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Former ambassador and nationalist Dr Neville Ndondo has died. He was 75. Dr Ndondo served as Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Angola, Ethiopia, India, Napal and Bangladesh and once served as the country’s representative at the then Organisation of African Unity.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, described Dr Ndondo as a hard worker who protected the country’s national interest at home and abroad.

“The ministry learnt with profound grief and sadness of the passing on of Dr Neville Ndondo on July 2, 2014,” he said. “We wish our sincere condolences to Mrs Ndondo and the entire family at this very sad and untimely loss.

“As one of our pioneer ambassadors, Dr Ndondo was instrumental in the building of Zimbabwe’s foreign service. His revolutionary background was evident in the way he promoted and protected Zimbabwe’s national interest at home and abroad.”

Minister Mumbengegwi said Dr Ndondo was a dedicated and astute diplomat who contributed immensely to strengthening of relations in the countries he served in.

He said Dr Ndondo’s death was painful to his family, friends and relatives and Zimbabweans in general.

Born on February 2 1939, Dr Ndondo went to Gutu Mission and Matopo High schools for his primary and secondary education.

He was one of the first Zapu youths to be sent to the German Democratic Republic for further education in the mid-1970s before gaining a Master’s Degree in economics in Poland.

Dr Ndondo graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy in Economics in 1977 before joining the liberation struggle in Mozambique the same year. He underwent military training at Chimoio from where he was deployed to the war front before he was appointed political commissar in the refugee camps.

At independence in 1980, Dr Ndondo joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as under Secretary for International Organisations.

Between 1989 and 1993, he served as Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Angola before serving again as envoy for India, Nepal and Bangladesh in 1994.

Dr Ndondo was reassigned as ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti in 1999 and concurrently served as Zimbabwe’s permanent representative at the then Organisation of African Unity. He retired from Government and became Chief of Mbembesi in 2008. Dr Ndondo will be laid to rest at the Ndondo homestead in Mbembesi on Saturday. He is survived by his wife Stella and his child Sipho.

Source : The Herald