March 10, 2009 — A memorial service was held today for Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s wife, who was killed in a car accident Friday, the Associated Press reported.
According to Zimbabwe media reports, President Robert Mugabe, a bitter political rival of Tsvangirai’s, was to attend the service for Susan Tsvangirai, and the government is helping pay the funeral costs.
On Saturday, members of Tsvangirai’s political party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), told CNN the prime minister believed the crash was intentional. But Tsvangirai said during a press conference Monday that there was “no foul play” involved.
“In this case I want to say there is no foul play. It was an accident that unfortunately took away her life,” he said, addressing media in Harare.
Several Mugabe opponents have died in suspicious car accidents, with some survivors saying they nearly lost control of cars after the wheel lug nuts were loosened, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The Tsvangirais’ car, the second in a three-vehicle convoy, was sideswiped by a truck that had veered onto the wrong side of the road, the Times said. The prime minister’s car rolled three times, and his wife was thrown from the vehicle.
The truck driver, Chinoona Mwanda, 35, has been charged with culpable homicide, the Times reported. He was expected to blame the accident on Harare’s notoriously poor roads.
The MDC has said the crash was an assassination attempt and has called for an independent inquiry, CNN reported.