The late Prof Callistus Dingiswayo Ndlovu
THE body of national hero and former Cabinet Minister, Professor Callistus Dingiswayo Ndlovu is expected in Bulawayo this morning from South Africa where he died last week.
Prof Ndlovu, 83, who was also Zanu-PF’s Bulawayo provincial chairman and Central Committee member, collapsed and died on Wednesday in the neighbouring country, where he was being treated for pancreatic cancer.
He was declared a national hero for his enormous contributions to the country, both before and after independence.
Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial spokesman Cde Christopher Sibanda said the body is expected to land at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport this morning.
“We are expecting the body to land at 10:40AM at the airport before it is moved to Doves Funeral Services. The body will be welcomed by the Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial leadership, Central Committee members and Politburo members,” said Cde Sibanda.
He said funeral arrangements would be announced in due course.
The family has provisionally said Prof Ndlovu would be buried on Saturday although it is subject to approval by the Government.
Prof Ndlovu was on Friday declared a national hero.
He died at Netcare Pinehaven Hospital for Pancreatic Cancer in South Africa where he had been hospitalised.
Central Committee member, Cde Angeline Masuku described the late Prof Ndlovu as an honest man who always spoke his mind.
“I knew Ndlovu when we were still in Zapu. He was not a blind follower to anyone. If something is wrong he would say it even to the late VP (Joshua) Nkomo, wayesitsho ukuthi into le ayisoze isifikise ndawo. He would say the truth as it is without considering if he would be hated or loved,” said Cde Masuku.
She said Prof Ndlovu loathed people who did not value education as he constantly said that no one could take away one’s knowledge.
Cde Masuku said Prof Ndlovu led Zanu-PF Bulawayo province and served the party with honesty and dignity until his untimely death.
“There was a time when things were not going well here in Bulawayo. We sat down and chose Cde Ndlovu. We used to hear issues of people who were losing houses to some opportunists using the party’s name but wakuqeda uNdlovu. Although he was insulted left, right and centre he was unwavering in his discharge of duties,” said Cde Masuku.
Zanu-PF Politburo member, Cde Joshua Malinga, who was taught by Prof Ndlovu at Mpopoma High School said the country had lost an honest and principled man.
“He always spoke his mind without fear or favour. He always spoke the truth and was eloquent. During his term as chairman he worked very well under difficult conditions.
He was an honest man, at one time he was my teacher at Mpopoma secondary school. He was principled we will miss him a lot,” said Cde Malinga.
He said intellectually, Prof Ndlovu was the right person to lead the province.
Central Committee member Cde Molly Ndlovu said the province had lost a revolutionary who did not look back even in time of adversary.
“He was a revolutionary, indoda emadodeni, the man of his words, no nonsense guy who travelled the journey with a destiny. He was our chairman , we had him during the Zapu days up to today; he did not look back or join another party except for the revolutionary party,” she said.
She said Prof Ndlovu worked hard to rebuild Bulawayo province.
“He was harassed when there was discord in the party. We left together for two years when we had been expelled from the party by some people who called themselves revolutionaries. We came back together recently, when he bounced back, Bulawayo province returned back to its original state.
Here in Bulawayo through our late chairman, we are known as truthful people. We are known as people who are not political prostitutes since the days of Dr Nkomo,” said Cde Ndlovu.
Prof Ndlovu was born on February 9, 1936 in Plumtree, where he did his primary and secondary education.
He joined the National Democratic Party in 1960.
He subsequently trained as a teacher, enrolling for a Bachelor of Arts degree at Pius XII University College in Lesotho where he became involved with Zapu in 1963 as chairman of the party’s residents and students branches.
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.
Prof Ndlovu also studied at the University of South Africa, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1965 majoring in History, Economics and Political Science.
Back in Zimbabwe, he taught at Empandeni High School, Mafakela Government School and Mpopoma High School.
While teaching at Mpopoma in 1966, he was detained by the Rhodesian regime which felt that his influence among African teachers was not good for the regime which accused him of promoting the objectives of Zapu guerrillas.
Prof Ndlovu was released after 90 days and 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.
He once lectured at the Hofstra University in Long Islands in New York.
Prof Ndlovu was also granted Freedom of the City of Minneapolis in 1972.
He received a number of honours, which include an award for Distinguished Teaching in America in 1973 and was a Fellow of the Aggrey Fellowship of the Edward Hazen Foundation.
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 nine years up to 1980 he was a member of the Revolutionary Council and represented the party at the United Nations and North America.
After independence, he worked as a director at Carbin Finance and the group industrial relations manager at Union Carbide Corporation in the early 80s.
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.
At the same time he was an MP and senator, 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.
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.
In 2000, Prof Ndlovu was a member of the Constitutional Commission of Zimbabwe.
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.
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, several children and grandchildren.
Mourners are gathered at 3 Fletcher Road, Kumalo in Bulawayo.chronicle