All is set for the burial of former Cabinet minister and Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial chairman Professor Callistus Dingiswayo Ndlovu at the National Heroes Acre today. President Mnangagwa last night visited the Ndlovu famiy in Belvedere, Harare, to pay his condolences.
Cde Ndlovu (83), who was also a Central Committee member, collapsed and died last Wednesday in South Africa where he was being treated for pancreatic cancer.
President Mnangagwa is expected to deliver the keynote address at the burial.
He was accompanied by Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of State for National Security Owen Ncube, Home Affairs Minister Cain Mathema, Minister of State for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Judith Ncube and Zanu-PF secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, among other senior Government officials.
Addressing mourners, the President said the country had lost a gallant son who was dedicated and humble who worked with unwavering commitment during and after the liberation struggle.
“Taunganidzwa pano nekusiiwa kwataitwa neumwe wedu Cde Nldovu. I was briefed by the Minister of Home Affairs on what transpired to Cde Ndlovu when he passed on in South Africa.
“Cde Ndlovu once phoned me when he was in Bulawayo informing me that he was not feeling well and that he wanted assistance to go for treatment in South Africa and we made arrangements to assist him. I heard from Cde Khaya Moyo that he was there until he passed on,” he said.
He said Cde Ndlovu was one of the few people who were very educated in Bulawayo during the late 1940’s and 50’s.
“He was one of the few vakaita mbiri kumusha vachifunda. Kune mazita mashomanini akabva ikoko kuma 40’s and 50’s. Ndiyo yakanga iri mikono yacho,” President Mnangagwa said.
He chronicled how he first met Cde Ndlovu during the liberation struggle and their subsequent meetings at other events.
He said they also worked together in Government for a very longtime.
President Mnangagwa reiterated that Cde Ndlovu was a humble and approachable person who abhorred tribalism and regionalism, while championing peace and unity.
He said with his death, both the ruling party and the country at large, had lost a principled and disciplined cadre who was always prepared to sacrifice himself or the greater good of the people.
“He has also always been a member of the party and even if we are to chronicle the history of this country, we will never leave his name since he played a very critical role and has always been doing that,” President Mnangagwa said.
“Munhu aiva munhu pachake ende aitaura zvaafunga ipapo zviri pamoyo pake. Waiti kana ukamuzevezere chinhu aibva atotaura pfungwa dzake. Kana ukakanganisa aibva ataura ipapo. Nyika ye Zimbabwe yarasikirwa ne gamba. Takafamba naye rwendo rwose urwu. Kana tichiti igamba hazvisi zvokutsvakiridza, raive gamba chairo.
“Ku vana, baba venyu raiva gamba chairo. Vana, kana muchida kuita magamba, mukwidzwa. Asi kana muchida kuitawo magamba, vakuru varipo munorairwa.”
President Mnanagwa said Cde Ndlovu was a national name, a national figure and that they should emulate all the good work that he did for the country.
“There were some problems in Bulawayo but (Cde) Calisto aisava nebasa kuti mabva mose muri mumota kana wakatadza aingo kurakasha chete.
“Tomorrow (today) we are going to lay him at the National Heroes Acre and that’s when we will have the opportunity to inform the nation about the man we will be burying,” President Mnangagwa said.
Prof Ndlovu was born on February 9 in 1936 in Plumtree, where he did his primary and secondary education before training as a teacher and enrolling for a Bachelor of Arts degree at Pius XII University College in Lesotho.
He joined the National Democratic Party in 1960. He became involved with Zapu in 1963 when he was a student in Lesotho, where he was chairman of the Zapu branch of students and residents in Lesotho.
At the university, Prof Ndlovu was also president of the Student Representative Council (SRC) from 1963 to 1964. He was also publicity secretary of the National Union of Basutoland Students (NUBS) from 1964 to 1965.
On completing his degree he came to Bulawayo and taught from 1959 to 1961 at Empandeni High School before moving to Mafakela Government School in 1962. From 1966 to 1967, he taught at Mpopoma High School. As a teacher, he was detained in 1966 by the Rhodesian regime which felt that his influence among African teachers was not good for the regime.
He was detained at Khami Prison in 1966 for promoting the objectives of the Zapu guerrillas and was released after 90 days. He left the country in 1967 for New York University where he did his Masters and PhD studies.
During the course of his studies at New York University, Prof Ndlovu became very much involved with Zapu, and became the party’’s chairman in North America from 1967 to 1971. He set up an office near the United Nations.
This was quite an important office for Zapu because the party co-ordinated most of its external relations outside Africa and the office in London, United Kingdom depended on information from his office.
From 1971 to 1980 he was a member of the Revolutionary Council and represented the party at the United Nations and North America. Prof Ndlovu also attended the Geneva talks as a political advisor in the Zapu delegation in 1976 as well as the Lancaster House Talks on Zimbabwe for the Zapu delegation.
In 2000, Prof Ndlovu was a member of the Constitutional Commission of Zimbabwe. After independence, Prof Ndlovu was a Central Committee member from 1980 to 1983 and the Bulawayo provincial chairman of the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu) from 1984 to 1987. He was a Member of Parliament from 1980 to 1985 and a Member of the Senate from 1985 to 1990. He worked as a director at Carbin Finance and the Group industrial relations manager at Union Carbide Corporation in the early 80s.
In 1990 he was an executive consultant with the Treger Group of Companies and a member of the Joint Private Sector Standing Committee to promote trade between Zimbabwe and Botswana and also worked as the chief executive officer at Calding Consultants (Pvt) Limited in 1991. He was appointed the Minister of Construction between 1982 and 1983 before he was appointed the Minister of Mines from 1983 to 1984.
Between 1984 and 1989 he was the Minister of Industry and Commerce. He studied at the University of South Africa, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1965 majoring in History, Economics and Political Science. Four years later, he completed his MA and PhD after another four years at the New York University in the United States.
He once lectured at the Hofstra University in Long Islands in New York.
Prof Ndlovu also worked for the Zimbabwe Institute of Public Administration and Management (Zipam) for several years. He was once chairman of the Board of Directors at NetOne and chairman of the Foundation Task Force of the Gwanda State University.
Prof Ndlovu received a number of honours, which include an award for distinguished teaching in America 1973 and fellow of the Aggrey Fellowship of the Edward Hazen Foundation at New York Foundation. He was also granted Freedom of the City of Minneapolis in 1972.
At the time of his death, Prof Ndlovu was a member of the Zanu-PF Central Committee and Bulawayo provincial chairman. Prof Ndlovu is survived by wife Angeline, five children and seven grandchildren.Herald