Colonel Richard Dube was a Zimbabwean liberation war hero and retired Zimbabwe National Army senior officer. He was the first black commandant of the Mbalabala School of Infantry in 1984 and was later posted as commandant of Inyanga Battalion Battle School until 1987 before retiring in 1990.
Born on 8 August 1943 in Lushumbe area in Kezi District, Dube joined the Zapu youth wing in 1962 while he was still at school. He was married to Assah and the couple had five children. He taught at Wanezi Secondary School in 1967 and Silobini Primary School in 1968.
He attended several primary schools before proceeding to Matopo High School where he completed his GCE-Ordinary level. In 1962 while he was still at school he joined the Zapu youth wing.
In December 1968, Dube left then Rhodesia for Zambia to join the armed struggle under Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU). He was selected for military training at Morogoro in Tanzania along with the late National Hero Retired Major-General Jevan Maseko and Retired Brigadier-General Abel Mziyane under the instruction of the late Alfred Nikita Mangena, Ambrose Mutinhiri and Gordon Munyanyi.
After guerrilla training, Dube was sent to the then USSR to specialise in military engineering at Simferopol Military Academy in the Republic of Ukraine. He returned to Zambia mid-1973 and was appointed commander of the Chawenga Base. In the same year, Dube was appointed instructor at Morogoro in Tanzania. He returned to Zambia in 1976 and was deployed at CTT before setting up a training camp in CGT. In the same year, Dube was appointed ZIPRA deputy political commissar and served under Lookout Masuku in the high command structure.
In 1980, Dube was deployed to HQ1 Brigade as a senior liaison officer and worked with Mike Reynolds of the British Common Wealth Monitoring Force to enforce the ceasefire. He was attested into the regular army as a lieutenant colonel and later commissioned as a full colonel. Dube was the first black commandant of the Mbalabala School of Infantry in 1984 and was later posted as commandant of Inyanga Battalion Battle School until 1987 before retiring in 1990.
In 1993-1994 Dube worked as a peace mission consultant for the Zimbabwe Demobilisation Advisory Team in Somaliland.
He also became a member of the National Land Task Force and was at the time of his death a member of the National Land Inspectorate. In 2006 Retired Col Dube was appointed into the war veterans’ board headed by the late Rtd General Solomon Mujuru.
He served in various capacities in the ZNA until his retirement on 30 April 1990. He received outstanding Liberation Medal, Independence Medal and 10-year service medal.
He died in October 2013 in South Africa where he had gone for a visit.