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USAID truck caused Tsvangirai crash

When Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was involved in a car crash last Friday that killed his wife of 31 years and left him hospitalized, more than a few suspected his political rival, President Robert Mugabe, of foul play. A charge Tsvangirai himself denied today. But ABC News now reports a new twist in the ...

When Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was involved in a car crash last Friday that killed his wife of 31 years and left him hospitalized, more than a few suspected his political rival, President Robert Mugabe, of foul play. A charge Tsvangirai himself denied today.

But ABC News now reports a new twist in the case. The vehicle that sideswiped Tsvangirai’s car after hitting a pothole was owned by a contractor working for the U.S. government:

U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the vehicle was owned by the contractor, but had a USAID insignia on it. The vehicle was purchased by the contractor with U.S. government money, and the driver was hired and paid by a British development agency.

The truck is said to have been on a routine delivery route at the time of the accident.

According to officials, USAID has been informed that the truck was impounded and its driver has been detained.

Though it now appears likely to have been just a horrific accident, U.S. and British involvement in this  tragedy is embarassing to say the least. I wouldn’t be too surprised if it’s now Mugabe’s allies who start pushing the conspiracy theories.

When Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was involved in a car crash last Friday that killed his wife of 31 years and left him hospitalized, more than a few suspected his political rival, President Robert Mugabe, of foul play. A charge Tsvangirai himself denied today.

But ABC News now reports a new twist in the case. The vehicle that sideswiped Tsvangirai’s car after hitting a pothole was owned by a contractor working for the U.S. government:

U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the vehicle was owned by the contractor, but had a USAID insignia on it. The vehicle was purchased by the contractor with U.S. government money, and the driver was hired and paid by a British development agency.

The truck is said to have been on a routine delivery route at the time of the accident.

According to officials, USAID has been informed that the truck was impounded and its driver has been detained.

Though it now appears likely to have been just a horrific accident, U.S. and British involvement in this  tragedy is embarassing to say the least. I wouldn’t be too surprised if it’s now Mugabe’s allies who start pushing the conspiracy theories.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating