Wife Of Zimbabwe Leader Reportedly Killed In Crash The vehicle carrying the new prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, and his wife, Susan, was reportedly sideswiped by a truck south of the capital, Harare. Tsvangairai was slightly injured.

Wife Of Zimbabwe Leader Reportedly Killed In Crash

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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Zimbabwe's new prime minister survived a car accident today that killed his wife, according to party officials. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was taken to the hospital, where he was visited by President Robert Mugabe and other senior government officials. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports.

OFEIBEA QUIST-ARCTON: The vehicle in which Morgan Tsvangirai and his wife, Susan, were traveling south of the capital Harare was reportedly sideswiped by a truck. Sources within Tsvangirai's political party said it appeared that she took the full impact of the collision and was killed. The accident happened on an undulating road on a notoriously dangerous stretch. Zimbabwe's new prime minister was heading to his country home in Buhera, where he was to address a rally tomorrow. For 10 years, Tsvangirai was the opposition leader in Zimbabwe, and President Robert Mugabe's fiercest critic.

But after a disputed presidential vote last year and state-sponsored violence against the opposition by the security forces, regional leaders stepped in and proposed a power-sharing deal. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's economy continued in free fall, with staggering inflation and unemployment coupled with political paralysis, a growing humanitarian and hunger crisis, a cholera epidemic, and the collapse of the health and education services. Protracted negotiations and bickering over cabinet posts finally ended last month, when Tsvangirai took the oath of office as prime minister and joined his arch-rival Mugabe in a national unity government. Tsvangirai has pledged to rebuild Zimbabwe, but the challenges facing his country are monumental.

Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, NPR News, Johannesburg.

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