Jason Ziyapapa Moyo

Jason Ziyapapa Moyo

Lifespan: 1927-1977

Place of birth: Plumtree

Positions Held:

  •  1957- Chairman of African National Congress, Bulawayo Branch
  • 1962- Treasurer, Zimbabwe African People’s Union
  • 1963- External Representative
  • 1974- Committee Member of the External Committee (ANC)
  • 1976- Vice President ANC

Born in the year 1927 near Plumtree on the border with Botswana. He was a member of the Kalanga tribe. After obtaining his primary education at Mzingwane Government School he trained as a builder and carpenter. He was a veteran nationalist leader who served during the liberation struggle in Rhodesia. In the early 1950s he became interested in trade unionism in Bulawayo and became General Secretary of the African Artisans’ Union. He joined the Bulawayo Branch of the old AN-Congress and became successively its Secretary and Chairman. 

He was arrested and detained on the 26th of February 1959 for three months. He was further detained in May under the new Preventive Detention Act. He was released from Marandellas (Marondera) Prison in 1960 and was elected 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.
He remained loyal to Joshua Nkomo when the split occurred in July 1963 and was appointed Financial Secretary of the PCC. Moyo was then appointed to the External Executive of the Council and made his headquarters in Lusaka where he lived until his death.

In 1971 he took over leadership of the ZAPU faction as he declined to join the creation of a single organization called FROLIZI. 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. Upon his return to Lusaka he was offered the position of Deputy Chairman to Ndabaningi Sithole in the ZLC but refused. Moyo and three other ZAPU representatives in Lusaka were suspended from the ANC on the 12th of September by Bishop Muzorewa.
On the 14th of April 1976 he was appointed second Vice-President of the ANC (Nkomo) in charge of External Affairs. He was given full powers to deal with military affairs as chairman of the ANC’s external mission. On the 13th of October he was appointed delegate to the Geneva Conference.

Jason 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.
He died on the 22nd of January 1977 in a parcel bomb explosion in Zambia. He was reburied in Zimbabwe on August 11 1981 at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.

By Elizabeth Taderera