The City of Bulawayo is set to demolish 12 church structures that are either derelict or have been illegally constructed.
According to the latest council report, the churches have been issued with notices to rectify or demolish their illegal structures.
If they fail to do so, the local authority will use its own resources to demolish the buildings, with the churches bearing the costs.
The 12 churches are Zion Christian Church (Emganwini), The Living Gospel World Church (Emganwini), Assemblies of God Church (Tshabalala), Johanne Masowe (Nkulumane), The Same God Apostles ((Pumula East), Holy Apostolic Church in Zion (Pelandaba), Gospel Preaching Ministry (Nkulumane), Potters House Christ Fellowship (Nkulumane), Apostolic Faith Mission of Zimbabwe (Nkulumane), St Lukes United Methodist Church (Nkulumane), Zaoga Church (Nkulumane) and New Birth Fellowship in Nkulumane.
The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is not only targeting churches as there are 47 structures in total that were identified as being derelict with the owners given notices to rectify their structures.
Last year, the local authority identified illegal structures in the city, including churches and residential properties, and thereafter issued them with notices.
The City of Bulawayo has the authority to repossess such properties as guided by the Titles Registration and Derelict Lands Act (Chapter 20:20).
The Act states: Persons having claim on derelict land may apply to High Court or other public body upon immovable property in Zimbabwe and such property is abandoned, deserted, derelict, and the owner thereof cannot be found, it shall be lawful for the person or body claiming such rate or assessment to apply to the High Court, stating the amount claimed to be due and the grounds applying for relief under this Act.