Jonathan Moyo
Jonathan Moyo
BornJonathan Moyo
(1957-01-12)January 12, 1957
EducationUniversity of Zimbabwe
Alma materUniversity of Zimbabwe
  • Minister of Information and Publicity
EmployerGovernment of Zimbabwe
OrganizationMinistry of Information and Publicity
Political partyZimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front
ChildrenTawanda Moyo, Lungile Moyo, Nokuthula Moyo

Jonathan Nathaniel Moyo is a Zimbabwean politician. Moyo belongs to the ZANU-PF party and also a politburo member. He is the current minister of Information and Member of Parliament for Tsholotsholo North constituency.

From 2000 to 2005 and is currently a Member of Parliament. He is considered the core architect of AIPPA and POSA. In 2013 he was made Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services after, it has been said, masterminding the Zanu-PF's electoral victory. He was credited with being one of the architects of ZimAsset.


Moyo was born January 12 in 1957. His father was a Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) activist and community leader. Moyo's mother had strong ties with the late Ndabaningi Sithole, who at the time was ZANU's president. It was through these links that Jonathan Moyo ended up being in Zambia and later Tanzania, between 1973 and 1977.[1]

He has claimed that his father who died in 1983 was a victim of the 1980s Gukurahundi Massacres.[2] At the end of 2009, Moyo was readmitted in ZANU PF.

Educational background

He attended the University of Zimbabwe. He holds a Bachelors (Bsc) degree and a PhD degree in Public Policy and a Masters degree in Public Administration.

Constitution Referendum

He became active in the political arena in 2000 when he became the spokesperson of the committee charged with the drafting of the 2000 proposed constitution.

Minister of Information (2000 - 2005)

After the 2000 parliamentary election, he was appointed the Minister of Information in the president's office and the Zanu-PF government spokesperson. During his time as Information Minister, Moyo authored restrictive media laws including the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act(AIPPA) which he is said to have drafted within 24 hours much to the disapproval of the media fraternity, activists and the civil society. AIPPA was passed into law in 2002. His tenure at the helm of the ministry was characterized by the closure some newspapers notably the Associated Newspapers Dailynews and its sister paper the Dailynews on Sunday. Moyo also composed catchy music jingles and albums justifying the ZANU PF-led land seizures (Third Chimurenga) of the new Millennium that were aired on ZBC channels hourly.[3]

Tsholotsho Declaration and expulsion from Zanu-PF

In November 2004, Jonathan Moyo and others were accused of plotting to oust the President and scuttle the appointment of Joice Mujuru as Zanu-PF and, subsequently, Zimbabwe's second vice-president, in what has come to be known as the Tsholotsho Declaration. In January 2005, a call was made by the Zanu-PF politburo to expel Moyo from the party and he was subsequently expelled from Zanu-PF in February 2005 when he registered as an independent candidate after refusing to let a woman stand in the Tsholotsho North constituency for Zanu-PF. Moyo went on to win the seat as an independent candidate. In 2008 he was re-elected as an independent candidate becoming the first independent candidate to be re-elected in the history of the country.

As Minister of Information (2013 -...)

In the July parliamentary elections in 2013, Moyo contested and lost the Tsholotsho seat. However, after apparently masterminding Zanu-PF's electoral victory, he was appointed Minister of Information in 2013. His appointment saw him immediately go into action to make changes at the state broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), and Zimpapers, the government owned and largest media house in the country. The media fraternity greeted his reappointment with caution fearing the return of the patchy 2000 era when he was at the helm of the ministry. He is credited for introducing a 100% content in all radio stations that saw the birth of Urban Grooves music genre.

2014 Zanu-PF factionalism

In the 2014 Zanu-PF faction wars that rocked the party, Moyo was widely believed to be on the Emmerson Mnangagwa faction. The Mnangagwa faction carried the favour of (or some suggested they used) the president and his wife, Grace Mugabe and with their support, it is suggested that Moyo and Mnangagwa systematically pulled down the Joice Mujuru led faction ahead of the December 2014 congress. At the outset of the intensification of the 2014 faction wars however, Moyo was not considered a friend of first family.

Called "the Devil Incarnate" by Mugabe

As Information Minister, Moyo was famously referred to as the "the devil incarnate" by president Robert Mugabe in June 2014, in an address to mourners at the residence of the late Nathan Shamuyarira. Mugabe accused Moyo of using his position as Information Minister to influence editorial at Zimpapers to divide and cause infighting in the Zanu-PF political party. Mugabe said Moyo had fired editors at Zimpapers newspapers and replaced them with MDC-T sympathisers. Mugabe said in the address partly delivered in the Shona vernacular:

The views that he (Cde Shamuyarira, a former Information Minister) put across (in) the paper was the view of the party that appealed to the people. I am saying this in the light of what is happening now where you have our Minister of Information wanting to put people one against another. It’s a matter we were discussing the day before yesterday (in the Politburo)....

