US Denies Ownership Of The Truck That Killed Susan Tsvangirai

In a statement on Thursday, the US embassy said the vehicle was purchased with USAID funds by a contractor and belonged to the contractor.

"We understand the car crash that caused Mrs. Tsvangirai’s death is currently the subject of an investigation. The United States Government has extended its deepest condolences to the Prime Minister and his family, and the people of Zimbabwe, over the tragic loss of Susan Nyaradzo Tsvangirai. The truck that was involved in the accident with the Prime Minister’s vehicle on Friday, March 6th does not belong to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

"It was purchased with USAID funds by a contractor and belonged to the contractor. The contractor was delivering essential HIV and AIDS drugs and medical supplies to health clinics under an effort co-financed by USAID and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DfID). The driver of the truck, a Zimbabwean national, was an employee of the contractor, not a USAID employee,’ said the US embassy.

The embassy indicated that the U.S. government remains committed to helping the people of Zimbabwe as it has done for decades, indicating that the country has provided over USd 260 million for emergency programmes since October 2007, providing food, health care, safe water, and HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment. 

"Most recently, the United States has supported major activities to control and treat cholera and malaria".

The statement by the US embassy follows accusations by the Minister of Defence and a member of the Zanu PF politburo Emmerson Mnangagwa, against America and Britain, of trying to eliminate Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in Friday’s accident.

Addressing a meeting in Masvingo, Mnangagwa is said to have told a group of Zanu PF supporters while explaining the new inclusive government at the weekend, that Tsvangirai’s accident had been an attempt to take his life by Americans and the British.

A source told RadioVOP that Mnangagwa said the West was not pleased with Tsvangirai’s decision to join the unity government and had sent the USAID truck driver, who was involved in an accident which killed Tsvangirai’s wife, Susan on Friday, to eliminate him.

Tsvangirai on Monday however ruled out foul play as the cause of a car crash that injured him and killed his wife Susan, easing concerns that it would increase tensions in the new government. Susan is due to be buried Wednesday afternoon at the family’s rural home in Buhera.

After returning home from treatment for minor injuries in Botswana, Tsvangirai told mourners that despite speculation over the cause of the accident the chance of foul play being involved was only "one in 1,000".

"It was an accident which unfortunately took a life. I am sure that life has to go on and I’m sure she would have liked for life to go on," he said.

Many Zimbabweans are suspicious about Friday’s crash on a dangerous potholed highway, neglected like many others during the country’s economic decline.

The driver of the truck that slammed into Tsvangirai’s vehicle and forced it to roll off the road appeared at a court in Chivhu, 150 km (around 90 miles) south of Harare, on Monday, accompanied by three plain-clothed policemen.