US sending FBI agents to investgate Tsvangirai accident

HARARE – The US government is sending members of the FBI to investigate a car accident that claimed the life of Zimbabwean Prime Minister's wife Susan Tsvangirai amid reports that the cabinet agreed last week to allow an independent international investigation into the tragic incident. MDC has already set up its own investigation team led by top former CID and VID officers.

Official sources said the decision to investigate the car crash was taken on Tuesday and would soon lead to a thorough probe by a yet to be announced commission of inquiry.

Tsvangirai’s wife died along the Harare-Masvingo road on March 6 after their Toyota Land Cruiser was sideswiped by a truck and overturned.

Sources said Public Works minister Theresa Makone, who was close to Susan, raised the issue and suggested there should be a comprehensive investigation.

"Makone brought up the issue on Tuesday and suggested the inquiry and cabinet agreed," an undisclosed source said. "This means a commission of inquiry must be set up in due course to probe the matter. Makone and others supporting her want an independent and international inquiry," The source continued.

Despite efforts by Tsvangirai to calm down nerves, saying he thought it was a genuine accident, suspicions of foul play have remained. Tsvangirai said chances were only one in a thousand that it was a plot.

Britain, linked to the issue through international humanitarian assistance programmes, has said it also thought it was just an accident.

The Americans apparently share the same view after their consultations with Tsvangirai. The United States Agency for International Development (USAid) is embroiled in the controversy. USAid last week said contrary to reports, the truck and driver involved in the accident did not belong to them.

USAid said the truck and driver belonged to a contractor who was initially identified as the UK’s Crown Agents and others as US-based John Snow International.

The truck was however bought using USAid money and had a US embassy number plate. Australia initially called for a thorough investigation of the accident but later went quiet