ZANU PF politburo member and deputy administration secretary Edson Ncube – who died at Bulawayo’s Mpilo Hospital on Sunday – has been declared a “national hero”.
Ncube, described by President Robert Mugabe as one of an “exceptional breed of pioneer politicians” who rallied Africans to fight British colonialism, succumbed to anaemia. He was 74.
Zanu PF administration secretary, Didymus Mutasa, said the former Mpopoma Member of Parliament had been honoured for his sacrifices for his country before and after independence.
He will be buried at the National Heroes Acre on Friday.
“We had a meeting as a party and it was agreed that Ncube be given national hero status. It was obvious that he deserved the status considering his history. He dedicated so much to the liberation of this country,” Mutasa said.
“Party members expressed their views about Ncube during the meeting and his history did qualify him for the national hero status. We also voted and out of 62 members, 46 of them were in agreement that Ncube was indeed a national hero.”
Ncube was born in Tsholotsho and attended Matshudula and Luveve schools in Bulawayo before completing his Ordinary Level through private tuition. He also attended Hope Fountain Mission from 1956 to 1958 before working as a teacher between 1959 and 1969.
In 1959 he joined the NDP, then ZAPU and later the People’s Caretaker Council as the early resistance to colonialism took root.
He was arrested for resisting the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) in 1965 and was again detained for three years at Khami Prison for protesting a referendum for a republic called by the Rhodesian Front.
Ncube was also detained at Marondera between 1977 and 1979 for recruiting fighters for the country’s liberation struggle.
After Independence in 1980, he was elected Zapu chairman for Matabeleland as well as co-chair of the Matabeleland North Zanu PF and PF Zapu Integration Task force before holding various senior positions in the united Zanu PF right up to the time of his death.
A widower, Ncube is survived by five children and three grandchildren.