Cross admits costly errors lost the MDC-T elections

via Cross admits costly errors lost the MDC-T elections | SW Radio Africa by Tichaona Sibanda October 15, 2013

A leading figure in the MDC-T has admitted they may have handed ZANU PF victory on a silver platter in the July 31st elections after they ‘totally underestimated the impact of the strategies’ ZANU PF got from the Chinese Communist Party and the Israeli firm Nikuv.

Writing on his website Eddie Cross, the MP for Bulawayo South and the policy coordinator of the party, provides a harsh account of the MDC-T’s tenure in the inclusive government and highlights some of its major failures over five years.

From the outset Cross, in a self critical paper titled, ‘What did we get wrong?’ recognizes and acknowledges that the Morgan Tsvangirai led party did have the final option to veto many of ZANU PF’s transgressions but never used it and in the end ‘we paid the price.’

‘We totally underestimated the impact of the strategies being proposed by the advisors to ZANU PF who were principally the Chinese Communist Party and the Israeli firm Nikuv.

‘We were well aware of these strategies and had analysed them and knew full well what was going on,’ explained Cross.

He added: ‘But we thought that the ground swell of support for the MDC and the failure of ZANU PF in the economy and the social services, plus the genocide of Gukurahundi and the savage campaigns on the farms and in the cities through the Murambatsvina campaign, would never allow the ordinary voter to give their votes to ZANU PF when it came to voting in the elections.’

The MP admits that the party was wrong and completely underestimated the residual influence of three decades of politically motivated violence against ordinary and marginalized rural and peri-urban communities.

‘People voted for self preservation and out of fear of collective and retributive punishment. We knew that ZANU PF was settling tens of thousands of homeless families on plots of land on peri-urban farms that had been taken from their owners in the decade since 2000.

‘We knew that these communities had no security and were totally under the control and direction of ZANU PF. We just underestimated their capacity to convert this subtle form of coercion into votes in the polling stations – a study of the vote shows that this explains many of the victories of ZANU PF in the peri-urban areas,’ he said.

Sox Chikohwero, the chairperson of the Global Zimbabwe Forum, commended Cross for admitting the party made fateful errors and judgements of walking into an election ‘blindfolded.’

Chikohwero told SW Radio Africa’s weekly program Speak Out Padare that the MDC-T must wake up from its slumber and correct its mistakes and explain how they got everything wrong.

‘Instead of being defensive, the MDC must admit they made fundamental blunders that should be blamed squarely on the leadership and their advisors. It’s either the leadership chose not to listen to its advisors or the advisors led them along a path littered with landmines,’ Chikohwero said.

The former head of the MDC-T intelligence department said party officials should desist from insisting the elections were stolen without offering solutions to the crisis created by the electorate defeat.

‘Everyone, including all in ZANU PF, are aware the elections were manipulated to hand Robert Mugabe victory, but what did the MDC-T do whilst in government to prevent that from happening.

‘They did absolutely nothing, I think the political misfortunes of the party can be traced back to the day they joined the inclusive government when Mugabe handed himself the all important ministries which the MDC failed to reverse,’ he added.

Chikohwero urged all opposition parties in the country to push for democratic reforms, saying unless the electoral system is scrutinized and changed, efforts to unseat ZANU PF will be a herculean task.



  • comment-avatar
    Dzenyika 10 years ago

    At least a proper self-inquisition has begun within the MDC. Not having four MDCs (MDC-T, MDC-M, MDC-N and MDC-99) would be a good start.

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    Michael 10 years ago

    MDC is dead……and with it the likes of the “inept and incompetent Tsvangirai” style leadership. Hooray!!!!! About time.

    Out of the ashes a new, stronger, more resilient, more astute, more democratic party will emerge.

    Zimbabwe will be freed from oppression, the day is nigh.

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    Charlie Cochrane 10 years ago

    Naivety beyond belief! You should all be removed from senior party positions on tgis basis alone!
    Zanu has murdered, butchered, beaten and maimed the electorate for 33 years and, with them running Security, ZEC and their militias, you thought the undefended,who had seen you share power for 5 years and remained undefended during that period too, should face their murderers at the ballot box and just vote you lot into power……… lot, safe and secure with your homes, money and power in Harare?………you disgust me.

    • comment-avatar

      100% correct. They were warned but they knew better. Are heads going to roll? Of course they are! But the wrong heads will roll like we have just witnessed with the sacking of Iain Kay. What a bunch of clowns who are so stupid as to shoot the messenger Iain Kay.

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      This is the African way , it’s only another 5 years. South africa on it’s way.

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    Thembani 10 years ago

    The game wss lost when you chose Tsvangirai to lead.

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      nesbert majoni 10 years ago

      Don’t forget Tsvangirayi won the 2008 elections. So you are lying.

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    Rejoice Ngwenya 10 years ago

    Nesbert Majoni, ‘winning an election’ is different from ‘winning power’. I still think that we spent too much time praising ourselves instead of facing up to reality. Eddie Cross is right, partially, but he won’t dare agitate for ‘leadership change’. It is good to blame yourself, but it’s worse not to do anything about it. The MDC-T ‘white allies’ have repeatedly said ‘Tsvangirai must go!’ During the GNU, Tsvangirai spent time praising ZEC and going on global frolics to ‘campaign against sanctions’. He called Welshman Ncube names and fraternised with Arthur Mutambara. Now, the reality of his tactical naevity has caught up with his party. We want to hear a PROPER solution from Eddie Cross, not self pity.

