Harare to honour Lobel

HARARE City Council (HCC) has resolved to confer civic honours to Peter Lobel for his outstanding public service to the city.

From 2011 to 2014, Lobel donated fire tenders, accessories and other services to the Harare emergency services division.
Acting chamber secretary Charles Kandemiiri said Lobel had championed the capacitation of the emergency services department through the use of his personal resources.

He said most of the fire tenders at Harare were paid for in full by Lobel and his friends in the United States.

“In recognition of his distinguished service, council will be conferring civic honours to Lobel and some of his benefits will include a civic honours certificate, signing in the civic honours book, entitlement to invitation to all civic functions, provision of a free parking disc in the city, provision of a scroll in a casket and exemption of rates payment for one property,” Kandemiiri said.

Lobel, who was born in Bulawayo, is the child of Danny Lobel — founder of the bakery that bears their name — and later attended University of Rhodesia with former mayor Muchadeyi Masunda.

His conferment of civic honours comes as HCC authorised that aldermen of the city be given exemptions of rates and parking as part of their benefits.

The city has conferred the title alderman to 47 councillors since it was empowered to do so in 1947.

According to Section 106 of the Urban Councils Act, a municipal council may appoint to the dignity of alderman any person who has held office as mayor or councillor on that council for a period of eight or ten years.

Acting town clerk Josephine Ncube said while there were benefits such as free parking and a letterhead that aldermen were entitled to, they seemed inadequate when weighed against the honour.

“Council also resolved that it authorises payment of an allowance to living aldermen equivalent to half of the allowances paid to serving councillors,” she said.

Ncube, however, said while councillors had recommended an allowance for aldermen, the title was not supposed to be a source of pension for the title-holders.

She said while council had approved, the decision to implement the suggestions was vested in the authority of Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

Human resources committee minutes also stated that it was important to motivate aldermen as some of them still served their communities as councillors.

“Aldermen were not many and a councillor’s allowance was very nominal. The monetary allowance would also cover some of their daily costs in pursuant of civic and council duties. It accordingly asked Ncube and His Worship, the mayor Bernard Manyenyeni to impress upon Kasukuwere to positively consider the proposal,” read part of the minutes.

Currently, Harare has only 10 living aldermen with Kambuzuma councillor Samuel Chinyowa being the only serving city father.
Harare’s first black alderman was Tony Gara, who was elected Greendale councillor in 1979 and served as mayor from 1995 to 1996.
After Independence Tizirai Gwata, Noel Chaya, Bernard Nehumba and Thomas Mapanzure were conferred with the title in 1991 after serving HCC since 1980. —Helen Kadirire


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