Zanu PF yesterday turned down a request to confer hero status on soccer legend Adam Ndlovu with secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa launching an attack against the party’s Bulawayo province for asking for the recognition.
Report By Nduduzo Tshuma Staff Reporter
Mutasa said the hero status was not for sportspersons, but people who participated in the liberation struggle.
The rejection of the request was a slap in the face for the party’s senior leaders in Matabeleland who have publicly declared that Adam, who died in car accident on Sunday that left his younger brother Peter seriously injured, a hero.
A 24-year-old Bulawayo woman, Nomqhele Tshili, also died in the accident that happened near Victoria Falls.
Zanu PF politburo member Sikhanyiso Ndlovu on Monday said the request for a hero status was sent following consideration of the role the former Highlanders and national team prolific goalscorer played in uniting Zimbabweans.
Matabeleland South governor Angeline Masuku, speaking at Adam’s funeral wake on Tuesday night, said the late Chicken Inn coach was an undoubted hero.
“I do not know what they have agreed in Harare over his status, but to us, especially as a region, he is a hero whether or not he is granted hero status,” she said.
But Mutasa sounded irritated yesterday when NewsDay asked him if Zanu PF had deliberated on the request from its Bulawayo province that was sent on Tuesday.
He said those who sent the request were “stupid” and told this reporter to advise them likewise.
“Why are they bringing the matter to the party?” he thundered.
“The matter was brought to Cabinet yesterday (Tuesday) by Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe and was rejected.
“I can’t understand what they want us to do because we told them of the decision.”
Mutasa accused the Zanu PF provincial structures of trying to use the media to campaign for Adam’s hero status.
“I do not know why they brought it to you,” he said.
“It is nonsensical that they want to demonise other people and say they declined to give Adam Ndlovu hero status.
“We have never given the status to any sportsperson ever.
“What is the sport that Adam Ndlovu has played that other people have not?”
Meanwhile, the MDC-T national council that met in Harare yesterday “declared” Adam a hero in a clear demonstration of the discord in the inclusive government over what constitutes a national hero.
The party sent a condolence message to the Ndlovu family and wished Peter speedy recovery.
“Further, in recognition of Adam’s unstinting contribution to the Zimbabwe football fraternity, the party declares Adam Ndlovu a national hero,” the council said in one of its resolutions.
MDC leader Welshman Ncube was among the first politicians who called for a hero status for the player who also terrorised defenders in Switzerland and South Africa during an impressive professional career.