“General Bae”: New Facts About Retired Lt-Gen SB Moyo

Harare - To exiled Professor Jonathan Moyo, Patrick Zhuwawo, Saviour Kasukuwere and the entire ousted G40 cabal,  Retired Lt-Gen Sibusiso Moyo’s face will haunt them forever, but to the Zimbabwean masses, he is a hero - their “General Bae”. 

As Operation Restore Legacy gathered momentum, around 4am, Maj-Gen Moyo accompanied by Air Vice Marshal Shebba Shumbayaonda, made a surprise visit to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation (ZBC).

Promptly, he announced the takeover, saying Robert Mugabe and his family were safe, the military was only targeting criminals around the then president. The criminals comprised the notorious G40 cabal, mentioned earlier.

Instantly, the stout man in army garb, with a booming voice became the nation's saviour. But who really is  Retired Lt-Gen Sibusiso Moyo?

Lt-Gen Moyo was born at Munene Mission Hospital in Mberengwa in 1960 - a third born in a family of eight. He joined the liberation struggle in 1977 when he was doing Form Three at Manama Secondary School, via Botswana.

“Sibusiso mwana wangu. Chakazvarwa chakangosimba, chakangonaka-naka. He had a unique character during his childhood. He is the third born, but he would say he was older than his sisters born before him.
Retired Lt-Gen SB Moyo

“He would strive to be the best at whatever he did and even at school his teachers were always saying ‘your child is very intelligent’. I realised from the beginning that he had leadership qualities. He was a quiet person, but if you engage him on something he was very articulate and eloquent.

“He was very intelligent. He was very good at Mathematics and we wanted him to become a doctor. In January 1977, he skipped the border into Botswana together with other pupils. Ian Smith then asked all parents to follow their children to Botswana.

On ceasefire, the father said he was pained that his son did not come back home. He said he visited the Bulawayo assembly point where he was advised that his son had been sent to advance his education in Russia. He came back at a later stage, but refused to go back to school.

“I said to him ‘The war is over, can you go back to school?’ but he refused,” said Mr Moyo. “He said ‘Father I am now working for the country’. All along he was working in the army until the day I saw him on television addressing the nation.

“For a moment, I just stared at the television asking myself if the person talking was my son Sibusiso. I spent two days without eating, worried whether or not Mugabe would have mercy on my son. We first heard about General Constantino Chiwenga’s address and we were confused when we saw Sibusiso on television.

“I just said ‘with the Mugabe I know, those two boys are history’. I only breathed a sigh of relief when we heard that Mugabe had resigned, but the courage that Sibusiso showed shocked us. Of course, I knew that he was a courageous and fearless person, but we never imagined that he will go that far.”

Lt-Gen Moyo’s younger brother, Bothwell, told The Herald in Mberengwa that his brother was an ordinary rural boy, with a tough character.

“We grew up together working in the fields,” he said. “Our parents trained us to work hard at home and that built a lot of resilience in him. I remember very well that our parents wanted him to be a doctor since he was very bright. They cried uncontrollably when he left the country to join the liberation struggle.

“After the war he enrolled at the Zimbabwe Military Academy where he furthered his studies, but our parents were still determined that he should become a doctor.

“We tried to convince him to study medicine, but he said to our parents, ‘My father, I will do everything for you while I am working for the army’. I also stayed with him when I was pursuing my Bachelor of Arts degree.

“He would always encourage me to read widely. He later studied several challenging programmes through correspondence and now he is a doctor.”

Mr Misheck Zhou, who went to Masvingo Primary School with Lt-Gen Moyo said: “He was very disciplined and his father was a teacher. They had guava trees at their home and as his friends we would go and eat the fruit.

“He was humble and was not as pompous as other children whose parents were teachers. He was very tolerant. Sibusiso was very energetic and we used to have school debates then. He was very eloquent during those sessions. At first people thought he was being taught by his father at home since he was a teacher.

“We realised that the father taught at a different school. In short, what I can say is that he had a natural talent and that is what has taken him where he is today.”

Lt-Gen Moyo, who is now commonly known as S.B Moyo, has since retired from the military and is the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in President Mnangagwa’s Government. - The Herald 

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