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    Eddie Cross is telling us what many already knew months and months before the elections. What he has failed to do is acknowledge that his leadership was warned time and time again and they arrogantly rejected the warnings because they knew better. This leadership must bear responsibility and be accountable. Morgan Tsvangirai must step down to facilitate a new leadership which is a whole lot smarter and more principled.

    At this time, Morgan Tsvangirai is being cleverly shielded by Eddie Cross. It is notable that Tsvangirai will not take responsibility for his actions and none actions which have actually strengthened and handed a lifeline to zanupf. He remains unaccountable for a whole host of decisions made to let zanupf off the hook. He has to be replaced and replaced now!

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    Inno Due 10 years ago

    All of you kure Tsvangirai is right

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    Guvnor 10 years ago

    The disaster must be accounted for and that begins with leadership taking responsibility. A good starting point is going back to the people and structures to confirm the continuance of the current lot or hand over to fresh hands.

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    Bruce 10 years ago

    this is a correct assessment. MDCs should have never allowed expansion of Ministries than those allowed by GNU, 21 ministers in the proportion of the votes cast in March 2008. The positions of vice presidents should have remained in Zanu PF politiburo not in government. Should have refused the issue of double minister in police, all security forces commanders should have retired and substituted by the neutral one choosen by the 3 principals. Its unfornate that MDCs or all political parties in Zimbabwe may never get that close in government ever. Next time Zanu PF will have sponsored party that will go with it into elections if MDCs say the election field is not level.

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    Mapingu 10 years ago

    The MDC-T were so untactical that they totally believed they had already won a flawed election before it even started. The result was, instead of keeping their eyes on the ball, they were more concerned with self positioning – ‘who will be what in the next gvnt?’. To them that become the most important thing instead of then impending election; and of course the result was a straight knock-out for ZANU PF. The question is do we really have the principled people that we think we have in the MDC-T? If self-preservation is number priority for these top guyz, are they really the kind of leaders we want. They can not tell us that they were just sleeping and doing nothing while ZANU PF Nikoved processes, they were certainly doing something. That something building internal power bases on the erroneous belief that ZANU PF was a dead donkey. MDC_T need acknowledge this sad reality and tackle it head-on; skirting around it wont help matters. This is even highlighted by the fact that in the last days the MDC_T had become so arrogant that it believed its erstwhile friends such as the NCA and even the workers were no longer of relevance to them. They were, now the government, so for what good reason would they need such organizations? This was clearly the attitude by MDC_T leaders or at least that’s how we saw it to be as observers – and voters for that matter.

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    Witness Dube 10 years ago

    Zimnbabwe must not take its eyes off the ball. The bottomline is that Zanu PF hired Nikuv to systematically rig the elections on their behalf. The fact that MDC made a few political errors does not in any way discount the fact that this election was stollen from the people of Zimbabwe. Zanu PF itself made a lot of political blunders in its campaign, that i may argue, have left it even weaker than it already was but struck it rich with their hiring of this notorious Israeli company, Nikuv.

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    Gavan Duffy 10 years ago

    In 2007 a shelf company was formed named WOOVENVILLE and the registered managing director is Jameson Timba, The millions of US$ channelled through that company was financed by RBZ – WHY

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    At least its gud Eddie acknowledges they made fatal mistakes. Many of us had seen it coming that zpf was going to “win”. Some of their biggest let downs was arrogance and becoming too comfortable and close to zpf than their traditional allies. Having said this I don’t think its not the time to talk of leadership change. Every1 shd pull in the same direction and wait for e next elective congress to change leaders. It would be a gud day indeed if MT doesn’t contest bt throws his weight behind a new leader preferably Biti. In return MT shd be made ceremonial president

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    joseph 10 years ago

    MDC is dead already we are only waiting for Tsvangirai to announce the day for funeral-you should know ZANu better.

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    Rwendo 10 years ago

    The first nail in the MDC’s coffin was prematurely signing up for the GNU before key issues had been agreed upon. I am no politician but I well remember asking why there was all this crisis about which party was going to get which ministry.. and yet a I never heard of a whisper over Mines – the sector which was going to start bringing revenues from day 1. And what of the winner becoming PM and the loser President – can you imagine that happening in 1980 – Mugabe agreeing to be second in command to Muzorewa?? The second nail was underestimating Intelligence gathering and Information/(propaganda) – 2 areas ZANU PF have always excelled at, even before 1980. What is/has been the MDC’s counter to J. Moyo, the CIO, ZBC, the Herald..? Is it Chamisa?? The third nail was falling for the diversion trap of sorting out ZANU PF’s messes in the service ministries while ZANU did their best to obstruct and discredit, all the time keeping their eye on the final election game-plan. The fourth of course was walking into those elections like sheep to the slaughter. The final nail will be keeping the same leadership and dreaming they will have any smarter counter-strategies to offer for the 2018 elections.

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    mseyamwa 10 years ago

    Tsvangirai alienated a lot of us whrn he started throwing around lots of cash in his blundering courtship, in a country were civil sevants earn peanuts and dismissing the acts as nonevents. It was likely a scary peep into the future unfer him. Little regard for the rest of us while on carnal missions.

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    Chiunduro 10 years ago

    @ the moment i cant see a leader to succeed Tsvangirai.If tsvangirai is forced out,the party will disintergrate

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    MATANDA MASAIRIRWA 10 years ago

    People are only saying Tsvangirai must go without putting forward at least a list of possible successors within the MDC. If people remember clearly the days before the resumption of the GNU it was Tefhadnds Biti who the foresight of the disaster that awaited the party if they accepted that route and he was on record for refused to participate in that ill fated institution. If only many had listened the result could have been a dfferent story . At least I think he had the interests of the people at heart