Mugabe’s motorcade in double accident
By Helen Kadirire and Xolisani Ncube
HARARE – President Robert Mugabe’s motorcade was yesterday involved in two separate accidents on a single trip to Zvimba. The Zanu PF leader was on his way to Zvimba for a funeral when one of his outriders knocked down a vagrant (homeless person) before a land cruiser in his motorcade burst a tyre moments later, injuring security details.
George Charamba, Mugabe’s spokesperson, yesterday confirmed receiving details of the motorcade accident saying injured security details involved were rushed to Kutama Hospital. On the first incident, the presidential motorcade’s outriders hit the vagrant along Harare-Bulawayo highway near Pamuzinda Hide-Out.
Mugabe, who was coiffed in his $1 million Mercedes Benz limo, zoomed past the accident scene moments later, probably unaware of the serious crash. Eye witnesses said the vagrant, who frequents the busy highway, was run over by the motorcade’s first outrider that clears the way for Mugabe.
When the Daily News arrived at the scene of accident, which was guarded by police officers, the damaged motorbike was being loaded into an unidentified truck. An eye-witness said the bike was speeding and ran into the vagabond, who was in the middle of the road.
“If that guy is still alive, it is a miracle. The bike ripped through the man’s legs while the bike rider was thrown off. The scene was so ghastly and bloody that one would not take a second glance,” he said.
The motorcade sped past the accident scene in usual fashion and did not stop to assist the injured. The vagrant and rider were taken to hospital by ambulances that arrived at the scene later.
By late yesterday, police were said to be investigating the matter with their spokesperson, Wayne Bvudzijena, telling the Daily News that he was yet to receive a report from the traffic section. On the second accident, Charamba said it occurred near Murombedzi Growth Point, 100km west of Harare.
“There was no fatality and all the people involved were taken to Kutama hospital. The land cruiser burst a tyre resulting in the accident,” said Charamba. He refused to more divulge more details citing security reasons.
Usually, Mugabe’s motorcade comprises of bikes of police escort, state security vehicles, police vehicles, his Zim 1 limousine and land cruiser trucks full of heavily armed soldiers. He also travels with an ambulance among other vehicles. His motorcade is regarded as one of Africa’s longest.
Zvimba is Mugabe’s home village and Charamba said he had gone to attend the funeral of headman Enock Chipuriro.
Zimbabwean road traffic regulations approved in 2002 state that when a presidential motorcade is approaching, “the driver of every vehicle on the road on which a state motorcade is travelling… shall halt his vehicle.”
The regulations also make it an offence to “make any gesture or statement within the view or hearing of the state motorcade with the intention of insulting any person travelling with an escort or any member of the escort.”
This is not the first time that the presidential motorcade has been involved in a crash. In 2009, one of Mugabe’s outriders collided with a Mazda 323 in the capital. Daily News