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What they said at CZI congress 2004

Ngoni Chanakira

THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI)’s two-day annual congress in the resort town of Victoria Falls last week had its lighter moments when some company bosses ”

entertained” participants with some of the following quotable quotes:

* “We need to get the basics right and not come up with fancy programmes that lead us nowhere.” – Outgoing CZI president and Dairibord Zimbabwe chief executive officer Antony Mandiwanza.

* “Young people are very excited about these Chinese goods because they say they are cheap and fashionable.” 

* Industry and International Trade minister Samuel Mumbengegwi.

* “If you want protection, then you must produce. We cannot protect nothingness. The problem with you businesspeople is that you want minimum production and maximum price increases.” – Mumbengegwi.

* “There is no honour among thieves because they even steal from each other.” – Deposit Protection Board chief executive officer John Chikura.

* “For the past 10 years I had been used to making slogans. I, however, notice the absence of them here.” – Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies minister Didymus Mutasa.

* “The National Economic Consultative Forum was working smoothly before labour (ZCTU) turned political.” – Industry and International Trade permanent secretary Christian Katsande.

* “Gentlemen, we are going nowhere too quickly. We need to cooperate with the international community.” – Zimsun Leisure group chief executive Shingi Munyeza.

* “We have never disengaged from the international community. In fact, I am always in Brussels, Geneva etc attending meetings of the WTO (World Trade Organisation) and UN (United Nations).” – Mumbengegwi.

* “I have always said that if the kitchen gets too hot then quickly get out of it. That’s the policy at the RBZ.” – Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono.

* “We have stabilised our ship but we have not fixed the leak. We need to agree that a problem exists.” – National Tyre Services chief executive officer and Dunlop Zimbabwe managing director Donal McDevitt.

* “Dr Gono (Gideon) when he came into office said he would have an open parliament. Sorry, an open policy.” – Economic commentator Eric Bloch.

* “Mr Chiwanga (Harare City Council engineer), let’s skip the history part and get to the bottom of the matter. What are you doing about Harare’s water problems?” – Manicaland Chamber of Industries president Kumbirai Katsande.

* “I have now banned Alderman Tony Gara and David Govere from asking questions. We need others to also get a chance.” – Kumbirai Katsande.

* “Indeed, gone is the era when corporate marketing functions rescinded into the oblivion, as non-core business operations pre-occupied with corporate boardroom deliberations.” – Gono.

* “Everyone I’m meeting is asking me about visas. I am not the minister responsible for visas.” – South Africa’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Jeremiah Ndou.

* “When British Airways, which calls itself the world’s favourite airline, suddenly cancels a flight and tells customers that the plane needs attention this is called good customer relations and business ethics. When Zesa fails to supply customers with sufficient electricity it is known as corruption, nepotism and inefficiency.” – Zesa Holdings chief executive officer Sydney Gata.

* “Minister Mutasa, please tell His Excellency the President exactly what you have heard during these deliberations.” – Kumbirai Katsande.

* “I now pass the presidency to Mr Pattson Sithole. I am sure he will continue to run the race for all our industrialists in partnership with stakeholders.” – Antony Mandiwanza

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