Dr. Moyo urged BCC to avail land to the open-air worshippers.

“As the president of CCA and my council, we are not happy about the decision which was taken by the BCC to stop apostolic sects and Zionists churches that worship in open-air spaces. What I know is that the leaders of the open-air worshipers applied for land and they are on the waiting list.”

Bishop Dr Moyo accused the city council of not consulting his organisation.

“They did not engage us and they just did their survey behind our back and came up with findings. For the record we are not happy with the unilateral decision,” he said.

He said they would engage BCC to reverse the decision and avail land to open-air worshippers.

“We will engage BCC this week and urge them to reverse the decision to penalise open-air worshippers and we urge them to avail land to them so that they construct their churches to worship from,” he said

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