In Zimbabwe, the giant chimneys of Gweru, the country’s third-largest city known to discharge smoke from the industries there now churn out religious hymns and prayers.
With two decades of deindustrialisation in the once economically vibrant city of Gweru, Zimbabwe gone down the drain, religious organisations have taken over and converted the factories into churches.
Gweru played host to companies like Zimcast, Fort Concrete, Radar Castings, Kariba Batteries, and David Whitehead among others. These firms have since shut down in the past twenty years, rendering thousands of labourers jobless.
A recent report by Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union indicates that players in the industry operating at full capacity include Chinese companies Jin An, Xin Yu and Nelson Holdings.
Cembee furniture manufacturers used to employ hundreds of people who made quality furniture, but the building located behind Dairibord is now home to PHD Ministries’ Gweru church.
Gweru Mayor Josiah Makombe says the Council has offered the churches other facilities for hire to conduct their services but they somehow prefer closed industries because they are cheaper and more affordable.
Revenue collection through rates when the industries were fully operational, has also stopped in all the years the factories have stopped functioning changed.
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