President Emmerson Mnangagwa has officially renamed Flyde Air Force Base between Kadoma and Chegutu to Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo Air Force Base in honour of the late revolutionary icon of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle.

For over 50 years, the airbase, just like many other army bases and barracks in the country, bore the name of a white pilot of the colonial Rhodesian Forces who was killed during the liberation struggle.

However since last year, the government saw it fit to honour heroes of the country’s liberation war by renaming several barracks countrywide after them.

In December 2017, KG VI in Harare was renamed Josiah Magama Tongogara Barracks, while the cantonment area which houses Zimbabwe National Defence University was also named Rodgers Alfred Nikita Mangena Barracks in Harare on 14 April 2018.

3 Infantry Brigade Headquarters in Mutare has also been named after the late national hero, Cde Herbert Chitepo.

Speaking at today’s commissioning ceremony, President Mnangagwa hailed the successful completion of this renaming exercise, describing it as a huge stride in replacing the colonial legacy with one with a meaning that reflects honour on the country’s fallen heroes and heroines.

He said the renaming is a decolonisation process meant to exorcise the demon of colonialism.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said the exercise was mulled with the idea of removing relics of colonialism on state establishments such as military cantonments.

He added that the exercise was done through formal procedures involving defence boards and cabinet.

Vice President Kembo Mohadi who worked with Cde J.Z Moyo during the struggle for independence gave a biography of the late national hero who started his political career in the 1950s. 

Cde J.Z Moyo was born in 1927 near Plumtree on the border with Botswana and attended Mzingwane Government School after which he trained as a builder and carpenter.

President Mnangagwa meets the Moyo family

He was initially a trade unionist in the 1950s and then participated in various capacities during the Second Chimurenga in nationalist parties such as ANC, NDP and ZAPU.

He was arrested on February 26, 1959 and detained for three months in Marondera and then joined ZAPU in 1961 after NDP was banned, and subsequently became ZANU Treasurer.

Cde J. Z Moyo’s only son, George

He then died in Zambia in 1977 in a parcel bomb explosion.

The renaming of the military institutions in Zimbabwe is in line with provisions in our Amendment (No 2, Act of 2013 and Section 23 (1) which exhorts the State and all institutions and agencies of Government at every level, to accord due respect, honour and recognition to veterans of the liberation struggle.