Chitungwiza — Chitungwiza Municipality has cleared Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa's United Family International Church to complete construction of its mega church in the town.
In a letter dated May 22, 2012, Chitungwiza Municipality acting town clerk, Mr Fungai Mbetsa wrote to UFIC lawyers, Mushangwe and Company, informing them that council had given the church the green light to complete the church.
"Council also acknowledged and accepted your application for the allocation of 19770 in retrospect, where you are already constructing a church," Mr Mbetsa said.
"Council has also agreed that you continue your developments on stand number 19770 as the regularisation process continues.
"I want to thank your client (Prophet Makandiwa) for his continued support for the growth of Chitungwiza Municipality."
Mr Mbetsa invited UFIC to submit a building plan of stand number 19770 for approval whose fees will be determined by the building inspector.
He said UFIC was required to pay provisional land sale of US$11,50 per square metre on the 182 725 square metres which will be subject to council approval.
Since the planned use of the stand was recreational open space, Mr Mbetsa said UFIC was required to undertake change of use procedures through a certified copy of ownership of the property.
The church is also expected to pay a non refundable application fee of US$300 and to submit two copies of completed TPD1 and proof that rates or any changes that should accrue to council are paid.
Mr Mbetsa, who is also head of the Chitungwiza resuscitation team, told The Herald that UFIC had since addressed some of the "areas of concern".
"The project has been regularised in line with our discussion with them on what needed to be done and that has been done," he said.
"It has also been regularised after the full council granted that the development should go ahead."
Construction of the church attracted attention after some reports that the stand was acquired irregularly.
Giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism on Monday, Mr Mbetsa said the municipal authorities will demolish buildings on prohibited areas superintended by the previous administration.
He said council will regularise buildings on areas that did not have problems.
Zengeza East legislator Mr Alexio Musundire (MDC-T) recently lost a High Court bid to stop construction of the church.
The Environmental Management Agency has also tried to stop construction arguing that the building was sited on a wetland.