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Roy Bennett: A Life in Quotes

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On 17 January, Roy Bennett passed away. Bennett, a Zimbabwean politician and founding member of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), died in a helicopter crash in a mountainous area of rural New Mexico, United States.

Below are some of his greatest quotes:

“I never made any comments nor have I done any interviews with anyone, I never have and never will talk to the Zanu-PF propaganda machine. I am not doing any interviews on internal party issues.” – Roy Bennett, Bulawayo 24, 8 April 2014. 

“Mr [Morgan] Tsvangirai has served two terms and is nearly completing a third. Deep introspection needs to be undertaken by our national collective leadership, not for purposes of looking for scapegoats, but for our party to reinvigorate its leadership with a leadership which reflects the will of our people.” – Roy Bennett, The Herald, 8 April 2014. 

‘We need to question each other, we need to stand up, we need to be transparent, we need to be accountable and we need to accept responsibility of our actions.” – Roy Bennett, VOA News, 20 September 2013. 

“There are individuals within the MDC who through their participation in the government of national unity lost touch with the people and have tried to re-endorse themselves forcibly upon the people without respecting the people’s will and allowing the democratic process to take place at grassroots level. The people of the MDC know who they are… They know what the issues are and everybody knows where those issues lie. It’s individuals who have possibly felt insecure over their positions, tried to create parallel structures and force candidates on the electorate in support of their positions.” – Roy Bennett, VOA News, 20 September 2013. 

“If Morgan Tsvangirai in his individual capacity took that decision then he must resign.” – Roy Bennett, VOA News, 16 September 2013. 

“I do have very strong regrets that the MDC-T [Movement for Democratic Change] went into the unity government. I was opposed to it at the time because the duplicity and dishonesty of ZANU-PF is on record for everyone to see. Remember for example, Gukurahundi and ZAPU which was swallowed and its leaders corrupted to become puppets and yes men to ZANU-PF. However, I was persuaded by the desperate humanitarian situation which prevailed at that time, which affected all of the people of Zimbabwe. A compromise was required. South Africans gave me assurances, purportedly from the acting president Kgalema Motlanthe, through the South African Secret Service, that South Africa would support the unfolding democratic process. They also guaranteed my personal security. Later on I was assured the facilitator would undertake that a transition to free and fair elections would be a prerequisite demanded by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) with full compliance in every respect of the terms contained in the Global Political Agreement (GPA).” – Roy Bennett, Financial Gazette, 12 September 2013.

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