They came and took away the evidence from MDC – Cross

HARARE – The wife of Morgan Tsvangirai was killed in a road crash today in which Zimbabwe's Prime Minister was injured. Susan Tsvangirai died as she was taken by ambulance to the private Avenues Clinic Hospital in Harare, while Mr Tsvangirai was admitted to the unit suffering from cuts and bruises, Eddie Cross, a member of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) national executive, said.

Accounts differed of how the accident had occurred. Some sources said his vehicle had hit an oncoming truck, with the driver of the heavy goods vehicle falling asleep and careering into the Prime Minister’s car.

An MDC team sent to the scene, however, reported that Mr Tsvangirai’s Landcruiser had suffered a burst front left tyre and then rolled, but did not mention another vehicle. 

Mr Tsvangirai and his wife were travelling with two accompanying security vehicles, heading for a party rally in the southeastern district of Buhera to be held tomorrow. The road is notoriously dangerous, with deep potholes, frequently speeding heavy goods drivers, and many fatalities.

“Morgan’s talking, and he’s been sedated,” said Mr Cross. “Last time I spoke (to hospital staff) he didn’t know about Susan’s death. He will be devastated. They were a real team.”

Mrs Tsvangirai played no major role in the party, apart from being constantly alongside side her husband in public, lending him particularly visible support during his treason trial in 2003-4 in which he was acquitted.

The two married in July 1978, when he was a young factory worker, and they had six children.

Opponents of Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s president, claim that the treason trial was one of a series of attempts by his secret police to intimidate and subdue his Zanu (PF) party’s critics, and they claim that suspicious fatal vehicle accidents have taken place on several occasions affecting politicians who had fallen out of favour.

In December last year, party youth wing boss Elliott Manyika was killed in an accident that was surrounded with suspicion, while in November air force commander Perrence Shiri was shot an injured in circumstances that have never been made clear.

Some members of the MDC will inevitably view the accident as suspicious, bearing in mind the increasing hostility between the two coalition partners.

Mr Cross said that, when the MDC investigation team arrived at the site on the main highway to the south about 100km south of Harare, the police had not yet arrived. “When police turned up, they arrested them (the MDC team) and confiscated the videos and pictures they had taken," he said.

Asked if foul play was suspected, Mr Cross said: “That’s the big question. We have to wait and see. We will demand complete transparency and a thorough investigation.”  The Times (UK)