An accident?

Susan and Morgan Tsvangirai voting in Buhare

From the website of the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe
Prime Minister Morgan Richard Tsvangirai and his wife Susan, in a convoy of three vehicles, left Harare at 3 pm on 6 March 2009 to travel to their rural home in Buhera where the Prime Minister was scheduled to address a rally the following day.

Approximately 80 k from Harare, the vehicle in which the Prime Minister and his wife were traveling was involved in a collision with an oncoming truck. The Prime Minister’s vehicle was knocked off the road and rolled three times before coming to a rest.

Tragically, Susan Tsvangirai died shortly after the crash from the injuries sustained. Although suffering from cuts and severe bruising, the Prime Minister’s condition is stable and he is recovering.

Since then Morgan Tsvangirai has left and gone straight to Botswana. Not, it was said, because of any security concern. Perhaps because there he won't have to receive any more nauseating visits from the Mugabe family.

While the official MDC line in Zimbabwe is, we don't think this is foul play but it's still under investigation, a South Africa based MDC spokesperson was not so reticent and declared it was an assassination attempt.

Channel 4 news included in its report a clip from a press conference with Tendai Biti. He seemed to be saying not just that there was no police escort but that the MDC could not get the police to escort the Prime Minister. I may have misunderstood, but in Zimbabwe that sounds all too probable. In addition, while the accident happened near the Tsvangirai's home, it would seem that someone would have had to inform the assassin (if such it was) of the timing and that would probably have been someone in the police or security around the PM.

One report says,
The truck, which had a USAID insignia on it, was purchased by US government funds and its driver was hired by a British development agency, the report said. USAID stands for the US Agency for International Development.

State media in Zimbabwe had earlier reported that the lorry involved in the incident belonged to the US government aid organisation, USAID, and was carrying Aids medicines to Harare. A US Embassy official in the capital confirmed that the vehicle had been contracted to USAID.

The driver is said to be in police custody, and is said to have said he fell asleep at the wheel.

Up to date news here and here.


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