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Sunday, March 8, 2009

US related truck triggers Tsvangirai road ordeal

Sat, 07 Mar 2009 06:34:37 GMT

Morgan Tsvangirai (L) and
his wife Susan
The truck involved in the death of Zimbabwean Premier Morgan Tsvangirai's wife belongs to a contractor for the US and British governments.

The truck was marked with a logo of the US Agency for International Development and was purchased using US government funds and its driver was hired by a British development agency, ABC News quoted unnamed American officials as saying.

The car crash took place around 5 pm on the highway from Harare to Masvingo when the articulated truck swerved from the oncoming lane into a three-car convoy in which the Tsvangirais were traveling, clipping their middle vehicle and causing it to overturn several times, police said.

The truck has been impounded by Zimbabwean authorities and its driver is in custody.

Tsvangirai and his wife, Susan, along with an aide and the driver were all rushed to Harare hospital for treatment following the Friday accident which occurred while they were en route to their hometown in Buhera district.

The premier's wife was declared dead upon arrival at a hospital in Beatrice, south of Harare. Tsvangirai, however, did not sustain serious injuries and was reportedly in a stable condition.

Later, President Robert Mugabe, accompanied by his wife, Grace, as well as Vice-President Joyce Mujuru and government officials visited Tsvangirai at the hospital, the BBC reported.

There was no immediate statement from Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on the crash and party officials said there were no plans to issue one.

Heightened differences between Tsvangirai and Mugabe just three weeks after the formation of the national unity government following a bitter post-election standoff between the two have raised suspicions that the collision might have been politically motivated.

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