Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Eddie Cross: We are probably stuck with Mnangagwa and that is our dilemma

By Eddie Cross

A new year has dawned, I think all Zimbabweans suffered over this past festive season from a hangover caused by the unscheduled departure of Robert Gabriel Mugabe from the Presidency. Who will forget the amazing and unplanned outpouring of public feeling after the Military led coup.

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

What a street party after his resignation was received by Parliament. Some Mugabe loyalists are saying that the rural people are mourning his passing – not a bit of it, the celebrations engulfed even the most remote corners of Zimbabwe.

Now what? The harsh reality that all of us must face is that over his tenure in office, Robert Mugabe built a dynasty that controlled virtually every aspect of life in this country. In business, you could not operate anything larger than a tuck shop without his say so, all contracts were controlled, his word was final on all matters and everyone who worked with him or for him, feared his retribution and vindictive character.

When he came out of Prison in 1974 after ten years in detention, I had lunch with him at the Munomatapa Hotel in the central business district of Harare. He then struck me as a radical who was totally committed to the armed conflict as a means of achieving Independence and control over the State. His views of the way forward resembled, in an uncanny way, what we later saw in Cambodia where the Khmer revolution in 1975 caused the death of perhaps 3 million people, including many intellectuals and specialists and the depopulation of the Cities which were “centers of regressive political thought and capitalism”. 10 days after that meeting he was crossing the border in Nyanga and joining the Zanla forces in Mozambique.

His path to power in newly independent Zimbabwe in 1980 was a turbulent and sometimes, violent one. I have no doubt that anyone who stood in his way was skating on thin ice and that the death of his main competitor for control of the post war machine created in exile to fight the war of Independence – Josiah Tongogara, was not killed in a car accident, he was murdered. The same fate awaited his main military commander, Mujuru, many years later after he challenged Mugabe.

But the overall outcome of his years in near total control of the State in Zimbabwe, was the creation of a regime which resembled in many ways the one in Europe that he admired most – that of East Germany when it was part of the Soviet Empire. He sought and secured total control – all arms of the State, what was taught to children in school, even who could be treated in a State funded hospital. He secured control over all major business activity and was feted and treated as a near god by many close to the seat of power. The image of people crawling along the floor to greet him or serve him tea, will not be forgotten as they characterized what he prized most, total subservience to power.

In the beginning he was an austere figure, working out in the gym every day, not drinking or smoking and living a frugal life except for the symbols of power and privilege. However, by 1985, the cloak began to slip, the genocidal campaign which lasted 4 years was underway against his sole rival for power – Joshua Nkomo, he had started using the Reserve Bank as “his” bank and corrupt forces began to surround him and exploit the centers of power he had created and controlled. Any attempts at maintaining any form of multi-party democracy were crushed.

When finally, he was challenged for power by the MDC in 2000 and Morgan Tsvangirai emerged as a real competitor for the Presidency, he was forced to fight back and to begin the process of boosting his political regime with military power and influence. As the capacity of the monolith of the Party, Zanu PF waned, it was replaced by the increasing sophistication and reach of the armed forces. By 2013, it was the Army that effectively controlled the State and ran what was left of Zanu PF.

After 2008, Zimbabwe was, governed by a Military Junta led by the Joint Operations Command, a structure created by Ian Smith to fight the war of liberation and maintained afterwards as Mugabe’s principle center of power and control. During the GNU the MDC was not allowed anywhere near these centers of power. The computer servers that controlled the elections were maintained at Army Headquarters.

I was not surprised at all when the recent coup took place, at the high level of professionalism, sophistication, power and capacity of the armed forces. They moved against Mugabe at 10 in the morning and by 3 on the following morning, Mugabe was under house arrest and his power stripped away by what must almost be a text book exercise.

But it was not democracy and while it was orchestrated by civilian authority in the form of Emmerson Mnangagwa, it was not constitutional or lawful. It was the deliberate use of the very machine that he had created over the past 37 years to keep him in power against democratic forces, led by Tsvangirai, that turned against his and removed him from power.

