Zanu PF politburo member and former Cabinet minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu died a bitter and stressed man as his contributions to the country were ignored by the leadership, a long-serving former colleague and ruling party stalwart, Cephas Msipa, has said.
Ndlovu (78) died yesterday at Mater Dei Hospital’s intensive care unit in Bulawayo, where he was admitted after suffering a stroke following an asthma attack.
Cephas Msipa, a former Zanu PF politburo member and ex-Midlands governor, said Ndlovu died a worried and stressed man as he felt his contributions to the country were largely ignored.
“That traumatised him a lot in his last days. He felt that his contributions to the country were very much ignored by authorities. However, despite the troubled times we are in, he was one of the few remaining dedicated, patriotic and loyal cadres in the liberation of the country,” Msipa said.
“He sacrificed a lot during the liberation struggle and was passionate to see young people gain education. For me, he deserves the national hero status more than some people who are there.”
Ndlovu was one of President Robert Mugabe’s few trusted hands in Bulawayo and was often referred to as the provincial political godfather.
Early this year, the former Information minister said in terms of seniority he was second to Mugabe only and could not retire because he still had a job to do.
Ndlovu said Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa was a “small boy” when he joined the liberation struggle.
Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial chairman Dennis Ndlovu said an emergency meeting yesterday had recommended that Ndlovu be conferred with national hero status.
“He (Ndlovu) is no more. As a province we will recommended the national hero status for him. He worked tirelessly for the country and party,” Ndlovu said.
In recent years, several former PF Zapu members were denied the national hero status and buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery in Bulawayo.
A veteran of the liberation struggle, Ndlovu was a senior member of the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo’s Zapu before the 1987 Unity Accord and had since independence held several party and ministerial positions.
In April 1995 Ndlovu was appointed Higher and Tertiary Education deputy minister until April 2000.
He was appointed Information and Publicity minister in 2007. In April 2014 he lost Zanu PF central committee elections in Bulawayo. newsday