Jason Ziyapaya Moyo

Jason Ziyapaya Moyo

1957 Chairman, Bulawayo Branch, ANC.
1962 National Treasurer, ZAPU.
1963 Financial Secretary, PCC.
1963 External – Representative, PCC.
1974 Lusaka, Member of External Committee, ANC.
1976 (April) Vice—President i/c External Affairs, ANC (Nkomo).

Jason Moyo was born about 1927 near Plumtree, on the order with Botswana. He was a member of the Kalanga tribe1 After obtaining his primary education at Mzingwane Government School he trained as a builder and carpenter.

He became interested in trade unionism in Bulawayo in the early 1950s and became General Secretary of the African Artisans’ Union. He joined the Bulawayo Branch of the old ANCongress and became successively its Secretary and its Chairman.

He was arrested on 26 February 1959 and detained for three months. In May he was further detained under the new Preventive Detention Act. He was released from Marandellas (Marondera) Prison in 1960. Moyo was elected a member of the National Executive of the NDP at its congress in November. When the NDP was banned in December 1961 he joined ZAPU and became National Treasurer.

When the split occurred in July 1963 he remained loyal to Joshua Nkomo2 and was a pointed Financial Secretary of the PCC. Soon afterwards, however, he was appointed to the External Executive of the Council.3 He made his headquarters in Lusaka where he lived until his death.

When an attempt was made in 1971 to heal the ZAPU/ZANU split in Lusaka by the creation of a single organisation, FROLIZI, he declined to join, and took over the leadership of the ZAPU faction4

Following the grouping of all nationalist parties under the ANC in December 1974 he remained in Lusaka and was a member of the ANC team of consultants at the Victoria Falls talks in August 1975. Immediately on his return to Lusaka he was offered the position of Deputy Chairman to Ndabaningi Sithole in the ZLC but refused. On 12 September he and the three other ZAPU representatives5 in Lusaka were ‘suspended’ from the ANC by Bishop Muzorewa.

On 14 April 1976 he was appointed second Vice-President of the ANC (Nkomo) in charge of External Affairs. The terms of his appointment gave him full powers to deal with “military affairs as chairman of the ANC’s external mission.“ On 13 October he was appointed as a delegate to the Geneva Conference.

On 22 January 1977, Jason Moyo, speaking in Lusaka after a visit to Maputo, blamed the front—line countries for “lack of fighting facilities”. He called for increased military aid from the OAU. Some hours later Jason Moyo was killed by a parcel bomb in the ANC offices in Lusaka7

]ason Moyo was a “confirmed bachelor”. As a member of the Varozwi (the kingmakers of the Shona) he was always conscious of his dignity and proud of his family background

Observations on our Struggle, 25 February 1970.
On the Coup precipitated by J.Chikerema, 2 March 1970.

1 The Kalangas inhabited the western part of what is now Rhodesia before the arrival of the Matabele from the south in the 1830s. Their ethnic origin is Shona but they speak Sindebele.
2 Moyo was one of the members of the National Executive who walked out of the meeting in Dar-es-Salaam at which Ndabaningi Sithole ‘deposed’ Joshua Nkomo
3 This was part of a move to ensure that the expected detentions in Rhodesia would not cause the movement to collapse.
4 See comments by James Chikerema in the footnote to the entry for George Silundika.
5 The others were George Silundika, Edward Ndhlovu and Miss Jane Ngwenya.
6 The Rhodesia Herald, 15 April 1976.
7 Sunday Mail, 23 January 977.