It was a sad day indeed as family, friends, and workmates headed towards Lady Stanley Cemetery to lay to rest the late Eng. Simela Dube. Eng. Dube was the Director of the Department of Engineering Services in the City of Bulawayo and one of the best among city engineers in Zimbabwe whom UCAZ has relied upon very often for a number of years. He was the Chairperson of the Engineers Forum of UCAZ at the time of his death.
A relative of Eng. Dube, Mr. Mbuso Nyathi, in his remarks during a memorial service held at the Amphitheatre in the City of Bulawayo informed mourners that Eng. Dube began his career as a bursary student engineer under the City of Bulawayo bursary scheme from 1984 to 1987. He was then appointed junior engineer in October 1988. He then moved to Kwekwe City Council in 1992 where he was appointed Director of Works. Eng Dube was later promoted to Assistant Director of Engineering Services.
He rejoined the City of Bulawayo in 1995 as the Assistant Director of Engineering Services responsible for roads from 1995 up until 2008. During that period, he also acted as the Assistant Director of Engineering Services responsible for water between 2005 and 2008. From 2009 to 2010, while still with the City of Bulawayo, Eng. Dube was appointed project manager responsible for a programme on capacity building of low-capacity municipalities which was being funded by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). The City of Bulawayo later appointed him as Director of Engineering Services from the 1st of July 2010, a position he held until his untimely death on the 30th of December 2021.
In his career, Eng Dube spearheaded many projects including the development of the first local authority call center, a state-of-the-art facility which is the envy of many local authorities in the Zimbabwe and SADC region. The Call Centre was established to improve service delivery by facilitating effective communication between council and its residents. Residents can make fault reports by phoning the Call Centre. Eng. Dube was also instrumental in the development of the first local authority wastewater masterplan in the country, and the setting up of the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for the City of Bulawayo among many other major projects. During his time at Bulawayo City Council, he was mainly involved in road construction and stormwater drainage systems. He was also a key individual in the trajectory towards a smart city status.
Eng. Dube was a humble man who had a wife, Nobuhle Dube, and 3 children. His brother, Ishmael Dube said, “To the nation as a whole, silahlekelwe (we have lost an important person), but imisebenzi yakhe (his deeds) will continue to reflect on his character and his will and wish for the nation.”
The Director of Engineering Services for the City of Victoria Falls and secretary of the Engineers Forum of UCAZ, Eng. Sherina Sibanda also eulogized her departed colleague as “humble yet knowledgeable, highly skilled and dedicated to his work. He was a great leader, mentor, asset and always willing to assist and share information and knowledge with others”.
The Mayor of the City of Bulawayo, His Worship, Cllr Solomon Mguni said that he was deeply saddened by the loss of his colleague. He said, “The City of Bulawayo mourns a son, leader, strategic thinker, inventor and engineer par-excellency who served the city diligently from a fairly young age since 1984.”
Engineer Simela was not only an asset to the City of Bulawayo alone, but to the entire local government fraternity.
May His Soul Rest In Eternal Peace.
Lala Ngokuthula (Rest in peace).