By Kenneth Matimaire
Mutare, September 01, 2016 – SOME business operators in the eastern border town have petitioned city authorities to remove Prophet Makandiwa’s United Family International Church (UFIC) eastern premises from the Central Business District (CBD) claiming the giant congregation was a public nuisance.
A total of 11 companies said they were losing potential clients as the church members were taking up all the parking space within their parking bays.
They further accused UFIC congregants of blocking company entry and exit driveways, thereby hampering the smooth running of their businesses.
This they added has been worsened by the noise emanating from the congregation during and after working hours, which further affects the ease of doing business.
The affected companies include the National Social Security Authority, AgriBank, Amber Hotel, Heritage Insurance, PSMI Lab and the Dutch Reform Church.
“We the undersigned do hereby petition the City of Mutare to address the issue of neighbourly nuisance we are facing as businesses and residents of the CBD area of Mutare situated close to UFIC,” reads the petition.
“The noise coming from the church during and after working hours is not conducive for a normal working environment and makes it entirely impossible to conduct certain duties or provide certain services to clients.
“Further, the members of the said congregation take up company parking spaces and at times block passage into some of the companies entirely. We hereby request that the council invokes the by-laws and rectify the problem to allow smooth operations of business as we are losing clients and money as all the businesses operating around this area are totally reliant on a quiet and peaceful environment.”
The petition further indicates that many other institutions situated along Aerodrome Road, 3rd, 4th and 5th Street are affected by the public nuisance from UFIC.
UFIC Manicaland secretary Thinkmore Muchenje said they can only respond to the matter when they have been formally engaged by council regarding the said matter.
“First and foremost we are not aware of the petition you are talking about. Secondly, as an organisation, we cannot comment on something we haven’t seen or received. We will only respond when council engages us on the matter,” said Muchenje.
Mutare City council mayor councillor Tatenda Nhamarare said the petition had not yet reached his office.
“I’m not aware of that issue because I have not seen the petition … Maybe I will get it during the course of the week since we had just started the week,” said Nhamarare.