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After Clive Chigubu snub, BCC clarifies on criteria for civic honours

The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has clarified the criteria for the granting of civic honours to prominent residents who would have contributed to the development of the city.

The local authority recently came under fire after it reportedly declined a request to grant the late comedian Clive Chigubu the honour of being buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery.

The cemetery is reserved for the city’s illustrious citizens.

In his condolence message, Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni described Chigubu as a “talented and illustrious son of the City of Kings.”

Council also reportedly declined a request for the free use of the Amphitheatre for Chigubu’s funeral service.

The funeral service had to be held on the street in front of Chigubu’s Barbourfields home due to inadequate space.

In a statement, Friday, on council procedures which include burial in prominent and distinguished pioneer residents’ cemeteries, civic honours, freedom of the city and conferment of alderman status, BCC Corporate Communications Manager Nesisa Mpofu clarified who qualified for the aforementioned honours.

To be buried at the Lady Stanley cemetery, a person should have resided in Bulawayo for a continuous period of 20 years and “must have made an outstanding contribution to the wellbeing of the community as a whole in one or more of the fields” such as civic matters, education, religious leadership, business leadership, sports and charity among others.

Some of the luminaries who were buried there include Thenjiwe Lesabe, Lookout Masuku, Saul Gwakuba Ndlovu and Ernest Maphepha Sibanda.  

The person may also be a spouse of a deceased eligible person already buried in such a cemetery.

“Civic Honours are awarded for community work and not for activities carried out during the course of a person’s normal duties for which he or she is paid and due recognition given in terms of that person’s contract, such activities should be over and above one’s work,” said Mpofu.

The freedom of the city, the highest civic honour a council can bestow upon a person in granted in terms of paragraph 52 of the Urban Councils Act: Chapter 29: 15,.

“The recipients are given a silver casket, a scroll which contains the Freeman’s Warrant headed with the coat of arms of the city and other gifts. They also sign the scroll, together with the Town Clerk and the Mayor.”

Some of the recipients are former heads of state, Robert Mugabe, Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, and the late Vice Presidents Joshua Nkomo and Joseph Msika.  

The conferment of Alderman status is granted to “any person who has held office as mayor or Councillor in that Council for a period of or for periods which in the aggregate amount to, “eight years or more in the case of mayor, or ten years or more in the case of a Councillor.”

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