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Khaya Moyo, a freedom fighter par excellence

by Staff reporter
16 Nov 2021 at 05:41hrs | Views
LIBERATOR, bureaucrat, corporate communications expert, politician, author and diplomat all rolled into one.

Simon Khaya Moyo was a top functionary during the struggle and thereafter, continued to serve his country in various capacities until he rested on Sunday.

He won a number of battles during the liberation war, including an assassination bid which was targeted at his boss, Dr Joshua Nkomo in 1977.  Since he was always on Dr Nkomo's side as his special assistant, a successful hit on Dr Nkomo could have taken him too.

However, Khaya Moyo had no chance winning one against a debilitating cancer which had afflicted him for some time.

Khaya Moyo, who died in Bulawayo aged 76, was an affable, easy-going man who was diligent in everything he did. Because of his affability, the Press and many cadres had easy access to him almost always.

For serving his country so diligently for 53 years, SK deserved the top most honour, which he, indeed got yesterday when President Mnangagwa declared him a National Hero.

"On behalf of the party Zanu-PF, Government, our entire nation, and indeed on my own behalf, I wish to express my deepest condolences to the Moyo family and in particular, to Mama Moyo and the children on their saddest loss," said the President.

"May they all find comfort in the great honour and regard which our nation held him. He was and remains our Hero and true Son of the Soil."

The President also lauded Khaya Moyo's high intellect and resourcefulness.

"SK, as we affectionately called him," said the President, "distinguished himself as a true patriot, freedom fighter and a resourceful, versatile cadre beyond the onerous and risky chores of the struggle which he embraced with selfless courage.

He put all his skills, intellect and pan-African outlook to the national cause, both before and after our independence. It was a rare gift of high intellect which enabled his various deployments and service in numerous capacities, including in the civil service."

Khaya Moyo left the country to join Zimbabwe African People's Union in 1968 in Lusaka, Zambia. He enrolled at the University of Zambia for a diploma in social studies and shortly after that, enrolled at the prestigious Makerere University in Uganda, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science in 1973.

Two years later he returned to Lusaka and was appointed secretary/special assistant to Dr Nkomo. He did military and intelligence training in the then East German, becoming a member of the revolutionary council as well as member of the PF-Zapu Central Committee.
Khaya-Moyo travelled the world with Dr Nkomo and attended several meetings such as the Geneva, Malta and Lancaster House conferences.

In 1980, Khaya Moyo became the assistant secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs with Dr Nkomo as Minister.  He rose through the ranks to become undersecretary in the Ministry of Justice in 1983.

In 1984, he moved to the Ministry of Health where was later promoted to Deputy Permanent Secretary in 1987.

He was elected Zanu-PF Central Committee member at the party's 1989 congress and a year later, was elected Bulilima Mangwe South MP.  In 1992, Khaya Moyo was appointed Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce.

In September 1994, he was re-elected member of the Zanu-PF Central Committee and thereafter Deputy Secretary for Administration in the Politburo. In the April 1995 general elections, Khaya Moyo was overwhelmingly re-elected Bulilima Mangwe South MP.

Soon after the election, the veteran politician was appointed Minister of Transport and Energy.

Between July 1997 and July 2000, Khaya Moyo served as Minister of Mines, Environment and TourismThe following year, he started his diplomatic career, having been appointed the country's Ambassador to South Africa and Lesotho up to October 2010. He had already been elected ruling party national chairman a year earlier.

In March 2011, he was appointed a non-constituency Senator. At the time of his death, he was the ruling party's national spokesperson and Bulilima Senator.

Indeed, the party and country at large have lost a committed cadre who had illustrious credentials.

We must all strive to emulate his patriotism, diligence in serving the country, simplicity and clarity of thought and speech.

It will certainly be a tall order for most of his compatriots to serve the way the National Hero did.

May his soul "anchor," as he often said in the countless condolence messages he issued as party spokesman, in eternal peace.

Source - The Chronicle