Eddie Cross’ Ndebele/ Khalanga tribalism clanger

Liars anchoring the political life cycle of Zimbabwe have managed to convince themselves that Matabeleland is a threat to national unity and have treated it as one. This deception is nothing but a chunk of deliberate lies reduced and meticulously put into practice. The whole Zimbabwean system is a political sham frequently patched and propped up by a woven set of partial truths, if not plain lies to avoid it collapsing on itself.

Zimbabwe’s politics long lost its integrity, legislators relate with the benefits of holding onto power, and not the people; they draw power from the public and use their assumed authority to empower themselves and not the people. Gross as it sounds, this is a reality that we find ourselves entangled in. It thus, comes as little surprise that Eddie Cross is the latest legislator to make his intervention to hold up a system that is clearly curving in under the weight of truth and reality; he falsely identifies an alleged ‘dangerous’ Ndebele/ Khalanga tribal plot as a serious threat to Zimbabwean unity.

Do not start me with this unity argument; it is an illusion that Cross himself has described as a surrender. I will ignore the innuendo that Ndebele/ Khalanga surrendered tribalism that day; Mthwakazi rights were sacrificed on that Unity Accord document.

Disturbing as it appears, it is unsurprising that Eddie Cross, a former serving minister in the ZANU PF-led government, a property owner and businessman who knows fully well whose tunes should be sung to protect his business interests in Zimbabwe, believes Ndebele/ Khalanga people, the same people from whom he draws his authority, are tribalists for calling for greater autonomy of the region. Now, how does any reasonable public office bearer conclude that a person deprived of access to opportunities and simply asking for the right to fair access is not only unreasonable but greedy and dangerous?

Eddie Cross is a Matabeleland legislator yet he seems to know precious little about the region’s issues or he is purposely acting ignorant to justify and protect his existence in a highly polarised Zimbabwean political system built on and sustained by lies. Is it not the height of moral depravity that upholding political integrity has become secondary to public office bearers and legislators feel the need to deceive the public to maintain their relevancy within a system?

Mr Cross is an astute operator, an experienced and knowledgeable man and politician but is being arrogantly dishonest; his pretence ignorance of Mthwakazi problems and the degree of his comfort in his ignorance shows him to be not only a liar but a hypocrite and suggests ulterior motives. I will not second guess his motives but he has underestimated everybody’s intelligence and his approach draws from the self-absorbed perception that no one can question his wisdom beyond his expectations which is the reason he throws in random data to strengthen his very tame argument.

When was this equivalent of an emotional trauma impact research from which he bases his argument that out of fear 70 percent of Bulawayo’s Ndebele citizens today are more likely to speak any other language and not Ndebele conducted? Mr Cross knows fully well that Ndebele speakers have never stopped speaking their language; he is aware too that the Unity Accord only stopped the physical butcher of Matabeleland citizens by a tribalist ZANU PF government but not the broader systems that perpetuate the discrimination of the region and its people yet he falsely argues tribalism stopped in 1987. The man lives in an alternative world.

The choice of words is of essence here, Mr Cross who in his blog, ‘Roots’ opted to refer to the colonial Rhodesia regime as a non-tribal government instead of correctly calling it a racist government also conveniently avoids saying who the instigator of the tribalism he wrongly argues started in 1980 is. Mr Cross is instead in a rush to call Ndebele/ Khalanga tribalists for daring to protect themselves against the unhealthy consolidation of power within and by an ethnic Shona supremacy.

Like any political movement, the pro-Mthwakazi agenda is itself far from being perfect but labelling it as tribalist is opportunistic. We want autonomy over our region so that we can take control over our lives in a way Harare has systematically denied us. We are unequivocal in our commitment to an equal society where ability and not race or tribe matter. Matabeleland under Zimbabwe has lived below its capabilities, we want to change that.

A single lie destroys a whole reputation of integrity; Mr Cross has lost trust of his constituency; he may have had a good reason to lie but there is certainly better reason to tell the truth. Blaming Ndebele/ Khalanga people for demanding the right to self-determination belies his democratic claims while it helps a dictatorship to accomplish its goals of annihilating Ndebeles.

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