Friday, March 06, 2009

Susan Tsvangirai has died in a car crash

The newly installed Prime Minister of Zimbabwe and his wife has been involved in car crash. Reports are saying that Morgan Tsvangirai's wife Susan has died in the accident while the Prime Minister has minor injuries.

Details on the accident from the Earth Times.

The wife of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Susan, died in a car crash on Friday in which the prime minister was also hurt, party officials have confirmed. "Morgan is badly bruised and cut, but I'm afraid Susan has died," said Eddie Cross, a member of the MDC executive.

The prime minister has been transferred to hospital in Harare and is receiving treatment for his injuries.

The accident occurred on a notoriously dangerous stretch of road about 100 km south of Harare. Accounts from different officials varied, but James Maridade, Tsvangirai's spokesman said his vehicle side-swiped an oncoming vehicle and rolled three times.

The couple were travelling in an MDC Landcruiser with two accompanying security vehicles, on their way to Buhera in the south-east of the country for a rally of his Movement for Democratic Change. The other vehicle involved was apparently a truck.

"Morgan will be devastated, they were a real team," said Cross.

The couple had been married since 1978.

The accident comes just three weeks after Tsvangirai was sworn in as the country's prime minister, following protracted negotiations with President Robert Mugabe.

This is on the eve of a visit from the International Monetary Fund to Zimbabwe. Officials in the country requested the IMF visit to review monetary policies, and perhaps receive emergency bailout money from the fund.

We don't know if this will halt the IMF visit or not but here are the details from this CNN story.

During the visit, which is being made "at the request of Zimbabwe's authorities," the mission team will discuss with government officials "their policies to address the acute economic and humanitarian crisis facing the country," the IMF said in a news release.

The visit to Harare will last from Monday through March 24, the IMF said.

Zimbabwe's economic crisis has stretched for months. Its inflation rate -- the highest in the world -- has been fueled by acute shortages of all essentials, including food, fuel and electricity. The country has now abandoned its worthless legal tender -- the dollar -- and instead is using the U.S. dollar, the British pound and the South African rand.

Estimates put the unemployment rate at 94 percent in a country where, according to the United Nations, more than half the population is facing starvation.

The new government is likely to use the IMF visit to seek international aid to revive the battered economy, which many commentators blame on President Robert Mugabe's policies. Last month, Morgan Tsvangirai, the new prime minister, said the country needs about $5 billion to kick-start the economy, of which $2 billion was required immediately.

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