By Robert Tapfumaneyi
OUTSPOKEN former MDC MP, Eddie Cross has condemned most Zimbabweans and their government for dumping African norms and behaviours while mimicking those of whites abroad.
Speaking at the inaugural Zimbabwe annual Devolution Conference in Harare Friday, Cross said he was shocked some young black Zimbabweans were looking down upon their rural origins.
Cross said he agreed with former President Robert Mugabe who once described people in Harare’s old Mbare suburb as “totemless”.
He further said he was disturbed by the behaviour of many locals who think if they acted like whites, they would take a superior pedestal.
The ex-Bulawayo MP and economist said the behaviour was not just limited to individual Zimbabweans but was also common with their government.
“Are we murungus (white people). Judges wear white head gears, fun hats. Our Speaker of the national assembly comes in a black gown; he demands that Members of Parliament wear suits with a tie and he doesn’t want any fancy clothes. Are we murungus (white),” said Cross, a white who was born and bred in the former Rhodesia, which later became Zimbabwe at independence.
“I ask you what the hell are you? We are Africans.
“If we call ourselves Zimbabwean, certain things have to change. I call myself Zimbabwean and I am. My great, great father came here in 1877 as a missionary. Then we must take on the culture of our people. That is how we should function. That should be part of every Zimbabwean.
“You go to Japan, they are Japanese; you go to a Japanese organisation, they are Japanese. They run their business like Japanese. Same as China.
“But come to Africa, all the restaurants want to play American jazz and they want to wear fancy clothes and they want to speak in English and they don’t want to speak Shona.”
Cross added, “I meet young black people in Harare and they do not want to speak Shona, who consider kumusha (rural areas) as primitive and smelly. What are we doing!
“Our young people do not know who they are.
“I remember Mugabe sometime when he said people living in Mbare do not have a totem. He is damn right.”
Cross’s comments come as most government ministers from the old guard have their children living and learning abroad with some hardly able to communicate in local languages such as Shona and Ndebele.