Political analysts say it is unlikely that Zanu PF will punish Mines Minister Obert Mpofu for suggesting that Zimbabwe should improve its process of declaring national heroes, instead of leaving it to President Robert Mugabe’s inner circle.
Professor John Makumbe of the University of Zimbabwe doubts that Mpofu will land in trouble for telling mourners during the burial of soccer legend Adam Ndlovu at the weekend in Bulawayo that “this issue where heroism is asked for or requested is a big problem”.
The Umguza lawmaker, businessman and Zanu PF politburo member went on to say that the whole of Zimbabwe declared Ndlovu a true national hero, not a few people in the Zanu PF politburo.
Makumbe, who is expected to contest in the elections under the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, speculates that Mpofu is trying to get political mileage for Zanu PF in Matabeleland ahead of general elections to be held next year.
Independent political analyst George Mkhwanazi agreed, saying some members of Zanu PF are likely to discuss the issue, but only informally.
The two MDC formations and Zanu PF leaders in Matabeleland requested that the politburo declare Adam Ndlovu a national hero. But the party’s secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, rejected the proposals, calling them “stupid.”
Mutasa said the hero status is primarily reserved for those who participated in the liberation struggle of the 1970s. National heroes are buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare, and their relatives receive state allowances.
Ndlovu died in a car accident a week ago which claimed the life of Nomqhele Tshili and left his brother, Peter Ndlovu, nursing serious injuries.