National University of Science and Technology (Nust) council chairman Mike Ndubiwa was on Thursday chased away from Professor Lindela Ndlovu’s funeral service by family elders who said they did not want to see him anywhere near the proceedings.
Prof Ndlovu died on Wednesday, barely a week after he had been replaced as the university’s Vice-Chancellor by Professor Samson Sibanda.
Prof Ndlovu’s family spokesperson Tymon Mabhena said Ndubiwa was not welcome at the funeral of the late vice chancellor who died after battling diabetes.
“He came yesterday (Thursday) for the funeral service and the family elders chased him away. They said they didn’t want to see him anywhere near the proceedings. They said they don’t want anything to do with him,” said Mabhena.
He, however, declined to comment on why Ndubiwa was barred from the proceedings.
Ndubiwa did not pick his phone when he was called several times yesterday.
Nust’s director of communications and marketing Felix Moyo said only Ndubiwa could comment on all matters concerning the late vice chancellor.
Sources said Prof Ndlovu’s family was not happy about the manner he was informed that his contract would not be renewed following its expiry in August.
Sources said Prof Ndlovu was told that he was no longer the vice-chancellor after he had already prepared his speech for the university’s 21st graduation ceremony held last Friday.
The sources allege that prior to that, Prof Ndlovu was out of the country on the institution’s business and upon his return he submitted his graduation speech and was abruptly told that he could hand it in but he was no longer the vice-chancellor.
It is alleged that the board formally announced to Prof Ndlovu of the decision not to renew his contract after an “embarrassing incident” which did not go down well with him.
The incident happened a few weeks ago when Prof Ndlovu spoke in a manner some felt was incoherent at the funeral of a former Nust lecturer, Lawton Hikwa.
“Ndubiwa and the council didn’t treat him well during his exit, knowing his diabetic condition, they must have acted professionally,” said a family source.
“He knew that his contract could either be terminated or renewed but the Nust council ill-treated him in his last days and he didn’t make that a secret hence the family’s stance.”
Meanwhile, Mabhena said Prof Ndlovu will be buried at Lady Stanley Cemetery tomorrow.
“Funeral arrangements are in place. We’re going to conduct a service at the Amphitheatre between 8AM and 10AM.
“From there we’ll proceed to Lady Stanley where he will be laid to rest,” said Mabhena.