Bullet brain – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 30th May 2015

After 35 years of Mugabe, Zimbabweans will not be surprised at Sepp Blatter still clinging on to office as president of FIFA. He is a soul mate of Mugabe’s in corruption and manipulation.

One of Mugabe’s most devoted disciples is Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Obert Mpofu. He has not had the opportunity to sell the world cup to a desert country with little history of football. But his announcement that the government is planning to bring in bullet trains shows a similar level of delusion.

Responding to a question in parliament about what the government was doing to resurrect the moribund railways, Mr Mpofu said that several investors were queuing up to finance the bullet trains. Even Mr Blatter would hesitate to travel on a Zimbabwean train if he knew that, because of a communications failure, train drivers are reduced to leaving explosive charges on the tracks to alert others to a possible problem.

Bullet trains would certainly be one answer to the potholes in the roads but the Vigil doubts that Mpofu will be able to catapult Zimbabwe railways into the front rank of international transport systems. We fear his vision will end up much like Zambia’s space project a few years ago, which left the Zambianaut dangling from the branches of a tree.

But we see why he is attracted to bullet trains travelling at more that 300 miles per hour. He has a vast commercial empire, including not only mines but also properties in towns ranging from Harare to Bulawayo and the Victoria Falls. A bullet train would enable him to collect his rents and return to headquarters on the same day to consider further looting opportunities. And think how the country would benefit from vendors being able to go from Chitungweza to the Harare Central Business District in a matter of minutes.

The Vigil doubts that Mpofu’s delusional project will persuade the US and French business delegations converging on Harare to give him some money. The government would be best advised to hide him away. After all, there is a possibility that President Mugabe will be at home to receive the delegations after his trip to Nigeria – the latest of a never-ending series of foreign jaunts which have seen him clocking up this year more air miles than a Boeing pilot (http://nehandaradio.com/2015/05/10/shock-as-mugabe-blows-50-million/v – Shock as Mugabe blows $50 million).

Other points

· People at the Vigil expressed their disagreement with President Mugabe’s racist comments reported in last week’s diary and it was agreed that the matter would be discussed next week at a meeting of the Zimbabwe Action Forum.

· On Saturday 6th June there is to be a protest outside Yarlswood Detention Centre about the conditions there. Our supporter Tryness Ncube is speaking at the event. For more information see: http://cityofsanctuary.org/2015/05/14/call-for-city-of-sanctuary-to-join-refugee-women-outside-yarls-wood-on-saturday-6th-june/.

· Thanks to Henrietta Mlambo who was in charge of the front table today. She was helped by Tafadzwa Mushakwe, Nobukhosi Moyo, Gladys Nyathi and Thandiwe Moyo.

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

FOR THE RECORD: 32 signed the register.


· Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 6th June from 6.15 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a sign at street level. It's between a newsagent and an optician. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

· Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF) meets regularly after the Vigil to discuss ways to help those back in Zimbabwe to fight oppression and achieve true democracy.

· ROHR Executive Meeting: Saturday 6th June at 12 noon. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see above.

· ROHR Reading Branch general meeting and outreach. Saturday 13th June from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: Pakistan Community Centre, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA. For further information contact: Charles D Ndlovu 07413879590, Eric Eluwasi 07888310582, Nicodimus Muganhu 07877386792, Deborah Harry 07748723974 and Shylette Chipangura 07828929806.

· ROHR Slough Branch general meeting. Saturday 13th June from 11 am – 1 pm. Venue: Upton Lea Community Hall, Wexham Road, Slough SL2 5JW. For further information contact Patricia Masamba (Chair) 07708116625, Fungisai Mupandira (Organising Secretary) 07758958803.

· The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.

· Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 13th June from 10 am to 1 pm outside the Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB.

· Zimbabwe Yes We Can meeting. Saturday 27th June at 12 noon. Venue: The Theodore Bullfrog, 26-30 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HL.

· Zimbabwe Yes We Can Movement holds monthly meetings in London as the political face of ROHR and the Vigil.

· Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2014 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/vigil-news/campaign-news/642-zimbabwe-vigil-highlights-2014. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2014 Highlights page.

· Facebook pages:

Vigil: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts

ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

ROHR: https://www.facebook.co/pages/ROHR-Zimbabwe-Restoration-of-Human-Rights/301811392835

· SW Radio Africa’s website and sound archive is being hosted on www.archive.org. Go to the site and type in swradioafrica which will link you to snapshots of their site over the years and at the top of that page a link to their website where, under podcasts, you will find the audio.

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