BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
MATABELELAND-BASED political analysts have described the late Zanu PF spokesperson and former minister Simon Khaya Moyo as a “politically correct” person who avoided aligning himself with factions in the ruling party.
Moyo (76), who succumbed to cancer last week at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo was declared a national hero, and will be buried at the National Heroes Acre in Harare today.
Dumisani Nkomo described Moyo as a luminary of the struggle for independence under Zapu.
“He served well in Zapu during the war of liberation, where he also played a critical role as the personal assistant for the late Vice-President and Zapu founder Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo.
“He did a lot in terms of speech writing, administrative work and providing technical support in key processes and meetings for Joshua Nkomo. He was very articulate and even wrote a book that has all of his (Nkomo’s) speeches in Parliament,” he said.
Nkomo said Moyo’s decision to stay in Zanu PF was his personal choice.
“He tried to be on the right side of politics — that could explain why he remained within Zanu PF. I will not insult the old man. Let’s celebrate the good things that he did and emulate them,” Nkomo said, adding that Moyo was instrumental in spearheading several projects in Mangwe and Bulilima districts.
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National University of Science and Technology lecturer Methuseli Moyo described Moyo as a loyal figure in Zanu PF.
“No doubt Moyo was one of the political luminaries of his time, especially in Zanu PF because after the unity accord, he became highly visible, eloquent, charming and friendly, and very loyal to his party,” Moyo said.
He said the former minister was a prominent political player during the December 22 Unity Accord entered into between Zanu and Zapu.
“Love him or hate him, his politics was characterised by respect and peace. That is the legacy of Moyo. He was presumably happy at personal level. If you notice, those who left were in the periphery and disgruntled, or had nothing more to gain by continuing being in Zanu PF. He was loyal to Zanu PF and its leadership. In that respect, he was more politically correct,” Moyo said.
Human rights activist Effie Ncube said: “He left for the struggle when he was quite young and joined those who fought for the liberation struggle, and for that we must celebrate his life. He came back and was one of the people who were persecuted. It is during his time in Zanu PF as chairperson in other offices where serious violations of human rights took place, where the rule of law was undermined, where free and fair elections were destabilised.”
Ncube said while his life in Zapu was almost perfect, it was after he joined Zanu PF where he became complicity in some of the ruling party’s atrocious behaviour.
“At personal level, he was a very decent fellow, but his only problem was being Zanu PF, where he wanted to be politically correct,” Ncube said.
In 2003, Moyo was one of the top Zanu PF officials that were placed on the United States sanctions list.Follow Praisemore on Twitter @TPraisemore