John Maurice "Jock" Kay (c. 1921 – ?) was a Zimbabwean farmer and politician. A member of the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe from 1983 to 1990, he served as the Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement from 1988 to 1990. He entered Parliament as an independent, before joining the ruling ZANU–PF party in 1987.

Jock Kay
Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement of Zimbabwe
In office
22 January 1988 – March/April 1990
PresidentRobert Mugabe
MinisterDavid Karimanzira
Preceded byOffice created
Member of Parliament of Zimbabwe
for Makoni (White Roll)
In office
October 1983 – 2 May 1990
Preceded byArthur Tapson
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Bornc. 1921
Resting placeChipesa Farm
Wedza District, Zimbabwe
Political partyIndependent Zimbabwe Group (1985–1987)
ZANU–PF (after 1987)
Spouse(s)Peggy Kay
ChildrenIain Kay


Kay was born c. 1921.[1]

In 1948, he purchased 5,000 acres of virgin land in Wedza District, near Marandellas (now Marondera), Southern Rhodesia.[2] He named it Chipesa Farm, and grew maize and tobacco.[3] It supported hundreds of workers and their families.[4] As a farmer, Kay was known as a pioneer of cooperative irrigation techniques.[1]

Political careerEdit

In 1983, Kay ran as an independent candidate for Parliament in a by-election for the Makoni white roll constituency.[5][6] The previous member, Arthur Tapson, resigned to move to South Africa.[6] Makoni, a conservative farming area, was one of 20 seats in Parliament reserved for whites per the Lancaster House Agreement.[6][7] In the election on 30 September, Kay earned 493 votes, defeating Republican Front candidate François Smit with 434 votes.[5][6] Kay's election caused Opposition Leader Ian Smith's conservative Republican Front party to lose their majority of the white roll seats in Parliament.[6]

In 1985, he won reelection to Parliament in Makoni, this time running as a member of the Independent Zimbabwe Group, a coalition of white moderates.[7] Kay, with 707 votes, defeated Conservative Alliance of Zimbabwe candidate Shelagh Gertrude van Reenen with 658 votes. On 28 July 1987, Kay crossed the aisle to join Prime Minister Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU–PF party, along with two other white MPs, John Landau and Tony Read.[7][8] In September 1987, having achieved the support of 75% of the House of Assembly as required under the Lancaster House Agreement, the constitution was amended to abolish the white roll constituencies. A number of new members were co-opted onto the House of Assembly to replace the departing white members. Kay, along with several other white ZANU–PF members, were allowed to keep their seats.

On 22 January 1988, Kay was appointed Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement.[1][9] He was one of two white deputy ministers, along with Charles Duke.[10] His appointment as the deputy of Minister David Karimanzira, because he was a white farmer himself, was thought to help to assuage the concerns of the country's 4,500 white farmers.[11] However, a United States State Department private communication at the time reported that his inexperience and "questionable" professional competence caused some farmers to be uncertain as to whether Kay would be able to protect the interests of white commercial farmers.[10] As deputy minister, Kay focused on promoting irrigation[12] and combating soil loss through erosion.[13]

In the 1990 Zimbabwean general election, Kay did not run for reelection to Parliament.[14] Shortly after, he was dropped from the cabinet in a presidential announcement.[14]

Personal lifeEdit

He was married to Peggy Kay.[15] Their son, Iain, is also a politician.

Kay and his wife are buried at Chipesa Farm in Marondera, Zimbabwe.[15]

Electoral historyEdit

1983 parliamentary by-electionEdit

1983 by-election, Makoni (white roll)
Candidate Party Votes %
John Maurice Kay Ind. 493 53.2
François Smit RF 434 46.8
Total 927

1985 parliamentary electionEdit

1985 election, Makoni (white roll)
Candidate Party Votes %
John Maurice Kay IZG 707 51.8
Shelagh Gertrude van Reenen CAZ 658 48.2
Total 1,365


  1. ^ a b c Review of the Press. The Society. 1988. p. 10.
  2. ^ kdc. "The Zimbabwe Situation". Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Zimbabwe Policeman Killed on White Farm". Los Angeles Times. 5 April 2000. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Forced to flee". BBC News. 14 February 2003. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Keesing's Contemporary Archives. Keesing's Limited. 1983. p. 757.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Ltd, Africa Research (1983). Africa Research Bulletin. Blackwell. p. 7006.
  7. ^ a b c d Southscan. Southscan. 1986. p. 56.
  8. ^ Todd, Judith Garfield (2007). Through the Darkness: A Life in Zimbabwe. Zebra. p. 209. ISBN 9781770220027.
  9. ^ "Zimbabwe: Intimidation in countryside escalates". ReliefWeb. 18 March 2005. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  10. ^ a b "The New Goz: Bio Information". 14 March 1988. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ Africa Confidential. Miramoor Publications Limited. 1988. p. 11.
  12. ^ Improvement, International Institute for Land Reclamation and (1988). Keynote addresses. Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation [and] International Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement. p. 31.
  13. ^ The Zimbabwe Science News. Zimbabwe Scientific Association. 1989. p. 79.
  14. ^ a b African Concord. Concord Press of Nigeria. 1990. p. 19.
  15. ^ a b "Graves Desecrated". The Zimbabwean. 6 August 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2017.