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- ▼ March (18)
Eddie Cross please explain the accident further?
I AM still puzzled and perplexed by Eddie Cross's narration of the events of the crash that killed Mrs Susan Tsvangirai and left the Prime Minister badly hurt.
Cross made the headlines in the last few months over his "crash and burn" article; but that is not the gist of this piece.
He told the New York Times newspaper a day after the crash that it had not been an accident, and said the MDC-T party will not accept a police report. Besides being preposterous, Cross sounded like he had some insider information about the accident. I will not ask questions as to why the New York Times newspaper had an interview with Cross, and not the party spokesman, Nelson Chamisa. This is a matter between Cross and that newspaper.
However, I am yet to hear of someone who gets to the scene of the accident from 10 kilometres away, before the police, and climbs the top of the accident vehicle to take pictures, before attempting to rescue the victims. This is what Mr Deon Theron, the Deputy President of the Commercial Farmers' Union, did on that fateful day.
He examined the vehicle; but did not "rescue" the victims -- the high profile victims. It is worrisome that it was more important for Mr Theron to take footage, rather than try and rescue the victims.
We know that Mrs Tsvangirai was badly hurt at that juncture, and so was the Prime Minister. Why did Mr Theron not attend to them? Surely that would have been the reason why he rushed to the site? Or was it? If not, does this say something about the judgment of Mr Theron, or his attitude to "accident victims"?
It is also shocking to discover that Cross had more specific details about the "burst front tyre", the "loose under-carriage as a result of the accident", and other accident details; but no information on the state of the victims, Mr and Mrs Tsvangirai, when he spoke to the New York Times. Anyone who has had an opportunity to visit an accident site immediately after the accident would tell you that the state of the vehicle is never on their mind -- the condition of the victim(s) is. But not Mr Theron who preferred to climb the overturned vehicle and take pictures.
Was Mr Theron not at least concerned that an overturned vehicle could burst into flames and kill him, or the victims? I am sure Mr Theron would have seen the Prime Minister or his wife lying down somewhere, or would have at least known that the inhabitants of the car were the Tsvangirai's as he had previously communicated with whoever informed him about the accident (see below). Why then was he less concerned about the welfare of the Prime Minister and his wife, and more concerned about "the scene of the accident"?
Mr Theron's version of the accident, which is disputed by other eyewitnesses, could not have been accurate. Dennis Murira, director of public affairs in the prime minister’s office was told a different version of events. The truck driver told the police that he had fallen asleep at the wheel, said Murira. So why would Mr Cross deny a police report?
Mr Theron was 10 kilometres away when the accident happened? The eyewitnesses, surely would have had a more accurate version as they were there when the crash occured. Why did Mr Cross then rely on Mr Theron's version when he was not an eyewitness? How long did it take Mr Theron to get to the scene after the accident?
The New York Times report says Mr Hendrick O'Neill, an MDC-T member "from the area where the crash occured" was suspicious of the "circumstances around the accident". Mr O'Neill is the one who, apparently, called Mr Theron "who lives near the scene" and told him about the accident. So both men are from the same area - where the accident happened? Why then did Mr O'Neill ring Mr Theron when he was from the same area? How did Mr O'Neill know about the accident? Was he an eyewitness? How did he know about it before Mr Theron "who lives near the scene"? How many kilomteres from the scene does Mr O'Neill live, as compared to Mr Theron? Why was it important to call Mr Theron and not the police, or for him to get to the accident scene promptly?
“I was looking for someone to get to the site because I was very suspicious about the circumstances around the accident,” the New York Time quotes Mr O’Neill telling Mr Cross. What were those "circumstances" at this stage - soon after the crash? How long was it after the accident did Mr O'Neill know about it or "the circumstances"? He would have had to be on the scene to be "suspicious about the circumstances around the accident" or somebody else would have told him on the phone. If somebody did, who was it?
"So he contacted Deon Theron, the vice president of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), who lives near the scene. 'Morgan has been a target for some time'," the New York Times quotes Mr Cross.
Why would he (Mr O'Neill) contact Mr Theron when he also lives near the scene? He could have gone there himself and "collected the evidence". Did it need a farmer - a CFU Vice President? What exactly was Mr Theron required to do in these circumstances, that Mr O'Neill could not do? Afterall he was the first one to know about the accident, and he lived "in that area" anyway. In any case, one would have thought the prime concern was to rescue Mr Tsvangirai (and his wife) as he "has been a target for some time".
Surely, there was a lapse of time, from the time when Mr O'Neill saw, or heard about, the accident to the time he communicated with Mr Theron. How long was that time? How long did it take Mr Theron to get to the scene "10 kilometres" away? Did Mr O'Neill also ring the police? If not, why not? Did Mr O'Neill eventually attend the scene as he was "suspicious about the circumstances around the accident"? If not, why not?
We hope someone will care to answer these questions, among other questions already in the public domain. This is important so that we avoid another "crash and burn".
Philip Murombedzi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
REMARKS FROM READERS:
On 19th March 2009, the Zimbabwe Independent published an article by Dumisani Muleya entitled “Zimbabwe: Investigators to Probe Susan Tsvangirai’s Death” in which he indicated that cabinet had agreed to allow an independent international investigation in the death of the Prime Minister’s wife.
In light of this, I believe that it is prudent to wait for the investigation to be carried out so that we get the facts on what transpired on that fateful day.
Let us be patient. The truth will be known soon enough.
MAJURU FARAI DOUGLAS! (email@example.com)
March 26, 2009 8:26 AM
HI TO YOU ALL!
Anyone has the right in the world to say what they know. It may even help the investigators.
Keep it up vaMurombedzi!
Then my own blood brother Mutumwa, please give me time to respond. I've been advised to seek legal guidance when dealing with advanced economic mercenaries like yourself!
M S Hove...Rev. THE RADICAL ONE!!!