HARARE – President Robert Mugabe yesterday conferred national hero status to the late war veteran and nationalist Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu who died Monday.
Ndlovu, 86, was Bulawayo’s first black mayor in post-independent Zimbabwe and former deputy president of the Senate.
He died in Bulawayo in the early hours of Monday after a long battle with prostate cancer.
A veteran member of PF-Zapu, Ndlovu was the liberation movement’s representative at the 1979 all-party Rhodesia conference at Lancaster House in London after escalation of the independence war, helping to broker a peace agreement and constitution for an independent Zimbabwe.
He has been described as a “revered politician” and a “humble man.”
Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo told State media that Mugabe saw it fit to confer Ndlovu with the highest honour of the land.
Chombo said Ndlovu was a consistent cadre who remained committed to the ruling party for years.
“Ndlovu has been declared national hero by…Mugabe. Burial arrangements will be announced in due course,” Chombo said.
It is not clear when Ndlovu will be buried given Mugabe’s tight itinerary. On Friday he had scheduled a youth rally in Marondera before flying out to New York for a UN summit by Saturday.
Zanu PF central committee member Richard Ndlovu described the late Ndlovu as a veteran nationalist who gave his all for the freedom of the country.
“Ndlovu has a long rich political history, he went through the white minority cruelty but he remained steadfast. He held several positions in the party and he never looked back.
“He is a real national hero,” he said.
Ndlovu held several influential positions in government.