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Mnangagwa “is going to deliver” – Eddie Cross

By Eddie Cross

2017 was quite a year – it seemed to go by so fast! Almost left us breathless! The culmination of course was the “retirement” of Mr. Robert Gabriel Mugabe from the position of President, Head of State, Commander of the Armed Forces etc. etc. after 37 years of almost total power and control. I think the person who felt this “wind of change” most was his second wife, a scheming harridan of a woman who in the end was his downfall.

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

His replacement in terms of the Constitution is Emmerson Mnangagwa who is no stranger to us in Zimbabwe. He was at Mugabe’s side in the war, at Independence and served in the Government for all 37 years. He has had a controversial career, first as Minister of State security, then as Minister of Justice and Defence, Minister of Finance for a short period and finally, Vice President for two years.

In 1983 when I was General Manager of the Dairibord – a large Parastatal in the dairy industry, I got a call one day from the Catholic Mission in Lupane to say that the Army was in the District and causing mayhem. I called the then Secretary to the Prime Minister (Mugabe) and Cabinet, Charles Utete, and asked him what was going on. I invited him to fly with me in a light aircraft to see for ourselves. He replied after 30 minutes that this was “nothing to do with me, too sensitive and I should leave it alone”.

The Catholics sent me a report on the problems in the District (it was the start of Gukurahundi – the “storm that cleans”) and I took this report with me on a business trip to Scandinavia where I shared it with four foreign Ministers and asked them to get their Prime Ministers to call our Prime Minister and urge restraint. When I got home I was summoned to the Ministers Office and there I was given a transcript of my discussions with the Norwegian Secretary of State and I was given a severe warning from the Minister of State Security to “never do that again, or else”. That was Mnangagwa.

I took the advice and watched from the sidelines over the next 4 years as the supporters of Joshua Nkomo were bludgeoned into submission. Tens of thousands lost their lives and perhaps a million people fled their homes for South Africa.

Of interest to me as an economist, was his short sojourn at the Ministry of Finance. I do not recall the circumstances, but I do remember how effective he was in a very short space of time. This view was reinforced by the senior Civil Servants in the Ministry who said he was clear headed, did not have to be told anything twice, made decisions and was a pleasure to work with. Most of all he took advice and listened. So often a weakness in so called “strong men”.

I have been a Member of Parliament for ten years, during that time we have had many interchanges with Emmerson. He has a very sharp mind and a sense of humor but if you do take him on, expect no prisoners. The one thing that always impressed me was his automatic authority in the House of Assembly – often a rowdy and unruly place. If he stood up in a debate or at question time, a hush would descend on the House. Very few command that kind of control.

His nick name – the crocodile (Ngwenya) is very apt as all such Shona nick names are – we all have them – I have had several, not all complementary. But in this case when he sits in Parliament with his eyes closed, you know that he is listening and will react if prodded. When he does attack – its fast and he takes no prisoners, ask Joice Mujuru and now Robert and Grace Mugabe.

Mugabe’s departure was received with national celebrations – people poured onto the streets and the party went on through the night. This was proceeded by the extraordinary and completely spontaneous demonstrations the previous Saturday when perhaps 1,5 million people took to the streets of Harare in support of the Army and calling for him to step down. What stunned the world was the completely peaceful nature of this outpouring. What impressed me was its universal character, the people demonstrated all over the country, even in rural villages and towns.

But what next? What does 2018 promise at this point in our history. What I would have liked to see was a National Government, negotiated with all Stakeholders in some form of National Convention which would govern the country until we were ready to return to democracy – in, say, 5 or 6 years. It was not to be and despite his willingness to consider such a possibility, Mnangagwa was eventually forced to compromise with his security chiefs and the result was a Cabinet made up of some exceptional figures and some who are simply people who are as guilty as anyone of massive corruption and human rights abuse.

The other thing that we saw was the Military Junta, that has, in effect, been largely responsible for running the country and making key decisions, has come out into the open and taken key seats in the new Government. The man who ran the “Smart Coup”, General Chiwenga has been appointed Vice President. But in his place is the best soldier in the Country – a real professional who will change the face of the Armed Forces and ensure that we have a small, but highly proficient Army which does not dabble in politics.

So, what lies ahead for us in 2018? Firstly, we know the most crucial event is the election, which must take place in July or August this coming year. The President has made it clear, he is going to deliver a free and fair election, the outcome of which cannot be contested by anyone.

