Chitungwiza Municipality has proposed new by-laws aimed at controlling open air worshipping to promote health standards in the town. The main problems associated with open air worshipping are the absence of ablution facilities, noise pollution, imprudent cutting down of trees and lack of time regulation.
Chitungwiza Municipality acting town clerk Ms Charity Maunga said the new draft by-laws would be advertised in two issues of a local newspaper in terms of section 228 of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) allowing for any objections to be raised within 30 days.
"If at the end of the stated period there are no objections, the by-laws will be submitted to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing for approval in terms of section 229 of the Urban Councils Act," said Ms Maunga.
"If at the end of the period any objections have been received, the council will reconsider the by-laws taking into account the objections and then resubmit them for consideration by the Minister.
"These by-laws shall apply within the municipal area of Chitungwiza and any other local Government area whose administration and management is vested in our local authority."
The by-laws have 10 sections that include title (Chitungwiza by-laws, 2017), permit and permit fees, application procedures, days and times of worship, offences and penalties.
"Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any provisions of these by-laws shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level five or 15 days imprisonment or both," reads the by-laws.
Chitungwiza municipality is taking a cue from the Harare City Council, which implemented the same by-laws in 2015.