Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu was appointed Bulawayo’s first black mayor on 12 June 1981 soon after Zimbabwe gained independence.
Ndlovu was born in Gwatemba, Filabusi on 22 October 1930, he did his standard 1 and 2 at Zezani Secondary School in Beitbridge before he returned to Gwatemba to finish standard 3.
From standard 3 to 6 he was at Umzingwane Government School where he received a certificate in leather work before going to teach at Zezani School and Matopo Mission in 1950 and 1953 respectively.
Soon after the formation of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), Ndlovu joined politics in 1961 as a committee member in the party’s Bulawayo structures.
He also taught at Empandeni Mission and later at Jairos Jiri Training Centre in Bulawayo from 1956 to 1965. In 1962 he was elected as the founding chairman of the Bulawayo United Residents’ Association.
During the liberation struggle, Ndlovu was detained multiple times for his work with ZAPU before going into exile in Zambia where he eventually became a member of the War Council.
As a member of PF ZAPU’s negotiation team at the Lancaster house talks Ndlovu played a key role in the final talks that ushered Zimbabwe’s independence.
At independence, Ndlovu was elected councillor for Luveve in 1981 a position that led him to become Bulawayo’s first mayor until 1985 when he was elected MP for Insiza.
After the Gukurahundi massacres by the Zanu led government on Joshua Nkomo’s supporters, Ndlovu in his capacity as ZAPU’s last chairman was part of the 1987 unification talks.
After 15 years as MP for Insiza, he lost the seat to MDC’S George Ndlovu in 2000 before being elected as Senator for Insiza in 2005 and thereafter the Matabeleland South Senator in 2013.
It was during his first stint in the Senate that he reached the pinnacle of his political career when he was elected as the deputy speaker of the upper house of parliament in 2008.
The post of Zimbabwe’s Vice President eluded him twice first when Ndlovu was beaten to the position by the late Joshua Nkomo in 2009 and by Phelekezela Mphoko in 2014.
Ndlovu died at his daughters home in Bulawayo on Monday, 28 May 2017 after a long battle with prostate cancer, he was declared a national hero and buried at the Heroes Acre in Harare.
Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu short-biography
- Born on 22 October 1930
- Married to Sithokozile Ndlovu
- Bulawayo Mayor (12 June 1981 to 1985)
- Insiza MP (1985-2000)
- Former Zanu PF politburo member
- Insiza Senator (2005-2013)
- Deputy president of Zimbabwe’s Senate (2008-2013)
- Matabeleland South Senator (2013-2017)
- Died on 28 May 2017
Picture of Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu