President Robert Mugabe last night rushed to Avenues Clinic in Harare to console political rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as he was recovering from a horrific accident that killed his wife of 31 years.
Susan Tsvangirai died on the spot.
Mugabe arrived at the Avenues Clinic shortly before 8 pm and spent over an hour in the hospital. As he exited from the hospital, he did not pause to speak to journalists who mobbed him for comments on Tsvangirai’s condition. Mugabe merely shook his head and got into his waiting limousine.
He was accompanied by Vice President Joice Mujuru and cabinet ministers Emmerson Mnangagwa and Saviour Kasukuwere as well as Central Intelligence Organisation director, Happyton Bonyongwe. The Reserve Bank governor was part of Mugabe’s entourage.
A throng of journalists, diplomats and MDC supporters rushed to the clinic and jostled to hear the latest information on Tsvangirai’s condition. Except for those working for state-controlled media, such as ZBC TV and The Herald, journalists were barred from entering the wards to see Tsvangirai.
Ironically, Tsvangirai had visited the clinic only last week to see MDC and other activists who were recovering from injuries sustained during weeks of detention and torture at the hands of their kidnappers, state agents.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, James Maridadi, said the Prime Minister was travelling to Buhera when his vehicle, a Toyota Landcruiser, collided with a box truck travelling in the opposite direction.
Apparently Tsvangirai relies on MDC security arrangements when he travels, a sign that he may not be entirely comfortable with the security provided by the government in which he is Prime Minister.
Tsvangirai was travelling in a convoy of four vehicles, his Landcruiser being third from front, when the Harare-bound truck encroached on the side of his vehicle soon after it passed the two leading security vehicles in the convoy.
The truck sideswiped the Prime Minister’s vehicle on the right side, where his wife sat behind the driver, killing her instantly. Her body was taken to the Beatrice Hospital Mortuary. Tsvangirai was admitted to the Avenues Clinic where he was said to be in a stable condition.
Tsvangirai, who turns 57 on Tuesday, had six children with Susan, who was very popular among MDC supporters, who would chant “mother, mother” each time she appeared at rallies with her husband.
Susan, 50, avoided the spotlight but stood by Tsvangirai throughout his ordeals as Mugabe’s most determined opponent. Tsvangirai has faced a treason trial and been beaten in police custody.
Given the history of bad blood between Zanu-PF, the President’s party and Tsvangirai’s MDC there was immediate speculation that the Prime Minister’s accident was the result of foul play.
“It is curious that a vehicle such as Tsvangirai’s Landcruiser should roll three times. This was a clear attempt to assassinate the Prime Minister,” Afrik-news.com learnt from a furious senior MDC official.
Another official said: “It was a clear plot aimed at the Prime Minister. They have missed him and now they have have killed an innocent soul. This is completely unacceptable.”