The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor
HUNDREDS of people thronged the Bulawayo Amphitheatre yesterday to bid farewell to the late Zanu-PF national spokesperson, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo who was eulogised as a true patriot who served the country with pride, courage and resilience.
His body was airlifted to Harare where he will be laid to rest tomorrow at the National Heroes Acre. Before departing for Harare, a memorial service was held in his honour at the Bulawayo Amphitheatre where various speakers described him as a true hero who served the nation with pride and expended his energies on ensuring development and unity.
Matabeleland South Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Cde Abednico Ncube, who was the chief mourner, described Cde Khaya Moyo as a leader par excellence who dedicated his life to the nation. He said not only did he immensely contribute towards the upliftment of the nation, but also contributed in many projects in Mangwe District, his place of birth.
“We gather here with broken and heavy hearts and to bid farewell to one of our dear sons of the soil, a leader par excellence, a visionary and champion of unity and development, a man who dedicated his life at a tender age in the fight against the white oppressive minority regime for the freedom of the black majority. He was a man of little words but full of wisdom as his wish was to unite all the people of Zimbabwe for economic development. As a
Government for the people and the Matabeleland South Province, we shall continue to advance the ideals of the liberation struggle and ensure that we preserve the gains we have made for us today and for the future generations,” said Cde Ncube.
He thanked President Mnangagwa and the ruling Zanu-PF party for conferring National Hero status to Cde Khaya Moyo in recognition of his unquestionable bravery in the fight for the liberation of the country.
“The fight against the white colonial rule called upon men and women of strong hearts who forsook all the pleasures, professions and youthful years for the liberation of the black majority. To our departed gallant son, you have fought a good fight and you were constant and persistent in the fight for freedom.
Your years spent in the struggle were not in vain and shall be ever cherished. You normally said we must unite since quarrelling among us takes us backwards and hence our enemies and detractors take advantage,” said Cde Ncube.
Bulawayo Metropolitan Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Cde Judith Ncube said in Cde Khaya Moyo the nation had lost a resilient son of the soil who fought hard to further the goals and aspirations of Zimbabwe.
“Cde Khaya Moyo’s resilience started from the struggle for independence, he was resilient after we got our independence, he was resilient after the land reform, he was resilient after 2008 when our economy crushed, he was resilient right up to his last day on this earth.
“I was talking to Cde Never Khanye, our acting party chairperson for Matabeleland North and he told me that Cde Khaya Moyo had called, telling him that he was coming to Gwanda for a meeting scheduled for last Saturday, when Saturday came he was not feeling well, by Sunday he breathed his last,” she said.
Speaking on behalf of the Moyo family, Cde Khaya Moyo’s younger brother, Isaac said the late National Hero did not belong to them as a family but to the entire nation, this being evidenced by his dedication towards the development of Zimbabwe.
“As a family we want to extend our profound gratitude to His Excellency, President Emmerson Mnangagwa for conferring the National Hero status on our beloved Cde Khaya Moyo.
“This conferring of such an honour is a huge thing to us as a family, we are really humbled because it shows that great leaders deserve recognition,” said Mr Moyo.
Cde Khaya Moyo (76) succumbed to cancer last Sunday at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo where he had been admitted. Cde Khaya Moyo is survived by wife, Margaret, four sons and three grandchildren. On Thursday, villagers at his rural home in Sanzukwi, Mangwe in Matabeleland South bade farewell to the national hero.
Meanwhile, the body of Cde Moyo arrived in Harare yesterday ahead of his burial at the National Heroes Acre tomorrow. On arrival at Manyame Airbase in Harare, the body was accompanied by Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage permanent secretary, Mr Aaron Nhepera, Cde Moyo’s family led by his widow Mrs Margaret Moyo, and Zanu-PF officials, including deputy political commissar Cde Omega Hungwe and acting deputy secretary for the Youth League, Cde Tendai Chirau.
From Manyame Airbase, the body was transferred to One Command Barracks, where it will lie in state until burial. A church service was held at the barracks. Addressing mourners at the service, Mr Nhepera said the country had lost a hero who was friend to everyone.
“He had a blessing of making friends. I don’t think there’s ever a time that he made enemies with anyone. He loved people and he will be remembered for that,” Mr Nhepera said.
He said Government will today accompany the Moyo family to view the site where the former Cabinet Minister and diplomat will be interred. Mr Nhepera said President Mnangagwa will preside over tomorrow’s burial, with proceedings to start at 9.30AM.