Eddie Cross response to John Mukumbo
By Eddie Cross
I read the article (Eddie Cross got it wrong, offensively wrong) that attempted to respond to my previous article where I wrote about the failure of our leadership in Zimbabwe over the past 34 years.
In that note I contrasted our own leadership with that of Cecil Rhodes and of the leadership in Botswana.
My critic attempted to answer my arguments by saying that I ignored the evils of Rhodes and his cohorts – in doing so they ignore the fact that he was a creation of his time. However whatever you think of him, his achievements were extraordinary by any standard.
He built a global corporate empire that made him and his colleagues some of the most wealthy people in the world and then they used that wealth, not on themselves, but on the development of the countries and the companies that they created. He did that at a time when all he had was the telegraph and without e mail or even telephones.
Then my critics compounded their errors by alleging that I was a Selous Scout during the war. He ignores the fact that I joined the struggle for Zimbabwean liberation in 1965, was detained by Smith in 1979, was invited by Mugabe to join the Zanla forces in Dar es Salaam in 1975.
I was part of the transition team in 1979 for both Zanu and Zapu and wrote some of the papers for the first donors conference in Zimbabwe after Independence. I then worked for Mugabe until 1987 we split over Gukurahundi and growing corruption in the public sector.
The reality is that while Africa is now making real rapid progress in all spheres, Zimbabwe continues to regress. Our life expectancy is half what it was in 1980, incomes are lower and we have the highest infant and maternal mortality in the world. Our social institutions of health and education are in a shambles and we remain one of the most isolated regimes in the world – a pariah State alongside countries like North Korea.
All that is needed is new leadership – and I do not care where it comes from – Zapu or Zanu or MDC. But what we have now has failed us and is unable to change and get us out of the hole we are in.
Eddie Cross, 19th August 2014