Zanu PF secretary for Information and Publicity Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo, who died today at the age of 75, was born in Plumtree, Matabeleland South on October 1 1945 to Mr Robert Khaya Ngulani Moyo and Mrs Tshagara Moyo.
His father Mr Moyo succumbed to diabetes in August 2006 aged 88, while Mrs Moyo died in a traffic accident in June 2002 aged 78.
After completing primary school, Khaya Moyo attended Fletcher High School in Gweru up to 1965. Between 1966 and 1967, he worked as a research assistant at Mpilo Hospital.
Armed struggle In early 1968, Khaya Moyo left the country for Zambia to join the liberation struggle. In 1969 when he arrived in Lusaka, he was directed by the ZAPU leadership to enrol at the University of Zambia for a Diploma in Social Sciences, which he completed with merit at the end of that year.
He was deployed by the party to Makerere University in Uganda in 1970 to study for a BA Degree in Social Sciences, which he completed in March 1973 with an upper second class honours. Khaya Moyo lectured in Uganda for a while, as well as being the Zapu chief representative.
In 1975, he returned to Lusaka and was appointed secretary and special assistant to ZAPU President Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo.
Cde Khaya Moyo underwent military and intelligence training in the then Germany Democratic Republic (GDR), and had refresher courses in Cuba and the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), now Russia.
He became a member of the Revolutionary Council as well as a member of the PF-Zapu Central Committee and travelled widely with Dr Joshua Nkomo, attending the Geneva, Malta and Lancaster House conferences.
At independence in 1980, Khaya Moyo became the assistant secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and was promoted to Under Secretary in the Ministry of Justice in 1983.
In 1984, he was laterally transferred to the Ministry of Health, where he was later promoted to deputy permanent secretary in 1987. In 1989, Khaya Moyo was awarded the Liberation Decoration Medals (Gold and Silver) for his role in the liberation of Zimbabwe.
He left Government service in 1989 to become the first Head of Corporate Affairs of the Development Trust of Zimbabwe (DTZ) — a trust founded by Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo.
Post-Independence Political Life Khaya Moyo was elected member of the united Zanu PF Central Committee at the 1989 congress and was elected Member of Parliament for Bulilimamangwe South in the 1990 general elections.
He was subsequently appointed a member of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee and Member of the Committee on Indigenisation of the National Economy. In 1992, Khaya Moyo was appointed the Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce.
During his tenure, he oversaw the passing of the Consumer Protection Bill on 6 April 1994; the approval of the Export Processing Zones concept in June 1994 and the signing of the Protection Investment Agreement with Germany.
In December 1994, Khaya Moyo was appointed Deputy Secretary for Administration in the Politburo during the 20th Ordinary Session of the Central Committee, a position he held up to 2000.
He was re-elected MP for Bulilimamangwe South in 1995 and was subsequently appointed Minister of Transport and Energy in May of the same year until 1997. As Minister of Transport and Energy, he pushed for the commencement of the construction of the new airport terminal at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (then Harare International Airport), which had been on the cards for years.
In 1996, he became the first high ranking Government official to visit Palestine at the invitation of its late President Yasser Arafat.
In July 1997, Khaya Moyo took over as the Minister of Mines, Environment and Tourism, with one of his main tasks being to oversee the merger of the Ministries of Mines, Environment and Tourism.
At the Zanu PF Special National People’s Congress in December 2000, Khaya Moyo was appointed Deputy Secretary for Legal Affairs in the Politburo.
In January 2001, he assumed a new role as Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to South Africa, the Kingdom of Lesotho and Mauritius until 2005.
He gallantly defended the country’s sovereignty and its land reform programme from an onslaught from South African political parties, media and activists that were trying to create a rift between Harare and Tswane.
In December 2004, Khaya Moyo was appointed committee member of the Zanu-PF Politburo.
He landed the Zanu PF national chairmanship after seven out of 10 provinces nominated him for the post in October 2009, taking over from John Landa Nkomo who had secured sufficient nominations to be elevated to Vice President and Second Secretary of the party.
In July 2010, Khaya Moyo left diplomatic service to concentrate on his role as the Zanu PF national chairman. As national chairman of the party, he spearheaded the launch of the party’s Ideological College and also engaged several diplomats on issues relating to the land reform.
He also led several delegations to China and liberation war congresses in Tanzania, South Africa and Namibia. In March 2011, the Politburo nominated him as Zanu PF’s candidate for the Speaker of the House of Assembly after the Supreme Court nullified the de facto speaker Lovemore Moyo’s election, but the bid was unsuccessful.
He was then sworn in as non-constituency senator in the same month, replacing Vice President John Nkomo who was now Vice President. Khaya Moyo was appointed Senior Minister of State in September 2013 without portfolio.
At the 6th Zanu PF National People’s Congress held in Harare in 2014, he was appointed Secretary for Information and Publicity of the party after the abolishment of the chairman’s post.
In 2017, he became the Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services after a Cabinet reshuffle. He also served as Energy and Power Development Minister before he was reassigned to the party headquarters on a full-time basis when President Mnangagwa announced a new Cabinet in September 2018.
Khaya Moyo was an ardent writer with a book titled “Mr Speaker Sir”, a compilation of his speeches in Parliament and beyond.
On 29 October 2009, he launched his second book “Service to My Country”. He married Sibonokuhle Gertrude Moyo (nee Ngwenya) on August 30, 1980 whom he later divorced on February 20, 2013.
After the divorce, Khaya Moyo was re-married to Margaret Mhambi in 2013.
His children are Khanyisa Khaya Mduduzi Moyo (born 7 July, 1982) and Langa Mandlenkosi Khaya Moyo (born 4 April, 1986).