The Dissonance of Prof Jonathan Moyo’s Umbilical Disconnection with his Nationality

by David Chandisaita

Listening to Manginde and Jojo by the doyen of Chimurenga music, Thomas Mapfumo, one would be forgiven to think he penned the songs specifically for Professor Jonathan Moyo.

The two songs would be a poignant stencil that captures the Prof’s misfortunes.

Dear Zimbabwe,

Please note, I am not addressing the soil per se, but vana vevhu (sons and daughters of soil) – a synonym that has been figuratively referred to, when denoting natives of this country.

Whether you are of Shona, Ndebele, Mukaranga, Mukorekore or mukiwa we are all tenants to this vernacular descriptive.

There is this engulfing emotive connection with one’s Ubuntu, spirit of nationalism and history as my resident thoughts migrate from mind to paper.

All with a binary intent initially to express my admiration for none-other-than Professor Jonathan Moyo for his intellectual prowess and in the same stroke abhorrence for his intimate and long abiding disdain for his roots or identity.

It is apparent he clearly suffers from an identity crisis that has blurred his sense of self and belonging to this soil, ivhu or inhlabathi.

To be honest, rarely has his country benefitted from intellectual endowments at any one time.

Not even in the struggle. He is known for deserting his fellow compatriots at a time when his contribution was vital.

This is why he rarely appears in the history of the struggle, although there are anecdotes of his misdemeanours prior to 1980, it’s nothing fancy.

Late war veteran Wilfred Mhanda, a former Zanla commander who died in May last year, writing in his biography, “Dzino: Memories of a Freedom Fighter”, claimed Prof Moyo made two attempts, the second one successful, to flee Mgagao, a training camp for Zanla combatants in Tanzania.

He said some educated recruits were more likely to be enemy agents whereas most came on their own volition.

“However, life was often simply too hard for them. Some educated cadres were caught during escape bids. Jonathan Moyo, for example, made two attempts from Mgagao, of which the second was successful and took him back to Rhodesia from where he made his way to the United States in 1976-77,” claimed Mhanda, whose nom de guerre was Dzinashe Machingura.

In some circles, he’s a CIA agent, a former Kellog Foundation employee before relocating to South Africa, where he is also said to have left in a huff.  

Both under unclear circumstances (I think).

It seems Moyo never stays in any place for any duration permissible for one to combine his efforts into a meaningful fist due to his own intellectual recklessness.

Moyo will live and die as an outsider. His story paints a glaring and dull portrait of a man at odds with his own roots/nationalism/country.

Perhaps he’s cursed by his own ancestors!