Harare council to descend on unregistered churches, schools


HARARE – Several  schools, universities, churches, hotels and recreational places are facing closure as they are operating without certificates of assembly, the City of Harare has warned.

The Harare City Council (HCC) said failure to regularise the assembly places within the next two months will result in the places being shut down.


“City of Harare is aware that some of the above mentioned places of indoor assembly are operating illegally (without Certificates of Places of Assembly) in violation of section 9 of (building fees and related matters) by-laws of 1979,” a notice by the city’s director of works Phillip Pfukwa published yesterday said.

“In view of the above, council is going to close down or penalise those who remain non-compliant in the next two months from the date of this notice.

“Owners of such buildings mentioned above are advised to visit Building Inspectorate offices at Cleveland House, 92 Leopold Takawira Street, Harare, failure of which penalty charges will be levied on the owners rates account.”

Among the places that are facing closure are beerhalls, cinemas, sports clubs, restaurants, colleges and any other buildings that are being used for public assembly.

This comes as there has been an influx of pre-schools and private schools operated in homes and churches.

In a bid to also maximise revenue collection, the city has also been in a drive to regularise businesses run in residential areas such as Milton Park, Eastlea, Belvedere and Avondale.

The move also follows HCC’s move to bring sanity to the capital through regulating of open-air worship.

The council, which is currently battling with salary arrears, which has in turn affected service delivery, is also selling its commercial and residential land.

In another notice, Pfukwa said council would also be penalising property owners who do not obtain certificates of occupation from the local authority.

“The City of Harare notes that various buildings have been completed and occupied; without the owners obtaining Certificates of Occupation from the Building Inspectorate in violation of Chapter 2 section 44 of the model by-laws of 1977 and section 5 of the (fees and related matters by-law of 1979),” read a notice by Pfukwa.


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