Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo lost his second youngest and sweetest daughter, Zanele Naledi Moyo, last Saturday. Her lifeless body was discovered in her room in Cape Town, South Africa.
By Maynard Manyowa
Online reports say Zanele was found dead in the tub, with an injury on the forehead, bleeding from the nose, while some amount of blood was discovered on the floor. The cause of her death is still unknown, and police in South Africa are said to be looking for two men in connection with the death.
While Zanele’s death is indeed shocking and untimely, the reaction of several Zimbabweans to her demise has been way more shocking as to be revolting and mind-boggling if not mind-blowing.
Moyo has more enemies than friends in Zimbabwe’s social, political and even economic circles. He is an extremely provocative firebrand, ever willing to remove his gloves and engage in bareknuckle brawling with anyone, anywhere, anytime, and especially on social media.
This year alone, he has picked bones with former Education, Sport and Culture minister David Coltart, ex-South African Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni, Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena, Manchester United fans, etc.
Zimbabwe perpetually sits on the gates of hell, starving, burning, and condemned. Empty stomachs and darkness are a constant reality that the majority of us confront each night. The country is in decline, and headed for doom.
That is the fault of Moyo, his Zanu PF party, and indeed the current government. Moyo, by virtue of being the then Information minister, played the role of spin-doctor; tasked with the unenviable task of defending the indefensible, “breaking falls” in a literal sense.
He is ever accessible on Twitter and that has made him the face of the country, and the problems too. It has also made him the easiest “vent-your-frustrations point”, and Zimbabweans are very frustrated.
In 2005, after he was chucked out of government, Moyo motioned Gukurahundi back into Parliament. Now he has returned into the good books of the principal, his ticket on the gravy train returned, he has changed his stance and Gukurahundi is no longer a genocide, but a civil war. Several of those who had sympathised with him in 2005 feel betrayed, and they are not only frustrated, but angry.
A few months ago he “insulted” UFIC leader Emmanuel Makandiwa and the prosperity gospel movement. “Only idiots would believe such nonsense (miracles, and Makandiwa),” the political science professor inflammatorily said. As such, the near-million adherents of the prosperity movement were and are incensed.
Probably the biggest and most symbolic event, and one that is related to the shocking reaction of Zimbabweans to Moyo’s loss, was his reaction to the abduction of human rights activist Itai Dzamara eight months ago.
Moyo has simply said too much, too many times to recap here, but in a nutshell, he has demonstrated immense insensitivity to the plight of the missing activist. His attitude towards the whole matter has been that people go missing all the time, and Dzamara is not worth the time, effort and clamour.
Pictures of Dzamara’s fatherless toddlers, or his ever-crying and evidently grieving wife have not moved Moyo. He has expressed no sympathy, or willingness to even join in the call for the safe return, or at the very least a truthful revelation from those responsible for Dzamara’s kidnapping.
Like Information secretary George Charamba, the sentiments have been devastating in the simplicity of their implication — Dzamara is missing, so what, who cares?
Well, now that it has proven that death is not political, and tragedy is not choosy, Zimbabweans in leaps and bounds have taken time to laugh, mock and scream “Karma!” to Moyo.
The fact that his daughter is at this time believed to have succumbed to the cunning cruelty of evil men excites so many Zimbabweans. Several of them are in a jovial mood and feel the “gods” have vindicated them, by dealing Moyo the same hand he has dealt Zimbabweans in the past.
A friend of mine, a member of Makandiwa’s church, went as far as saying, “Touch not my anointed ones”, implying God is punishing Moyo for his jibe on the prophet. On social media, I have encountered the statement, “God is not blind” several times, while some simply resort to saying, “Moyo deserves it, how many has he killed himself?”
It is understandable and not debatable that Moyo, together with what he stands for, are the rude reason for the suffering of many Zimbabweans.
But the treatment he is receiving from many borders on vile malevolence of the most hellish order. Zanele was not the citizen of Moyo. Whatever Moyo has done or stands accused of was not her fault, not of her making, and out of her hands and influence. She was just a 20-year-old child, and a sweet one for that matter. Her death is not justice served on Moyo, or the plight of Zimbabwe.
If our idea of justice is the vengeful murder of an innocent and defenceless woman, real or imagined, then we are as bad as the “monster” we fight and love to hate.
To celebrate the loss of a life, and the grief in the trauma of a parent losing his offspring is out of touch with decency and basic humanity. It is simply “plain cruel” and monstrous to pick now as a time to shove other agendas, let alone gloat and remind him that, despite his power, in the face of death all men are feeble.
We cannot find in the tragedy of Zanele’s death a playground to kick a ball and settle political scores. That is just wrong and inhumane.
To those who insist on doing so, I am afraid you have lost your humanity and become something else. When the trauma of Moyo losing his daughter dies down and he finds healing, whenever that maybe, the biggest change will not be how he learns to live without his angel daughter, but the new definition of humanity that you have undertaken — one that is shaped around insensitivity and sadism.
To Zanele Naledi, may your soul rest in peace Moyo’s little angel.
●Maynard Manyowa is a political and social analyst. You can reach him for feedback via his website http://www.maynardmanyowa.com, on Twitter — @iAmKudaMaynard or by liking his FB page — Maynard Kudakwashe Manyowa