HomeSportSoccerCalls to declare Adam Ndlovu national hero

Calls to declare Adam Ndlovu national hero

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FRESH debate has erupted over the criteria used in considering one for national hero status following the death of one of Zimbabwe’s soccer legends Adam Ndlovu who died in a car accident on Sunday.

Report By Nduduzo Tshuma Staff Reporter

Politicians, journalists, sports personalities and members of the public took to the social network Facebook to call on the government to accord the former Warriors and Highlanders striker, who died at the age of 42, national hero status.

Controversy has shrouded the selection of the country’s heroes with Zanu PF accused of turning the process into a party programme. Deputy Justice minister Obert Gutu said in a normal situation Ndlovu would have been buried at the National Heroes’ Acre.

“In a normal functioning country that respects patriotism, honour and integrity, patriots like Adam ought to be duly recognised,” he said on Facebook.

“Adam represented Zimbabwe with distinction as a footballer and oh yes, . . . he deserves national recognition.”

Secretary for Political Affairs in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Office Alex Magaisa wrote: “Adam and Peter are icons of Zimbabwean football and popular culture, and their names have permanent places in the biography of this country.

“I have no doubt in my mind that if there were a fair and impartial system of selecting national icons and heroes, Adam Ndlovu’s place on that list, alongside Safirio Mukadota Madzikatire and other sporting and cultural legends, would be uncontested,” he said.

Zifa Bulawayo provincial treasurer Siphambaniso Dube also echoed similar sentiments.

“Truly Adam Ndlovu is a national hero if politics is not the only sphere of influence for one to be declared a national hero, like was done for Jairos Jiri,” he said.

Zanu PF politburo member Sikhanyiso Ndlovu said he personally felt Adam deserved to be accorded hero status, but said due processes needed to be followed.

“I was of the same opinion, but had not spoken to the other people,” he said.

“The procedure is that the request comes from the province to the politburo. The request should not come via the media.

“Soccer is a unifying force and we are approaching Unity Day celebrations. It is football that contributed towards the unity of our people.”

MDC youth leader Discent Collins Bajila concurred that Ndlovu should be granted national hero status.

“To many Adam is a national hero,” he wrote. “He dedicated his life to the development of Zimbabwe’s sporting status.

“He played fantastic and victorious football for both Highlanders and the national team. He holds the second highest all-time scoring record for the national team.

“His role in the Warriors’ maiden appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2004 remains perhaps the most prestigious badge anyone can have.”

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