By Anna Chibamu
FORMER Zanu PF Mashonaland West province chairperson and the current independent Norton MP Temba Mliswa says the late Simon Khaya Moyo was among senior Zapu leaders who were persecuted by the ruling Zanu PF in the early 1980s.
Moyo (76) died last week after battling cancer and was buried at the National Heroes Acre Monday.
However, Mliswa who was at the national shrine told NewZimbabwe.com, described the late national hero as an outstanding leader who was incorruptible despite persecution and harassment he went through at the hands of the governing party. At the time, Moyo was a senior Zapu official, and over 20 000 people, mostly Zapu sympathisers, were killed by the state during the Gukurahundi era.
Mliswa said his father, Kripper Peter Mliswa also fought for the liberation struggle with Moyo under Zapu in Zambia.
“My father was also part of Zapu. They worked together with Cde Ambrose Mutinhiri. Moyo served loyally in the party and was dedicated to his duties. He did what he had to do,” Mliswa said.
At one time, Moyo served as a special assistant to the now late Vice President Joshua Nkomo.
Mliswa also bemoaned the lack of documentation of Zimbabwe’s liberation history, and how most heroes were dying without being honoured.
“It is very sad today we cannot really talk much because we expect these leaders to have public lectures where they can talk about the history of this country.
“S.K. is gone too soon for the country he fought for. He was accused of too many things, but I am glad he is a national hero. May we honour our heroes whilst they are alive, and not when they are dead.”
Foreign Minister Fredrick Shava described Moyo as a tireless worker, a supporter of Zanu PF.
“He put up a lot of effort in support of the party since 1970 when he was in Lusaka, Zambia as a student. We were together in Lusaka at the same University of (Zambia) and he certainly has always been a strong party stalwart,” Shava told NewZimbabwe.com.
War veterans Association chairperson Chris Mutsvangwa described Moyo’s death as a loss to the country and the SADC region.
“Cde S.K. Moyo was one of the young cadres who left the country and joined training to liberate the country and the region at large. He trained in Russia and Cuba and returned back home to help prosecute the armed struggle. What I learnt from him is that a revolutionary is a man who loves his country regardless of his standing in society.
“He was an intellectual of the highest level, but he dedicated his whole life to the freedom of Zimbabwe. At independence, he became a nation builder and he became more important when the country was facing serious challenges of re-colonisation by the British especially after the land reform in the 1990s.
“Ambassador S.K. Moyo ended up in South Africa as a diplomat who worked with the African National Congress (ANC) ministers to make sure Zimbabwe was saved from a war similar to the one in Iraq,” he said.
“Ambassador S.K Moyo used his revolutionary background and diplomatic skills and his access to President Thabo Mbeki and President Jacob Zuma to make sure that Tony Blair, the all-monger was restrained. He had very strong links with our sisters and brothers. This is a spirit of SADC, the spirit of liberation movements that we enjoy even today.”