Home / Politics / Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo founder of #Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA)

Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo founder of #Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA)

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 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

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

]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.

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