FINANCE minister Tendai Biti who survived a horrific accident on Tuesday evening could be charged with negligent driving amid reports that preliminary police investigations show that he was to blame for the crash.
Sources close to the investigations told the Zimbabwe Independent yesterday that the preliminary probe showed that Biti’s vehicle could have encroached into the lane of the on-coming truck.
Police national spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, yesterday said the police would not disclose their investigation to the media “just yet”.
Pressed to say how the public would get to know the circumstances surrounding the accident given that it involved a public figure, Bvudzijena said that would depend on the outcome of the investigations.
“It will depend (on the outcome). If there is anyone to be prosecuted over the cause of the accident, then it may go to the courts and the public will know,” Bvudzijena said.
Biti was driving himself when his 4X4 Toyota Hilux Vigo Twin-cab was sideswiped by a trailer of a haulage truck at the 99km-peg along the Harare-Bulawayo road.
The impact spun the car, turning it to face where it was coming from before it landed in a ditch. The vehicle is a complete write-off.
aThe truck belonged to Miclak Transport of Chegutu and was being driven by Knowledge Gavaza. The driver escaped unscathed.
Gavaza spent Tuesday night in police cells before being released on Wednesday after police said it was still inconclusive that he had caused the accident.
Police traffic evaluators were yesterday still gathering evidence from the scene of the accident and our source said they had collected samples of skid marks and the road surface.
“Every detail, no matter how minute, is needed to establish or disprove any suspected attempt on the minister’s life,” a source said. “The samples have been taken to Harare where forensic tests will be carried out. Initial findings however indicate the minister could face charges of negligent driving. It appears his car encroached into the lane of the haulage truck.”
Biti emerged from the accident without any visible injuries but his MDC-T party spokesperson Nelson Chamisa was yesterday quoted as saying the Finance minister was complaining of chest pains.
The party’s website yesterday said Biti was well enough to lead the party in the crucial global political agreement talks that resumed in the resort town of Nyanga yesterday.
“He has been discharged today (yesterday) and he is already at the talks in Nyanga or is on his way there,” said a senior MDC official.
An official from the MDC security department said they would not rely on police investigations alone but would carry out their own probe.
“We cannot rule out or dismiss any possibility at the moment. This is an unpredictable world and Zimbabwe is not an entirely clean country. There are so many things going on and people’s lives are not entirely safe,” said the official.