Pre-election voices from Zimbabwe
“I am giving you an order to vote for President Mugabe; I will only support the leadership of President Mugabe, I will not salute Makoni or Tsvangirai. We still remember the blood and the graves of our gallant sons and daughters who died for this country, and we shall not sell them out.” General Constantine Chiwenga, Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
“As we come and observe elections in Zimbabwe, we do so with confidence that the tradition of peace encapsulated in the unquestionable political maturity and tolerance shall, once again guide Zimbabweans as they go to the polls,” SADC secretary-general Tomaz Salomao.
“Just yesterday I was signing a new salary schedule of big salaries for teachers and civil servants. I hope they will be happy because we have worked out very good salaries.” President Robert Mugabe.
“No one on this planet has never heard about Cde Mugabe. He is famous for his good deeds. Let us not try to experiment because that is dangerous.” Zanu-PF National Chairman John Nkomo.
“The regulating authorities in Harare have … prohibited intimidating acts like toyi-toying, which are likely to disturb the peace.” Police assistant commissioner Faustino Mazango.
“For a very long time we had tried to work with fellow politburo members to facilitate a smooth transition of power after realizing that the Zanu PF leadership was getting old but Mugabe betrayed us and made a u-turn on his pledges to retire,” politburo member Dumiso Dabengwa.
“There are those that believe that I am being used by so and so to further certain agendas. I again state that I am Simba Makoni and shall always remain Simba Makoni,” he said. “I will not be used by someone to further their political agendas because I believe that I have a role to play in determining the destiny of this country.” Simba Makoni, Presidential Candidate.
“We have to produce as a nation. We have to be reunited again into the family of nations. The humanitarian crisis of massive starvation gripping the country has to be urgently arrested. We have to have a government which the people can trust.” Morgan Tsvangirai, Presidential Candidate.
“So skewed is the distribution of voting stations that in some urban centres, each voter would have to spend a maximum of nine seconds in the polling booth if all registered voters are to be accommodated in the elections to be conducted inside a day.” Njabulo Ncube, Harare
“Why would anyone even contemplate using live ammunition, if the elections (would be) free and fair? Why would they predict that that the election would cause violence?” Morgan Tsvangirai, Presidential Candidate on statements by the country’s police force that they will not hesitate to use force in the run up to the elections.
“We will not allow puppets to take charge. This time we are wiser and we are determined and this must serve as a warning to puppets. It is unfortunate when people are saying it’s not the illegal sanctions causing all these problems, but misrule. The illegal sanctions, which Britain imposed on Zimbabwe, [are] the major cause of the problems troubling [Zimbabwe].” Police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri.