The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday News Reporter
THE family of liberation struggle stalwart Cde Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo has praised the Second Republic for helping them fulfil the national hero’s wishes of seeing his family settling on productive land after the farm that they were allocated by the Government has started showing signs of coming to life.
The Moyo family was allocated a 300-hectare farm at their rural home district of Kezi, Matabeleland South province, with production on the farm set to go a gear up in upcoming seasons, after it sprung to life last year when the family went into partnership with a local farmer. Cde Moyo, who was affectionately known as “JZ”, died on 22 January 1977 in Zambia after a parcel bomb explosion. He was the Vice President of PF Zapu at the time. In December 1987, Zapu signed a unity agreement with Zanu PF to become a united Zanu PF.
The parcel that killed him was addressed in his name. Cde Moyo had just returned from Mozambique where he had met the late former President, Robert Mugabe. The veteran nationalist was reburied at the National Heroes Acre on 11 August 1981.
In an interview from his Kezi homestead at Donkwe-Donkwe Village, Mr George Moyo, the only surviving child from Cde Moyo’s five children, said the family was grateful to the Second Republic for granting them a piece of land, as it was something that they had campaigned for since the country attained its independence in 1980.
The allocation of the farm is part of the mantra of President Mnangagwa’s Government of leaving no place and no one behind. The President has since assuming office come up with an open-door policy to families of former liberation fighters and also showed his willingness to listen to challenges they are facing. He recently met the widow of the late ZPRA commander, Rogers “Alfred Nikita” Mangena, Mrs Sikhubekiso Madeya Mangena and her son, Lotshe at State House in Harare.
“As a family, we embraced the step taken by the Government and I cannot quantify how we felt when we were allocated this piece of land. We had been waiting for a long time for this because since independence, we had been asking but to no avail. However, with the coming of the Second Republic, we were given a piece of land that we can call our own and on behalf of the Moyo family I would like to thank the Government for this immense recognition,” he said.
Mr Moyo said not only had the Government allocated land to the family, but they had also been capacitated with critical farming infrastructure. However, he said the family still needed more resources for the project to fully get off the ground, which was why they had decided to engage a partner.
“Going forward, I would like to see production of healthy crops and also breeding of cattle. There’s a lot that we are still yet to do on the farm and I would also like us to start a poultry project because there’s a space for us to work on. All we have to do is get our house in order. We would like any form of assistance from the Government in that regard because as budding farmers, we are desperate for any help. We would like to fence the farm but due to a shortage of resources, we have not been able to do this. We would also like to see a homestead built so that I can settle on the farm permanently,” he said.
Mr Moyo said the allocation of the farm to the family felt like the fulfilment of his father’s dream, as he had been an eager subsistence farmer who was regularly frustrated by colonial administrators.
“He loved to farm, and this is something that would have pleased him. As a black man, he wanted to own a piece of land that he could call his own. His ambitions were thwarted by the fact that he did not want to be subjugated by white administrators. I remember there was a white man called Nkom’yahlaba who was the district administrator for Kezi and he would give people land to cultivate. However, my father fought with him earlier on and that meant that he could not get land to cultivate like the rest of the villagers here. He was a brave man but it meant that he could not live out his ambitions as a farmer,” he said.
Mr Moyo said the allocation of the farm felt like the much needed consolation for the family for the loss of JZ Moyo, who they all last saw in 1963 when he was being hounded by colonial authorities.
“I have a lot of fond memories of my father, as his first born, I lived a lot with him in old location (Makokoba, Bulawayo) and I also lived with him back in the rural areas. I remember this one time when he was now in constant conflict with the colonial government. He was sent down here because the authorities were of the opinion that ‘boys’ like him should come to their fathers and be disciplined for their actions. I can remember because I was now a bit grown up. Their fathers were meant to tell them to leave politics.
“When he sat down with the old man, he told him to go and report him to the police, his reason for doing this being that he was now a problem to his father because of his politics. So, my grandfather took his bicycle and went to make a report like he had been instructed by his son. I remember, while my grandfather went to make that report, me and my father went to Tshatshane River to bath at around midday. When we returned home, we found the police waiting to take him back to his house in town. He never returned home after that and we never saw him again. After he died in 1977, we left for Leopard Hill in Zambia to go and bury him,” he said.
Besides the farm, the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa in 2018 also renamed Suri Suri Airbase situated between Chegutu and Kadoma after JZ Moyo.