VETERAN politician and Zanu PF Politburo member, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo who died yesterday, has been described as a humble and dedicated cadre who committed his life to serving the country in various capacities.
Cde Khaya Moyo who was the party’s spokesman, succumbed to cancer at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo. He was 76.
Cde Khaya-Moyo, a career diplomat and former Cabinet minister, was the Senator for Bulilima and Mangwe constituencies at the time of his death.
He served his apprenticeship as a young political secretary to the liberation struggle icon the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo during the armed struggle. After independence, he served in Government as Cabinet Minister for different ministries.
He had been in and out of hospital for some time battling cancer.
Confirming Cde Khaya Moyo’s death, Zanu PF Secretary for Administration Cde Obert Mpofu said the party will soon issue an official statement.
“Yes, I can confirm that he passed on today at Mater Dei Hospital, but I would not want to speak further as the party will issue a statement,” said Cde Mpofu.
Acting Zanu PF spokesperson Cde Mike Bimha said the party will issue a detailed report on Cde Khaya Moyo today.
“At the moment I can’t say much except just confirming that we have lost Cde SK this morning at Mater Dei Hospital. He has been unwell for quite a while and for now I don’t want to say what I think about him. We will issue the party’s position,” said Cde Bimha.
Zanu PF politburo member Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube mourned Cde SK Moyo describing him as a dedicated cadre who died with the late Father Zimbabwe Cde Joshua Nkomo’s secrets.
“I had known SK Moyo for a very long time from the time he left the country to join the armed struggle. When he came to Zambia he just stayed for a bit before being deployed to further his studies in Uganda at Makerere University,” he said.
Cde Tshinga Dube said after completing his studies, Cde SK Moyo came back to join the liberation movement where he became the right-hand man of the then Zapu president Cde Nkomo.
Rtd Col Dube said being Dr Nkomo’s right hand man meant he kept the late former Vice President’s secrets.
“He was a special assistant to the Zapu president at that time and they travelled to so many countries together,” he said
Rtd Col Dube said at independence, Cde Khaya Moyo served in various portfolios for the development of the country.
“At the attainment of independence, he started working in the Ministry of Home Affairs as an assistant secretary and rose through the ranks to a Cabinet minister and diplomat. His dedication to the country is unquestionable,” he said.
Acting Matabeleland South Zanu PF spokesperson Cde Never Khanye said he province learnt with shock about Cde Khaya Moyo’s death.
He described Cde Moyo as a humble servant of the people who never discriminated against anyone.
“He was a dedicated leader, a unifier, a hard-working man who was served his country well. He would do any assignment with humility and just yesterday, he had phoned informing me that he would be attending the party’s Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting,” he said.
Cde Khanye said Cde SK Moyo’s death was a great loss not just to Matabeleland South but to the entire nation as he was a national leader.
Cde Khaya-Moyo joined the nationalist movement in 1968 as a member of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU).
He left the country for Lusaka in Zambia in 1968 to join the liberation struggle. While in Zambia, senior Zapu officials agreed to send him for studies.
He was enrolled at the University of Zambia and in 1969 he graduated with a diploma in Social Sciences.
The party then directed that Cde Khaya Moyo proceeds to Makerere University in East Africa to study towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science, which he completed in March 1973 with an upper second-class honour.
He lectured for a while in Uganda where he was also the party’s chief representative.
In 1975, Cde Khaya Moyo returned to Lusaka where he was subsequently appointed secretary/special assistant to Dr Nkomo. He did military and intelligence training in the then East German, becoming a member of the revolutionary council as well as member of the PF-Zapu Central Committee.
Cde Khaya- Moyo travelled widely with Dr Nkomo and attended several meetings such as the Geneva, Malta and Lancaster House conferences.
In 1977, Cde Khaya-Moyo survived an attack by the Ian Smith regime when he was with Dr Nkomo in Zambia.
The Smith regime had made a firm decision to assassinate Dr Nkomo in Zambia after the shooting down of the Air Rhodesia plane in Kariba.
The Selous Scouts (secret assassination organ of the regime) had assigned Selous Scout Chris Gough to survey Cde Nkomo’s house, and draw up the road map from the Zambezi to Lusaka.
In 1980, Cde Khaya Moyo became the assistant secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs rising through the ranks to undersecretary in the Ministry of Justice in 1983.
In 1984, he moved to the Ministry of Health where was later promoted to Deputy Permanent Secretary in 1987.
In August 1989, Cde Khaya Moyo was awarded the Liberation Decoration medals (gold and silver) for his role in the country’s liberation struggle.
During the same year, Cde Khaya Moyo left Government service and became the first head of corporate affairs of the Development Trust of Zimbabwe (DTZ), which was founded by Dr Nkomo.
He was elected Zanu PF Central Committee member at the party’s 1989 congress. In 1990, Cde Khaya Moyo contested in the general elections representing the ruling party and he was elected Bulilima Mangwe South MP. He also became a member of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts and of the Indigenisation of the National Economy Committee.
In 1992, Cde Khaya Moyo was appointed Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce.
In September 1994, he was re-elected member of the Zanu PF Central Committee and thereafter Deputy Secretary for Administration in the Politburo. In the April 1995 general elections, Cde Khaya Moyo was overwhelmingly re-elected Bulilima Mangwe South MP.
Soon after the election, the veteran politician was appointed Minister of Transport and Energy.
Between July 1997 and July 2000, Cde Khaya Moyo served as Minister of Mines, Environment and Tourism
At the Zanu PF Special People’s Congress in 2000, Cde Khaya Moyo was appointed Deputy Secretary for Legal Affairs.
The following year in January, he was appointed the country’s Ambassador to South Africa and Lesotho. He was also accredited to Mauritius as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. He was Deputy Dean of the entire Diplomatic Corps in South Africa and the Sadc until the end of his tour of duty on October 15, 2010.
At the December 2004 Zanu PF National People’s Congress, Cde Khaya Moyo became a full Politburo member.
He was also a writer having authored two books titled “Mr Speaker Sir”, a compilation of his speeches in Parliament and beyond and “Service to my Country” whose foreword was written by the late veteran nationalist and Vice President Dr Joseph Msika.
In December 2009, Cde Khaya Moyo was elected Zanu PF National Chairperson during the party’s 5th National People’s Congress in Harare.
In March 2011, he was appointed a non-constituency Senator. At the time of his death, he was the ruling party’s national spokesperson.
Born on October 1, 1945 in Plumtree, Cde Khaya Moyo did his primary education in the area before proceeding to Fletcher High School until 1965.
After high school, Cde Khaya Moyo worked in Bulawayo as a research assistant at Mpilo Central Hospital from 1966 to 1967. The following year, he joined the war as a member of Zapu.-The herald