Bulawayo — MINES and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu has said they will not allow Highlanders to sink into oblivion because of lack of funding.
The news will come as a relief as the team tries to beef up its squad for 2013 in which they are aiming at winning the championship after coming so close this year only to lose on goal difference.
Mpofu made these assurances when giving a vote of thanks as a family friend at the end of a church service for the late former Chicken Inn head coach and ex-Bosso striker -- the legendary Adam Ndlovu -- at a packed Amphitheatre on Saturday morning.
Ndlovu was laid to rest at Lady Stanley Cemetery on Saturday afternoon with thousands of mourners from all walks of life in attendance.
"Some of our colleagues in government and the party in Harare have long been boasting that Dynamos will never collapse as long as they are there. I want them to know here and now that as long as people like us are there, Highlanders will never collapse.
"I will make sure that does not happen," said Mpofu to a thunderous applause from the mourners who included football legends from across the country.
Highlanders have been battling for finances for a long time now and have debts that are over $400 000.
Mpofu has previously helped Highlanders settle some of their bills.
The Minister also challenged his colleagues in government to come out with a system that will honour sporting heroes and heroines instead of waiting for a committee made up of few people to decide who should be a hero or heroine.
"We have been reading in the press about people saying whatever they want about Ndlovu's hero status, people talking about things and people they totally have no idea of.
"Let it be known that this man lying lifeless in front of us was a true unifier and your presence today has actually made him a true hero. As politicians, Adam has brought us together and if he was to wake up now, I am sure we as politicians we would leave this place with unity cards," said Mpofu.
Among the mourners were leaders of the three political parties in the inclusive government, Zanu-PF which was represented by the national chairman, Simon
Khaya Moyo while the opposition MDC-N was represented by its president, professor Welshman Ncube.
On Friday, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai visited mourners at Adam's house in Selbourne Park and on Saturday several of his MDC-T members of Parliament were in attendance.
Mpofu has in the past came in handy for the usually financially troubled Bulawayo giants. The Mguza constituency Member of Parliament last year bailed out Highlanders when their team bus was attached by the messenger of court after the club failed to pay their former coach, Egyptian Mohammed Fathi his outstanding salary arrears.
Speaking earlier at the same service the Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, David Coltart said Adam should be honoured posthumously because of his enormous contribution to the development of football in the country.
"Sports is increasingly becoming a business and it is through sport like football that Adam played that can bring about a positive image of the country.
"It is such people that project the image of our country in a positive way and again its sports people like Adam that boost the nation's morale even during difficult times," said Coltart.
Coltart challenged his colleagues in government to come up with policies that will pave way for sporting heroes to be honoured even during their lifetime.
Ndlovu passed on at the age of 42 years in a horrific car accident near Victoria Falls in the early hours of last Sunday. The accident also claimed the life of a female companion Nomqhele Tshili and left Adam's younger brother Peter with serious injuries.
The Ndlovu brothers were on their way to Victoria Falls for a social soccer match between Highlanders and Victoria Falls players which was subsequently called off after the disaster. Peter, who miraculously survived the accident which took his brother's life and is still recovering in hospital was brought in a wheelchair for the church service and observed his brother being laid to his final resting place.
Politicians from across the political divide, football administrators, former national team and Highlanders players, national team, Highlanders and Chicken Inn players and fans of different soccer teams some of whom travelled from Harare witnessed the burial of one of the finest footballers the country has ever produced.
The Amphitheatre, was filled to capacity as Zimbabweans came to pay their last respects to the man regarded as the most prolific Warriors striker with 34 goals from 79 appearances, four goals shy of his brother Peter. Thousands jostled to catch a glimpse of proceedings at Lady Stanley Cemetery with the event eventually coming to an end at 4pm with security personnel having a hard time trying to control the crowd at the cemetery.
Madinda Ndlovu, the oldest of the famous Ndlovu brothers said as a family they were really grateful to Zimbabweans who came out in full support after the tragic event. He explained that they had delayed informing Peter of Adam's death because they were not sure of the seriousness of the injuries "Nsukuzonke" had suffered and they had to protect him.