Plot to push out Makandiwa

HARARE - Some top Harare City Council officials are plotting to stop prosperity gospel preacher Emmanuel Makandiwa and his United Family International Church (UFIC) from holding services at the City Sports Centre in Harare claiming that he was monopolising the venue.

In a letter addressed to UFIC, a copy of which is in possession of the Daily News, city authorities have introduced stringent regulations in their lease with the church, a move some council employees view as a bid to push out UFIC at all costs.

Among the issues raised in the letter signed by one M Marara, the acting Director of Housing, are that “No organisation or church should be seen to enjoy some kind of monopoly of use of the facility” and that “no furniture and equipment should be left at the City Sports Centre after any event or function” further stating that “the church should therefore remove all its furniture and equipment currently stored at the City Sports Centre.

Contacted for comment, UFIC spokesperson Prime Kufa confirmed the development and said: “I have been advised by our administrator that there are changes in our leasing terms with the council and we intend to meet with the responsible people soon and come up with a win-win situation. We have enjoyed a good working relationship with the City Fathers since 2009 and we see ourselves as partners in community development.

“The bottom line is we need each other and we have to find common ground,” said Kufa who added that UFIC had poured close to $2 million into the council coffers through rentals of the facility which has become the venue of the church’s Harare services. Kufa dismissed claims that the church was monopolising the facility saying their service yesterday was their second Sunday at the venue in six weeks, “For the past four weeks or so, we have been holding our services in Chitungwiza because this venue was booked by various organisations, so I don’t understand where the claims of monopoly are coming from.

“We have always been asked to give way to other organisations when they need to use the place and we have obliged and usually when we come back, we take to repairing damages caused, especially during musical shows. I, however, cannot comment much on the letter until we meet the authorities,” he said

The Daily News had been informed by top council sources that the City Fathers not involved in the issue but there were certain individuals in council who wanted to take up the facility on a long lease and then hire it out again for profits,

Said the source: “Do you think, broke as we are, it would make sense for us to tamper with a lease that guarantees us such regular income? There are some of us who want to take over the running of the facility and lease it out for personal gain”, he said.

A UFIC member said they would feel undone by the move if it materialises because the church members took over use of the facility when it had become literally dumped with no activities taking place there and they spruced it up, even renovating the caretaker’s house which was inhabitable at the time and making major renovations to the facility itself.

But it was business as usual for UFIC congregants at the venue yesterday who seemed unmoved by rumours that their church would be kicked out by the city council.

One member who spoke to the Daily News said: “We are too many of us here as you can see and we can’t just be moved like that, unless they want us at Town House. It is here that we are consoled from the pain we suffer from their poor service delivery and it would be a big mistake on their part to try and disturb our services.”

Makandiwa draws huge crowds at the venue on Sundays and Tuesdays when he conducts his services and in the process pouring in thousands of dollars weekly in venue hire, revenue which the cash-strapped council desperately needs.


Comments (22)

Kana kasukuwere azopinda moti anopenga,mdc.kwanai mhani.such blantant ,open coruption.whos pockets is the diference going into.I dnt like kasukuwere bt I think mdc yu need his help to run the city affairs.if this happens.

viola gwena - 2 May 2016

@DAILYNEWS,stop elavating makandiwa,do yu honestly think what he pays for venue hire can honestly run council?

truth - 3 May 2016

Over the past few years, UFIC had turned the City Sports Centre from a white elephant to a significant source of income for the Harare City Council. I know UFIC are not going to argue with the HCC, but I don't think it's possible for them to meet the conditions the counce has set. UFIC will simply move away and consider other alternatives. I don't see the City Sports Centre being utilised as intensely as it was when the UFIC were using it. Therefore, I don't see the wisdom in setting out prohibitive conditions for UFIC or any other people who would want to use the venue.

machakachaka - 3 May 2016

I have seen madness and this City council is something else. UFIC will gladly move even into HICC nearby and that City Sports complex becomes a den to theives. i dont know we black people when we see any progressive signs we develop a destroy-it policy. In councils thinking, how and who is being denied use of that shamble centre? so far there have been numerous events held there living the site dirty only for the church people to clean and restore it. the mayor and the entire chamber should all be fired.I

tbos - 3 May 2016

If im UFIC i would simply go to Glamis arena sign a lease with harare show society, which im quite sure will be so welcome to the income and would shut doors to once in a while shows.

Tawa - 3 May 2016

Please can someone tell those idiots to stop disturbing the church. That acting director must be fired now. Do we need to remind them that another idiot tried to temper with Dr Guti in Bindura akanyadziswa na Gushungo akatiza. Vanhu ivava vanoda kuba vaipisa nyika and they must be brought to book. Ini handiendi kwamakandiwa but i sympathise with the churgh because inosimudzura mweya yevanhu yatambura. That director VaKASUKUWERE MUST GO. In Chitungwiza the same idiots chased Macheso from aquatic complex bt now mavakuberekera kiti. Ufi should use the venue for free because its for a national cause. Gushungo rangai vanhu. VaTsvangirai dzorai ma councilor akadai. VamaKandiwa munhu wamwari Ipai jambwa kuvaroyi vanepfungwa dzakaora kudai.

