The Herald

Nduduzo Tshuma Bulawayo Bureau
NEWLY-appointed presidential spokesperson in the MDC-T faction led by Mr Nelson Chamisa, Dr Nkululeko Sibanda does not agree with bullet train propositions made by his boss during campaign rallies, which he once dismissed as “madness”.

Dr Sibanda was appointed Mr Chamisa’s spokesperson on Tuesday, replacing Mr Luke Tamborinyoka, who is reportedly campaigning for the Goromonzi National Assembly seat.

He was appointed together with eight other officials, including Mr James Timba, who is now Mr Chamisa’s chief elections agent and ZEC liaison officer.

Mr Chamisa has been criticised for making what has been termed by his political opponents as “ludicrous” electoral promises during the MDC Alliance campaign rallies in the run up the harmonised elections on July 30.

Some of the promises include the building of “spaghetti” roads, airports in rural areas and bullet trains that he claimed would take 35 minutes to travel from Harare to Bulawayo.

In a Twitter discussion on Mr Chamisa’s bullet train propositions in March this year, Dr Sibanda described the promise as madness.

“This bullet train thing is madness.

“There will not even be customers who can afford the train. That’s the first when you are making an investment. What is the market? There is no use for such a train, even if there was a budget surplus to waste (sic),” posted Dr Sibanda on March 10.

The tweet that appears to have been removed from Dr Sibanda’s profile was reposted by users who had taken screen shots, after news spread on Tuesday that he had been appointed as Mr Chamisa’s spokesperson.

Efforts to get a comment from both Dr Sibanda and Mr Chamisa were fruitless yesterday.

Mr Chamisa’s propositions were also questioned by BBC journalist Stephen Sackur last month, describing them as “nonsense” and “Alice-in-Wonderland.”

“ . . . It reminds me of a promise that you made to party supporters addressing a rally in Chinhoyi, saying you are going to build a bullet train from Bulawayo to Harare. You said under your tutelage, this infrastructure will allow people to travel from one city to the other in 35 minutes,” questioned Sackur.

“That is beyond nonsense. That is completely Alice-in-Wonderland. I’m not a transport expert, but it’s well over 400km from Bulawayo to Harare and what this train of yours it’s gonna be travelling at 800km per hour, which by the way, the fastest man galore train in the whole world can’t top more than 400km an hour, so I don’t know where you finding your trains from?”

Speaking during the launch of the Zanu-PF manifesto last month, Vice President and the ruling party’s Second Secretary, General Constantino Chiwenga (Retired), described Mr Chamisa’s propositions as “make-belief dreams”.