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Quotable quotes of the year

Zimbabwe Independent

“The effrontery of the G40 supine narcissists. All trying to wring criminal pardons as they frantically try to pawn a dead body that is awaiting imminent and unavoidable burial. Never has the world witnessed such bizarre and ghoulish fetishism of a dead man. Once the corpse is airborne to Zimbabwe, the macabre marketplace of a dead body disappears,” — Zanu PF politburo member Chris Mutsvangwa attacks members of G40 over the funeral arrangements of former president Robert Mugabe who died on September 6.

“We are here to tell her (former First Lady Grace Mugabe) in person that we are very proud of her and she serves as an inspiration to a lot of us and that she must protect ex-president Mugabe’s legacy with everything against any form of opportunism which will want to ride behind the legacy of president Mugabe even when they tormented him to the last day,” — Leader of the South African opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema speaking to the media soon after paying condolences to the late president’s family.

“Our targeted sanctions are not responsible for Zimbabwe falling tragically short of its potential. The fault lies in catastrophic mismanagement by those in power and the government’s abuse of its own citizens,” — United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols denies that sanctions are the main cause of Zimbabwe’s problems ahead of the government-sponsored march against the restrictions.

“Clearly, the convention does not permit embassies to conduct themselves like opposition citadels, preoccupying themselves with regularly hurling insults at their host government,” — Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo rebukes US ambassador Nichols for his utterances on the recent Sadc anti-sanctions march to press for the removal of the embargo against Harare.

“Zimbabwe must genuinely show that it has clearly broken from the past. Unfortunately we are witnessing developments that have put constitutionalism and the rule of law in question,” — European Union ambassador to Zimbabwe Tim Olkkonen tells President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the launch of an anti-corruption drive to which he responded by saying that he was addressing the issue on the wrong platform.

“A constitution is a sacrosanct document that can’t be butchered on the altar of personal ambition and a subjective power retention agenda. Capturing the constitution to reproduce the ogre of a distorted corrupt mediocre power monger is unacceptable and must be resisted by all,” — MDC vice-president Tendai Biti castigates government’s decision to amend the constitution, including striking off the clause requiring a presidential candidate to have running mates in an election.

“It’s a matter of principle, trust and confidence. How can you trust a pick pocket with your money? If someone steals money from your pocket, can you trust them with your money in future? Those are the questions the Chinese are asking,” — A miffed official explains why the Chinese government suspended work on three major national projects worth US$1,3 billion after government raided and diverted US$10 million from an escrow account for the Robert Mugabe International Airport expansion project.

“You can play with the police but not with the army. The police get trained to use minimum force but in the military, it is a completely different story. The army is trained to use deadly force whenever it gets deployed,” — Defence deputy minister Victor Matemadanda talks up the army amid its global condemnation for the killing of civilians in August last year and in January this year.

“If elections fail, we will use any other means necessary,” — Zanu PF commissar Matemdanda vows the party will remain power even if its loses elections.

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