So where does that leave us, and this is the dilemma we all face in Zimbabwe.

The harsh reality is that the degree to which the Army has control and influence in the State has gone up significantly. This is clearly shown by the selection and appointment of the new Cabinet and of the former Head of the Armed forces as a Vice President and responsible for Defence. It is clear that the new regime in power here is busy cleaning house – but many doors remain closed and protected. The anti-corruption sweep is obviously selective. But let us not sweep aside that fact that Mugabe has gone.

In 1976 when Kissinger effectively ended the reign of Ian Smith over the Rhodesian regime, he knew what he was doing and regretted it as a person, but he knew it was necessary to break his hold on power so that progress could be made to resolve a futile armed conflict.

It is the same now – it is what we do with the new opportunities that the change represents that will determine its ultimate outcome. In 1976 it was eventually 3 years of conflict and then Lancaster House and the British engineered transfer of power to Robert Mugabe, whom they saw as being the only man who could end the war, control all the factions and created a coherent government. They were right and wrong, and the long-term outcome of those decisions is the mess we are now in.

The new team in power are clearly trying to change things for the better. They have no choice as elections loom and must be fought in just 7 months’ time. They know that they have a real challenge ahead of them; they are committed to a free and fair election, they know they have not made any friends in what they have done over the past 4 years, and they know that that must, to a very great extent, carry the baggage left over from the Mugabe era.

To do so they simply must deal with corruption, maintain law and order, stop the remnants of the G40 and Joice causing more problems and destabilizing the country. They know they must deal with the cash shortages, the rising prices and shortages. They know they must convince the population that they have changed and its not just the tired old policies of the Mugabe dynasty. They must be able to offer hope and they have to achieve all of this in 7 months.

For all of us we must accept that this agenda is also in our interests – even if we are in the opposition. These are national and not parochial problems that must be tackled if any of us are going to have any sort of future. The MDC and especially Morgan Tsvangirai have brought democracy back to Zimbabwe and restored our rights as a people. But right now, with his illness, other than offering opposition and curbing the excesses of any future government, we are probably stuck with ED and that is our dilemma. We have no choice but to make it work.

Eddie Cross
Harare 7th January 2017

  • Uqinisile Malume Eddie awuboni abantu bohlobo lwakhe bemthanda so and kunengi lokhu okuyizinto kuzamvotela ewine. And hanti akusuki ezikhundleni lokhu khangeka lalokhu okunye kuyagula kuyafa ngabe kwaphuma kudala ngabi2008 ngabe akuzange kubelenkinga ngabe iqembu lakho lisaqinile. Yha neh

  • Mr Cross just cross the floor and join Mnangagwa and his team.

  • I agree with Cross

  • At times, when reality is on the table better enjoy the meal. I love zimbabwe and our President loves us that is why God entrusted him with us.

  • Sometimes this cross guy is correct only that he is white

    • Actually he is only media time cos muvhete. There is nothing new or amazing he’s said.

    • Dont be racial bro. If what he says is true; then take it as it is.

  • The word to note is (Probably)

  • Brilliant, well thought out and pragmatic.

  • Haiwawo zvekupenga izvo, cross to zanu if u so wish apa who are u telling this crap.

  • U a stuck nt us

  • Mina vele angimuzwa uCross wenu lo ukuthi uthini, make what work?? Ikhiwa leli ngeke kufike uDecember lingajoinanga iZanu!! Not that l’m saying it’s a bad thing!!

  • Let’s make it work and then look forward to some other options when the economy is running like a well oiled functioning machine. Opposing and making people suffer so that they can vote for any other party is not good. We make a mockery of ourselves.

  • Wow. Brutally honest and sober, I bet some in the opposition will not like his views.

  • Cross has a patriotic mind. The problem we have with the opposition is a mindset of totally obliterating the ruling party. Which is impossible. That mindset also hinges on revenge, looting,and self aggrandizement.

    • That’s an accurate assessment man which many of us can not make.

