Bulawayo mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni, has paid tribute to the late Bulawayo City Council (BCC) Engineering Services Director Engineer Simela Dube who died Thursday morning after admission at a local hospital.
He was admitted after reportedly complaining of abdominal pain.
Dube, 56, had been Bulawayo’s director of engineering services for nearly 15 years whose service to the city was dogged by the perennial water crisis.
In an obituary , Bulawayo mayor, Engineer Dube began his career as a Bursary Student Engineer under the City of Bulawayo Bursary Scheme in 1984 to 1987 before his appointment as a Junior Engineer in October 1988.
“He rose through the ranks to the position of Construction Engineer mainly involved in road construction and storm water drainage systems. He joined the City of Kwekwe in March 1992 where he held the position of Director of Works after being promoted from the position of Assistant Director in the Engineering Services Department from March 1992 to April 4 1995,” said Cllr Mguni.
Dube rejoined the City of Bulawayo as Assistant Director of Engineering Services (Roads) in 1995 to 2008 where he also acted as a Deputy Director of Engineering Services (Water) from 2005 to 2008.
“In 2009 – 2010, he worked as Project Manager responsible for capacity building of low capacity Municipalities with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). He was appointed as Director of Engineering Services for the City of Bulawayo from July 1 2010 to date, a position he held until his untimely death,” said the mayor.
During his role as Director of Engineering Services, the mayor said Dube epitomised humility, wisdom and was key in the trajectory towards a smart city status.
“He spearheaded various projects which included the preparation and implementation of the City of Bulawayo Commercialisation and Privatisation Strategy, the development of the first local authority Call Centre, development of the first Water and Wastewater Master plan in the country, and the setting up of the City of Bulawayo Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and the development of the City of Bulawayo Road Condition Survey,” he said.
“He was also Coordinator of the African Development Bank funded Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP) from 2015 to date. He was an Engineer par excellence who was involved in various developmental projects.”
The engineer also played a key role in several Tasks forces and Committees which included:
Task Member for the Reclassification and Road Condition and Inventory Survey in Zimbabwe (2008),
Re-writing of the Road Act in (2001) under the Road Sector Reform and Development Programme,
Steering Committee Member for the National Road Safety Polity Steering Committee (2013),
National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project Advisory Council (2012),
Corporate Member of the Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers (1994),
Associate member of the Institute of South African Institute of Civil Engineering (2008) and
National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Council (June 2017 – July 2019).
Dube is survived by his wife, Nobuhle Dube (nee Msema) and three children (Mbongiseni Bhekokuhle, Lubalethu Elynah and Mluleki Tumelo.
Mourners are gathered at Number 11 McCullough Road, Matsheumhlophe, Bulawayo and funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.