The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Municipal Reporter
BULAWAYO mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni, following the passing of former Town Clerk, Dr Michael Ndubiwa, has said the city has lost an integral leader who played a key role in ensuring that the city achieved an integrated administrative machine in line with the changing social structures after independence.
Dr Ndubiwa died on Tuesday afternoon at Mater Dei Hospital where he had gone for his routine dialysis session. He passed away at the age of 87. He had been in and out of hospital since early last year because of a kidney ailment.
Dr Ndubiwa became deputy town clerk of Bulawayo in 1979, and in 1984 he became the first black town clerk in independent Zimbabwe when the last white town clerk Ian Edmeades left, serving until 1999 when he retired.
In a statement, Clr Mguni said during his role as the Town Clerk, Dr Ndubiwa, was responsible for the administration of the City of Bulawayo where he sought to revamp the then administrative structures and processes to achieve an integrated administrative machine in line with the changing social structures when the country attained independence in 1980.
“Following his appointment as Town Clerk designate, he said that the critical issue was that; ‘the efficiency of Council should not drop, and anything I can do in my new role is to sustain this and make whatever improvements which are possible, my top priority in my work’. He was key in enhancing a culture of efficiency, productiveness, excellence and transparency within the City of Bulawayo which ensured that the City continued to provide quality services,” said the mayor.
Dr Ndubiwa was born on 7 August 1934 in Inyathi District. Before joining the City of Bulawayo, Dr Ndubiwa worked as an Untrained Assistant Teacher under the African Education Department (January 1958 to December 1958), Bank Clerk for the Barclays Bank (1959 to 1961) and as a Cadet Revenue Clerk for the Rhodesian Government Civil Service (1961 to 1962).
He first joined the City of Bulawayo as an Administrative Assistant – Finance, Rent Collection and Staff Relations in the City’s Housing and Amenities Department (25 January 1963 to 19 June 1964) before leaving Council for further study.
He studied for a Bachelor of Arts in Administration Degree between 1964 and 1967 at the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland (Roma University). During his vacations he worked as a temporary Administrative Assistant before re- joining the City of Bulawayo on 22 January 1968 as an Administrative Assistant in the City Housing and Amenities Department after the completion of his study.
He held various positions in the City of Bulawayo which also included; Administrative Assistant (1963 to 1973), Superintendent – Lobengula / Pelandaba Housing Area (1973 – 1975), Administrative Officer I (1975 – 1978) and Senior Administrative Officer – Housing and Community Services Department (1978 – July 1979).
He was appointed Deputy Town Clerk of the City of Bulawayo on 16 August 1979. He became the first black before independence to hold such a position and was the first black to qualify for a Diploma in the Institute of Town Clerks of Southern Africa, a qualification he obtained the same year. He was appointed to the position of Town Clerk Designate on 4 November 1982 and Town Clerk on 1 September 1984 following the retirement of the then Town Clerk, Mr I G Edmeades.