BY MOSES MATENGA
A police outrider in first lady Auxillia Mnangagwa’s convoy died on Friday after he crashed into a vehicle being driven by an off-duty police officer.
Freddy Chipato from Chinhoyi police’s traffic section was clearing the road for Mnangagwa’s motorcade between Chinhoyi and Lion’s Den when the accident happened.
The first lady was on her way to Mhangura.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the accident.
“The ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) reports that on the 2nd of April 3, 2021 at 1630 hours, a fatal road traffic accident involving Sergeant Freddy Chipato of ZRP Chinhoyi Traffic occurred at the 131-kilometre peg along the Chinhoyi-Harare road near Lion’s Den,” Nyathi said in a statement.
“The member was on VIP traffic clearance duties riding a police motorbike while the first lady’s convoy was on its way from Mhangura.”
Nyathi said Mutandiro, who is now facing culpable homicide charges, tried to pull off the road to give way to the clearing party before swerving back into the road.
“The Toyota Altezza then encroached into the lane of the motorbike, which was proceeding in the opposite direction,” he said.
Nyathi said Chipato sustained serious injuries after the accident, leading to his death.
“The first lady’s convoy was not involved at all in the road traffic accident,” he said.
Last year, one of the first lady’s aides died while three others were injured after a vehicle in her convoy overturned on a rocky embankment near Muzarabani, Mashonaland Central province.
Police were forced to deny reports a month later that Mnangagwa had been involved in another accident in Kwekwe.
Government said the first lady only stopped to render assistance after Zvishavane-Ngezi Member of Parliament Dumizweni Mahwite ran over a seven-year-old child, who was seriously injured.
In July last year, the first lady escaped unhurt after her Toyota Land Cruiser overturned on the Harare-Bindura road.
Mnangagwa has been visiting several areas around Zimbabwe for her projects that include teaching women how to cook traditional food.