HomeLocal NewsMakandiwa converts city firm into church

Makandiwa converts city firm into church

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One of Bulawayo’s biggest textiles company has leased out its factory to prominent evangelist Emmanuel Makandiwa’s United Family Church Ministries (UFIC).

The moves by Textile Mills (1947) came amid pleas to government to expedite the disbursement of a $40 million fund for distressed companies in the city.

Textile Mills is believed to be a candidate for funding under the Distressed and Marginalised Areas Fund (Dimaf) set up last year. In its heyday, Textile Mills specialised in knitting garments like vests and jerseys, employing hundreds of workers.

On Monday NewsDay visited the textile company along Josiah Chinamano Road in Belmont and renovations were at an advanced stage to convert the premises to a church.

A UFIC employee at site said the church’s services were currently being conducted at the Large City Hall, but would be moving to the new premises once renovations are complete.

Textile Mills, like many Bulawayo industries, closed down last year citing viability problems. Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube expressed concern over the turning of factories into houses of worship when the government was trying to revive them.

“There is obviously a problem when industrial premises are being turned into religious premises,” he said.

“But hopefully as we work on factors and reasons that have led to such practices, we will be able to reverse these practices and resuscitate Bulawayo industries.”

Last week, Ncube disclosed that another struggling textile firm in the city, Archer Clothing, would benefit from Dimaf.

Last year, 87 companies reportedly shut down, leaving over 20 000 workers jobless in Bulawayo.

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