Zimbabwe: Susan Tsvangirai’s killer’s trial begins

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The trial of a truck driver involved in a fatal accident that killed the wife of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai opens Wednesday with 16 witnesses being lined up. However, Tsvangirai would not be called in to testify, court paper indicate.

Chinoona Mwanda, the truck driver is facing culpable homicide charge and is set to appear before Chivhu regional magistrate Reuben Mukavhi.

Prosecutor John Hama has already furnished the defence lawyer Chris Mhike of Atherstone and Cook with the State case papers to enable him prepare his client’s defence.

Hama said the docket was now complete. He said 16 witnesses had been lined up to give evidence in the trial but hinted that he is likely to streamline them because of the nature of their evidence.

When asked on whether the State would call the Prime Minister to testify in the matter, Hama expressed doubt. “We have 16 witnesses and I feel it’s not necessary to call him in this case. We are also considering whittling down the number of witnesses because evidence of some of them is similar,” he said.

“Remember last time I indicated that today the State would provide the accused with his trial date, which we have done (…) At that time we were still having the docket finalised.”

Hama said apart from the witnesses’ statements, the defence had also been furnished with documentary exhibits to ensure that the trial commences without hitches on the set date.

Charges against Mwanda arose on March 6 this year, when he was involved in an accident with Tsvangirai’s vehicle along the Harare-Masvingo Highway.

He was driving a Nissan UD truck, registered to the US embassy.

It is believed that Mwanda lost control of the vehicle, sideswiping the Prime Minister’s car near Furtherstone.

Susan Tsvangirai died on the spot while the Prime Minister sustained head and neck injuries. However, Tsvangirai has said there is no need for a probe “as it was just an accident”.

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