Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Chronicle Reporter
AN error by the Bulawayo City Council recorders has revealed disagreements between Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube and councillors on his request to be referred to as a Retired Major.
It has emerged that Mr Dube sent a letter to the General Purposes Committee on April 26 requesting to be referred to with the rank of Major (Retired) that he retired holding from the army.
However, council sources say the request was rejected by councillors who argued that Mr Dube had all along used his civilian title even when he was at the Victoria Falls Municipality before joining Bulawayo City Council as Town Clerk in 2016.
“Councillors wondered why all of a sudden Dube wanted his title to be changed after so many years in public service and there was a feeling that there should be consistency.
“After the request was rejected by members of the General Purposes Committee, Dube then said he was withdrawing the letter and it was agreed to proceed as if the matter was never discussed,” said a council source.
“The agreement seems to have skipped the recorders who included the matter in the latest council minutes. The matter has caused ructions within council.”
According to the latest council minutes, the town clerk wrote a letter requesting that he be addressed as Major (Retired).
“The Town Clerk reported (26th April, 2021) that Members of the Committee may be aware of the fact that he had served in the army and retired from it having reached the rank of Major. It was normal practice that retired senior army officers were called by their title even after retirement. It was his desire to use this title in line with practice the world over,” read the minutes.
Contacted for comment yesterday, Mr Dube denied making the request and referred this reporter to the chamber secretary Mrs Sikhangele Zhou.
“Just contact the chamber secretary, she will explain because I do not know anything about that letter. The document that you are referring to is not council minutes, just ask Mrs Zhou. She will tell you that thing does not even exist,” said Mr Dube.
No comment could be obtained from Mrs Zhou as she was said to be out of town.
However, Bulawayo deputy Mayor Councillor Mlandu Ncube said Mr Dube’s letter was sent to the General Purpose Committee.
“This came after his recent interview with the media so the letter just reminded the General Purpose Committee that he served in the army.
It has nothing to do with the council as we cannot discuss how anyone should be addressed, it’s up to individuals that is why the letter was withdrawn. It’s just that there was an error in documenting the minutes,” said Clr Ncube.
Mr Dube, a veteran of the liberation struggle having trained in Angola, served in the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) until he left the military in 1994 for civilian service.
Before becoming Bulawayo’s town clerk in 2016, he served in Victoria Falls for four years.
Between 2003 and 2008, Mr Dube was a director of finance in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.
In 2009, Mr Dube became Victoria Falls Town Treasurer and in May 2014 became the resort city’s town clerk.
There is nothing amiss for Mr Dube to ask to be addressed as Retired Major because senior army officers from Major and above retain their titles even after leaving the army.
These officers leave with their uniforms and are free to put on their uniforms during national events such as Independence Day celebrations or Defence Forces Day commemorations. — @thamamoe.