Friday, March 6, 2009

Tsvangirai's Wife Killed in Car Crash

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was involved in a car accident today which claimed the life of his wife Susan Tsvangirai. They were married for 30 years and had six children together.

The Tsvangirais were traveling south of Harare when their vehicle collided with a dump truck. Tsvangirai was taken to hospital with non life threatening injuries. He was reportedly visited in hospital by President Mugabe.

I am sure Mugabe is the last person Tsvangirai wanted to see right now.

After all, Mugabe's forces just arrested the judge who set Roy Williams free on bail. Williams, the newly appointed Deputy Agriculture Minister, had has bail papers confiscated and remains in captivity.

Morgan Tsvangirai has endured as much as one man can endure. He has been beaten within an inch of his life and charged with treason multiple times. But now having lost the person closest to him in the world might be too much to bear even for Tsvangirai especially as he tries to govern under the boot of Mugabe. While there must remain a suspicion foul play was involved it must be noted that Zimbabwe's roads are in horrible condition and that traffic fatalities are sadly commonplace.

Judi McLeod, the editor of Canada Free Press (where my articles also appear), wrote a profile of Susan Tsvangirai nearly six years ago.

Let me quote this paragraph which in light of today's events has a particular resonance:

Her husband’s major advisor, as she has always been there by his side from the time he decided to enter the political fray, she has at least this much in common with Mugabe’s deceased first wife. Those closest to him say that Mugabe, very much influenced by his first wife, was overcome with grief by her death, and that his decline as Zimbabwe leader began with her passing.

One can only hope that Tsvangirai will be able to channel this immense pain and sorrow into something that lifts Zimbabwe out of its misery. If he has the strength to live with this loss he will have truly distinguished himself from Mugabe.

No comments: