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Memorable quotes of the year

The year 2012 was marked by several developments across the political and socio-economic divide.

Aspects relating to the making of the new constitution, indigenisation and expected elections, are among the prominent topics that sparked more debate in the country. Below are some of the quotes from officials in government, the civic society and other segments of the society concerning these issues.

“They need to start investing in a refinery in Zimbabwe. We need value-addition for our minerals here, we cannot keep exporting jobs,” deputy Mines minister, Gift Chimanikire on why government is mooting banning the export of raw platinum.

“I will not agree to elections without the reforms. The way forward is a free and fair election, but only predicated by a process which includes a new constitution and the implementation of those reforms that will result in a credible poll.” Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on new elections.

“You can have the most perfect constitution on earth, but if it’s not adhered to or carried out, it’s just a piece of paper.” Former US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, disputing that a constitution is the panacea to free, fair and credible elections.

“Indigenising those banks will make life difficult for the people. The maximum shares for those banks are US$40 to US$50 million. There are some people who think that they will share among themselves that money after taking over the banks.” RBZ governor, Gideon Gono, on the indigenisation of banks.

“The sad thing is where an old widow, who is looking after several orphans has her electricity and water disconnected for arrears of just as little as US$30, the big chefs enjoy these services all the time but still refuse to pay up.” Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on bigwigs, who are not paying their power bills.

“It’s an ongoing trend. If it’s not tortoises, it’s dogs, if it’s not dogs, it’s pythons. We’ve even been told that leopard is also in demand.” The SPCA on Chinese workers eating endangered animals in Zimbabwe.

“It wasn’t well-thought. Due process not being followed, we need to go back to the drawing board and say how can we empower our people. The best way to empower our people at this present moment in time is to expand our economy to create as many sectors as possible.” Finance minister, Tendai Biti, on indigenisation.

We don’t need devolution: Mutsvagwa

“Nobody spoke about devolution, we all agreed that we wanted a unified Zimbabwe . . . MDC also wants to smuggle in issues of same-sex marriage. We can’t have that in the country, that is not what the liberation struggle was fought for.” Senator Monica Mutsvangwa speaking about the draft constitution in Zhombe last week.

“I also urged him to ensure that the future elections will be free and fair, and free from violence.” UN rights chief, Navi Pillay, after the 90-minute meeting with President Robert  Mugabe at the State House, in Harare.

“Indigenisation shouldn’t be used for indiscipline, for economic banditry or for the cake going to the same people who benefited yesterday.” Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono, tells a conference on black economic empowerment.

Zim must reform the security sector: Zulu

“We should have security sector re-alignment, let me make it clear, this is not a creation of externals. It is part of the Global Political Agreement and it must be implemented before elections are held.” Lindiwe Zulu, President Jacob Zuma’s international relations advisor on Zimbabwe elections.

“We do not bar anyone from the sites, in other countries diamond mining sites are no go areas.” Mines and Mining Development minister, Obert Mpofu, on the visit to the diamond fields by the EU delegation in Zimbabwe.

“He will be the only one from Zanu-PF that will win from here [Matabeleland], because he has the money and knows how to take care of the people.” Former Zanu PF minister, Enos Nkala, on Mines and Mining Development minister, Obert Mpofu’s influence in Matabeleland.

“There is no law that provides for arbitrariness on the part of anyone and/or expropriation of banking assets in Zimbabwe yesterday, today or tomorrow.” RBZ governor, Gideon Gono, on calls for the indigenisation of foreign banks.

“You are meant to serve the people, you are our representatives not just of the government, but for the people of Zimbabwe as a whole and if you want to be doing jobs to be paid, then you are practising corruption.” President Robert Mugabe speaking to delegates at Zanu PF’s 13th annual conference in Gweru.

“We are agreed that the rights contained in section 20(3) of the Constitution, namely the right of religious and other groups to set up and run schools, will be fully respected by Government.” Education minister, David Coltart, on call to indigenise schools.

“We will not accept it. We will just not accept it. Isn’t that clear?” Minister of Justice, Patrick Chinamasa, asked in an interview with BBC if his party, Zanu PF, will accept Morgan Tsvangirai in the event that he wins the next presidential elections.

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