The honouring of the late former Cabinet minister Callistus Ndlovu as a national hero has left the Dumiso Dabengwa-led Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu) seething with anger – as it sees him as “a sellout”, the Daily News reported.
Ndlovu – who was the ruling Zanu-PF’s Bulawayo provincial chairperson – collapsed and died at the age of 83 in South Africa on Wednesday last week, where he was being treated for pancreatic cancer.
He will be buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare today, having defected to Zanu-PF in 1984, at the height of the brutal crackdown against-PF Zapu members by the country’s security forces around the time.
This was just before-PF Zapu, which was led by the revered late former vice president Joshua Nkomo, entered into a peace accord with ousted former president Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF – following the Gukurahundi atrocities of the early 1980s in which an estimated 20 000 innocent people, mainly in Matabeleland and the Midlands, were killed by the security forces.
Thirty-five years after Ndlovu’s controversial defection from-PF Zapu, including calling the party a “dead donkey” at the time, Dabengwa’s organisation said bluntly yesterday that the fallen politician did not deserve to be ranked among the “genuine heroes” of the country.
“We do commiserate with the Ndlovu family on the death of their loved one. I also knew him personally, but Ndlovu’s declared hero status is a nonevent to Zapu.
“We recognise the remaining sell-outs in Zanu-PF on the account of the 1987 Unity Accord that was signed to end the Gukurahundi genocide on Zapu and Ndebele speaking people.
“The lesser sell-outs are those who, after being arm-twisted to join Zanu-PF in 1987, developed cold feet when Zapu pulled out in 2009.
“But Ndlovu does not belong to this category of spineless former cadres. He belongs to the real sell-out clique of Zapu members who abandoned their kith and kin right at the peak of the Gukurahundi genocide,” Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa told the Daily News yesterday.
“So, and in a nutshell, his hero status is nothing more than Zanu-PF’s celebration and rewarding of mediocrity and loyalty – in the same manner they have rewarded corruption and looting.Dailynews