A 60-YEAR-OLD former church caretaker’s faith and hope have been dampened following his eviction from his church dwellings.

Miphy Madzivire was legally evicted and has been begging for help to fend for his two children since last month. He is staying in a plastic shack, exposed to cold weather near Mabelreign St Peter’s Anglican Church gate.

Church authorities confirmed retiring Madzivire saying he was now a squatter outside the church building.

Madzivire told H-Metro that City of Harare gave him seven days’ notice to vacate the place.

“I put my faith in God but the church has decided to ruin my life,” said Madzivire.

“Church authorities evicted me from their premises and increased my monthly instalments for the Norton residential stand they allocated me.

“I received US$2000 as retirement package for working as caretaker since 1991. Besides evicting me, the church increased my monthly subscriptions for a 500 square meter stand allocated to me so that they take it and leave me homeless and unable to have decent shelter.”

“My differences with them came after I lodged a police report following the theft of my son’s bicycle and one of the priests’ children was a suspect in the matter. “That brought enmity.

“City of Harare has given us notice to leave this place — Anglican church saw it best to express their anger by exposing my family to cold weather.

“Inga ndakachengetedza pavanonamatira pamwe nemidziyo yekereke nemwoyo wangu wese.

“Vana vangu vakandibatsira kuchengeta nzvimbo nekubatsira vanoridza zviridzwa asi nhasi vafunga kuparadza hupenyu hwevana vangu nenzira iyi.

“Have they stopped preaching the gospel of love? If not why are they increasing my residential stand’s payments at a time when they have evicted me from the building,” said Madzivire.

Madzivire’s wife Petronella Dube, 52, thanked Mabelreign community for standing with them by providing them with water, blankets and food.

“I want to thank Mabelreign community for providing us with water since church authorities deny us access to water at the premises we used to look after,” said Dube.

“Our major challenge is raising money for children’s school fees. The church which used to minister to street kids has decided to put us onto the street.”

Mabelreign St Peter’s Anglican Church spokesperson Partony Musendo described Madzivire as a parish elder failing to accept retirement and his economic challenges.

“Madzivire vanga vari sekuru vedu pachechi uye ndinovimba kuti varikubva pagate pavari mangwana sekuwirirana kwavakaita ne City of Harare,” said Musendo.

“We are not aware of his destination but his relatives offered to provide accommodation for him.

“We never made the decision to evict him out of anger or hate but he has reached retirement time.

“We gave him his retirement package and salary up to December 2021 but he is unwilling to accept it.

“We gave him three months’ notice to leave church premises but he remained there for almost seven months until we took legal action since a new employee wanted to occupy the house.

“He is one of the victims of economic hardships and is struggling to accept this development and the church has no option but to move on,” said Musendo.

Musendo said the bicycle issue had nothing to do with Madzivirie’s retirement.

“When we put an advert we thought Madzivire’s son would apply and he would have gotten the job but he did not apply. All the accommodation woes could have been solved,” Musendo said.

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