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Quotes of the Year: Laugh Your Lungs Out

As 2014 draws to a close we look at some of the outstanding quotes of the year from a variety of the country’s newsmakers and media.

From the bootlickers to the straight-talkers, here are some of those that made us laugh out loud, cry, cringe or simply shake our heads in despair and disbelief.

“I know of people with titles like Idi Amin Dada who gave himself the title Conqueror of the British Empire, but we celebrate the birthday of the genuine Conqueror of the British Empire.”— Zanu PF central committee member Absolom Sikhosana praises President Robert Mugabe at his 90th birthday celebrations in Marondera

“We now have weevils in our midst. Zanu PF has weevils within its ranks.”— Mugabe addresses mourners at the funeral of Nathan Shamuyarira in an apparent reference to Information minister Jonathan Moyo.

“Way back we used to treat weevils by spraying Gamatox (pesticide) and they will all die.”— former Zanu PF secretary of administration Didymus Mutasa urges Mugabe to get rid of the weevils.

“They want to remain leaders forever at the expense of the suffering majority.”— Expelled Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo on party constitutional amendments.

“All of them are focusing on power in the post-Mugabe era…they are really raising their middle finger to the people of Zimbabwe when they demand delivery.”— Economist Godfrey Kanyenze on Zanu PF factional fights.

“Zimbabwe is an insolvent and failing state, its politics zero-sum, its institutions hollowing out and its once vibrant economy moribund.”— A Brussels-based think-tank, the International Crisis Group, describes the struggling Zimbabwean economy in its latest report.

“2014 marks 15 years of Morgan Tsvangirai as president of the party. You have done the best that you could and continuing will result in diminishing returns and eating into your legacy,”— Elton Mangoma in a letter to MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai asking him to step down as leader of the party.

“There are plenty of people who can run this country, not Mujuru. Mai Mujuru must resign.”— First lady Grace Mugabe at her ‘Meet the People Rallies’.

“Corruption is not revolutionary but it has always been a reactionary assault against the public good and the national interest.” — Information minister Jonathan Moyo hits back at Mujuru after she denounced the crackdown of executives being paid obscene salaries.

“Government should be ashamed that they are doing nothing when students are squatting like rats.”— Social commentator Maxwell Saungweme on the state of the University of Zimbabwe.

“It is torture here. It feels terrible. I miss it.” — Jailed End Time Message leader Robert Gumbura, who is serving a 40-year jail term after being convicted on four counts of rape, on being sex-starved.

“I am not going to allow any coup both in the boardroom and in the bedroom,”— Expelled war vets leader Jabulani Sibanda commenting on the entry of Grace into Zanu PF politics.

“You shouldn’t take photos! Why are you taking photos? No! No! No! No! But you should not take photos!” — Grace shouts at reporters as she and husband Mugabe enter a private hospital in Singapore.

“We have not invited Zanu PF neither have we invited Biti and his oranges.”— MDC-T’s Nelson Chamisa in reference to his party’s congress and the MDC Renewal Team’s official orange colour.

“At the end of the day he is paying feja feja (gambling) with the economy. It is a Mickey Mouse Budget but he has no option. ”— Biti giving his assessment of the 2015 national budget presented by Chinamasa.

“The protests at the camp should not become an excuse for the government to shut down the camp without plans to protect the displaced.”— Southern Africa director at Human Rights Watch Tiseke Kasambala, on the unrest in Chitungwizi camp.

“We will not allow the party to be run by gay gangsters.”— Former Zanu PF Mashonaland West chairman Temba Mliswa savages Saviour Kasukuwere, Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Zhuwao in response to allegations that he was one of the Zanu PF legislators referred as the “dirty dozen” who allegedly took money from the US embassy.

“That is a primitive understanding of things. It is you and you alone, carry your cross. It has nothing to do with the party.” — Moyo attacks Mliswa, who claimed that the Information minister was linked to Vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction fighting those linked to Mujuru after he was labelled an extortionist by businessman Billy Rautenbach.

“It may be significant that from the CIO, Mphoko was sent out to the Zimbabwe embassy in Austria. For some reason he does not mention this attachment as the beginning of his diplomatic career.”— Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa attacks newly appointed Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko.

“Employment cost is a problem we cannot continue to postpone. We will grapple with it in the New Year.” — Chinamasa while presenting the 2015 budget.

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