Truck driver charged for Tsvangirai's crash

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Harare - The driver of the truck which was involved in an accident with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's car, killing his wife, has appeared before the Chivhu Magistrate Court.

He is facing a culpable homicide charge.

Chinoona Mwanda, 35, who was arrested following the accident last Friday, was not asked to plead when he appeared before Magistrate Reuben Mukazhi and was granted bail of 100 Zimbabwean dollars and remanded to 23 March.

Mr Mwanda's lawyer, Chris Mhike, confirmed his client appeared in court. "It was a remand appearance to enable the state to finalise matters. We also had to seek the restoration of his liberty through a bail application which succeeded."

According to Mr Mhike, Mr Mwanda has denied that he was asleep on the wheel when the accident occurred.

He said his client blamed the tragic accident on a hump at the 86th km of the Harare-Masvingo road where the accident occurred.

Mr Mwanda's truck hit the side of the vehicle in which Mr Tsvangirai and his wife were travelling on Friday.

Mr Tsvangirai's wife, Susan, 51, died from injuries sustained in the accident while Mr Tsvangirai sustained head and neck injuries. Ms Tsvangirai is set to be buried at her rural home in Buhera today.

A church service was held for Ms Tsvangirai in Harare on Tuesday.

In a show of unity for the country's four-week old inclusive government, President Robert Mugabe and other top officials from his Zanu-PF party as well as senior government officials attended the church service.

Addressing the gathering, President Mugabe said the death of the Prime Minister's wife came at a time when progress was being made in the four-week old inclusive government.

The President, who was among the first to visit the Mr Tsvangirai in hospital soon after the accident, said the government would continue to render the Prime Minister assistance in his time of need.

He called on Mr Tsvangirai and his six children to accept the loss of their wife and mother and be able to move forward.

President Mugabe also called for an end to violence between supporters of Zanu PF and the Prime Minister's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The two parties, plus an MDC splinter faction, are in the fourth week of an inclusive government that came about from a power-sharing agreement signed in September last year following disputed elections.