Eddie Cross got it wrong, offensively wrong
By John Mukumbo
Rhodies are an unrepentant lot. It is amazing and surprising that the olive hand that President Robert Mugabe extended to them through reconciliation, just after independence, has not been taken seriously by the former Rhodesian Selous Scouts as they keep on biting the same hand which, even today, continues feeding them.
Instead of appreciating the spirit of reconciliation that the President extended to them, despite the massacres they committed on the innocent people who were taking refuge in Mozambique, Zambia and other surrounding countries, the former Rhodies are now up in arms against President Robert Mugabe and his government.
Eddie Cross, who also benefited from President Mugabe’s reconciliation call, and him being a former Rhodesian soldier currently standing as an MDC-T economic adviser, got it wrong when he glorified Cecil John Rhodes’s leadership style and choosing to blast President Mugabe’s leadership in an article on his Africanherd website titled “Importance of Leadership“.
Cross tried to tell those who chose to read his article that President Mugabe has destroyed the economy which he inherited from Ian Smith when it was flourishing.
The MDC-T national executive member goes on heaping praises on Cecil John Rhodes who, we are told, established from a capital sum of just $10,000, a business empire comprising 70 companies – two of which are, today, among the world’s leading 500 firms.
In addition, Cross reminds us that Rhodes “became Prime Minister of the Cape and established the boundaries of Botswana, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. He built thousands of kilometers of railways and roads and opened up the mining industries in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia.”
Surprisingly, Cross does not tell us how many locals in those territories profited from Rhodes’ remarkable enterprise. Neither does he admit that everything Rhodes did was in the service of his empire and the belief that whites were a superior race. It was that belief that whites were a superior race which made Rhodes to have a bigger empire using the slave labour provided by blacks who were forced to work under harsh conditions.
Cross fails to tell his same readers that Rhodes, for him to build his empire it was through the looting of mineral resources which the southern African region possessed. He should go further and tell his readers that Rhodes did not see the black people as another race which could compete with the whites and as such they were inhumanely treated as animals.
In his submission that the Ndebele people would celebrate the death of President Mugabe, Cross is trying to divide the Zimbabwean people on tribal lines. He wants to create a barrier between the Shonas and the Ndebeles which is not proper. His submission on this subject of tribal division should be condemned with the contempt which it deserves.
Cross should know that his diatribe is an insult to the Ndebele tribe in particular and patriotic Zimbabweans in general. He should know that Zimbabweans will never forget how his forefathers raped our women, massacred our ancestors who were enslaved and tortured. They also looted their properties and stole our minerals at the instigation of Rhodes.
Eddie Cross does not want to tell us that the pioneer column that descended on the virgin land of Zimbabwe in 1890, which his grandfather was part of, caused a lot of suffering to the indigenous people as they were driven out of their fertile land to arid and unfertile land, as they were regarded as second class citizens.
He does not want to tell us that the British were also responsible for murdering revered heroes and heroines like Sekuru Kaguvi, Mbuya Nehanda and most of those who resisted the colonization of Zimbabwe.
This former Selous Scout member is not qualified to tell us that President Mugabe has failed to lead the country and that Rhodes created an economic empire using only $10 000 at the time. Cross should remember that President Mugabe sacrificed his time for about eleven years in a white man’s jail as he fought to eradicate injustice which was being applied to the people of this country by Eddie Cross and his counterparts.
He is not qualified to denounce President Mugabe’s leadership when he also failed to tell Ian Smith that the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) in 1965 was wrong. Smith butchered a lot of blacks while Eddie Cross was an accomplice in that madness, hence, he has no right whatsoever to tell us that President Mugabe has failed to lead the country.
Cross was there but failed to see the wrongs which were being perpetrated by the Rhodesian soldiers when they massacred innocent civilians in Chimoio, Nyadzonia, Mulungushi and other areas in neighbouring countries during the armed struggle.
Cross, instead of blasting President Mugabe’s leadership style, should first read history and then tell us why he failed to denounce Ian Smith when he was clinging onto power and when he, in 1965, said that there would be no majority rule in his lifetime as well as for a thousand years to come.
So Cross should concentrate more on reviving his ailing companies which were declared insolvent some few years ago due to his poor leadership skills. It would be prudent for him to concentrate more on making sure that his companies do well than trying to run away from the fact that he, who is an economist, has failed to show the country leaderships skills that go with his qualifications.
The problem is that Cross is quick to forget that the economic decline that the country is going through was caused by the sanctions imposed on the country by the western countries under the instigation of his MDC-T party.
He must first call on the western countries to remove sanctions on the country and then see whether our economic fortunes would not be revived. People should not take him seriously as he is writing from as a racist, who always thinks that the country would be better under white men’s rule.
Cross should realise that Zimbabweans are a forgiving people, so he should not slap a sleeping lion in the face.