Ndiri kutaura izvi nekuti vese vakomana vakanga vakatungamirira mumaper vakatandwa kuchinotorwa veMDC vachiiswa kuti imi makati tonho muchifunga kuti tine munhu arikutiitira zvakanaka, (he is) the devil incarnate."

Translated, the Shona part means "I'm saying this because the boys who were leading the newspapers were hounded out and he took MDC people, and you are relaxed thinking that we have a person doing good things for us..."[4]

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Speaking at the National Heroes Acre, Mugabe also referred to Moyo as a "weevil" that needed to be taken care of. Mugabe likened Zanu-PF to grain that had been attacked by grain weevils that bore into the seed rendering it inedible saying he would speedily deal with them to save the party from total collapse.[5]

The following week, Didymus Mutasa (who was on the Mujuru faction), said at a youth rally that as Moyo was a Weevil, he needed to to be Gamatoxed: "You were talking about the issue of weevils here. Way back we used to treat weevils by spraying Gamatox (pesticide) and they will all die."[6]

In the months leading to this public attack by Mugabe, Edmund Kudzayi (who was arrested on 19 June 2014 as being the faceless facebook character Baba Jukwa) and Mduduzi Mathuthu (among others) had been appointed as editors at Zimpapers' leading titles, The Sunday Mail | The Sunday Mail[7] and The Chronicle[8] respectively.

On 24 June 2014, Moyo made some clarifications to the police officers investigating the issue of Kudzayi.[9] This was on the basis that Moyo had been implicated by Kudzayi as being one of the leaders within the ZANU PF's executive interim whom he was refereed to by Saviour Kasukuwere who is believed to have hired him.[9] Moyo confirmed that the police had requested for his assistance and he made some clarifications whose details he could not divulge.[9]

Architect of Mujuru faction downfall

In a turn of events, even after being called a devil by the president, Moyo somehow managed to get the first family on his faction's side. Mugabe eventually learnt of a plot by the Mujuru to oust him at the December congress and it is speculated the first family then became friends with the Mnangagwa faction.

Moyo is said to have used his position as Minister of information, to get the government owned publisher Zimpapers to continuously write negatively about the Mujuru faction.[10]

It is believed then that Moyo masterminded Grace Mugabe's emergence onto the political scene, her nomination as leader of the women's league, as well as the Meet the people rallies. Ultimately, events leading to the December congress saw the apparent foiling of the Mujuru faction's plan to at least dominate Zanu-PF.

Election into Parly

Jonathan Moyo contested for Tsholotsho North Assembly in the 2015 by-elections. The won the election and this [paved way for his entrance into parliament as an elected representative.

Stepping Down Temporarily

Moyo stepped down from his cabinet post as Minister of Information after his election into parliament in 2015. The stepping down was temporary in the sense that it was meant to pave way for the taking of oaths which usually takes place before one is appointed into cabinet. Moyo is said to have technically resigned from his ministerial post when he announced his candidature for he Tsholotsho North parliamentary seat.[11]

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{{#seo: |title=About Jonathan Moyo - Pindula, Local Knowledge |titlemode=replace |keywords= Jonathan Moyo, Jonathan Moyo Profile, Jonathan Moyo Biography, Who is Jonathan Moyo, Jonathan Moyo Zanu-PF, Jonathan Moyo Tsholotsho MP, Jonathan Moyo Booted Out, Jonathan Moyo Fired, Jonathan Moyo Steps Down

  1. Prof.Jonathan Moyo
  2. Gukurahundi ghost rattles Zanu PF, The Standard, Published: 28 Aug 2011, Retrieved: 13 May 2015
  3. Blessing-Miles Tendi, Making History in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe: Politics, Intellectuals and the Media, Paper, Retrieved: 19 March 2014
  4. President blasts Prof Moyo, The Sunday Mail, Published:7 June 2014, Retrieved:8 June 2014
  5. Mugove Tafirenyika & Helen Kadirire, Mugabe savages Jonathan Moyo again, Daily News Live, Published:8 June 2014, Retrieved:6 Dec 2014
  6. Obey Manayiti, Mnangagwa, Moyo divisive elements – Mutasa, NewsDay, Published:9 June 2014, Retrieved:6 Dec 2014
  7. New The Sunday Mail editor appointed, The Sunday Mail, Published:8 April 2014, Retrieved:8 June 2014
  8. Former newzimbabwe owner Mduduzi Mathuthu, Bulawayo24, Published:4 November 2013, Retrieved:6 June 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Lovemore Chikova, Jukwa case: Prof Moyo questioned, The Herald, published:25 Jul 2014,retrieved:25 July 2014"
  10. Mugove Tafirenyika, Stop Jonathan Moyo: Mutasa, The Daily News, Published:23 Nov 2014, Retrieved:6 Dec 2014
  11. S. Charumbira and X. Ncube, Prof Moyo ‘steps down’,NewsDay, published:24 Jun 2015,retrieved:24 Jun 2015"