Accomplished engineer Andrew Siwela-Mpala dies
VETERAN engineer and former senior civil servant, Engineer Andrew Siwela-Mpala has died.
He was 82.
Eng Mpala died in Harare on Tuesday after a long illness, his eldest son, Eng Tamsanqa Mpala, confirmed, and said the family was devastated.
“Dad has left a huge legacy to the Mpala family, one on which we continue to live and base our principles. He was a dedicated man, extremely professional, hardworking, visionary, and always helping others,” said Tamsanqa who is the immediate past president of the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers.
“He was a legend not only to his own family but to the engineering community where we contributed immensely to the infrastructure development of the country.”
Eng Mpala was born in Esiphezini near Bulawayo on 02 January 1941 and attended Mzilikazi Primary School and Goromonzi High School.
He trained as a professional civil engineer at a Russian university where he attained a bachelor’s degree. He later advanced his studies at the Imperial College in London where he graduated with a Master’s Honors Degree in Civil Engineering in 1972.
Eng Mpala then went to Zambia where he began his working career with the Ministry of Water Development in Lusaka. In 1974 he got married to Lindiwe Grootboom and in 1980 when Zimbabwe got its independence, he joined the Ministry of Water Resources and Development in Zimbabwe and rose through the ranks to become deputy permanent secretary.
He later left civil service to join the Zambezi River Authority as chief executive officer from 1988 up to 1991. At the beginning of 1992, he became one of the pioneering black engineering consultants to form his own private engineering enterprise – Hydro Utilities Consulting Engineers.
During his distinguished career, Eng Mpala served as the board member of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) and was also a commissioner for the City of Harare in the mid-1990s.
Eng Mpala also served on various other professional corporate boards and made a huge impact in the water sector in Zimbabwe and Zambia where he was instrumental in mentoring and training a lot of engineers.
“He was a great leader with a great vision and was fearless and professional in his conduct,” said Tamsanqa.
He said his father was also an honorary fellow of the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers and a pioneer of the re-training of the technicians in the Ministry of Energy and Water Development into engineers.
Among these were the likes of Eng Zeb Murungweni, past president of the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers, Eng Albert Muyambo, and others.
Eng Siwela-Mpala later married Sambulo Mkwananzi in 2011 after his first wife Lindiwe passed away in 1985. Sambulo passed away in 2018.
Eng Siwela-Mpala is survived by six children and five grandchildren. Mourners are gathered at house number 80 Rhodesville Avenue, Highlands, Harare.
Burial will be in Esiphezini in Bulawayo at a date to be advised, said Tamsanqa.