By MIKE MAKOMO
Published: August 1, 2009
An aid truck driver involved in an accident that killed the wife of Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been fined 200 dollars (140 euros) over the incident, state media reported on Saturday.
Chinowona Mwanda, who was driving a truck contracted by USAID to transport medical supplies, had denied causing the accident. He was found guilty of negligent driving that accidently caused Susan Tsvangirai’s death.
“According to the law, if one is convicted of an offence involving gross negligence, he or she should be jailed, but ordinary negligence attracts options of a fine or community service,” The Herald newspaper quoted magistrate Tapera Bvudzijena as saying while handing down the sentence at Chivhu court.
“In this case, I cannot send the accused person to jail. I will look at other options of which a fine of 200 United States dollars is appropriate considering that he earns about 200 to 300 British pounds monthly.”
The magistrate said that while Mwanda was negligent he was not entirely to blame due to the bad state of the road. Many roads in Zimbabwe are in a state of disrepair, including huge potholes, after years of neglect.
The March 6 accident also injured Tsvangirai and occurred two weeks after he became prime minister in a new power-sharing government aimed at ending a ruinous political crisis.
He and his family were to attend a family function at their rural home in Buhera when the accident happened.