Zanu PF Masuku award courts controversy

Organisers of the award said Legacy TV acknowledged Moyo’s commitment and outstanding role in contributing to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s re-election.

HUMAN rights defenders and activists in Matabeleland have expressed outrage after Zanu PF Matabeleland North provincial chairperson Richard Moyo was conferred with the Lookout Masuku Consistency Award.

Moyo will receive the award on Saturday. The award was conferred by Legacy TV.

Organisers of the award said Legacy TV acknowledged Moyo’s commitment and outstanding role in contributing to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s re-election.

The ceremony will be held at the party national headquarters in Harare under the theme Celebrating courage and commitment in safeguarding the legacy of the liberation struggle.

Legacy TV chief editor Pardon Mangwende confirmed that Moyo would be awarded the Lookout Masuku Consistency Matabeleland North Award.

But human rights groups based in Matabeleland were not amused saying Masuku died a cruel death at the hands of the Zanu PF government.

Human rights advocate Effie Ncube said the award needed to be renamed.

“Masuku died a cruel death in the 1980s. His case and that of tens of thousands others have not yet been addressed. It's insensitive to ignore such basic facts,” Ncube said.

Rural Empowerment Community Trust Matabeleland North Coordinator Vumani Ndlovu said the award in Masuku’s name given to a politician from a party that tormented him was an insult to the Zapu family.

 “Zanu PF never liked this Zipra icon and openly denied him the hero status. They subjected him to cruel and a harsh death,” Ndlovu said.

“We wonder what legacy they are talking about. They are doing this simply for political expediency. They must not be taken seriously.

“In fact, Zimbabweans are waiting for them to acknowledge the wrongs they did to Dumiso Dabengwa and others, not these sideshows.”

Ibhetshu LikaZulu co-ordinator Mbuso Fuzwayo said it was wrong to associate the victim of Zanu PF with the political party through an award.

“If we are a self-respecting society or nation, no one from the party that killed Masuku can unashamedly link him with his killers.

“There is no development to talk about in Matabeleland North, but that television, either does not respect the people or they have never been to the province.

“It is good that there is an acknowledgement of the courage for the late general Khalisabantu Vumindaba Masuku, but I doubt if Richard Moyo is brave, courageous or understands the real ideals of the liberation struggle?”

He said it was an insult to honour Moyo for development in a province that has no single decent road and has a bad communication network.

“Children are taught by people who can’t speak the local language, so I do not understand whether it’s a genuine award or it’s meant to spite someone," Fuzwayo said.

Masuku, a former Zipra commander, spent four years in detention and died in 1986 at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare at the age 46.

He reportedly succumbed to cryptococcal meningitis, an inflammation of membranes covering the brain.

Masuku was appointed deputy commander of the Zimbabwe National Army but was arrested in 1982 together with the Zipra intelligence chief, Dabengwa, on charges of plotting a coup against then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe's government.

They were acquitted in 1983 but were immediately detained again under emergency powers.

Masuku was freed on March 11, 1986 because of poor health and died a month later.

Related Topics