    • Uuuuum i wish if yu had a patriotic mind also. So far there is no war against gvnt which I think is opposition giving ED time to fix if he can and he is proving otherwise. Speeches and meetings were all we have during the Mugabes era.

    • What did expect ED to do in these few days he has been in office. Can he honestly go on national tv and announce a raft of measures without involving indvidual office bearers whether in govt or public sector. Everybody in Zim is expected to do something in 100 days. When those days are exhausted then ED is answerable. Not now pls.

    • The ruling party and a free and progressive Zimbabwe are incompatible. Zimbabwe is more important than a political party which is led by selfish individuals who are all for the self aggrandizement you rail against. Only a total obliteration of Zanu PF and its objectives can make Zimbabwe work. Zanu is like a millstone on our necks. We just can’t carry all that baggage. Strange that you don’t see just how paradoxical your words are.

    • Wizzy I bet you, Zanu party is going nowhere. I am so, so, sorry about that.Mind you our politics is not matched by any country in the world. What we need as illiterate populace is to balance our politics. Ask Morgan T he can school you on that if you are MDC member.

    • Wizzy I bet you, Zanu party is going nowhere. I am so, so, sorry about that.Mind you our politics is not matched by any country in the world. What we need as illiterate populace is to balance our politics. Ask Morgan T he can school you on that if you are MDC member.

    • Wizzy I bet you, Zanu party is going nowhere. I am so, so, sorry about that.Mind you our politics is not matched by any country in the world. What we need as illiterate populace is to balance our politics. Ask Morgan T he can school you on that if you are MDC member.

    • Isu vamwe tiri machinja for gd hatigone kusappoter zvimwe nekuti hazvitibate

  • Cross is spot on.

  • Eddie Cross makudhakwawo!

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  • Ndokuda zim kauku. Thank u

  • Eddie cross a patient of ageing

  • Zimbabwe will never be a colone again….

  • Cross don make me cross now aaa, we hv a lot of capable men n women to rule Zim given a chance,,,,waita seiko madhala focus!!!!

    • What else can he do? His white friends are busy knocking outside the door hoping to return to their farms through E.D.

    • How do you put the capable men and women to power is the big question. Cross knows its not easy and will take sometime to dismantle the Junta so in the meantime we are stuck with ED and we have to at least make the economy work with him.

    • Yooo sad bt zvichaita hazvo

  • Work yourself out mr Cross and boat will not sink u can’t hv legs in MDC and your head in ZANU PF

  • Last time you were blasting Tsvangirai now he has been visited by the president,and now you are realising that you were left alone.You are now acting as if you appreciate things.We dont listen to watever u say.Thats old type of politics in your brains.This is new era Eddie Cross only a cameleon can change colours bt not you

    • You really believe everything you read in social media, print media? How dangerous you are to yourself

  • its a Dilema to people like yourself Eddie Cross coz you want a leader who you can tose around or whom you think you can make money coz of his govenance and ED is proving to be the opposite of what you want and you know that no more donars money

    • He’s actually a vocal supporter of the new president if you have been following the news. Being a Rhodie and seeing that Mnangagwa and Shiri want to halt farm invasions, he thinks ED is the right kind of man to entrench white supremacy. Which is what all Rhodies have been fighting for all these years.

  • Naked truth

  • razor blade

    Another excellent masterpice from Eddie Cross. So eloquent that EVEN the legendary Matibili bumlicker Jukwa will struggle to argue except to turn to racism nonsense

    • wilbert

      What are you talking about an “excellent masterpiece”! Eddie Cross talks of MDC bring democracy in Zimbabwe, you tell me one democratic change the party brought in all its 18 years in politics?

