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Sharpshoot MUST be declared a national hero

by Staff reporter
21 Mar 2023 at 08:42hrs | Views
THE Presidium is dealing with a request for the late liberation stalwart and pioneer liberation fighter David Mongwa Moyo to be accorded national hero status.

Moyo, whose war name was Sharpshoot, died at the age of 97 at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo on Saturday.

He belonged to a generation of pioneer guerillas such as Luke Mhlanga, Clark Mpofu, Mbhejelwa Moyo, Charles Dauramanzi, Gordon Butshe, Moffat Hadebe, Abraham Nkiwane, and Misheck Velaphi and his exploits with the gun were undoubted and earned him the name Sharpshoot.

Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Obert Mpofu last night said the party's Presidium has been informed of Moyo's death.

He said his national hero status is expected to be confirmed anytime.  "The confirmation will be made anytime from now. It's just that today we had a Politburo meeting.

"But I want to say the Presidium is handing the matter and it will be dealt with as soon as possible," said Mpofu.

He said Sharpshoot was a true revolutionary who made all the sacrifices to ensure the country attained independence. "He was quite a brave soldier who was committed to the liberation struggle. He was always cheerful and committed. He was someone who never felt challenged by the challenges of the liberation struggle.

"He was such a brave man. We have lost someone who was a true fighter and true revolutionary and a true cadre of the liberation. We are sad and disappointed that he is no more," he said.

Mpofu said Sharpshoot is among the first people to take up arms to liberate the country.

"He is one of the first Zipra cadres that trained in Morogoro, Tanzania in the 1960s. We were together and we operated in the gorges in the renaissance in Zambia and we operated in Binga, Mlibizi and Mukuni area," said Mpofu.

Hadebe described Sharpshoot as a champion of the liberation struggle.

He said Sharpshoot is among the fighters who inspired a lot of young people to take up arms to liberate the country.

"I first met him in 1952 at Inyathi Mission where he was my class monitor. We left the school already politically conscious and he operated in the Matobo area. He joined the liberation struggle and trained in North Korea while I trained in Algeria," he said.

He said Sharpshoot became one of the commanders of the liberation struggle and he trained individuals including Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube.

"We were the first group to wage an armed struggle in the country where we attacked a farm that belonged to one of the magistrates who was based in Bulawayo and his group followed after us. They followed after us. But since we were both commanders, we hardly interacted during the liberation struggle. We were to meet post-independence but his health was now failing," he said.

Sharpshoot was born in June 1925 in Kezi, Matabeleland South Province. He did his primary education at Simpathe and Bango schools before enrolling at Inyathi Mission in Bubi for his secondary education. It was during his time at Inyathi Mission that he stood out as a competent athlete.

Following the enactment of the Native Land Husbandry Act of 1951, Moyo became involved in politics in his rural home in Kezi after leaving his job in Bulawayo by resisting colonial laws and policies.

Working with his homeboys among them the late National Hero, Velaphi, they started making home explosives and attacking white-owned installations. Those were the days of sabotage.

With Rhodesians hot on his trail Moyo skipped the border into Zambia to join the liberation struggle. He was sent for military training in North Korea together with other pioneer combatants such as the former Governor of Manicaland, Tineyi Chigudu and Lazarus Dhlakama. After his military training, Moyo was deployed in the then Rhodesia together with former Cabinet Minister, Colonel (Retired) Tshinga Dube aka Embassy in a unit of 10 guerillas and they operated in Tsholotsho and Bulilima districts. Col (Rtd) Dube was the unit's communications officer.

Their unit was on a reconnaissance mission and it is the one that laid the groundwork for the Zapu-ANC of South Africa joint operations of 1967 which is known as the Wankie Campaign. Their unit which managed to remain on the ground for a year during which it was involved in sporadic contacts with the enemy studied the activities of the Rhodesians and also mapped the routes which were to be used by the Zapu-ANC guerillas.

The late liberation war stalwart had five children, and three of his children Diliza, Michael Shadreck and his only daughter Sibonakaliso joined him in the liberation struggle having had enough of harassment by whites who were constantly nagging the family as a result of their father's military activities.

Only two sons Diliza and Melusi Moyo survive him.

Speaking at the family house in Emganwini suburb, Diliza who is the family spokesperson said they remain guided by the party and Government on the status of their father.

"We are waiting to be advised by the party and Government on the old man's status. We are content with whatever position will be taken," said Diliza.

Last year a South Africa-based local businessman and proprietor of Ngamla Enterprises, Mr Mpumelelo Phiri renovated and extended Moyo's house as a way of honoring freedom fighters as their contributions provided a conducive environment for young black entrepreneurs.

In June 2019, the First Lady, Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa also visited Moyo at his Emganwini home.

Mourners are gathered at House Number 4 884 in Emganwini suburb.

Source - The Chronicle
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