U.S.-Tied Truck Hit Zimbabwe PM’s Car

By MichaelJames

Mar 6, 2009 8:17pm

ABC News’ Kirit Radia reports:

The truck that hit Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s car today belonged to a contractor working for the U.S. and British governments, ABC News has learned from three sources.

The truck hit a pothole in the road, causing it to swerve into oncoming traffic where it sideswiped Tsvangirai’s vehicle.

Tsvangirai’s car overturned several times.

The prime minister escaped with only minor injuries, but his wife later died of injuries sustained in the accident.

U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the vehicle was owned by the contractor, but had a USAID insignia on it. The vehicle was purchased by the contractor with U.S. government money, and the driver was hired and paid by a British development agency.

The truck is said to have been on a routine delivery route at the time of the accident.

According to officials, USAID has been informed that the truck was impounded and its driver has been detained.

Earlier today, some speculated foul play may have been responsible for the accident, given Tsvangirai’s intense political rivalry with President Robert Mugabe. In recent weeks, other top officials in Tsvangirai’s party have been involved in car crashes.

There has been no word yet on whether this driver may have targeted Tsvangirai’s vehicle, but the revelation of the American-affiliated truck may provide fodder for President Mugabe, who just reluctantly formed a coalition government after urging from other countries. Mugabe may conveniently use this to accuse the West of attempting to take his prime minister’s life.

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