Apostolic sects must respect culture, customs: Residents 

Source: Apostolic sects must respect culture, customs: Residents – The Southern Eye

BULAWAYO residents have challenged Apostolic sect members invading many parts of Matabeleland, including Bulawayo, to respect local culture and customs.

The call comes amid concerns that some of their activities such as tying all manner of clothes on trees violates local culture and may be the reason behind the erratic rains being experienced in the region.


In Ndebele culture, ahead of the rain season, elders normally come out in their numbers to remove clothes hanging on trees, bones of dead animals in the countryside, cutting down trees struck by lightning  during the previous rainfall season and many other things in preparation for a new rain season.

Apostolic sect members are also accused of leaving claypots dotted across the bushes, thereby desecrating the areas they are operating in.

The concerns were raised last week during an indaba organised by Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) in conjunction with Bulawayo City Council (BCC) and other stakeholders.


A concerned resident who declined to be named said it is against the Ndebele culture to just go around hanging pieces of clothes in the bush.

“How can we expect the rains to fall when there are pieces of garments of different colours hanging in the forests?” queried the resident.

“Some of these colours affect rainfall patterns. We will continue having erratic rains because of this. That is why we are calling for the local authority and government to go around and ask them to remove their pieces of cloths if we are to receive normal rains.”


BPRA chairperson Thembelani Dube urged apostolic sect members to respect local culture.


“It is very true that hanging pieces of garments or clothes in the bush is a taboo in Ndebele culture. We are no longer respecting this, people no longer care, they just do as they please,” Dube said.

BCC recently introduced laws forbidding open air worshiping, citing lack of water and sanitation facilities at Apostolic shrines, amid fears of possible outbreaks of diseases due to open defecation.

However, despite the ban, the proliferation of open air worship by apostolic sects is continuing unabated.