Zimbabwe PM’s security upped to ward off threats

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The lax security that was around Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who recently survived a horific car crash will be bolstered this week. A state of the art ambulance, a lead police car fitted with a beacon to warn off other motorists wil be allocated to him. Sources at his office at the weekend said all has been put in place for the beefing up of his security when traveling anywhere in Zimbabwe.

This came after Tsvangirai’s office had written to State Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi requesting that the Prime Minister’s security be tightened following the death of his wife in a road accident three weeks ago.

At present Tsvangirai travels in a three-car convoy consisting of a truck in front, his official maroon Mercedes Benz in the middle and another truck making up the rear. But security analysts say this is inadequate to address not only the issue of his safety on Zimbabwean roads, following the fatal accident which cost his wife’s life, but also to safeguard him against other security threats, considering his political stature.

Retired army colonel Martin Rupiya, who is in charge of the Prime Minister’s security, confirmed Tsvangirai’s office had been in contact with relevant government departments over his security. But he would not be drawn to disclose details of any proposed new measures to improve security.

“We have been in touch with the responsible people in government and hope that measures will be taken to address this issue (security) with the urgency that it deserves,” said Rupiya.

Sekeramayi refused to take questions on the matter because it was a “security issue which should not involve the media or ordinary people.”

Tsvangirai’s wife Susan died shortly after the car she and her husband were traveling in was struck on the side by a truck that veered onto their lane along the potholed Harare-Masvingo highway.

The car, a Toyota Landcruiser, reportedly rolled three times before landing on its roof. Susan — Tsvangirai’s wife of 31 years — was thrown out of the car sustaining heavy injuries in the process. She was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital.

A raging battle between Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe for control of the power-sharing government the two formed last month quickly fed speculation over the car crash.

A long history of deaths of prominent political figures in mysterious road accidents only helped exacerbate suspicions over the accident. But many Zimbabweans say the fatal accident could have been prevented had Tsvangirai been traveling with an escort as a Prime Minister should.

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