Tshwane - Zimbabwe's ambassador to South Africa Isaac Moyo has been re-deployed back to Harare in the position of director general of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) with immediate effect, as new President Emmerson Mnangagwa consolidates his authority in the post-Robert Mugabe era.
Moyo, who was serving as Zimbabwe’s envoy to South Africa and neighbouring Lesotho, takes over from retired Maj-Gen Happyton Bonyongwe, who was recently appointed as Zimbabwe’s justice, legal, and parliamentary affairs minister by Mugabe in his last days in office. Bonyongwe has since lost the position following Mnangagwa's inauguration as president.
Reacting to Moyo’s departure from Pretoria, Zimbabwean lobby group #Tajamuka spokesman in South Africa Shelton Chiyangwa said he hoped Mnangagwa would appointed “a people’s person” as the next ambassador.
“Zimbabweans in South Africa welcome the redeployment of this good for nothing ambassador Moyo back to Zimbabwe, even though he has been promoted to head the deadly Zanu PF extension, the CIO. Apart from enriching himself and enjoying the luxury of South Africa, there isn’t really much that he did in addressing issues affecting the Zimbabwean community in South Africa.
"We petitioned him several times to a round table so we can discuss issues affecting us as well as the misrule in Zimbabwe, but it was clear that he was pleasing his masters and refused to give us an audience,” said Chiyangwa, who is also chairperson of Zimbabwean opposition Movement for Democratic Change-T South Africa Youth Assembly.
“We are therefore not surprised with his latest appointment, as we have it on record, on several occasions, that members of the opposition and pressure groups based in South Africa were receiving dangerous threats from his office in trying to thwart any possible engagement with the embassy. We hope that the new ambassador to be appointed will be a more people's person who will hear out the needs and challenging issues of the millions of Zimbabweans who fled the country," he said.
Chiyangwa said the next ambassador should be “non-aligned to any political party but fair in executing their duties”.
On the other hand, representatives of Zimbabwe’s governing Zanu PF in South Africa said Moyo’s tenure in Pretoria was characterised with "economic engagement" and sourcing investment for Harare’s ailing economy.
“Ambassador Moyo had the revival of the economy of Zimbabwe and empowerment of Zimbabweans uppermost in his mind. He played critical roles in motivating and encouraging Zimbabweans and South Africans to venture into business partnerships with the ultimate aim of investing in Zimbabwe. Organisations such as ZIM-SA Forum owe their success to the candid advice from him,” said Zanu PF spokesperson in South Africa Kennedy Mandaza.
“As Zanu PF in South Africa, we are elated and excited with the redeployment of ambassador Moyo as the director general of the Central Intelligence Organisation in Zimbabwe. To us, his re-deployment comes as no surprise because his curriculum vitae speaks volumes of his experience in the security intelligence space, having worked at the African Union as an executive secretary of [the] security and intelligence department.
"After being assigned as ambassador to South Africa, ambassador Moyo exhibited his ability to put Zimbabwe, and Zimbabweans in general, in their rightful place in regional and continental diplomatic discourse,” he said.
Moyo had replaced Phelekezela Mphoko as Zimbabwe’s top envoy in Pretoria. Until recently Mphoko was the country’s vice president. Mphoko has since been expelled from Zanu PF.