FORMER Bulawayo councillor Joram Jika Ndebele has died.
He was 89.
Ndebele, a brother to the Minister of Small to Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development, Sithembiso Nyoni, died on Saturday while being ferried to Harare from Gweru Provincial Hospital where he was being treated.
His brother and family spokesperson Mr Moffat Ndebele described his brother as an educationist par excellence and a father figure.
Moffat said Joram succumbed to a combination of old age, heart problems and high blood pressure, describing his death as a great loss to the family.
“He was a brother, family’s pillar and a unifier who united the Ndebele family. We have lost a great man. He took over from our father in ensuring that his siblings got educated. He was a father figure to us,” said Moffat.
He said Joram was a teacher prior to joining politics.
Moffat said his brother rose through the ranks to become a district education officer, a post he held until he retired from Government.
He said after retiring from the civil service, Joram joined Zanu-PF and was a councillor between 1995 and 2003 in Bulawayo.
“Even during his days as a civil servant he was an affiliate to Zapu and when he retired from the civil service, he became politically active. He then became a chairperson of the Lookout Masuku district in Bulawayo. He was elected a councillor for Bulawayo for two terms between 1995 and 2003,” said Moffat.
He said burial arrangements are yet to be finalised as the family was still waiting for his children who are based in the diaspora.
Bulawayo City Council senior public relations officer, Mrs Nesisa Mpofu, mourned Joram describing him as a selfless leader.
“Bulawayo has lost a selfless leader who served as a wise councillor during his term of office rendering assistance to underprivileged residents of Bulawayo. Our deepest sympathies go to his wife, family and children and the entire community of Bulawayo. We mourn with you during this sad time,” said Mrs Mpofu.
She said Ndebele served in various council committees which included the Finance and Development Committee, Town, Lands and Planning, Health, Housing and Education Committee, Environmental Management and Engineering Services Committee, Audit Committee and the Water Committee.
He is survived by his second wife, six children, 19 grand children and five great grand children.
Mourners are gathered at house number 133 Victoria Falls Road, Richmond suburb.