By Bulawayo Bureau
A SOMBRE atmosphere engulfed the small community of Sanzukwi Village in Brunapeg, Mangwe District when hundreds of mourners thronged the homestead of National Hero and former Cabinet Minister, Professor Callistus Dingiswayo Ndlovu to bid him farewell.
Prof Ndlovu (83), who was also Zanu-PF’s Bulawayo provincial chairman and Central Committee member, collapsed and died on Wednesday last week in South Africa where he was being treated for pancreatic cancer.
In an emotional send off, speakers described Prof Ndlovu, as a humble and dedicated academic.
His body arrived at his rural home aboard an Air Force of Zimbabwe helicopter in the company of his widow, Angeline, Zanu-PF secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, Ministers of State for Bulawayo and Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs, Cdes Judith Ncube and Abednico Ncube, the ruling party’s deputy chairperson in Bulawayo Cde Christopher Dube among other relatives.
They were met by the Provincial Administrator for Matabeleland South Ms Sithandiwe Ncube among other senior Government officials.
Cde Khaya Moyo, addressing mourners, described Prof Ndlovu as a true cadre who fought a good fight and left a good legacy for the country.
“We mourn the passing away of Professor Ndlovu as a party, Zanu-PF and Zimbabwe as a whole. We thank President Mnangagwa for according him National Hero status. He was a true and dedicated cadre who left visible footprints in the academic and political world that we will forever cherish.
“Indlovu ihambile singananzelelanga, kodwa laph’ ehambe khona akudingwa (the elephant might have gone, but it left its footprints),” he said.
Cde Khaya Moyo said Prof Ndlovu was an upright cadre whose legacy and good works ought to be emulated by all peace loving Zimbabweans.
“Let us remain united and continue on the path that Prof Ndlovu walked on during his lifetime. We thank him for a life well lived and as we mourn together with his family let us remain united as Zimbabweans. Glory be to God,” he said.
Minister Ncube, the Minister of State for Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs said: “As Matabeleland South province we have been robbed of an academic and national leader who despite his social standing and academic excellence remained humble until his last breath. We will continue to cherish his good works both at Government and party level.”
Minister of State for Bulawayo, Cde Ncube described the late National Hero as a selfless and astute party cadre who never tolerated short cuts throughout his political career.
Mr Ginos Ndlovu, speaking on behalf of the family said: “Prof Ndlovu was a brave and strong man who tenaciously fought his ailment. He was a humble person who never discriminated anyone despite being an academic who stood out as an exemplary person in our community.
“As a family, we would like to thank the Government for declaring him a National Hero in recognition of his sterling work in liberating our country. Indeed, we have lost great fighter and cadre.”
A funeral service will be conducted between 10am and noon at the Large City Hall after which it will be flown to Harare at 2.30pm ahead of burial tomorrow at the National Heroes’ Acre.