Mystery shrouds Mugabe accident

President Robert Mugabe leaves after delivering his State Of the Nation address at Parliament in Harare, Zimbabwe, December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

HARARE – Mystery surrounds the car which was involved in a horrific accident with a biker who was leading President Robert Mugabe’s motorcade last Saturday.

On Saturday, one of the bikers leading the motorcade was involved in a crash with an Isuzu truck near the One Commando military base along Airport Road as Mugabe was making his way from the Harare International Airport upon his return from a medical visit in Singapore.

The biker suffered multiple injuries and was admitted to hospital.

Before that had happened, Mugabe’s wife, Grace, had been injured at the airport in a freak accident that occurred when the presidential chauffeur moved the car before the First Lady had been fully onboard.

The Daily News can report that in the case of the biker’s accident, nothing is known about the driver of the Isuzu truck, nor the owner despite the mysterious car having a registration, AAX 3166, whose search at the Central Vehicle Registry last week presented more questions than answers.

Despite having a number plate, the Isuzu did not exist in the registration books, further adding curiosity to ownership and authenticity of the registration number displayed by the car.

Police refused to comment, insisting that the investigative officer who attended the scene would be the best person to handle our enquiries.

It was not clear who had attended the scene of the accident as it happened on the borders of Hatfield, Cranborne and Braeside police stations.

Authorities have zero tolerance for motorists who obstruct or fail to pave way for the presidential motorcade.

Protocol demands that motorists – including vehicles that may belong to other security arms not part of the presidential motorcade – pave way for Mugabe.

In fact, according to the law, it is an offence not to pull from the road when Mugabe’s speeding motorcade approaches.

Several people have either been fined or jailed for falling foul of the laws governing Mugabe’s motorcade.

One classical example is of a Victoria Falls man, Trinity Gonongono, who was jailed 30 years when he failed to make way for the presidential motorcade.

Last Saturday’s crash was not the first time that Mugabe’s motorcade has been involved in crashes with motorists.

In May this year, one of Mugabe’s motorcade outriders was left badly injured in Harare during the evening rush hour, after he crashed into a motorist while trying to clear traffic for the Zanu PF leader who was on his way to State House where he was hosting Lesotho king, King Letsie III.

In May last year, Mugabe’s motorcade was involved in a similar accident when another of the outriders crashed into a commuter omnibus whose driver was later charged with negligent driving.

And in one of the most horrific crashes to involve the presidential motorcade in 2012, one of Mugabe’s outriders met a horrific death when his bike caught fire near Sam Levy village in Borrowdale, Harare.

Traumatised eyewitnesses watched helplessly then as the outrider writhed on the side of the road in agony, battling for dear life as his motorbike — which was lying by his side — was consumed by a raging fire, which also killed him moments later.

This was after some passing motorists had desperately tried to put out the fire using their fire extinguishers.

Also in 2012, a police lead vehicle sent to clear traffic ahead of the president’s oncoming convoy, rammed into a commuter minibus carrying 22 passengers.

A male passenger in the minibus died on impact with a police Mercedes, while 15 other people — including two police officers — were seriously injured.

On another trip to Zvimba in the same year, the presidential convoy was also involved in two accidents.

In the first crash, a homeless man was knocked down by a police motorbike in Harare — with the police outrider and the victim both being hospitalised, and the homeless man dying later.

And as the president’s convoy left Kutama on the return journey, an open-top army Land Cruiser carrying members of the presidential guard burst a tyre and overturned — killing Jeoffrey Mukotekwa and wounding several others.