Attention Eddie Cross: Rhodesia died long ago


IN his article titled ‘The price of bad governance in Zimbabwe’ that was published on the eve of the country’s 34th independence anniversary last week, MDC-T’s Edward Graham Cross shamelessly tries to trash independence by attacking the nation’s leadership over what he says are ‘failed’ policies and his ludicrous suggestion that Rhodesia was better than Zimbabwe.
His article, which is laden with many falsehoods and personal attacks on the country’s leadership, is without doubt designed to create the impression that Zimbabwe can only progress if it is in the hands of whites.
It should be understood that Mr Cross is a bitter Rhodie fighting to recoup the little that is left of the long dead Rhodesian dream of running Zimbabwe again.
Mr Cross, a senior member of the Rhodesian establishment in the embattled MDC-T also claims to have fought the fight to secure equal rights and the vote for the majority in Zimbabwe.
“They took over a country with virtually no debt, a small, but self sufficient economy which was able to sustain a reasonable standard of living for its people, albeit in a very unequal and skewed manner,” reads his article in part.
It is clear that Mr Cross is living in his own planet where dreaming and malice are the order of the day.
How can a country that had been under economic sanctions, under war for nearly a decade with dilapidated infrastructure have an economy that is able to sustain a ‘reasonable’ standard of living for its people?
Mr Cross must be reminded that Zimbabwe was not handed to blacks on a silver platter.
It was fought for.
That economy, which was benefitting a few white minority, which was excluding blacks from having a ‘reasonable’ standard of living, was what the locals were fighting against.
That war of liberation which Mr Cross shamelessly claims to have fought together with blacks was because of whites’ policy of exclusion that manifested itself through expropriation and plunder of resources for the benefit of the white minority.
So yes its true Mr Cross that the black government took over an economy that was able to sustain a ‘reasonable’ standard of living for whites.
This is what President Robert Mugabe whom you despise has been doing since April 18, 1980 through the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme and the ongoing Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment programme.
It is this economic revolution which you say is ‘bad governance’ because it has reversed an economy owned and controlled by the minority from which you were one of the biggest beneficiaries and equally distributed it to the majority who are now proud owners of their land and resources.
There is a price to this economic revolution Mr Cross.
There are losses, pains and anguish in the establishment of this new order.
But as the old adage goes, ‘nothing lasts forever’, today Zimbabweans are beginning to see the fruits of this struggle for economic emancipation.
The tobacco farmers bear testimony to the success of the ‘price of bad governance as you call it’.
The question is why were you silent from 1980 to year 2000 when Zimbabweans took back their land?
You were comfortable with a situation where blacks owned the flag while you and your people plundered our resources.
Interestingly, Mr Cross’ wish for Rhodesia’s second coming is neatly tucked in between the story which he views as a prognosis of the country’s challenges.
Whites whom he says were educated have to run this country if it entertains any prospects of prosperity.
“Mr Mugabe (he doesn’t even call him President!) took over a country with a small, but honest and efficient administration, a well educated minority and a people who, despite all the struggles and conflicts of the past, had the second highest standard of living in Southern Africa after South Africa,” says Mr Cross.
There is no price for guessing that the so-called ‘honest and efficient’ administration is what Cross sees as a panacea to the current economic crisis in the country.
That administration, Mr Cross, served the Smith regime, whites and not Zimbabweans.
That is why that ‘honest and efficient’ administration gave over 80 percent of the country’s prime land to only 4 000 white farmers.
It is shocking that you give credit to that administration and applaud it for taking good care of Zimbabweans.
Consider the following.
According to the Rhodesia Financial Gazette of September 5 1975, whites using the Apprenticeship Act of 1958 systematically restricted blacks from get- ting trained while whites were given easy access to do the same.
It said:
“The Apprenticeship Act of 1958 allowed apprenticeship for the first time, but the numbers involved are (were) very small.
“In 1975 the apprenticeship intake was 1 211 for whites against 226 for blacks.”
Oddly, the racist settler regime found it logical to promote white immigration to fill skilled jobs, which was expensive instead of simply training locals.
The Financial Mail of August 1976 gave a disturbing view of the employment situation in the country, which painted a very bleak future for the black people of Zimbabwe.
It said:
“In 1976, a total of 926 000 Africans were employed in the cash economy, a mere 14,6 percent of the total African population compared with 120 000 (40 percent of the total white population).
“The regime expects (expected) the remainder to support themselves and families by farming in the economically undeveloped and impoverished Tribal Trust Lands.
“No figures of African unemployment are issued by the regime, but it has been estimated that 131 000 African men aged between 16 and 60 were employed in 1975.”
Disturbing was the fact that the racist settler regime did not make any provision for unemployment benefit to be paid to black workers.
To show its arrogance, the racist regime masked this scale of unemployment with its leader Ian Smith bluntly denying that there was any such thing as African unemployment on the grounds that jobs could be found in the mining and farming sectors where there was rampant exploitation of blacks.
But the truth of the matter was these jobs were so poorly paying that many Zimbabweans refused to take them.
Please do not disturb our peace Mr Cross.
We know this is a bitter pill for you to swallow, but Rhodesia will never return.
It died long back.


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