Hurricane Sandy, which hit the United States last month, has delayed the shipment of a fire engine donated to the Harare City Council by New York-based businessman Peter Lobels.
REPORT BY MOSES MATENGA STAFF REPORTER
Lobels had promised to donate a fire engine and a water bowser to the local authority, but the storm that devastated some parts of the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States affected his plans.
Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda told a full council meeting that Lobels was prioritising getting his business running again, but hoped the situation would be back to normal.
“His bakery-cum-confectionery business in New York got flooded,” Masunda said.
“As a result, he has to channel material and financial resources towards resuscitating his business before he can think of helping us.
“It’s all a question of priorities. The situation should be back to normal within six months, I hope.
“Lobels is in the process of securing a water bowser and another fire engine, but unfortunately his plans were affected by Hurricane Sandy and will have to wait for a while.”
Lobels is a descendant of the Lobels family popular in the country for its Lobels Bread brand and a close friend to the late former army commander Solomon Mujuru.
Last year Lobels donated two Volvo fire engines in memory of Mujuru who died in a fire in August last year.
The fire engines were received by Vice-President Joice Mujuru on behalf of the city council.
Hurricane Sandy brought life-threatening flooding in New York and other areas in America leaving a trail of destruction and damage running into billions of dollars.