He knows what that entails, and that the International Community will hold him to his word and demand that he delivers in every way. The signs are already there that this is being considered and that changes are being implemented. He is the master mind behind the 2013 elections when Zanu PF could literally decide who would win and who would lose. The result a clear victory for Zanu PF with a two thirds majority in the House and another 5 years for Mugabe.

Mnangagwa is in absolute control of the State and I think he is going to deliver. One of the key elements behind this strategy is that he knows the opposition is in shambles. The other thing he knows full well is that only a democratically elected Government will be recognised by the International Community and recovery and reconstruction of the Zimbabwe State and Economy is not possible without that.

I was given a transcript of his speech in Shona to the faithful at the Zanu PF Head Quarters in Harare when he returned form his brief exile while the Coup was planned and executed. In that address he showed clearly that he understood what a free and fair election meant for him and the Party. He told them not to interpret the mass displays of emotion as support for Zanu – it was the very opposite and was simply a clear demonstration of how much the Mugabe leadership was hated.

He also made it clear that his own record was a hindrance and that he and the Party had a lot to do before they could win a free and fair election. The key, he argued was to get the economy back on its feet and to restore hope among the people of Zimbabwe. The one thing I know about this man is that he is an operator and should not be underestimated. He appointed his Cabinet on Sunday, swore them in on Monday and held his first Cabinet on Tuesday, setting his new Ministers targets for the first 100 days and threatening that any Minister who failed to achieve his or her targets was vulnerable.

Already you can feel the impact of this early momentum. Time alone will tell, but the early indications are that we will see very significant changes in 2018 and that our economy and maybe our country, will begin the long road back to where we should have been, but for the Mugabe era.

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, December the 25th 2017

  • i have faith in ED.

    • Kkkkkkkkk

    • You have faith in someone who was part of the system that caused mayhem, failure, total collapse and destruction of our country for over 37years. You are like an abused woman who stays in a violent marriage for the sake of the kids. You need serious help.

    • Kwaaaaaa

  • Zvichengetere mumoyo mako iva ne faith kwaari isu tiri team Jesus

  • Only God knows

  • Certainly. Mr Mnangagwa unlike his predecessor has been to and with grassroots.

  • Let’s waight and see if hi can do that will be happy

  • Not judging by some of his appointments. He retained most of the same corrupt deadwood from Mugabe’s failed government. There are plenty of people in his government who should be in jail. There are plenty of people in his government who should be in old people’s homes. Let’s not forget he was part and parcel of the same ZANU PF government that ruined the economy with its foolish policies. He was part of the decision making in Mugabe’s government. Unless he grew a new brain, how can we expect him to be part of the solution when he was part of the problem that git us here in the first place? I don’t know where all this confidence in him is coming from when he hasn’t done anything yet to remove the oppressive legislation that they put in place with Mugabe. Until he orders media and election reforms and give citizens their freedoms back, he is going to go the Mugabe way.

    • Mnangagwa is mugabe’s protege..worse even because of his deep rooted military connections, cry my beloved Zimbabwe 🇿🇼

  • I now doubt Mnangagwa’s credibility for rewarding mugabe for destroying the economy and firing him in a shameful manner. $10 000. 000, 00 oh my foot!

  • wait Eddie,not so fast

  • This government will never deliver. People in Harare are drinking sewage water from taps. Vote Zanu out

    • isn’t it a MDC run city

    • It’s a Zanu run government

    • Harare City is run by MDC party so don’t blame Zanu. If MDC failed to run Harare City what about the whole country? I wonder.

    • The money still comes from the rulling party, it’s a deliberate sabotage. Wake up!

    • ZANU pf is shit ..u can’t bank on it..its abnormal

    • Going to the sea shore and taking selfies with different women! G.N.U was just a test.

    • The sewarage situation in Harare has always been like that from the 90s when zanu pf was in power. Its something the MDC cant do anything about since the sewerage treatment is done in the same place where dams are located. When the sewarage bursts it flows straight into the city dams. Blame your ZINWA which is a govt dept.

    • Haa Mr Serima seriously, there somethings you don’t understand kukanzuru

    • I cant even understand how people live and exist in Harare. Its a miracle cholera, typhoid and other water borne diseases havent wiped out the entire Harare residents. I can never stay there for more than three days.

    • Am happy many Zimbabweans really know the cause of all our suffering. Save for the few retards who decide to see, hear & talk no evil about the like retards leading us.

