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Tribute to Comrade Moore

This week I have deliberately decided to break from the usual norm of discussing international politics to pay tribute to the man who shaped my academic and intellectual foundation.

This is a man who has influenced and impacted on me so positively in many aspects. I learned with shock of Dr Elmon Tafa’s passing on in the early hours of Monday morning this week from a friend who called me to confirm whether it is true that a man we fondly referred to as Comrade Moore is indeed no more.

It was much of a shock to me as I had previously visited him in hospital and I was quite positive that Comrade Moore will fully recover from his sickness. In Comrade Moore I have lost an intellectual godfather who laid in me the intellectual foundation that is now guiding me on how to write both academic and opinion pieces in my column. I first meet Comrade Moore when I was still a first year student at Tonota College of Education in 1994. He was offering some courses under the department of Social Studies. There is however some courses that really drew me closer to this intellectual giant because whenever he offered these courses he applied a high level of intellectual sophistication that to me was unmatched in that department.

It was through the courses such as Africa in the International Political Economy and the Politics of Poverty In Southern Africa, where I first learnt from Comrade Moore on how the impact of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank with their toxic neo liberal policies have transfixed and rooted many developing countries especially from Africa in economic intensive care units. Comrade Moore, being a Marxist of no mean stature, used those lessons to showcase his formidable oratorical skills.

Like other illustrious socialist and Marxist thinkers who were also great masters of oratory and eloquence, his lessons were invariably not embellished with elegantly constructed rhetorical flourish or ornamentation, but were richly imbued with deep thought, solid logic and profound academic wisdom.

In his best element he could hold large audiences in his class spell bound for a solid one to two hours. His stature as an academic grew tremendously to acquire a more polished and luminous form during that period. It was thus not accidental that he was adored and revered by many students at TCE, and he was affectionately referred to as TOUGH-MAN. It was very rare to find students missing his lessons, in actual fact we used to come at least fifteen minutes earlier for his lessons with the sole aim on his academic wisdom. There were times when he would surprise us by inviting some revered academics to give presentation lectures on serious topical issues such the socio-economic plight of Africa, especially one Pan Africanist South African scholar by the name

Prof Livingstone Nxonbongwane.

To tell the truth we were always awestruck by the high level of intellectual maturity, zeal and energy that Comrade Moore and his academic guests showed during those presentations lessons. One thing which was so profound about him was his affection for the emancipatory politics of the left. His razor-sharp intellect, vast Marxist erudition, political perspicacity and capacity for theoretical analysis placed him head and shoulders above his peers at that college.

One other thing which has always drawn me closer to Comrade Moore was the fact that he was an assiduous reader. He had a vast collection of literature from both liberal and Marxist thinkers alike. He was a passionate reader who covered almost daily with thinkers from across ages and continents. Socrates, Aristotle, Xenophon, Ibu Khaldum, Hegel, Spinoza, Montesquieu, Rosseau, Marx, Engels, Lenin, Mao, Marcus Garvey, Padmore, Nkrumah and Danite were some of the thinkers from whom he regularly sought counsel, inspiration and sheer delight.  Those of who were given a free baptism of academic holy ghost can tell you without flinching that Comrade Moore despised intellectual mediocrity with a passion, and could be merciless and trenchant on students whom in his view were not putting enough intellectual weight in their school work. Commitment hard work and more hard work was his philosophy. This has rubbed on me positively and  in a big way.

When I finished my schooling at Tonota College of Education and started my professional work I really missed Comrade Moore as he also left to pursue his PHD in the United Kingdom. However I took solace in his newspaper articles that were published in various media houses especially MMEGI. Truth be told, Comrade Moore’s articles really inspired me to write as well and I can honestly tell you that my radical stance on some issues on global politics have to a large extent being inspired by Comrade Moore.

His principled stance on issues that he feels will make meaningful change to humanity at large really humbled me and is an inspiration to what I write or present during my numerous presentation lectures and radio interviews whenever I am invited to make some contributions.

As a parting shot I can say that like any other mortal being I think Comrade Moore was not infallible, had faults and imperfections and was on occasion prone to commit mistakes.

But weighed on the scale of history these pale into insignificance especially when juxtaposed with his colossal talent and other formidable academic and political attributes. Comrade Moore undoubtedly belongs to a pantheon of the finest and greatest men and women that this country has even produced. REST IN PEACE COMRADE

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