By Staff Reporter
OUTSPOKEN MDC-T top official Eddie Cross has turned his guns on fellow white compatriots he describes as unrepentant racists.
He also warned against the rise of Ndebele hegemony in Matebeleland stemming from what he describes as a deliberate suppression of Ndebele culture by the current government.
Cross (77) told a local weekly that he has lived to see the worst of white racism that has failed to go even under 37 years of black rule.
“I believe whites have to earn the right to be considered Zimbabwean and I think many of my colleagues are still racist,” said the Bulawayo South legislator without elaborating.
“I am part of the failed generation of whites, but the next generation of whites will be different and I foresee the transition in the next five years.”
Cross said he has often been scorned for speaking his mind, even by fellow whites during the pre-independence white era.
“It was the same even during the Rhodesian era. I joined the national struggle in 1975 while I was at the University of Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) and I felt that no whites were speaking on behalf of black rights.
“I articulated what was just and for that reason I became ostracised. It was not pleasant. I was referred to by the Rhodesian Minister of Justice Lardemer as a threat to society.”
Cross has also courted the ire of Ndebeles in Matebeleland when he recently criticised opposition leaders he said were pre-occupied with regional issues at the expense of those affecting the entire country.
His comments came after MDC-T deputy president Thokozani Khuphe and party leaders in the region were insisting the formation of a pre-2018 election coalition arrangement should not touch Matebeleland.
Cross admitted Ndebeles were being oppressed by the Zanu PF led government but said it was counterproductive to concentrate on tribal issues as “all people in the country were Zimbabwean”.
“There is a deliberate government policy to virtually wipe out Ndebele culture, and it is true, but it cannot be resolved by creating a regional hegemony for Bulawayo and Matebeleland,” he said, adding that he believed in his party MDC-T he praised for commanding support in all regions of the country.
“If this goes unchecked Ndebele hegemony can create a threat which could result in the country being torn apart.
“South Africa now could be torn apart by ethnic issues as its politics has become ethnic,” he said.