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Tsvangirai rules out foul play in crash

ZIMBABWEAN Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday ruled out foul play as the cause of a car crash that injured him and killed his wife, easing concerns that it would increase tensions in the new government.

Tsvangirai must cope with his grief alongside the enormous pressure of trying to rescue the shattered economy in a new unity government with President Robert Mugabe, his old rival.

"In such incidents there is always speculation but in this case I want to assure you that if there was any foul play it would probably be one in 1,000," he told mourners for his wife after returning home from medical treatment in Botswana.

"It was an accident which unfortunately took a life. I am sure that life has to go on and I'm sure she would have liked for life to go on."

Many Zimbabweans are suspicious about last Friday's crash on a dangerous potholed highway, neglected like many others during the country's economic decline.

The driver of the truck that slammed into Tsvangirai's vehicle and forced it to roll off the road appeared at a court in Chivhu, 150 kilometers south of Harare, yesterday, accompanied by three policemen.

Chinoona Mwanda's application for bail was granted and he was remanded to return to court on March 23, said his lawyer Chris Mhike.

"He's (Mwanda) quite distressed, he's yet to come to grips with the reality that life was lost," Mhike said.

Tsvangirai's wife of 31 years, a pillar of strength during 10 often-trying years of opposition to Mugabe, is expected to be buried tomorrow.

"It will be difficult to fill in the gap. We have gone through trials and tribulations together, I know it's painful, but let's mourn with hope," said Tsvangirai, his face swollen from injuries sustained in the crash.


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