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2009 Quotes of the Year

THE year 2009 is coming to an end. A lot has been said throughout the year but the quotes below have stood out. Zimbabwe had its second inclusive government after the one formed in 1980  and was forced to ditch its own currency. Meanwhile America had its first black president.

“This business of blowing vuvuzelas of insanity should stop. But no matter how loud the noise becomes, a vuvuzela will never play the Mozart or Beethoven sound, and we will never dance to those decibels.” –– Finance minister Tendai Biti responding to accusations by Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono that he was blocking urgently needed loans from international financial institutions.

“To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.” –– United States President Barack Obama during his inauguration speech in January

“It is better to own 10% of an elephant than 100% of a rat.” –– Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara explaining the importance of government divesting from parastatals to allow private partnerships in order to save them from collapse.

“I went to Oxford –– I taught at MIT, I’m a Rhodes Scholar. I think it’s fair to say that I know better than Obama what is good for Zimbabwe, that I know better than Hillary (Clinton) what is good for Zimbabwe. So it is very arrogant and patronising for Hillary or Obama to prescribe what is best for Zimbabwe without talking to me first.” –– Mutambara attacking the United States for alleged intrusion in the country’s political affairs.
“Taka kiya- kiya (we have used hook and crook).” –– Biti’s response when quizzed at a press conference on how he obtained cash to pay civil servants during the first month (February) of using multiple currencies.

“There are more ministers in this country than there are for bigger countries like Britain, France and Germany.” –– Economist John Robertson expressing his view on the bloated cabinet set up after the formation of the inclusive government in February.

“No, why do you want, why do I want to talk things in the UK where the UK people doesn’t want to see me there? I don’t have a visa. If I was having a visa to come to the UK, the UK people banned me to come to the UK and you want me to talk things  which is needed to be broadcast in the UK where the UK people doesn’t want to see me, why?” ––  War veterans   leader Joseph Chinotimba in an interview with SW Radio’s Violet Gonda.

Gonda: What are you farming?
Chinotimba: I’m farming people. –– Chinotimba again in the same interview

“We are working on them. This is still premature to discuss them. He’s not the only person who’s head of state who is that old. The Queen of England is much older than our President and nobody had ever referred to her as an old lady. You all respect her very much. You people are racists aren’t you?” –– Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Didymus Mutasa responding to a question on President Mugabe’s plans to step down in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“There was discipline in parliament. Last year, MPs were still raw, they are polished now, they are dignified and they can be called honourable. Last year they were dishonourable.” –– President Mugabe   commending MDC-T parliamentarians for not heckling him during his speech in the House of Assembly like they did last year.

“I am not going to quit because I knew that I was going to swim in sewage.” –– Finance minister Tendai Biti on his participation in the inclusive government.

“It is political suicide. When people are determined to commit suicide, no matter how much you try to help them they will always try to find a way of killing themselves.” –– MDC-T spokesman and ICT minister   Nelson Chamisa on Zanu PF’s 2009 congress resolution to rule out negotiations with the MDC on the appointment of Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and central bank governor Gideon  Gono.

“It has not been easy for me. I was asking for oranges to make orange juice but some people were giving me lemons. Ah ah… you cannot make orange juice from lemons but that is what I got.” –– A jubilant soccer championship winning Gunners coach, Moses Chunga, on why it took him almost a decade to win the league championship.

“Why forcefully, we are not violent people, we have big thoughts –– tinepfungwa kukunda ma (we have brains better than the) British and Americans. We are leaders, so things should be done properly.” –– Chinotimba commenting on the unrest in the war veterans organisation after a splinter group announced plans to hold a congress to elect new leaders.

“What do we do when we have uninvited guests at our meeting. I love to have my grandfather and aunt with me but I do not need to have them follow me to my bedroom.” –– An irritated delegate at the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations Directors’ Summer School expressing his displeasure at having Central Intelligence Officers monitoring the conference.

“If Zanu PF are facing west we are facing east.” –– Chamisa describing the disagreements with Zanu PF over the fulfilment of the Global Political Agreement. 

“Now, make no mistake: History is on the side of these brave Africans, not with those who use coups or change constitutions to stay in power.  Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions.” –– Obama addressing the Ghanaian parliament during his first presidential visit to Africa .

“My understanding is that it is a move which is the ringing of a bell, to say: ‘Look Mr President, President Mugabe please, please, please wake up –– things are not moving, things are cracking, please wake up. Let’s engage meaningfully.’ That is how I understand the disengagement. As I say it is not something which we would encourage, but we do understand the frustration on the part of the MDC.” –– Botswana Foreign Minister Phandu Skelemani commenting on the disengagement from government by the MDC.


Kudzai Kuwaza

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