Friday, March 06, 2009

Tsvangirai's wife killed in car wreck, Zimbabwe PM injured

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, and his wife, Susan, were involved in an auto accident earlier today in a rural part of the country. Susan Tsvangirai was killed, and the PM was injured.

Details are sketchy, but it appears a large truck was involved. According to the BBC, the driver of the truck was asleep at the wheel.

On the surface, this event has all the hallmarks of an authentic, tragic accident. Zimbabwe's decrepit road system, rampant drunk driving, and non-existent law enforcement make traveling by car moderately less risky than swimming laps in a pool of battery acid. Huge wrecks and fatalities are all-too-common on rural roadways, especially those in the more-densely populated eastern half of the country.

However, given Mugabe's track record, the "accident" angle cannot be taken at face value. That Tsvangirai himself was in the car at the time of the wreck makes everything about it suspicious. Mugabe and his vile, violent cronies stand to gain from this sort of unfortunate "accident", especially if Tsvangirai had been killed. He was not, but the loss of his wife of 30 years (and mother of his six children)is nearly as good from the ZANU perspective. Tsvangirai is, no doubt, personally devestated. There's every chance this blow causes him to leave public life entirely.

I hate to be cynical, but it's a mistake to put anything past Mugabe.

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