Pasipemuswe - 3 May 2016

@VIOLA. yu dont like m.d.c ,viola.Anything small yu pik a fight wth MDC.Did yu go to Rufaro?How many people were there for yo leader?This is the source of yo anger.I saw yu dancing wth Chinotimba.

hiba - 3 May 2016

@Viola.yo kasukuwere is the one destroying all councils work.He only goes to destroy.Look at Gweru,Harare,Mutare.its only he is scared of Bulawayo,bt he is itching for a fight.Viola yo appetite for fights with MDC T is well documented,by yoself.See the good stuff we do in MDC,maybe yu can join us for a worthy cause.Burying yo head in Lacoste s riversand wont help yu.Yu sound very intelligent and plse do the intelligent thing ,join MDC. We pray our supporters are safe there in Mutoko whr yu are campaining for yo man.Non Violence,Viola.

Hiba - 3 May 2016

ufic we are not strunted ,,we renovated that olace and yava ne life ikezvino kwava nevamwe vava kupihwa bribe vachida kupinda imomo manje isu we just move out peacefully ,,we have got our own church kuchitungwiza three times bigger than city sports ,,saka no pressure at all .lets wait and see kuti pachapindwa nani ipapo .

percy charu - 3 May 2016

what kind of monopoly is being done by us UFIC, these are some misguided individuals who are bent on frustrating the Prophets efforts. when the equipment is there is it housed for free? if not then why say its monopoly, what kind of lease has been there with UFIC, this is not fair business, i smell a rat, pane akuda kudya mari kukanzuru

Wisemanfromtheeast - 3 May 2016

@hiba.I never pick fights wth MDC n neither do they pik wth me.I respect yo political space,yo suporters yu command.Bt unfortunately yo council here is picking fights wth a reluctant church.They are a church ,for Christ s sake.Contrary yu shuld allow them free use of the stadium.Yo money comes from rates,and the land yu that not enuf.why rush into a church service n grab the basket of coins.?it doesnt make sence .wth that attitude yu culd also rob the blind on the pavements.its cash isnt it?Mdc yu r bullying the man of God.Have limits on appetite for free cash.dzoranai mozvityora pa muranda waMwari.

viola gwena - 3 May 2016

We wait to see who uses it and pay-up and meet the new "rules"... itai tirikukuona

BAS - 4 May 2016

I feel sorry for city council that's why you are failing to pay workers you better repent and sub massive to the the man of God . Be very careful you get cased

didymus - 4 May 2016

Anyone can use these social amenities at any given time as long as they are not infringing on the rights of other users . Leaving your furniture at a public facility as the City Sports Centre is wrong. BUT , there is this issue in our Economic Blueprint ,ZIMASSET called P.P.P. public , private , partnership . here the UFIC is the private sector and Hre. Municipality is the public . Together they are partners in making the centre usable and functional . So before some loudmouths who want to see their names in newspapers utter anything , they must first put their brains to use . The opportunity to keep the Sports Center alive must not be kicked in face but must be cherished and made workable for all parties concerned .

T.Bwanali - 4 May 2016

Tana kusimbirira kunetsana nezvamwari, zvinonetsa nyika ino tsvee pasi. City Sports raiva dongo nhasi panaka makutaurisa. Moto Moto MOTTTOOOO

EDDIE - 4 May 2016

UFIC is a movement a force which stops at nothing.City council is clearly showing lack forard minded brain.They think they can destabilise UFIC never.This clearly shows us that our father the Great Prophet of God Prophet Makandiwa is truely a voice of God .NEVER SHALL WE BE AFRAID OF ANYTHING.HAPPILY WE WILL MOVE ON

givemore - 5 May 2016

My advice to UFIC they should seek guidance from God kana vakaenda zvavo kuchitungwiza kwavasina anovafurufusha its the council tht loses out -remember to do good always tomorow is another day count today

mudara herby - 5 May 2016

SHIT COUNCIL must know that they will never have any other regular hire thrice a week just like makandiwa did. Wake up council.

SHIT COUNCIL - 5 May 2016

Its a plan to disgrantle many ears that listen to makandiwa. The move to disrupt ufic is not a brainchild of city council, i smell the wroth fingers of zanu in this.

KANZURU NE ZANU - 5 May 2016

@kanzuru.yu talk crap.its mdc full stop.zanoids like Viola are questioning.cant yu read

ino - 5 May 2016

Let me gracefully sa that the HCC is a disgrace! Someone at the HCC is being used to frustrate UFIC with intent to make money for personal gain.

Dust - 8 May 2016

Let me gracefully sa that the HCC is a disgrace! Someone at the HCC is being used to frustrate UFIC with intent to make money for personal gain.

Dust - 8 May 2016

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