Govt to regulate churches

PUBLIC Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Nicholas Goche yesterday told Senate that the government was considering coming up with a policy framework to regulate churches.

VENERANDA LANGA
STAFF REPORTER

He said Cabinet was still at consultation stage on the issue given the cases of sexual and financial abuse by certain church leaders.

Goche was responding to a question by Matabeleland South MDC-T senator Watchy Sibanda who wanted to know the government’s policy framework in terms of registration of sprouting churches some of which are allegedly abusing women.

“There are no specific laws that deal with regulation of churches as they are registered as private holder organisations,” he said.

“However, because of the problems that have arisen at various churches, the government is now thinking of a policy framework and this issue was briefly discussed in Cabinet. At that particular time it was not known which particular ministry should be responsible for regulation of churches.”

Goche continued: “It is now a matter within government consultations that are ongoing and when a final decision has been reached, the government will make a final policy pronouncement on churches.”

In another unrelated matter, Home Affairs deputy minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told Senate that the 2 000 police officers that were recently transferred from their work stations were moved due to valid reasons like shortages of skilled manpower at some particular stations.

Ziyambi was responding to a question by Matabeleland South senator Sithembile Mlotshwa who wanted to know if the transfers were not going to promote corrupt activities at the new work stations since the transferred police were bad apples.

“Our police don’t have permanent work stations during the duration of their service in the force,” said Ziyambi.

“Transfers are done according to needs and if we have a critical shortage of skills in one area we can move them around. We don’t allow one person to be at one station for a long time. The transfers were not for corruption.”

The Transport and Infrastructural Development deputy minister Petronella Kagonye also told Senate that her ministry will investigate the issuance of driver’s licences due to reports of corruption.

This was after Harare Metropolitan Senator Cleveria Chizema claimed people who did not even know how to reverse vehicles were issued with licences at Chitungwiza VID depot without undergoing road tests.

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