All is set for the burial of educationist and national hero Cde Sikhanyiso “Duke” Ndlovu at the National Heroes Acre today. Cde Ndlovu’s body arrived in Harare yesterday evening in an Air Force of Zimbabwe plane, accompanied by his widow Dr Rose, Politburo member Cde Absolom Sikhosana and Cde Angeline Masuku.
The body was received by senior Government officials and Cabinet ministers who included Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators and Former Political Detainees and Restrictees Minister Chris Mutsvangwa and his deputy Cde Tshinga Dube, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Cde Annastasia Ndlovu and Major-General Douglas Nyikayaramba, among others.
Friends and relatives were also at the airport to receive the body.
The body was taken to his Bluffhill house before being taken to One Commando Barracks last night. Minister of State for Harare Provincial Affairs Miriam Chikukwa said all was set for the burial. She said 30 buses had been provided by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to ferry mourners to and from the National Heroes Acre.
Minister Chikukwa said the buses would start picking people around 5am at the usual pick-up points. “We have lost a liberator, a freedom fighter, a national hero, an educationist as well as a father,” she said.
“We knew Cde Ndlovu as one of the leaders you would emulate and a leader who had a vision. He was also a leader that the young ones would want to associate with.” Minister Chikukwa appealed to motorists to also assist in picking up people going to the National Heroes Acre. Harare Provincial Administrator Mr Alfred Tome, urged Zimbabweans across the political divide to throng the National Heroes Acre for a befitting send-off to the national hero.
“They must be seated by 10 am before the proceedings start. We urge every patriotic Zimbabwean to come to the national shrine. “Zimbabwe is a revolutionary State, which came about by this great son, the son of the soil who fought tirelessly and never looked back until we got our independence. So he wants a great send off to the creator,” he said.
Mr Tome urged the youths to come and hear, “the wise words of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. He is going to give you and hand you something.” The former Cabinet Minister and Zanu-PF politburo member, who was 78 years old, died at the Mater Dei Hospital on Tuesday morning where he had been admitted in the intensive care unit after an asthmatic attack and subsequent stroke last week.
Earlier on Cde Ndlovu was given a befitting send off by Bulawayo residents who came in their numbers to pay their last respects before his body was flown to Harare.
Speakers spoke glowingly of the revered educationist during a service at his Sunninghill home describing him as a committed revolutionary and passionate educationist. The city came to a standstill as the police escorted convoy accompanying Cde Ndlovu’s body made its way from his home to the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport where it was flown in a military plane to Harare.
Party officials from Matabeleland South and North including Zanu-PF politburo member Cde Obert Mpofu, his wife and legislator Sikhanyisiwe, Home Affairs Deputy Minister Cde Obedingwa Mguni, Matabeleland North provincial administrator Lathiso Dlamini and provincial service chiefs were among those who attended a service at Sunninghill.
Also present were Zanu-PF Matabeleland North provincial chairperson Cde Richard Moyo, chairperson of the women’s league Cde Medeline Bhebhe, Central Committee member Cde Alice Dube and Matabeleland South provincial youth chairperson Cde Washington Nkomo as well as central committee member Richard Ndlovu also from Matabeleland South and Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa.
Childfen to the late vice presidents Dr Joshua Nkomo, Thandiwe Nkomo-Ibrahim, and John Nkomo, Jabulani were among other notable figures.