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What they said in the year gone by

* “HE met Cde Msika but he was adamant and Msika gave up. The next day we heard he had filed nomination papers to stand as an independent and we advised him that it was not wise to stand as an independent. I advised him that the who

le machinery of the party will fall on you and you will be demolished. You can never win against Zanu PF. You can’t educate him.”

President Robert Mugabe commenting on Jonathan Moyo who had defied the party leadership to contest the March election as an independent in Tsholotsho.

* “Those people waiting for a launch ceremony might wait for a very long time because the party for today to make tomorrow better has already come.” — Tsholotsho MP and former Information minister Jonathan Moyo in response to questions when the United People’s Movement would be launched.

* “The only option left is for the responsible authorities to call for elections so that residents can elect a mayor with a vision for the municipality. “— Glen Norah resident Walter Muneneri commenting on the reappointment of the Harare commission led by Sekesai Makwavarara.

* “I have no interest in playing idiotic games with idiots. Tsvangirai and his gang believe I am interested in playing their idiotic game.” — Welshman Ncube responding to claims of his suspension as MDC secretary-general by party leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

* “I don’t want to give lies any respect. Those are just lies. I have seen website stories saying I knew about this and did nothing. Those are lies. You are a seasoned journalist and I don’t think you want us to discuss such things. I have no personal views on lies.” — Former State Security minister Nicholas Goche dismissing reports that he was involved in the spy case involving Phillip Chiyangwa, Kenny Karidza, Itai Marchi, Godfrey Dzwairo and Tendai Matambanadzo.

* “There is nothing wrong with the party policies. But there is something wrong with some of the leaders. We have party leaders who think they should die in power and should never be challenged. We do not have leaders who have the Mandela-style of leadership — a type of leadership where you lead some day and groom someone to lead you tomorrow. You then look back and feel proud of your achievements and the continuation of party ideals.” — Suspended war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda castigating the Zanu PF leadership.

* “The women were assaulted with batons and kicked by the police. They were taken into an interrogation room that had a table in the middle and underneath the table was a pool of blood. Police details interrogating them threatened that if the women continued with Woza their blood would be added to the pool under the table.” — Woza coordinator Jenny Williams describing the ordeal women demonstrators went through at Harare Central police station for protesting against Education minister Aeneas Chigwedere.

* “This book is a prophecy of what is going to happen. The book tries kuudza vana veZimbabwe kuti kutengesa nyika hazvibatsiri. Kutengesa nyika kunoita Africa irasike. They have gone to create a media whose hatred of Zimbabwe’s revolution surpasses the smell of a thousand dead donkeys.” — Director of Zanu PF publicity Steve Chidawanyika commenting on a booklet published for the March parliamentary election listing the names of people perceived as traitors. The list included Trevor Ncube, Basildon Peta, Geoff Nyarota, Archbishop Pius Ncube, NCA chairperson Lovemore Madhuku and most MDC legislators.

* “The problem with our leaders is that they don’t look at the economy strategically. They must not allow Zimbabwe to be a free-for-all economy where inferior products just flood the market to the detriment of our manufacturers. Zimbabwean manufacturers cannot be expected to compete against the Chinese. China has huge economies of scale which we don’t have.” — President of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce Luxon Zembe commenting on the flooding of the local market with inferior Chinese products.

* “People blame us for not organising protests against the government. But how do you organise a person whose immediate priority is to see where his family is going to eat or sleep next? You cannot tell a person preoccupied with finding alternative accommodation for his family or a temporary place to keep his belongings to join a protest march.” — MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai responding to charges that his party should have seized opportunities presented by the unpopular Operation Murambatsvina to rally people against the regime.

* “People know my assets and God knows they are mine. Even if they take them they will remain mine. What have I done?” — Businessman James Makamba responding to reports that government wanted to take over his stake in Telecel.

* “This is about intimidation. This is about clamping down on the independent media. This is about thought-control which has forced people to look over their shoulders before they express themselves.” — Publisher Trevor Ncube commenting on the seizure of his passport by the state.

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