Parliament stops sale of church land
LOBAMBA – The House of Assembly has approved recommendation to stop any sale or commercialisation of land where the Dutch Reformed Church is located in Mbabane.
The recommendation, among others, was put together by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Portfolio Committee from parliament and presented yesterday.
The committee investigated whether or not the plot, which is on Mbhilibhi Street (lot 517), was used for other purposes than it was originally intended for. This arose from a dispute between the church members such that parliament ended up being petitioned.
The land in question measures 2839square metres and is registered under Crown Grant No.11/1960. It was a donation made on April 8, 1957 to the church by the kingdom. However, it emerged that there were plans to sell the plot for E2.2 million, something some members were against.
Meanwhile, the committee’s findings included that the plot was no longer used for its intended purpose as outlined in the grant, which was religious purposes. Also, the proposed sale of the plot was illegal and that the Municipal Council of Mbabane charged rates.
"The committee recommends that the Minister of Housing and Urban Development should ensure that the conditions of the grant are not violated and the land is not sold," read the report of the committee’s investigations.
The report was subsequently adopted by the House.
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