Saul Gwakuba Ndlovu’s Family Disappointed
25 July 2021

By A Correspondent- The family of the late journalist and war veteran Saul Gwakuba Ndlovu said it was disappointed he was not accorded national hero status as he was laid to rest on Thursday.

Gwakuba died aged 87 from a heart ailment.

He was buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery in Bulawayo.

Speaking during a funeral for Gwakuba, family spokesman Bulukani Masole called on Judith Ncube, the minister of state for Bulawayo, to convey their message to “the leadership” that the people of Dombodema, a village where Gwakuba was born in Plumtree district, “were hurt” by the snub.

“Ufike kahle MaNcube (you arrived at the right time to hear this message Ms Ncube),” Masole said as the minister took her seat after arriving late.

“It’s sad that our system of conferring respect to some of the people who will have contributed to the country, and I’m not talking just war, but right across the board is still dominated by certain systems that we believe are not fair.

“All of us here did not think that conferment of hero status to Saul Gwakuba was worth a debate, but this is what has happened.

“We’re very disappointed, we believe the leaders must understand that there are some things that are not acceptable, please convey that. We did not even get a message from up there and that’s totally out of order. Convey that message to the leadership, as people of Dombodema we’re hurt. This man did so much but we have people buried at the National Heroes Acre who did not deserve to be there.”

Felix Silundika, the son of the late national hero George Silundika, told mourners he was puzzled how national hero status selection was being done.

“I’m in the same mode with Masole because I don’t know what calculus went into deciding not to honour the late Gwakuba with national hero status. But he was given a liberation award by the army and government. This dent shall always be in our hearts. We thank them because they have shown us what kind of people they are.”

In response, Ncube said although Gwakuba Ndlovu was not honoured, nothing will erase his contribution.

“There is no eraser that can rub off his contribution to the nation. His history cannot be wished away. Even though he is gone, his history shall remain forever. We sent his papers to Harare but unfortunately, we’re yet to get a response. Whatever will come out, we will accept,” she said.

SMEs minister Sithembiso Nyoni, who was also part of the gathering, said those who worked with Gwakuba had hoped that he will be declared a national hero, but “it seems things did not go accordingly.”

The burial was also attended by former cabinet minister Nicholas Goche, a relative of the family, and King Mambo Mike Moyo, who also addressed the mourners.