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Churches take over Byo company premises

CHURCH organisations are converting Bulawayo industrial pre-mises into churches, as efforts to revive the city’s industry fail to bear fruits.

Report by Musa Dube

The city’s Central Business District (CBD) is also littered with Pentecostal church groups that are taking over most of the vacant premises left by shut down companies and converting them into places of worship, much to the chagrin of the unemployed residents.

Self-proclaimed prophet, Emmanuel Makandiwa’s Ufic church attracted the ire of many residents after they took over Mills Textile company premises in the city and converted part of it into a church.

The company used to employ over 1 000 workers but now employs less than 200 owing to lack of capital coupled by the poor economic environment.

A drive to the industrial sites reveals a grim scenario where posters of big companies have been pulled down and replaced by those belonging to churches.

Director of Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, Reverend Useni Sibanda blasted some church organisations saying they were worsening the economic situation by taking over industrial premises and converting them into churches.

“Instead of churches taking over industries, they should actually be working on reviving the industry because church service cannot substitute production of labour,” said Sibanda in his solidarity message at the Workers Day commemorations in Bulawayo.

“We believe that when God created man, he created labour and labour is part of the means of production.

“Many people, especially in Bulawayo, are not able to sustain their families. The church’s goal should be to make sure that people survive,” said Sibanda.

“Part of churches’ role is to help revive industry and we cannot help people by taking over the empty buildings. By taking and filling them with people, we are actually worsening the situation.

“They must instead build their own premises where they do church business.

“How do people survive if we are to take over all the buildings,” he said.

6 Responses to Churches take over Byo company premises

  1. Hugabe May 5, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    The good part is that at least someone is using and maintaining the buildings. The bad part is that mills that used to run in the factories have gone quiet. Lets pray for restoration of our nation that the mills would run again and our young men & women would stay on in the country to work the mills.

  2. just saying May 6, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    When the industrial stands were vacant nobody said anything about them. The country and the Useni Sibanda’s were quiet.Now that the direlict factory shells have been turned into houses of worshipping The Lord the learned ones can now speak out.We still have lots of vacant industrial shells in Bulawayo why dont the sibanda invest in those ones if they think they can work faster than God.For your info those churches are actually praying for the revival of the Industry and they long to get their own stands to build proper churches instead of worshipping in old factories.

  3. berven May 6, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    It’s not a bad thing for churches to make use of idle buildings but @ the same time I would appreciated this post even more if the storu was about UFI taking over the miiling company for production’s sake

  4. Xcalibar May 6, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    Byo admit for once that you are not capable, Hugbe said it right and no one cld hv said it beta. Churches are not takin over, these are vacant premises that have 2 b occupied hw then cn u put e blame on churches that are jus finding it difficult 2 construct their own buildings, makes no sense at al, it is to e eye of faith blatantly false. 2 b objective Byo has neva had e guts 2 stand up n fight for what is rightfuly hers, al e industry n infrastructure was built by e whites, poor management and e fear of takin risks n quite clearly lack of faith in others n self led 2 e demise of e industry. Hw do u explain that Byo used 2b e most industrialised in e country nw only reduced 2 shells, is this politics or insanity on e Byo powers that be, in failin 2 keep the industry viable. I do foresee a paradigm shift in e long run, where Byo wil b restord 2 its former glory. The power rests with you Byo people, the power is in your VOTE, no one and nothing wil eva amend this horrific situation. Food for thought!
    im e new kid on e block – Xcalibar!

  5. zimbabwe jobs May 11, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    sibanda is right. some churches are worsening the economic situation, byo is hard hit

  6. railwayworker May 12, 2013 at 8:00 am #

    Zanu and its empowerement crap has led to the demise of the city of kings ,now they want Nrz to close again these heartless politicians

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