Moyo bombshell: Gukurahundi killed my father
By Njabulo Ncube
President Robert Mugabe, 80, whose ruling ZANU PF is still struggling to make inroads in the Matabeleland provinces, has since described the killings during the insurgency as part of a dark chapter in the history of Zimbabwe.
Thousands of people were reportedly killed during the dissident era, which only ended with the signing of the Unity Accord in 1987 between ZANU PF and PF Zapu, then led by the late vice-president Joshua Nkomo. Wounds inflicted by the uprising in Matabeleland have not however completely healed.
"My father is late. He was killed in 1983 in Tsholotsho in a tragic encounter with elements of the Zimbabwe National Army who took his life during Zimbabwe's post-independence dark period generally referred to as the Gukurahundi Era," says Moyo in his 11-page CV submitted to the ZANU PF National Electorate Directorate during the vetting exercise of party cadres interested in contesting last week's primary polls.
"At the time he was a councillor in Tsholotsho Rural District Council. He was a long serving political activist and cadre of Zimbabwe's Second 'Umvukela'," added Moyo, whose CV did little to prevent ZANU PF from barring him from contesting Tsholotsho, a constituency he has coveted since the 2000 parliamentary polls.
Moyo, a father of five, has kept his options a closely guarded secret after ZANU PF allocated Tsholotsho to women contestants.
A perusal of the CV also shows that the troubled minister, whose fortunes took a tailspin over what has come to be known as the Tsholotsho Declaration, claims credit for President Mugabe's 2002 victory over Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and in ZANU PF by-election victories after June 2000.
However, the MDC attributed ZANU PF's victories in the Presidential polls and by-elections to rigging, systematic bullying, intimidation and violence against its supporters by the ruling party. The MDC also accused the government of denying it access to the public media.
Moyo mentions as highlights, in his political career in ZANU PF, his appointment by President Robert Mugabe to serve in the Constitutional Commission in 1999, his eventual appointment as non-constituency member and subsequent Minister of Information and Publicity in the war cabinet.
Moyo claimed to have researched and wrote the ZANU PF Election manifesto for the 2000 Parliamentary elections. In 2002 he said, he designed and led the implementation of the media campaign strategy for the Presidential Election Campaign, adding that he was the official ZANU PF team leader for President Mugabe's campaign in Tsholotsho were ZANU PF polled 10 838 votes against the MDC's 10 089.
In the 2000, parliamentary polls, the MDC had overwhelmingly won in Tsholotsho garnering 12 318 votes against ZANU PF's 5 634 votes.
"I grew up in and within ZANU PF politics. I have not known any other politics and, as a matter of fact, I have never been part of or associated with any opposition party in post-independence Zimbabwe. My father was an active ZAPU cadre and a community leader. I was raised by my mother, who was separated from my father from my birth, and who was very close in the early sixties and mid-seventies to the family of the late Reverend Sithole who was at the time the President of ZANU. It was true these links that I ended up in Zambia and later Tanzania between 1973 (age 16) and 1977 (age 20)," he says in his CV.
In an attempt to justify that he is not a mafikizolo, a disparaging term used to describe the Johnny-come-latelys in ZANU PF, Moyo stated that his two scholarships from the United Nations and the Africa American Institute to the University of Southern California in June 1978 were through the ZANU office in New York then headed by Kangai Tirivafi. He said from November 1977 to December 1981, he was ZANU's Secretary for Commissariat for the Los Angeles Branch in California.
"Our branch was very active in mobilising material support for the comrades in Mozambique and worked very closely with the late comrades Kangai Tirivafi and Edison Shirihuru, who was Cde Kangai's deputy at the ZANU PF offices in New York," said Moyo adding that he worked with the two between May 1978 and August 1978. Moyo says he graduated from the University of Southern California in June 1982 with a Bachelor's (Bsc) degree in public policy obtaining a Masters Degree in Public Administration (MPA) with same university in 1984.
He said the numerous Galas that he initiated were for mobilisation designed to give "Zimbabwe's artists an opportunity to express themselves within nationalistic themes and for Zimbabwean audiences, especially the youth, to appreciate the Pan African roots, nationalism and unity through music."
"One challenge I faced as Minister of State for Information and Publicity was the unprecedented international and local media onslaught on Zimbabwe's sovereignty and particularly against His Excellency President Robert Mugabe. It is my humble and considered view that, the multimedia response to this global and local media onslaught on Zimbabwe, was in the final analysis very successful and even the ardent t critics have acknowledged this fact. I'm very proud of this fact as a matter of national service and commitment to principle," he said.
He mentions that he spearheaded the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) (2002), the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) (2001) and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (Commercialisation) Act (2003) which he describes as three landmark legislations, pieces of law detested by a majority of media players and the opposition.
"The first two (laws) have gone through a series of amendments that have left them as much sought after pieces of legislation by jurisdictions in Africa and other countries elsewhere facing the sort of regime change challenges that our country has faced between 2000 and now," Moyo said.
Analyst were this week unanimous Moyo was drifting out of ZANU PF with his sidelining from the post of deputy secretary for information and publicity, central committee and Politburo.
They however, noted he still controlled The Herald, Chronicle, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings and coterie of other provincial and regional news outlets indicating that President Mugabe held him in high esteem as the party and government gate-keeper.
President Mugabe has remained tight-lipped over Moyo's hard-hitting attacks on senior members of his party, giving credence to unconfirmed reports he was privy to Moyo's political machinations.
The analysts added that by virtue of having the temerity to take John Nkomo, the party national chairman, head-on, exemplified by the $2 billion lawsuit against former PF ZAPU guru, and his continued hard-hitting newspaper articles against ZANU PF senior officials, showed Moyo had an ace up his sleeves.
"He is still there (in ZANU PF and government). They need him because he stills writes his columns and responds without any hindrance in the government papers," said Heneri Dzinotyiweyi.
"Yes, his role
seems to have been reduced but his influence is there for all to see.
He might not be in the politburo but he still controls information even.
It seems his influence in that department is well appreciated if it
was not, he was not going to be still a minister in charge of such a
crucial portfolio," said Dzinotyiweyi.
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