BCC seeks to impose by-laws targeting vapostori bush churches 

Source: BCC seeks to impose by-laws targeting vapostori bush churches – The Southern Eye

BULAWAYO City Council (BBC) councillors have proposed the introduction of by-laws specifically targeting members of apostolic sects, popularly known as vapostori who worship in open spaces amid claims that they cause environmental degradation.

Latest council minutes on parks section and veld management show that councillors were concerned about practices of sect members in the city.

“There is a need to enforce relevant by-laws to protect the environment. Councillor Silas Chigora concurred saying the vapostori sects are all the same in terms of religious beliefs.  It is very difficult to establish why these same churches were increasing. He (Chigora) suggested that council must issue letters banning them from open air worship at undesignated places. Residents are raising a lot of complaints about these churches.”

The minutes stated that in ward 5, a vapostori sect had invaded Hillside Dams, a picnic area.

Councillor Tinevimbo Maposa opposed the enforcement of by-laws through an operation and encouraged council to engage the churches for a lasting solution.

“It would be prudent for council to first deal with illegal vending in the city centre before descending on these churches. Councillor Donaldson Mabuto supported councillor Maposa’s view saying churches are needed in the community,” the minutes read.

“Council should engage them and assist them in applying for church stands. Alderman Siboniso Khumalo said most of the vapostori sects had not applied for stands. Their religion does not approve of worshipping in a building. Churches that apply for stands are allocated land when available. By-laws on open air worship should be enforced.”

“Most of them believe in prayers. Efforts are  being made to vaccinate them,” the minutes read.