He believed in giving an alternative voice that told the Zimbabwean story, in all its glory

 

By Kennedy Mandaza

 

The death of the liberation struggle luminary Cde. Simon Khaya Moyo on Sunday 14th November 2021 due to cancer, robbed the nation of a man who has been described as a true patriot, courageous and selfless freedom fighter.

For ZANU PF South Africa District, the death of the national hero, whom we credit with the formation of ZANU PF external structures post-independence, is a devastating blow to the Party and country, given his contribution to the liberation struggle, development of Zimbabwe and quest for sustained unity and peace.

Cde. S. K. Moyo is credited for playing a critical role in the formation of the first diaspora structure in South Africa. Despite his busy schedule as an Ambassador in South Africa and after assuming other roles in Zimbabwe, Cde SK – as he was affectionately called, served the ZANU PF South Africa structure passionately and with great respect.

He will be missed for his invaluable advice and guidance which saw many other diaspora structures being formed across the globe.

Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, a long time personal aide to the liberation struggle icon the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo, joined the liberation struggle in 1968.

He dedicated his life to serving the party and country, to which he did with unparalleled distinction as a diplomat and Cabinet minister in various portfolios.

He was a fountain of knowledge who could be relied upon.

ZANU-PF South Africa will forever cherish the hard work and commitment that Cde SK Moyo gave to the growth and relevance of the ZANU PF external structures. Each time our delegates went for conferences and congresses Cde Moyo was always there to enquire on the growth and work being done in South Africa.

It is, for this reason, we find it important and relevant to chronicle the role he played in the formation of the first ZANU PF external structure in South Africa.

 

 

The late Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo will be remembered by many comrades in South Africa for selflessly dedicating his time and resources during the formative years of the first ZANU PF structure in the diaspora.

The idea of forming the structure came after the formation of the Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) in 1999 with the backing of the workers union, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union.

The South Africa media’s reportage became skewed in favour of the opposition  MDC activists who spewed misinformation and vitriol about ZANU PF and Zimbabwe.

ZANU PF war veterans who were resident in South Africa came together and made a decision to support and defend ZANU PF party and government against imperialist machinations, who were hell-bent in advancing a regime change agenda, with the hope of catapulting MDC into power.

The resolve to defend their country and tell the good story about the country drive the war veterans into mobilising other like-minded comrades.

In 2001, when Cde SK Moyo assumed his role as Ambassador of Zimbabwe to South Africa, the Kingdom of Lesotho and Mauritius, the war veterans approached him to inform him of the stand that the war veterans had taken to defend the ZANU PF party and government.

They also sought information on how best this could be done, without causing diplomatic challenges in South Africa.

This initiative by the war veterans resonated well with Ambassador Moyo. He then took it upon himself to advise the war veterans to form a ZANU PF structure in South Africa.

It is from his advice that we saw the birth of the first ZANU PF external branch in South Africa post-independence.

Hence Cde SK as he was affectionately known, can be regarded as the founding father of ZANU PF external structures post-independence.

 

 

During his time in South Africa as Ambassador he introduced the ZANU PF structure to all progressive forces and former liberation movements. He also provided finances for the first ZANU PF office which was in Johannesburg.

Cde. Moyo was very clear about the relationship between ZANU PF and the African National Congress. He wanted comrades to work with the ANC and value the relationship as former liberation movements.

He would keep comrades informed on the working relationship and strategies that were being implemented together with the then South African President Thabo Mbeki, in defending ZANU-PF and its government from attacks and sanctions that had been imposed by the Western countries at the instigation of the MDC.

Despite his demanding role as the Ambassador, he never stayed away from giving advice in everything the structure did. He made sure comrades were up to date on developments taking place in both the Party and government so that they could defend the Party from an informed position.

ZANU-PF SA District will remember Ambassador Moyo as a very humble and down-to-earth leader, who could risk his life visiting the ZANU-PF offices which were situated in downtown Johannesburg which was then the stronghold of marauding MDC.

 

 

During one of these visits to be with his comrades, he was asked by the war veterans about the Unity Accord documents and the ZAPU properties. Before giving a response he shed tears as he sang a song which said; ‘Simon kaJona uyangithanda naa?’

After this touching song he went on to give the war veterans a very clear and honest answer. He further promised to invite the late Cde. Elliot Manyika, who was then the National Political Commissar, to come and provide further information and clarity.

ZANU PF SA district will remember Cde SK Moyo as a very hands-on leader, very astute, dedicated and committed to unity and peace. In his quest to fend off sanctions, misinformation and propaganda, Ambassador Moyo worked with the Information and Publicity Secretariat in South Africa, advising them and auditing statements before publication.

He believed in giving an alternative voice that told the Zimbabwean story and dispelled the propaganda and misinformation that was been peddled by the MDC using South African media platforms.

After leaving diplomatic service in 2010 to concentrate on his role as the ZANU-PF National Chairman, Cde Moyo did not abandon his advisory role to ZANU PF South Africa District.

He wanted to see the district grow in numbers, play a critical role in mobilisation, strengthen the relationship with the ANC and defend ZANU-PF and its government. Because of the value, he attached to unity and peace, and the respect he gave to the Unity Accord as underwritten by the founding fathers Cdes Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe”.

 

 

As we remember and celebrate the life of the late Ambassador Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, ZANU PF South Africa District members extend their heartfelt condolences to the President and First Secretary of ZANU PF Cde ED Mnangagwa, the ZANU PF leadership collective and members and the Moyo family.

We believe that Cde. Moyo ran his race and finished it strongly. What remains is for us to continue with his good work, supporting the President and ZANU PF in building the Zimbabwe we want, brick by brick, stone upon stone, in peace and unity.

That is why Cde SK Moyo would always say, “sizofela lapho ubaba uNkomo asitshiya khona.”

 

Hamba kahle qhawe. Fambai zvakanaka gamba. Go well liberation fighter and hero.

May his soul rest in eternal peace.

 

Kennedy Mapesa Mandaza is ZANU PF South Africa District Secretary for Information and Publicity. Information was  gathered from Cde Dimba and Cde Ndabezinhle Nyoni both former Chairmen of ZANU PF South Africa District and War Veterans.

 

 

 

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