Zimbabwe: Gukurahundi - How Mnangagwa Threatened Eddie Cross

Photo: The Herald
President Emmerson Mnangagwa
31 December 2017

MDC-T national executive member Eddie Cross has revealed how, at the beginning of the Gukurahundi in 1983, he was summoned to Harare by president Emmerson Mnangagwa to warn him to stay away from the massacres "or else".

Cross had dared lobby the international community to take action on the killings by revealing the details to western governments during one of his foreign trips only to be let down by the Norwegians.

Mnangagwa was then minister of state security in charge of the CIO which provided intelligence for the Fifth Brigade which did the killings.

Cross, who is the MDC-T MP for Bulawayo South, revealed this in his website last week.

"In 1983 when I was General Manager of the Dairibord - a large Parastatal in the dairy industry, I got a call one day from the Catholic Mission in Lupane to say that the Army was in the District and causing mayhem," wrote Cross.

He added, "I called the then Secretary to the Prime Minister (Mugabe) and Cabinet, Charles Utete, and asked him what was going on. I invited him to fly with me in a light aircraft to see for ourselves. He replied after 30 minutes that this was "nothing to do with me, too sensitive and I should leave it alone".

"The Catholics sent me a report on the problems in the District (it was the start of Gukurahundi - the "storm that cleans") and I took this report with me on a business trip to Scandinavia where I shared it with four foreign Ministers and asked them to get their Prime Ministers to call our Prime Minister and urge restraint."

He went on, "When I got home I was summoned to the Ministers Office and there I was given a transcript of my discussions with the Norwegian Secretary of State and I was given a severe warning from the Minister of State Security to "never do that again, or else". That was Mnangagwa."

"I took the advice and watched from the sidelines over the next 4 years as the supporters of Joshua Nkomo were bludgeoned into submission. Tens of thousands lost their lives and perhaps a million people fled their homes for South Africa," wrote the controversial legislator.

However, Cross says he was to notice "how effective he [Mnangagwa] was in a very short space of time" as finance minister years after Gukurahundi.

"This view was reinforced by the senior Civil Servants in the Ministry who said he was clear headed, did not have to be told anything twice, made decisions and was a pleasure to work with. Most of all he took advice and listened," wrote Cross.

He went on, "I have been a Member of Parliament for ten years, during that time we have had many interchanges with Emmerson. He has a very sharp mind and a sense of humor but if you do take him on, expect no prisoners. The one thing that always impressed me was his automatic authority in the House of Assembly - often a rowdy and unruly place. If he stood up in a debate or at question time, a hush would descend on the House. Very few command that kind of control."

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