      • razor blade

        Urikurasika papi shasha?.
        1. MDC has never ruled in Zim so i cant judge on what has never happened. Stop following Matibili propaganda
        2. My comment is all about the facts stated not political options. Stick to facts please

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  • Tsvangirai will take MDC to his grave

  • HOW MUCH CAN WE INVEST IN ASSASINS TO KILL THE WHOLE LACOSTE CABAL…….?we are tired of these enemy of success in our country

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  • chamnorwa

    Eddie Cross has clear pespective of the future than some senior leadership members in the MDC.A real opposition govt is possible after the next 5 years. Right now it canot decide wel how it ought to replace Tsvangirai or let a sick president led the next general elections. They think we the electorates are foolish enough to choose a sick man . The MDC has no current strategy to deal with its leadership . So we will all vote for Mnangagwa giving a chance to change things . At the end what most people what is food at the table not how to avenge the sins of the past.

    • wilbert

      I agree that the opposition is in chaos but we should not let that take our attention away from the fact that we have been stuck with this Zanu PF dictatorship for 38 years because the regime rigged elections. The real and only change that matters right now is that our freedoms and basic human rights are fully restored.

      Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF thugs have just stage a military coup – proof if any was wanted that Zanu PF is still a party of ruthless thugs. Only a first class fool would buy that nonsense that this was not a coup and therefore an act of high treason. The regime is illegitimate and they only hope to get legitimacy is for them to hold free, fair and credible elections. They must implement all the democratic reforms designed to take away all Zanu PF’s carte blanche powers to rig the vote.

      It is a matter of implementing ALL the reforms BEFORE the elections otherwise the process is flawed and illegal. There is no time to implement these reforms in the remaining six months and it is as clear as bell that the elections will NOT be free and fair. No one should participate in flawed elections. No one!

      MDC leaders sold-out during the GNU by failing to implement even one reform in five years. We must not allow these sell-outs to do so again by contesting flawed elections and thus giving the process credibility!

  • Facts from the Man l respect 🙏🏿 Asante sana

  • haaa musharukwa uyu watsauka…simply do wth cash shortages…like seriously???…to those guys at th… https://t.co/aa5JeaRL8i

  • chiremba wematombo

    Eddie Cross has likely crossed over to Zanu, and even if he has not, he has a lot of admiration for Ed to the extent that he can even vote for him?? Zimbabweans will never listen to such rubbish and we will certainly fight tooth and nail to get the MDC Alliance into power against a splintering Zanu!!!

    • prodigy712

      This is more a political analysis that holds a lot of truth. Right now the intentions of ED aligns with the dire cry of hope for the people of Zim. While that is so, dont be fooled that they intend to loose the elections.

      They are being as strategic as the coup that was not a coup…..

  • Mr. Eddie Cross is speaking sense.He is correct.

  • stuck with army generals too.

  • I agree

  • wilbert

    The truth is Zimbabwe would have got rid of Zanu PF in 2013 at the latest if MDC leaders had not sold-out!

    After decades of corruption, vote rigging, coups, and murderous oppression I thought those it was obvious to all that the de facto Zanu PF dictatorship had failed and need to be changed. I also thought the that the democratic changes we needed were obvious. When Tsvangirai and company failed to get even one reform implemented during the GNU I was disgusted by their betrayal, they had sold-out for the Judas price!

    Since the GNU I have since realised that MDC leaders are breathtakingly corrupt, yes, but they are also breathtakingly incompetent. It was then that I got the full import of what USA Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Chris Dell, had said of Morgan Tsvangirai; “a flawed and indecisive character”. The man is a village idiot, no offense intended just pointing out the hard facts.

    So, why has the other MDC leaders elected a village idiot to lead them and, worse still, let him lose for all these years? The answer was obvious, they genuinely thank him a genius. A “flawed and indecisive” village idiot, a genius!

    When MP Eddie Cross says, “The MDC and especially Morgan Tsvangirai have brought democracy back to Zimbabwe and restored our rights as a people.” He has failed to name even one democratic change MDC has brought because there is none, he has failed to comprehend the enormity of MDC’s betrayal during the GNU, etc., etc. And yet he will crow to his grave of MDC’s democratic achievements because he is a minion of little intellect and it comes natural to minions to see greatness in a blundering clueless village idiot!

    If MDC had implemented the reforms during the GNU, the 2013 elections would have been free, fair and credible and Mugabe and his Zanu PF thugs would have been given their marching orders!

