New law to regulate churches

Magaya, Angel and Makandiwa

GOVERNMENT is set to craft a law to regulate operations of churches to curb criminal activities, a Cabinet Minister has said.

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema said failure to regulate the activities of churches was creating a fertile environment for criminal activities such as money laundering and subversive behaviour.

Government’s decision comes at a time when some church leaders have been arrested for crimes such as rape and fraud.

“Religious organisations have to be registered so that their activities are monitored to curb crimes such as money laundering and other such crimes,” said Minister Mathema.

He said there was a danger of people engaging in subversive activities hiding behind the church.

Minister Mathema said Government was aware that some churches were involved in criminal activities hence the need for a law to regulate their operations.

 He said churches should disclose their source of revenue and how they were spending it.

“If you are a religious organisation it is only fair in my view to tell us where you get your money from and how you are using it,” he said.

Responding to the proposal, Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) secretary-general, Reverend Kenneth Mutata said they will closely follow the development.— Chronicle