    • Dirty city you can’t drink water from their taps

    • Drink that sewage you were celebrating when Chamisa was calling for extension of sanctions. All the avenues to get credit have been closed .Do you think money just falls from the sky

    • the one who called for extension of sanctions is not the one who faces the music. Its the ordinary citizen who doesn know anything and I wonder why people allulate to such calls. Sometimes we need to speak with one voice not always oppose rather be constructive than destructive.

    • The .$15 billion zanu looters are to blame. That money could have been used to repair and maintain the entire country’s sewer system. Pani ne Zanu!!!

    • Mind you MDC is giving pple sewage water not ZANU. If they are given chance there will be sewage nation wide

    • I’m not ZANU supporter but my brother, you are lame. What do you expect from a Government that is still forming up? Bad water in Harare is the City Council. The Government is yet to make money then provide the City that will then do it’s own improvement.

  • Of course delivery us to evil 😞

  • mazino akaora

    Well said Honorable. i too can feel the winds of change. show me a saint and i will show u a sinner

  • Desperation and faith are two different words😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂. Stop confusing the two

  • I have always believed that when God hears your cry He brings a good solution. The Bible says a 1000years to God is like a day ,Zimbabwe is already new only to those who forgives & forget & willing to see a new Zimbabwe. All these challenges we are facing under this new government are really necessary they are a sign to show that they are the last kickings of a dying horse. I’m not worried about the old faces coz I believe that broken things are useful in God’s hands. Paul was evil but was chosen, Moses a murderer was chosen. Instead of thanking God for removing the so called dictator and giving us a new person will still see evil them .Canaan was not so easy to reach but those who were determined and obedient reached.In everything that happens on earth people fail to see God and think as if God does not exist & does not love us.

  • 2018: VOTE MDC.

  • Can someone advise Eddie to refrain from waffling, we are in a feastive mood, we don’t take shit!! If he wants a governmrnt post he must approach ED, l hear he has an open door policy!!

  • Eddie Cross 2018 vote EDM for President

  • Does RG Mugabe has another wife apart from Grace Mugabe. If not why call her his second wife? Let us not be mean in treating other people. I dont like her but my understaanding she is not RGM’s second wife. Neither is Auxillia Mnangagwa a third wife. They are both wives of Zimbabwean leaders.

  • “A scheming harridan of a woman who in the end was his downfall” No one could have said it better!

  • Cross is right, do not let the past haunt the future.Back then, the current leader was a passanger in a high speed car cruising at an unbreakable speed,but that same passanger knew how to drive and at what speed.
    Now because the accident has occured to the former drive, please let President ED Munangagwa sit on the driver’s seat but remember the vehicle he is driving is coming from a crucial accident.
    Let’s help him with some panel beating ,spray painting,suspension and an engine overhaul.

  • We need to take a political paradigm from ZANU PF to modern day politics

  • Bootlicking 4rm cross at its best wth an intention 4 de so clld olive branch 2 b extended 2 hm! Given de faces f pipol wh mek up de new percieved yet 2 deliver Ed led gvt, its an open secret de suffering continues 4 ordinary zimbabweans! A leopard wont change its skin

  • Bootlicking 4rm cross at its best wth an intention 4 de so clld olive branch 2 b extended 2 hm! Given de faces f pipol wh mek up de new percieved yet 2 deliver Ed led gvt, its an open secret de suffering continues 4 ordinary zimbabweans! A leopard wont change its skin

  • He will deliver so it can be paid to the former president and his wife’s package. 😡

  • He will deliver so it can be paid to the former president and his wife’s package. 😡

  • Thus an economic not a political opinion based on knowledge.

  • Thus an economic not a political opinion based on knowledge.

  • I hope he does cause the so called opposition as things stand are as useless thre is jus no alternative

  • so join your ngwena cross

  • so join your ngwena cross

  • ?

  • ?

  • eliasha

    You are day dreaming Cross and at this speed of licking wonder were you will be in a few months time

  • Ingokapai munda zvipere takwana nako ako

  • Rumbi Gwatidzo

    Another senile old man. Mnangagwa cannot succeed with a corrupt government in place. Already, the international community is isolating Zimbabwe which has human rights abusers, criminals on sanctions lists and thieves in government. The euphoria has died down. Good luck. I suspect in 2018 more people will be heading for the exit.