POLICE in Bulawayo yesterday blocked Ibhetshu LikaZulu’s planned demonstration against MDC-T Bulawayo South legislator, Eddie Cross, over his “tribal” comments criticising Ndebele leaders as divisive.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Cross, who is also the MDC-T national executive member, in a recent opinion piece accused political leaders from Matabeleland of being divisive and frustrating opposition efforts to form the MDC Alliance.
Ibhetshu LikaZulu co-ordinator Mbuso Fuzwayo said they had planned to demonstrate in Tshabalala high-density suburb yesterday.
“We do not demonstrate against people who do not, or did not pick a fight against us. He picked a fight with us with his hate language against the Ndebele-speaking people,” he said.
“We are saying we have been victims of marginalisation, institutionalised tribalism and marginalisation and we cannot continue to be victimised anymore by people like Cross.”
Cross’s comments were seen as directed at MDC-T vice-president, Thokozani Khupe, chairperson Lovemore Moyo, suspended organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) secretary-general Gorden Moyo, who recently raised objections over the formation of the MDC Alliance.
The resistance to the MDC Alliance has been loud in Matabeleland, and Cross, in an opinion titled Are our tribal roots still relevant, accused “Ndebele leaders” of being a threat to the formation of an opposition coalition to dislodge President Robert Mugabe.
Cross, in his article, wrote: “It has not been an easy road to walk, Ndebele interests always wanted special recognition and representation and the influence of tribal affiliation is found in all areas of the country — Chipinge with the Ndau for example.
Now suddenly, the spectre of Ndebele nationalism is raising its head again — a new ‘King’ has been sworn in (the first in a 100 years), a new alliance is proposed between various Ndebele and Zulu dominated groups.
“Ndebele leaders, in both Tendai Biti’s party and the MDC-T, are demanding special treatment and threatening to coalesce around a new separatist Ndebele/Kalanga leadership.”
He added: “This is very dangerous and retrogressive and I hope the MDC Alliance will reject this initiative and maintain its historical stance; devolved power and control within a unitary State is the only way forward. Anything else can only take us backward.”
Efforts to contact Cross for a comment were fruitless yesterday, while MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said the sentiments made by the party’s Bulawayo South legislator were his personal opinions.