Monday, 5 April 2021

COP ARRESTED OVER FIRST LADY BIKER'S DEATH

AUTHORITIES have arrested a policeman for negligent driving which they say led to the death of an outrider in First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa’s motorcade on Good Friday.

The policeman, Tinotenda Esau Mutandiro — who is based in Harare — was allegedly at fault in the fatal crash which claimed the life of Freddy Chipato of ZRP Chinhoyi traffic section.The accident occurred near Lion’s Den outside Chinhoyi.

“The member was on VIP traffic clearance duties riding a police motor bike, while the first lady’s convoy was on its way from Mhangura.

“Suddenly, a motorist — Tinotenda Esau Mutandiro — who was later identified to be a police officer stationed in Harare, came driving a Toyota Altezza on his way to Karoi, with one passenger on board.

“He tried to pull off the road to the left in a bid to give way to the clearing party, but failed and swerved to the right. The Toyota Altezza then encroached on to the lane of the motor bike, which was proceeding in the opposite direction,” the ZRP said yesterday.

“The vehicle then collided with the clearing motor bike, resulting in the death of sergeant Chipato after sustaining serious body injuries. “The commissioner-general of police extends his condolences to the family of Sergeant Chipato.

“Meanwhile, the law will take its course against Tinotenda Esau Mutandiro who is now facing culpable homicide charges,” the ZRP added.

In July last year, the first lady’s convoy was also involved in another accident when her vehicle overturned after being rammed by another motorist along the Harare-Bindura highway.

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba confirmed that accident to the Daily News then, saying this had allegedly been caused by a driver who had panicked upon meeting the first lady’s convoy, resulting in him ramming into her vehicle and causing it to overturn.

“Yes there was a traffic incident in the morning where a motorist panicked upon seeing the first lady’s convoy … and he rammed into the first lady’s vehicle on the driver’s side.

“There were no injuries even though the car was damaged on the driver’s side. The first lady is fine and so is her driver,” he said.

Charamba also dismissed social media speculation at the time that gunshots had been fired at the accident scene — telling the Daily News that “nothing of that sort took place during or after the crash”.

That accident also came after the first lady lost one of her close aides during another accident in Mt Darwin in April last  year.

Then, the first lady’s security aides were involved in a fatal accident in Mashonaland Central while on their way to Muzarabani, where she intended to donate foodstuffs to starving families there.

The first lady, who was in the same convoy, was not in the car which rolled and claimed the life of one of her aides at the time, Albert Vunganai — and which left several others seriously injured.

Well-placed sources told the Daily News then that the fatal accident had caught everyone by surprise, as the first lady’s security details — who were travelling in a Toyota Hilux behind her — were not speeding.

“They were doing between 20km/hour and 40km/hour. The gap between their car and the first lady was about five hundred metres.

“When they tried to speed up a little bit to narrow the gap, their car veered off the road. The driver tried to control the car and pull it back onto the road, but it rolled,” one source said then.

“All this time, the first lady had come out of her car and was watching the entire tragic development. She is in terrible shock and is devastated.

“She regarded those boys as her children and the accident has left her extremely traumatised and upset,” another source told the Daily News further at the time. Daily News

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