National University of Science and Technology (Nust) vice-chancellor Lindela Ndlovu caused a stir at the funeral service of renowned academic, Lawton Hikwa, after he took to the podium in a suspected drunken stupor.
By Own Correspondent
Ndlovu was supposed to speak on behalf of the institution, but had to be literally carried out, as he caused commotion at the Anglican Church in Bulawayo.
The vice-chancellor was initially unintelligible when he took to the podium, delaying the service by more than 20 minutes.
Sensing that all was not well, the master of ceremonies, Felix Moyo, who is also Nust spokesperson, tried to withhold the microphone from Ndlovu, but he pointed an accusing finger at him and demanded that he be given a chance to speak.
As he demanded the microphone, Ndlovu said he was only afraid of one person and they should do as he wanted.
Seeing Ndlovu’s state, officials had to drag him out, but he tried to resist and continued shouting as he was being led out.
In the ensuing meleé, ministers Tshinga Dube and Simon Khaya Moyo left the funeral service, probably embarrassed by the scenes.
One of the mourners described Ndlovu as being a nuisance.
Moyo then apologised on behalf of Nust council chairman Mike Ndubiwa, saying Ndlovu’s sugar levels had shot because of diabetes.
“I have been sent by Ndubiwa and (National Railways of Zimbabwe general manager Alvord) Mabhena to apologise to people for what happened, as Ndlovu’s sugar levels had risen, that’s why he did what he did,” Moyo said.
After he left, proceedings at the service proceeded smoothly, with the body of the late Hikwa being taken for cremation.
Efforts to get a comment from Khaya Moyo, Dube and Moyo were fruitless.