For­mer Parly Speaker dies

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Nqo­bile Tshili

FOR­MER Speaker of Par­lia­ment, Cde Cyril Enock Nde­bele, has died. He was 83. The vet­eran politi­cian — who was also the chair­per­son of the Peace and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Com­mis­sion fol­low­ing his ap­point­ment in Fe­bru­ary this year — died yes­ter­day morn­ing in Harare af­ter be­ing air­lifted by the Min­istry of De­fence from Bu­l­awayo’s Mater Dei Hos­pi­tal where he had been ad­mit­ted for an undis­closed ail­ment.

A for­mer Speaker be­tween 1995 and 2000, Cde Nde­bele is un­der­stood to have been hos­pi­talised at the Ro­man Catholic Church-run hos­pi­tal on Tues­day, but had to be air­lifted when his con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rated.

The Min­is­ter of Small and Medium En­ter­prises and Co-op­er­a­tive De­vel­op­ment, Cde Sithem­biso Ny­oni, a rel­a­tive to the for­mer Speaker, said when doc­tors told her of the need to air­lift him to Harare for fur­ther treat­ment, she quickly en­gaged Act­ing Pres­i­dent Phelekezela Mphoko.

Cde Ny­oni said Act­ing Pres­i­dent Mphoko fa­cil­i­tated for the Min­istry of De­fence to as­sist.

“Yes­ter­day at about 8PM, we heard that he was at Mater Dei Hos­pi­tal’s In­ten­sive Care Unit be­ing at­tended to by three fam­ily doc­tors who rec­om­mended that he be air­lifted to Harare,” she said.

“I then called Act­ing Pres­i­dent Mphoko and he acted swiftly and spoke to De­fence Min­is­ter Sydney Sek­ere­mayi whose Min­istry also acted very quickly. Within two hours they were in Bu­l­awayo to air lift him to Harare.”

Cde Ny­oni said ef­forts to re­sus­ci­tate him were fu­tile and ex­pressed grat­i­tude to the Govern­ment and in par­tic­u­lar Act­ing Pres­i­dent Mphoko for re­act­ing swiftly to pleas for help.

She said death had robbed the Nde­bele fam­ily of a prin­ci­pled man and an un­com­pro­mis­ing leader.

“As the Nde­bele fam­ily we’ve lost. He was a pil­lar of strength, an ad­vi­sor, guid­ing star, hon­est, straight for­ward and a prin­ci­pled man,” Cde Ny­oni said.

She said dur­ing his time as the coun­try’s Speaker of Par­lia­ment, the Na­tional As­sem­bly wit­nessed ma­jor re­forms.

“He is the one who brought a lot of re­forms to Par­lia­ment. He was a good Speaker of Par­lia­ment who brought about a lot of training for leg­is­la­tors,” Cde Ny­oni said.

For­mer Deputy Se­nate pres­i­dent and Zanu-PF Cen­tral Com­mit­tee mem­ber Cde Nai­son Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu said he learnt with great shock of Cde Nde­bele’s death.

“I’ve just learnt about it. He was a fine gen­tle­man. We worked to­gether in PF-Zapu and Zanu-PF. He was prode­vel­op­ment,” he said.

The late Speaker joined the African Na­tional Congress in South Africa in 1960 while a stu­dent at the Univer­sity of Natal. He earned a law de­gree from Queens Univer­sity, Belfast, in 1970.

He be­came Zapu chair­per­son in 1970 af­ter re­turn­ing to the coun­try. He was a mem­ber of the le­gal team of the Pa­tri­otic Front in the Geneva, Malta and Lan­caster House con­fer­ences, lead­ing to the coun­try’s in­de­pen­dence in 1980.

Af­ter in­de­pen­dence, he was a coun­cil­lor in Bu­l­awayo and af­ter the Unity Ac­cord was signed in 1987, he be­came an MP in 1990. As a law maker, he was the chair­per­son of the Priv­i­leges Com­mit­tee and the Par­lia­men­tary Le­gal Com­mit­tee.

Af­ter he be­came the Speaker of Par­lia­ment in 1995, he cre­ated the Par­lia­men­tary Re­form Com­mit­tee, paving way for far reach­ing changes to the Leg­isla­tive As­sem­bly. He is sur­vived by his wife, chil­dren and sev­eral grand­chil­dren.

Mourn­ers are gath­ered at his Bu­l­awayo res­i­dence at Plot 7B in Woodville sub­urb. — @nqot­shili

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