Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
THE body of the late National Hero Cde Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu will today be flown to his rural home in Filabusi where scores of people from Insiza are expected to bid farewell to the veteran nationalist.
Cde Ndlovu who died on Monday was declared a national hero.
He was Member of Parliament for Insiza constituency from 1985 to 2000. He represented one of the biggest constituencies in the country, covering Fort Rixon, Filabusi and parts of Esigodini and Gwanda.
Cde Ndlovu willl be buried at the National Heroes Acre on Saturday.
Family spokesperson and younger brother to the former Deputy Senate President, Mr Vulindlela Ndlovu said a funeral service will be held at his rural home in Gwatemba at 10:30AM.
“Buses will leave here (Cde Ndlovu’s Luveve home) at 6:30AM for his rural home in Gwatemba Filabusi to afford the Insiza community a chance to pay their last respects.
A service would be conducted at his rural home near Gwatemba Primary School before the body comes back to Bulawayo,” said Mr Ndlovu.
He said another church service will be at his Luveve home at 5PM today and the body will lie in state. “On Friday, a big church service will be at the Amphitheatre in Bulawayo at 9AM after which the body would be flown to Harare.
“We haven’t received the Harare programme but it would be announced in due course,” he said.
Politburo member Cde Absalom Sikhosana said transport would be provided for those willing to accompany Cde Ndlovu’s body to his rural home.
Matabeleland South provincial chairperson Cde Rapelang Choene said mourners will gather at Cde Ndlovu’s home to pay their last respects.
“There will be buses to ferry people to Harare on Friday ahead of the burial on Saturday,” said Cde Choene.
Cde Ndlovu, a Zanu-PF Central Committee member, was the national chairman of PF Zapu at the signing of the Unity Accord in 1987 and the first black mayor of Bulawayo, assuming the post in 1981 and serving for two terms. He also served as Deputy Senate President from 2008 to 2013.
Cde Ndlovu was the only surviving member from the PF Zapu side involved in initial talks towards uniting PF Zapu and Zanu-PF.
Born in Gwatemba, Filabusi, on October 22, 1930, Cde Ndlovu began his education at Zezani Secondary School in Beitbridge where he did Standard One and Two.
He went back to Gwatemba for his Standard Three before proceeding to Wanezi Mission for Standard Six and later proceeded to Umzingwane Government School where he trained in leather work.
After attaining a certificate in leather work, Cde Ndlovu taught at Zezani School and Matopo Mission in 1950 and 1953 respectively before proceeding to Empandeni Mission.
He escaped to Zambia via Botswana and six months later his father was murdered when an arms cache was found at his home.
In Zambia, Cde Ndlovu became a member of the War Council and Coordinated Production Activities of Zapu until his return to Zimbabwe in January 1980 following the successful conclusion of the Lancaster House negotiations.
Cde Ndlovu remained very active after the liberation struggle, although he was not very actively involved in central Government.
He became the first black councillor for Luveve in 1981, the same year he was elected Bulawayo mayor for a two-year term. As a councillor and mayor, Cde Ndlovu will be remembered by the people of Bulawayo for calling for sitting tenants to buy the houses they had been renting for over 40 years.
Working with the first local Government Minister, the late Cde Edison Zvobgo, Cde Ndlovu influenced the purchase of homes. People who had been renting homes in Mzilikazi and Makokoba since the early 1940s were given the houses on the basis that they had already paid off the money through rentals.
Council under Cde Ndlovu took advantage of the schemes that were introduced by Cde Zvobgo while many other city councils resisted them.
Under the scheme, some houses were built in Emakhandeni, Entumbane and Nkulumane and people called them the “Zvobgo houses”.
In 1985, he contested for the Insiza Parliamentary Constituency, a seat he held until June 2000 when he lost to the MDC.
During his term as Member of Parliament for three terms and later as Senator for the same constituency, Cde Ndlovu did a lot for the area.
When he took over in 1985, it was immediately after independence and Ian Smith’s Government had done nearly nothing to improve the lives of Zimbabweans in the constituency.
He lobbied the Government to build clinics, schools, roads and dams and to rehabilitate some irrigation schemes.
Cde Ndlovu is survived by wife Sithokozile and two children. Mourners are gathered at number 5649 Luveve 4 suburb.