    There is no way President Mnangagwa can implement all the democratic reforms in the remaining six months, even if he wanted to. With no reforms, there is no way the elections will be free, fair and credible; that is obvious. If MDC and the other corrupt and opportunistic opposition politicians do not participate in the flawed and illegal elections, as SADC leaders have advised, Zanu PF will be forced to deal with this problem of rigged elections once and once for all!

  • This nehanda is got an agenda

  • Eddie aren’t you not fast becoming a political harlot?

  • Cross u talk too much ko kumbonyararawo zvinei

  • these are nothing else but the bad results of ageing……….just like old bob who thot grace wld lead us

  • cross is getting old for sure

  • The only people that will allow the MDC to go to its grave are Zimbabweans alone!, because they are so programmed with one leader figurative thinking engraved into their psyche by none other than ZANU PF….

  • Mr cross age is catching up wth u .pliz leav us alone ,it seems you want t join the e band wagon ,join at your own peril

  • Rwendo

    “…they are committed to a free and fair election..”

    This sounds less a fact and reality based declaration and more like wishful thinking. On what actions by the new regime is this bold assertion based? The new Min of Justice has even declared that there is no need for any electoral reforms, and nothing of substance is happening on the ground.

    The 2018 election is the next major crossroad. This regime is likely to see the wisdom in having a broadly representative cabinet after the elections, including someone to reassure minority Zimbabweans (as in the 80s). So, wishful thinking or perhaps something else…Is this what these recent opinion pieces are all about?

  • kkkkkk The selous scout

    • He was never a Selous Scout so don’t try to convince people otherwise!

    • He was never a Selous Scout so don’t try to convince people otherwise!

    • He was never a Selous Scout so don’t try to convince people otherwise!

  • ths mans mind is old he dsnt know wat he wants

  • hey cross kwira ndege uteere vamwe vako hee ths& tht u want punlicity too mch

  • kanotaurisa kamudhara aka

  • Wise indeed

  • Ijaha leNkabazwe

    The coup and the coming into power of Mnangagwa is a nightmare to the opposition. I think to be honest they will not stand a chance should Mnangagwa put his words into action. The way forward for the opposition is to demand, and I am sure they will get it, free and fair elections. Equal access to state broadcaster and papers. Although our politics has not matured sadly, to say where RSA is I think there are signs we are in the right direction. Let us hold hands and move our country forward. When you land at some airport and they look at your passport they don’t care if you are ZANU-PF or MDC, they see someone from a FAILED STATE!!

  • Sorry fool but we have a choice

  • I love this guy’s way of analysis

  • I love this guy’s way of analysis

  • I love this guy’s way of analysis

  • Eddie Cross is a man who talks the truth many so called educated Zimboz can’t comprehend. Even Stevie Wonder can see his point

  • Eddie Cross is a man who talks the truth many so called educated Zimboz can’t comprehend. Even Stevie Wonder can see his point

  • Eddie Cross is a man who talks the truth many so called educated Zimboz can’t comprehend. Even Stevie Wonder can see his point

  • Cross is a confused old fellow, fighting for political relevancy by trying to convince everyone that his baseless opinions should be treated as facts.

  • Cross is a confused old fellow, fighting for political relevancy by trying to convince everyone that his baseless opinions should be treated as facts.

  • ,Eddie Cross is right anoona zvirimberi kwete patsoka

  • Just for u Eddie. There is something called trust & am sure u heard about it b4. It takes a few seconds to lose it, but probably a life time to regain it. That’s the dilemma ZANUpf faces with most Zimbos. Trust. VOTE MDC.

  • Cross is amongst the few unwanted whites left in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is for Africans pliz. i dont know of any white african.

  • Saka munhu akataura chokwadi ava zanupf here

  • Hoot hoot

    Its JUST EC being EC , Mnangagwa’s Pink Boy booty-licker.
    ‘the celebrations engulfed even the most remote corners of Zimbabwe’…..are Zimbabweans that daft ?.
    Even a 3yr old can tell ; a head and a tail of the same coin is the same money.