SK Moyo: Selfless freedom fighter. . . declared national hero

16 Nov, 2021 - 00:11 0 Views
SK Moyo: Selfless freedom fighter. . . declared national hero Matabeleland South Minister of State Affairs and Devolution Cde Abednigo Ncube (right) speaks to Zanu-PF Politburo member Cde Richard Ndlovu and the party’s Secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu during the funeral gathering of Cde Simon Khaya Moyo at his house in Hillside suburb, Bulawayo yesterday. (Picture by Dennis Mudzamiri)

The Chronicle

Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has mourned nationalist and liberation struggle stalwart Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, who has been declared a national hero, as a true patriot, courageous and selfless freedom fighter.

Cde Khaya Moyo (76) succumbed to cancer at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo on Sunday where he was admitted.

Zanu-PF secretary for administration Dr Obert Mpofu announced the national hero status to the Moyo family yesterday at their Hillside home in Bulawayo.

He said President Mnangagwa conferred national hero status to Cde Khaya Moyo for the role he played during and after the liberation struggle.

Dr Mpofu said the Cde Khaya Moyo will be buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare on a date yet to be advised.

“His Excellency the President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF, Cde ED Mnangagwa has conferred national hero status to the late Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo who died on 14 November 2021. The late Cde Simon Khaya Moyo will be interred at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare and burial arrangements will be announced in due course,” he said.

“Starting today (yesterday), the Government is taking over the funeral arrangements. Cde Khaya Moyo was a unifier and loving person who never wanted divisive politics. He would say ‘I love people to discuss constructive issues unlike those people who discuss tissues, not issues’.”

Family spokesperson Ms Ludo Khaya Moyo thanked Government for according the late veteran nationalist hero status.

“As a family we are humbled by the gesture and recognition bestowed on Cde Khaya Moyo by the President and his leadership team by conferring him with national hero status. We are thankful to all those who extended their condolences to the family,” she said.

“Cde SK was a loving person and even in the family he was a unifier and the family has been left poorer without him.

His death is a big loss to the family and the nation at large.”

Cde Khaya Moyo was a diplomat and former Cabinet Minister, who served his apprenticeship as a young political secretary to liberation struggle icon the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo during the armed struggle.

In a statement yesterday, President Mnangagwa said Cde Khaya Moyo distinguished himself as a true patriot, freedom fighter and a resourceful, versatile cadre beyond the onerous and risky chores of the liberation struggle which he embraced with selfless courage.

“The tragic demise yesterday (Sunday) of Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo after a long battle with cancer came as a profound shock to our nation, to our party Zanu-PF and to me personally,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said the late Cde Khaya Moyo was a stalwart of the liberation struggle and a long-time loyal personal aide to the late former Vice-President and Father Zimbabwe, Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo.

“On behalf of the Party Zanu-PF, Government, our entire Nation, and indeed on my own behalf, I wish to express my deepest, heartfelt condolences to the Moyo family and, in particular, to Mama Moyo and the children on this their saddest loss.”

He said Cde Moyo put all his skills, intellect and Pan African outlook to the national cause, both before and after independence.

“In nationalist politics and structure, he steadily rose through the ranks of the then Zapu and later after the 1987 Unity Accord of a united Zanu-PF until I appointed him Secretary for Information and Publicity in the Politburo. In that demanding role he became the voice of our party,” said the President.

The President said during his time of illness, Cde Moyo sought medical attention in the country, South Africa and India with the hope that he would recover. He said even as his health failed, Cde Khaya Moyo gave his utmost to the party, Government and the country serving as both a long time MP of the then Bulilima-Mangwe Constituency and as a Senator.

“He stood for the unity of our people whom he served with complete devotion. Without doubt, our nation will sorely miss his wise counsel, grounding with grassroot, and his characteristic energy and ebullience in all he did,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said Cde Khaya Moyo was and remains the country’s hero and true son of the soil.

Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube said the country and Matabeleland region in particular, have a lost a gallant son of the soil.

“We are saddened by the passing away of Cde SK and sadly in 2021, we have lost a lot of experienced and knowledgeable personnel in the country. As Matabeleland we are mourning the gallant son of the soil and the region is poorer without Cde SK. The entire country is indeed poorer following his death,” she said.

“These are people who constantly guided us. As Bulawayo, we would like to express our deepest condolences to the Moyo family.”

The late Cde Simon Khaya Moyo’s wife Margaret (right) is consoled by relatives and Zanu-PF members during the funeral for her late husband at their house in Hillside suburb yesterday.

Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo said Cde Khaya Moyo played a critical role during the Lancaster House Conference and between PF-Zapu and Zanu-PF, which culminated in the two revolutionary parties uniting in December 1987.

“I worked with Cde SK when he was our national party chairman while I chaired Matabeleland North and even at the time of his death as national party spokesperson, we continued working together. As Matabeleland North, we are thankful to President Mnangagwa for according Cde SK national hero status for his contribution to the country’s development pre-and post-independence,” he said.

Former Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZPRA) chief of military intelligence, Retired Brigadier-General Abel Mazinyane said he first met Cde Khaya Moyo in Lusaka, Zambia, in 1976 soon after his return from Uganda where he had gone to pursue his studies at Makerere University.

“We participated in the liberation struggle together having met in 1976 upon his return from Uganda. During that time, the struggle was at its peak and Cde SK was immediately tasked to travel to North Korea to attend a meeting,” he said.

“When he returned from North Korea, he brought some pamphlets. He worked with the party’s administration in Lusaka and in 1977 when Dr Joshua Nkomo came to Rhodesia to physically lead the armed struggle, he was with Cde SK Moyo as his personal assistant.”

Rtd Brig Gen Mazinyane said Cde SK also attended international conferences with Dr Nkomo.

“He was the one who wrote Dr Nkomo’s speeches and he had been all over the world. I remember each time he came from those meetings, we would then discuss with him about the outcomes because it was somewhat difficult to engage Dr Nkomo on such issues,” he said.

“Despite his work being cumbersome and demanding as the president’s (Dr Nkomo’s) personal assistant, he was dedicated such that he would even be called at midnight by the old man to bring a certain file. I always admired his commitment to his job.”

Rtd Brig-Gen said when Cde SK was appointed Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to South Africa, relations between the two countries improved given that during the liberation struggle Cde Thabo Mbeki, who was then South African

President, would also accompany ANC president Oliver Tambo to international conferences where they would occasionally meet.

Zanu-PF Politburo member and former MP for the Bulilima-Mangwe North, Cde Richard Ndlovu said: “I met Cde SK Moyo in 1980 and in 1990, Cde SK expressed interest in contesting for a parliamentary seat in Bulilima-Mangwe South and I was already an MP, having replaced Dr Isaac Nyathi. In 1990, he was elected MP and we worked together pushing for development in our two constituencies,” he said.

“He held a number of ministerial posts, including an Ambassadorial post for 10 years. He worked tirelessly for this country both during and after the struggle. We had actually nicknamed Cde SK Mr 10 Years because he had been a Government minister in various portfolios for 10 years and Ambassador for 10 years and MP for 10 years.”

Cde Ndlovu said the late national hero was a man who was always in a jovial mood and loved promoting unity in the party.

“He might have gone, but his legacy lives on and as Bulilima district, we have a lost a cadre and leader who was committed the party Zanu-PF.

Cde Khaya Moyo is survived by wife, Margaret, two sons Khanyisa Mduduzi and Langa Mandlenkosi and three grandchildren.

Mourners are gathered at Number 25 Percy Road in Hillside, Bulawayo. —  @mashnets

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