THE year 2020 was a memorable one for many reasons — both positive and negative.
The COVID-19 pandemic dominated headlines across the world and changed the lives of many, but it has not been the only thing grabbing the world’s attention.
The pandemic, coupled with topics including the US elections, economic fallout, coronavirus vaccine, the human rights crisis in Zimbabwe and diplomatic disputes with Western powers have meant 2020 has been one of the strangest years in recent decades.
Strange times can also produce some powerful and striking statements. Our deputy business editor Kudzai Kuwaza looks at some of the most memorable ones from the past 12 months.
Diplomats should not behave like thugs and Brian Nichols is a thug. — Acting Zanu PF spokesman Patrick Chinamasa castigates United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols for interfering in the country’s affairs
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Minister of Finance has failed in absolute terms and must resign— Former Finance minister Tendai Biti on the tenure of current Treasury boss Mthuli Ncube.
We got our independence but the white man never gave us knowledge on how to run our economy — Vice-President Kembo Mohadi in an address to Zanu PF provincial structures in Gwanda.
Cumulatively, Zimbabwe’s economy could contract by between 15% and 20% during 2019 and 2020. This is a massive contraction with very serious social consequences — Mthuli Ncube in letter to international financial institutions begging for a bailout in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This coronavirus that has come are sanctions against the countries that have imposed sanctions on us. God is punishing them now and they are staying indoors now while their economy is screaming like what they did to ours by imposing sanctions on us — Zanu PF chairperson Oppah Muchinguri at a rally in Chinhoyi which caused outrage and made her the subject of ridicule.
The sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2018 now provides the legal basis for the UK to impose autonomous sanctions and we are in the process of considering our approach to the future sanctions regime in Zimbabwe. — Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Overseas Territories and Sustainable Development Elizabeth Sugg speaking in the House of Lords.
It is more than 40 years ago that the Union Flag was lowered, and, yet, it seems, our friends in London still regard Zimbabwe as part of their extended family — requiring constant supervision, correction and even punishment when, in their own assessment, we stray from the path they and others have chosen for us — Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo reacting to the announcement of the possibility of further sanctions on Zimbabwe by the United Kingdom.
For the so-called new dispensation, re-engagement was one of the central objectives of the government’s foreign policy but it is now really dead in the water. They are shooting themselves in the foot with a bazooka — Political analyst Eldred Masunungure’s views on the fallout between Zimbabwe and Western nations over the arrest of journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and opposition Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume.
Your public statement which could have been sufficiently dealt with by a diplomatic correspondence to the Tanzanian embassy if it mattered, has divided public opinion first on the definition and meaning of government and whether you had become its prime minister in charge of the two ministries — Then Information deputy minister Energy Mutodi rebuking Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo for distancing government from the remarks he had made about President Emmerson Mnangagwa being better prepared to curb the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic than his Tanzanian counterpart John Magufuli. He was sacked shortly afterwards.
The Sadc anti-sanctions campaign, orchestrated by the government of Zimbabwe, is really an effort to distract the people of Zimbabwe from the real causes of Zimbabwe’s profound problems. The government of Zimbabwe would be better served by focusing on its efforts on implementing reforms that it campaigned on, that is to say deepening democracy, combating corruption, increasing respect for human rights and opening up the economy for transparent trade and investment. Those are things that will make average Zimbabwean’s lives better. — United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols on the government’s commemoration of the anti-sanctions day. October 25 is the day set by Sadc to call for the lifting of sanctions.
The President didn’t agree and as it turns out that youthful face of Nehanda will be put away and we will have a Nehanda who is closer to how the good lady looked in real life which means a lot more wrinkled and well past middle age but of course showing the strength and stresses of captivity. — Mnangagwa’s spokesman George Charamba explaining why he rejected national heroine Mbuya Nehanda’s statute which was to be erected in the CBD of the capital city and has been the butt of jokes.
They came to me and said they would give me a motorcade, vehicles, perks and bodyguards, but I refused saying life is not all about that. It is about legacy and sacrifice for the good of the people. I told them they can take anything from us, but let us remain with the people and that way we will get where we want to be. — MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa reveals that Mnangagwa’s government dangled lucrative perks at him so that he could dump his electoral challenge.