Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

France: fighting political corruption with transparency

Read more

WEB NEWS

Using the web to further the cause: ISIS vs USA

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

  • EU mulls Russia sanctions as Kiev warns of 'full-scale war'

    Read more

  • Filipino UN troops escape Islamists in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Algerian diplomats held by Islamists are freed in Mali

    Read more

  • US aid drops begin in besieged Iraqi town of Amerli

    Read more

  • Pakistani protesters clash with police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • UK boy with brain tumour found in Spain, parents held

    Read more

  • Poland's Tusk, Italy's Mogherini set for top EU jobs

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialists' annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • South Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

Africa

PM Tsvangirai injured, wife killed, in car accident

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-03-07

The wife of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has died in a car accident in which he was injured, said a source in his Movement for Democratic Change party. Tsvangirai has been hospitalised in Harare.

 

The wife of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was killed and he was injured in a car accident in Zimbabwe on Friday, according to officials from Tsvangirai’s MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) party.

 

Just a month after Tsvangirai formed a unity government with his bitter rival, President Robert Mugabe, the former Zimbabwean trade union leader’s car was involved in a crash south of the Zimbabwean capital of Harare. Susan Tsvangirai, his wife of more than 30 years and a mother of six, was traveling in the car with the Zimbabwean prime minister.

 

Speaking to reporters outside the hospital, MDC Secretary-General and Finance Minister Tendai Biti said Tsvangirai’s condition was “stable”. Zimbabwean state television reported that Tsvangirai had sustained head and neck injuries.

 

A Zimbabwean police spokesman told state television the crash occurred when a truck “encroached into the lane of the prime minister's car, resulting in a side-swipe which resulted in the prime minister's car, a 4-by-4 Toyota Landcruiser, rolling over three times.”

 

Tsvangirai was airlifted to a Harare hospital, where Mugabe and his wife visited the injured Zimbabwean prime minister. Mugabe refused to answer reporters’ questions on his way out of the hospital.

 

On his way home to celebrate his birthday

 

Reporting from Cape Town, South Africa, FRANCE 24’s Alex Duval Smith said Tsvangirai had been on his way to his rural home near Beatrice for the weekend when the crash occurred.

 

The Zimbabwean leader was set to celebrate his 57th birthday - which falls on March 10 - at home, according to Duval Smith.

 

Tsvangirai’s driver and an aide who were also traveling with him sustained injuries during the collision, according to MDC officials.

 

The Zimbabwean prime minister was not traveling in an official motorcade, according to local reports.

 

 

‘Really, really, really devastating

 

 

News of the death of Mrs. Tsvangirai - who was viewed as a “mother to Zimbabwe” by her husband’s supporters - shocked party officials and aides across the world.

 

“The news is really, really, really devastating,” said a noticeably shaken Jameson Mashakada, MDC vice president in UK and Ireland, during an interview with FRANCE 24 shortly after the news was released. “It is very, very, very unfortunate and really shocking.”

 

Friday’s incident brought a tragic end to an important week for Tsvangirai. On Wednesday, in his maiden speech to parliament, Tsvangirai addressed the issue of reviving Zimbabwe’s shattered economy and condemned the ongoing persecution of political activists.

 

His speech came as Roy Bennett, a senior MDC official and Tsvangirai’s pick for junior agriculture minister, remained behind bars following his controversial arrest.

 

An unassuming woman who once said that, if she became Zimbabwe’s First Lady, she would serve tea from an earthernware teapot rather than a china tea set, Mrs. Tsvangirai stayed out of the political limelight.

 

Reporting from Cape Town, South Africa, FRANCE 24’s Haydé Fitzpatrick said that Mrs. Tsvangirai, who was a qualified nurse, was a valuable source of information for reporters when the media was unable to reach her husband during his frequent arrests and court proceedings.

 

Friends and aides close to the couple say she was an indomitable source of strength for her husband during his long, difficult years as a trade union leader and a representative of the people.

 

 

Reporting from South Africa, Duval-Smith said the loss would be devastating for a man who represents Zimbabwe’s hopes for democracy. “It’s been 10 years of attempting to bring democracy to Zimbabwe,” said Duval-Smith. “Now that he has finally got the prime ministership, he’s going to have to draw on strength, I don’t know from where, but he has to draw on his strength to carry on the battle to bring democracy to Zimbabwe - and the battle isn’t over yet."

 

 

 

Date created : 2009-03-06

COMMENT(S)