HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsLobel donation meaningful gesture

Lobel donation meaningful gesture

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Donations the world over, are inspired by numerous interests, ranging from seeking mileage to genuine desires to make changes in communities donors live and operate in.

Quite often, businesses, under the guise of social responsibility thrusts, knock on doors of orphanages and other needy organisations with handouts, spend a day with them and have photographs taken to be splashed in newspapers.

But a few days later, the goodies are finished and the less privileged recipients are back to square one.

However, other donations leave an indelible mark on the lives of beneficiaries. One such was the open-handedness of the Lobel family this week, who availed two fire tenders to the beleaguered City of Harare.

What makes their gesture touching was not only the significance of the donation, but the strenuous efforts the family made to bring the all-important equipment to Zimbabwe.

Here is one rich family whose popular Lobels Bread brand was the bread of choice in Zimbabwe until a few years ago when they relocated to the United States.

But touched by the plight of Zimbabwe, where he made his fortune, family descendant Peter Lobel took the initiative to bring the fire tenders to a city with just two such fire engines.

After they were offloaded in Namibia, Peter left the comfort of his New York base, went to Welvis Bay to drive them here in person, through the Trans-Kalahari Highway and arrived in Bulawayo on Monday.

Is this not a gesture worth emulating?
A spotlight on the Harare City Council Fire Department crisis points to an entire city sitting on a time bomb.

The two fire tenders available are said to be unreliable as they often break down.

The department has often come under heavy criticism for failing to react to numerous incidents, resulting in loss of lives and property.

Notably they have been accused of responding late to a fire alert in the inferno that claimed the life of Retired Army General Solomon Mujuru at his Beatrice farm in August this year.

Recently, Chitungwiza Mayor Philemon Chipiyo’s shop in Seke was also gutted down and workers blamed the fire department for taking long to respond.

These examples are in addition to many other cases of homes and properties which have been destroyed by fire in the city and Greater Harare areas, because assistance did not arrive in time.

Hence, while other businesses, some of them multinationals, opt to give bars of soap and a few packets of sugar as their social responsibility initiatives, the Lobel family did not bring their famed loaves of bread, but saw it befitting to intervene in a big way and save an entire city. What a gesture!

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