Besides his fame as face of the ‘soft coup,’ Retired Lieutenant General Dr Sibusiso Buhle Moyo has been described as a man who grew up with astute leadership skills, with people from his home area turning turns to describe how they related with the former Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister.

Moyo succumbed to COVID-19 while admitted in a Harare hospital this Wednesday.

Born in 1961 in Mberengwa district, it is at this homestead located in the mountainous area north of Mbuyanehanda business center where young Sibusiso spent most of his childhood.

Since his homestead known as kwaCeejay named after his father is just a stone’s throw from Masvingo Mission, the young SB eventually enrolled at Masvingo Primary School, to start an academic journey that saw him becoming one of the most respected academics and distinguished diplomats the country has ever heard.

With parents who were devout Christians – playing leading roles at the nearby Evangelical Lutheran Church of Zimbabwe, Lieutenant General (Retired) SB Moyo’s upbringing had a bearing on the way he related with friends and relatives throughout his life.

sb moyo mberengwa

SB Moyo-right front

“I knew Sibusiso from the days he was a young man. He was always jovial and loyal to his elders. We saw him grow to the man of high profile he eventually became. He would rarely engage in unfruitful arguments with his peers.

“Even after he became a top man in government, he never forgot his roots. He had started a project to ensure that we all get clean water and started with his own village,” said the late Moyo’s aunt, Gogo Muhlahleri.

“I knew Babamukuru when I got married to this family. He was a man who would treat everyone equally without favour. He was so helpful in this family. He would come for any function at home no matter how small.

“It is when he will be away on business that he will miss a family function but his presence will always be felt as he would send his support,” added the late Moyo’s sister-in-law.

Mbuya Nungai Gambiza started teaching at Masvingo primary school in 1963.

The great teacher who is now retired had a chance to teach young SB and watched him progress throughout his primary school days where his leadership skills began to be visible.

“Ogh Sibusiso veduwee! I still remember teaching him at infant level which was my specialty. I chose him a class monitor back then because he had this thing in him which made him a natural leader amongst his peers. He was also a brilliant child who would excel in his studies.

“I would also keep an eye on him as he grew up still at primary. He became a prefect boy because he was well-mannered. One thing which didn’t surprise me was his rise to the top. He was always fearless a characteristic which made me believe that he was destined for greatness,” Mbuya Gambiza said.

Lt General (Retired) Moyo went on to enroll at Manama High School for secondary education where he was eventually recruited to join the liberation struggle in the late 1970s before joining the army to retire as in 2017.

Lieutenant General (Rtd) Sibusiso Moyo became Senator for Mberengwa constituency following the 2018 harmonised elections, a position which saw him spearheading a lot of developmental projects in his district.

Amid social media reports that Mberengwa remained backwards in terms of development, opinion leaders in his community say the late Moyo, among other projects, started a water project to ensure that key institutions and thousands of households got access to clean water.

Mberengwa ward six councilor, Misheck Gomesh says his coming in politics was a game changer for the district in as far as development was concerned.

“He is a man who wanted to see positive change in the district. When he assumed office, he quickly established a coordinating team for the constituency and opened an office of the senator at Mataga growth point something that had never happened before. He then bought each and every councillor a smart phone like this one I have so that we could easily communicate development.

“He had started a number of water development projects at almost every mission set up to ensure the people get access to clean and safe water. The clinic and all schools benefitted from his vision,” Gomesh said.

Jonah Village head, Tererai Siyakwazi also gave his account to how the now deceased Moyo had contributed to the community at large.

“This was the first time in many years that as locals we had managed to get a leader, we could directly interact with without much hustle to do with protocol. Things were actually beginning to shape up. Look he had managed to connect the Wi-Fi for people to communicate with the rest of the world. The water issue is another area we could talk about. We had found hope in SB and hope his vision will be kept alive,” said Siyakwazi.

Moyo’s burial has been set for Wednesday next week an unusual development for COVID-19 related deaths.