Eddie Cross is offside – Muchayi

By William Muchayi

Recent utterances by Hon Eddie Cross, the MDC Member of Parliament for Bulawayo South updating the world on Morgan Tsvangirai’s health can’t go unchallenged as the intrusion in his boss’s private life was in bad taste. 

BULAWAYO South MDC legislator, Eddie Cross
BULAWAYO South MDC legislator, Eddie Cross

As if that was not enough, the senior legislator drew parallels between Mnangagwa’s woes and Tsvangirai’s health situation without realising that the comparison was akin to elevating Idi Amin Dada to Nelson Mandela’s status.  In fact, few would have taken issue with Hon Eddie Cross on these utterances had he been a junior figure in the party as opposed to his senior status.

But, Mr Cross is neither young nor foolish to be unable to understand that it is an infringement on Mr Tsvangirai’s privacy to disclose his medical condition to the world without the latter’s approval.  Indeed, Tsvangirai unlike others has been open not only to his party but to the nation as a whole on his health challenges for which he has to be saluted.

In this context, it has to be argued, was it necessary for Eddie Cross to update the world on his boss’s medical condition as if he was the party’s spokesperson let alone personal doctor? It is difficult to understand the motive(s) behind such disclosures. Eddie Cross is neither stupid nor young to be embroiled in this mess but he has to know the platform where to raise personal grievances against the leadership of the party if he has any rather than rely on the media.

It is no secret that the elderly legislator is an advocate of leadership renewal within the party but the platform on which he used to express his frustration is misplaced and neither is it African to stand on a hilltop updating the world on a neighbour’s ill health without their consent.

That is taboo Mr Cross even by Western standards where confidentiality of an individual’s health status is paramount. If Mr Tsvangirai happens to be Hon Cross’s blood relative, would the legislator be at liberty to give unsolicited updates to the world of their health status? If the answer is negative, how can Mr Cross justify his naivety if not insensitiveness to Tsvangirai?

As if the damage wasn’t enough, the Hon MP has the audacity to compare Tsvangirai’s health situation to Mnangagwa’s woes. In fact, this comparison is misplaced as it is akin to elevating Lucifer to Angel Gabriel, for, the two are like oil and water.

In Western discourse, it is common knowledge that in any argument, it is always advisable to be cautious in the use of Hitler’s name as it’s toxic irrespective of one’s side in a debate as evidenced by former White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer’s gaffe on the Holocaust in April 2017 when he bizarrely appeared to imply that Hitler never used chemical weapons. Mr Cross is wise enough to realise that placing his boss side by side with Mnangagwa in any discourse was in bad taste as the latter’s hands are soiled.

And, in a bizarre stunt of epic proportion,  Mr Cross makes feeble attempts to exonerate Mnangagwa from corruption as  the legislator  argues that the latter  is, ‘’One  of a very few Zanu PF Ministers whose hands are relatively clean of corruption…..’’ What a gaffe Mr Cross!  In as much as Eddie Cross has a right to express his opinion, it is mind boggling to realise that a senior MDC legislator sings from the same sheet as Energy Mutodi, a perennial Mnangagwa bootlicker. 

And, with due respect, how does Hon Eddie Cross justify the assertion that Mnangagwa is not as corrupt as his counterparts in Zanu PF? Is he not the same guy implicated in the plunder of the DRC diamonds by a 2002 United Nations Report together with the Rwandan army chief-of-staff, James Kabarebe, the DRC Minister of the Presidency Augustin Katumba Mwanke and the Ugandan army Chief-of-staff Maj- Gen James Kazini? I

f Eddie Cross is of the opinion that Mnangagwa is not as corrupt as the rest, it’s a wonder what criteria he uses to come up with this conclusion. Mr Cross needs to be reminded that in as much as Tsvangirai’s lifestyle might have contributed to his cancer, being ill is not always a choice in life. In contrast, Mnangagwa’s woes are self-inflicting, hence, few shed tears over his tribulations.

In Shona, it has been an acknowledged truism that rufu rwemumori weuchi kukoromoka mumuti (the death of a honey monger is through falling from a tree), uyewo urwo rwemuredzi wehove kukakaradzwa nemakarwe(the death of a fisherman is through being dragged by crocodiles), the implication being that rarely do people meet their fate in unfamiliar environments.

Few dispute the fact that Mnangagwa is a ruthless man who takes pride in inflicting harm among his victims, hence, the nickname, Ngwena( Crocodile).  Is he not the same Mnangagwa whom Eddie Cross shed tears for who celebrated Joyce Mujuru’s demise in spite of the fact that the poor lady was still mourning the death of her husband? His trade mark slogan is ‘’Pasi nemhanduuuu…..!’’ meaning  death to his enemies including Eddie Cross himself.  

In Mnangagwa’s mindset, anyone who doesn’t subscribe to his views is an enemy worth to be killed. As Mr Cross shed tears on the alleged victimisation of his newly found friend, one wonders whether he understands the meaning of this slogan.  

After all is said, it should be realised within opposition circles that in as much as what happens in Zanu PF is of interest to them, they are better off to put their house in order as opposed to playing a stranger’s drum whose rhythm nor meaning they have little understanding.

William Muchayi is a pro-democracy campaigner who is interested in African politics.