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Susan Tsvangirai: An African Diana?

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Susan Tsvangirai

Susan Tsvangirai

As many of you will know I have been monitoring the Zimbabwe situation for more than a year.  The story there has had more twists and turns than any African tragedy.

Only this week the ongoing disaster took another twist.

Susan Tsvangirai, wife of the new Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, has been killed in a road traffic accident 50 miles south of the capital Harare.  The Prime Minister, also in the vehicle, received only cuts and bruises.


The Movement for Democratic Change has launched an independent investigation into the cause of the crash.  However the British foreign Ministry has issued a statement, backed up by Morgan Tsvangirai, insisting that the crash was an “accident”.  The driver of the truck that hit the car said in his statement that he had fallen asleep at the wheel.

Morgan and Susan Tsvangairai were travelling in part of an aid convoy of three vehicles when they were sideswiped by an on-coming vehicle.  However assassinations by car crash are not uncommon in Zimbabwe.  In recent years the employment minister, the defense minister and a regional governor have all had fatal accidents.

Of course traffic accidents can and do frequently happen all over Africa.  Roads in Zimbabwe are in atrocious condition and cars can go years without maintainance checks.

Tom McDonald, the United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe from 1997 to 2001, said, “I’m skeptical about any motor vehicle accident in Zimbabwe involving an opposition figure… President Mugabe has a history of strange car accidents when someone lo and behold dies – it’s sort of his M.O. of how they get rid of people they don’t like… So, when I hear that Tsvangirai was in an accident, it gives me pause.”  (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

“This not a genuine accident,” MDC spokesman Sibanengi Dube Dube said of the crash.

“This is a perfect organised hit which was designed to eliminate the president of the MDC.”

The Tsvangirais were heading to their rural home for a Saturday rally when the crash happened on Friday afternoon.

From his hospital bed in Harare afterwards, he told one of his aides that a large truck driving on the other side of the road had come towards his Land Cruiser, the middle vehicle in a three-car convoy.

“What he told me was that the truck went for his car,” said Dennis Murira, director of public affairs in the Prime Minister’s office. “That’s how he put it.”

Mrs Tsvangairai was pronounced dead in Beatrice Hospital and funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.

No doubt speculation as to the cause of the accident will cause controversy for years to come.

For more information on the Movement for Democratic Change please follow this link:


Written by Nick Gilmartin

March 10, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Posted in in the news, Politics

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