‘Nust killed Prof Lindela Ndlovu’

vice-chancellor-Lindela-NdlovuAuxilia Katongomara Chronicle Reporter—
THE family of the late former National University of Science and Technology (Nust) Vice Chancellor, Professor Lindela Rowland Ndlovu has accused the institution’s leadership of causing his sudden death. Prof Ndlovu who was buried yesterday at Lady Stanley cemetery in Bulawayo died on Wednesday barely a week after he “learnt from the newspapers” that he had been replaced as Vice Chancellor by Prof Samson Sibanda.

On Friday, the family chased the university’s council chairperson, Mike Ndubiwa, away from the funeral wake in Hillside. Speaking on Prof Ndlovu’s last days, Nust council vice chairman and uncle to the late academic, Alvord Mabena said the former Vice Chancellor died a stressed man.

He said there had been a serious onslaught to expunge him from Nust in his last days by some of his colleagues at the institution. Mabena said the university had virtually extinguished Prof Ndlovu’s immense contributions to Nust’s development over the 10 years that he was Vice Chancellor.

In condolence messages, the university did not refer to Prof Ndlovu as the former Vice Chancellor and referred to him as just another former member of staff. “Soon after reading in a newspaper that Lindela had been replaced, what shocked us was the heart-breaking onslaught on him. Very brutal and inhumane, with messages demanding that he be chased away from the house and that the cars he was using at the institution be immediately repossessed,” said Mabena.

He said the family wanted a memorable send-off for Prof Ndlovu so they decided to excuse those who were persecuting him from the burial. Before his death, said Mabena, Prof Ndlovu submitted an application to the Nust council requesting that his contract be extended to a third term.

He said the Nust council considered the application and asked him to list his achievements in the last 10 years. “The executive council went through the list and made individual recommendations.

“We went through all the councillors’ responses and what came out is that the executive committee recommended that there’s a very good case for Prof Ndlovu’s term to be extended because of the enormous work that he had done for Nust and the outstanding achievements on the international arena,” said Mabena.

He said the executive committee recommended that Prof Ndlovu be awarded a third term and forwarded their report to the Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Ministry for final approval.

“After that we don’t know what happened until we saw it in the papers that his contract hadn’t been extended. All councillors were surprised that that report came back through the media and there was no one advising him,” said Mabena. Prof Ndlovu, who had been battling diabetes, collapsed and died at Galen House Medical centre where he had been rushed for a medical checkup last week. He had served Nust since 2001 as the university’s senior chemistry lecturer after joining the tertiary institution from the University of Zimbabwe.

In 2005, he was appointed Vice-Chancellor for Nust and served two terms, up to August this year. Prior to his appointment as the university’s Vice Chancellor, Prof Ndlovu had served as Nust’s Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic and Research).

He was a holder of PhD in animal nutrition with his area of study bordering on Nutritional Biochemistry that he obtained from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He played several administrative roles at Nust’s senates, councils and chaired numerous committees.

Before joining Nust he had worked as Dean of Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Zimbabwe where he spearheaded a major curriculum review and initiated inter-departmental research programmes.

Prof Ndlovu was instrumental in development and adoption of an institutional Information Communication Technology (ICT) policy and strengthened Nust’s research capacity. In 1988 he won an award from the International Foundation for Science / DANIDA award for excellence in smallholder livestock research.

The South African Society of Animal Science awarded him a gold medal for Research in 2007. In 2013, Prof Ndlovu received a Presidential Award for Agriculture Research by the Research Council of Zimbabwe. He also scooped the manager of the year award for the Public Sector from the Zimbabwe Institute of Management in 2007 for his leadership at Nust.

Deputy Minister of the Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Ministry Godfrey Gandawa who was speaking at the burial on behalf of the Chancellor of State universities, President Robert Mugabe and Minister Prof Jonathan Moyo said his ministry had lost an “accomplished scientist”.

Deputy Minister Gandawa, a graduate of Nust said he was disappointed by the turnout of academics and scientists at Prof Ndlovu’s funeral. Nust registrar Fidelis Mhlanga spoke on behalf of the institution chronicling some of the achievements made by Prof Ndlovu during his tenure. Prof Sibanda, the Acting Nust Vice Chancellor and Ndubiwa were not at the burial.

Among the mourners were Prof Ndlovu’s predecessor Prof Phineas Makhurane, Makokoba MP, Tshinga Dube, MDC’s deputy president Thokozani Khuphe, politician Dumiso Dabengwa, academics, engineers, medical practitioners, captains of industry, students’ Bulawayo residents and vice chancellors from other state universities.

Prof Ndlovu is survived by his wife Lindiwe Majele Sibanda and three children Lindelwe, 22, Lindumuzi, 19, and Likwa, 18.

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  • Plaxedes Ncube

    Professor Ndlovu was educated in some areas but too naive to understand that you can hold an office up to the period your contract expires not forever.

  • ISRAEL ISRAEL

    do you really have to die for an institution that does not belong to you? An accomplished professional who i believe should be very marketable to die beacause you have lost a job so so sad.

    • Plaxedes Ncube

      True that, well said.

  • Mairosi Chibhanguza

    akhuqiri razikhota emshane, we all know your tricks to grab media attention. Stop labeling me a clown when I’m eager to learn.

  • nkanyiso

    Absolutely nothing wrong to aspire for another term if constitution
    permitted it Plaxedes , i dont think the Prof was naive but i suppose
    you are entitled to your opinion just as your other deplorable collegues
    on this platform.

  • blarazonke

    Had he named one of the faculties after his Excellency he could still be alive. They done it at Great Zimbabwe University and Zvobgo will be vice chancellor forever. RIP and let us not fall in love with our posts becos they can be given to anyone any time. Ask Mliswa.

  • Jotham

    So UDabengwa was trying to match his counter parts when he stole MZWP money. Remember even up to today the MZWP records are still a grey matter and you are trying very hard to defend him.

  • Mairosi Chibhanguza

    Mr Hyde we Detemba: all u’re good at is insulting people. yikho okhuqaphereyo kupera khonokho yii.

    Ngiphendura manhi, ngithi ngiphendura wena manhi

  • Mugavimbi_Naledi

    lingagebha sibili … u’ll see more ….

    uNdlovu shld never have associated with this lot … his end was always going to be a controversial affair with this gang. kunuka santungwana la, but there again, we don’t know kumbe laye ukewayinukisa intungwana. Zanu is more than a political party; it is state resources, and all else….

    and those still in mentioned variously in the ndlovu story … yiZanu le bobaba labomama! nxa lisizwa ngokuwa, lokubona njengabantwana labesifazane … enjoy!!

  • Mr Hyde we Detemba

    You in cloud cuckuland Jotham. If I was paid to write here I would not be challenging umuntu olenqondo yempukanye.

  • Mpisi

    Mgodoyi has taught some Zimbabweans the art of pointing a finger , shifting blame, use of scape goats, ducking and diving, skirting the ice and this HANDIENDI nonsense I say shame on you the Ndlovu family. A contract has an end. One has to have plan B in case the contract is not renewed plain and simple. Ndlovu was not in the best of health and yet he was ever three sheets to the wind.Go figure.

  • Mairosi Chibhanguza

    You must be a ndwangu also in order to tell another ndwangu to shut up