Former information minister and senior Zanu PF member Sikhanyiso Ndlovu died in Bulawayo AT Mater Dei Hospital Tuesday morning after suffering a severe stroke last week.
Dozens of people, including some senior Zanu PF members, government officials and ordinary people were trickling to Ndlovu’s home in Sunninghill when Studio 7 visited his home.
Zanu PF politburo member, Absolom Sikhosana, who described Ndlovu’s death as a loss to both the party and the nation, said immediately after hearing about Ndlovu’s death, the party’s provincial executive had met to recommend to the politburo that Ndlovu be declared a national hero.
He said the province is expecting a response soon.
“We are really devastated as the people of Bulawayo especially Zanu PF as a party in this province. We know that this is a national tragedy because we know that Dr. Ndlovu during his life touched the lives of many people. Already we are receiving calls from people in other provinces who are enquiring whether what they heard is true,” said Sikhosana.
Another politburo member, Joshua Malinga, said Ndlovu made significant contributions for the betterment of indigenous Zimbabweans, before and after independence, adding that seeking the national hero status is a mere formality.
Sikhosana said the late Ndlovu contributed a lot towards the upliftment of Zimbabweans during the liberation struggle of the 1970s. “I personally feel we have lost a very important person; it will be difficult to fill the gap he has left. I think we should emulate what he has done and copy what he did for other people.”
Some Bulawayo residents, who spoke to Studio 7, said they remembered Ndlovu’s life outside politics as a lover of sport, especially soccer.
Walter Taranhike said he used to see Ndlovu at soccer matches at Barbourfileds Stadium. He recalled how the former house member for Mpopoma used to sponsor sporting tournaments for youths in his constituency.
Ndlovu, who was 78 at the time of his death, was one of the country’s leading educationists and founded one of the first private colleges, the Zimbabwe Distance Education College, offering long distance education in academic and professional courses in independent Zimbabwe.
Ndlovu is survived by his wife and an unknown number of children and grandchildren.