HARARE, (Reuters) – Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday 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.
Tsvangirai must cope with his grief alongside the enormous pressure of trying to rescue the shattered economy in a new unity government with President Robert Mugabe, his old rival.
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.
Chinoona Mwanda was granted bail and remanded to return to court on March 23. “He’s quite distressed, he’s yet to come to grips with the reality that life was lost,” his lawyer, Chris Mhike, told reporters.
Tsvangirai’s wife of 31 years, a pillar of strength during 10 often trying years of opposition to Mugabe, is expected to be buried on Wednesday. Tuesday’s cabinet meeting was postponed to Thursday to allow ministers to attend the funeral.
“It will be difficult to fill in the gap. We have gone through trials and tribulations together, I know it’s painful, but let’s mourn with hope,” said Tsvangirai, his face swollen from injuries sustained in the crash.