Movement for Democratic Change legislator Eddie Cross says countries in Africa that are under the control of the new elite, the post independence generation, are making huge strides while those under the control of the “veterans of the long march” like Zimbabwe and South Africa are going backwards.
He says this is entirely because the present generation of liberation leaders simply do not know how to manage the States they control so that they can survive and thrive in this new world order.
Writing in his personal blog, which raised a furore just over two weeks ago when he said his party leader Morgan Tsvangirai might not make it to next year’s elections because of his deteriorating health, Cross says: “It was so in China, it was so in Europe, does anyone think it can be different in Africa?
“In Zimbabwe we have 5 million well educated young people in the Diaspora, they are learning new ways of doing things, adopting a new World View and when finally, they come home, nothing will ever be the same again.
“It’s just how to get there that is the tough question; in China the agents of change were the professional soldiers in the Red Army. In Zimbabwe?” he ends leaving the question hanging.
The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front is currently embroiled in a bitter fight over who will succeed President Robert Mugabe and are lining up his wife.
This is not likely to lead to any change unless her G40 action forces her out and its young Turks, Saviour Kasukuwere and Jonathan Moyo, take over. The question perhaps is, will the military accept them.
Earlier in his blog, Cross writes: “If you take the historical example of China. The global conflict of ideas after the Second World War gave rise to the capture of the State of China by the Chinese Communist Party under the leadership of Mao.
“In the following three decades China went through turbulent times, radicals tore the society apart and the “Red Revolution” tried to transform Chinese society into a Marxist/Leninist haven. The grip of Mao through this time was absolute and his attempts to collectivize agriculture and change the way Chinese peasants worked, led to tens of millions dying of hunger, malnutrition and starvation.
“Then Mao died, his wife was thrown into prison and her three compatriots – one a nephew and the others powerful member of the Mao clique, were killed. The Red Army, long suffering and patient and loyal to Mao up to his death, stepped into the ring and took a little known intellectual from a Beijing jail and installed him as Secretary General of the Party.
“Deng took charge and in a series of what we would call “Tweets” today he enunciated the changes he wanted. ‘Do not worry about the color of the cat, does it catch mice?’ ‘When you walk across a river and cannot see the bottom, feel your way with your toes.’
“Many sophisticated observers showed little interest in what to them seemed like Chinese folk sayings. But what he was saying was, and in China they understood immediately, was ‘we remain Chinese, we support socialism and Marxist thought, but we are pragmatists and will back the policies and strategies that work for China’.
“The results have changed the world and nowhere more than in China itself.”