HARARE – Four aides of first lady Auxillia Mnangagwa were killed early Thursday while transporting a truckload of goods destined to be donated in Ruwangwe, Nyanga.
Two others were admitted at Regina Coeli Mission Hospital with serious injuries.
It was the third known fatal accident in two years involving the first lady’s transport.
The truck overturned on a curve near Regina Coeli Mission on the Nyanga-Ruwangwe road at around 6.30AM.
The goods were being transported in advance of the first lady’s visit. Her office said she was still in Nyanga when the accident happened.
In a statement, she offered “deepest condolences to the bereaved families”.
“I pray that they will find comfort in the knowledge that their loved ones passed away while serving the nation,” President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wife said.
Government sources told ZimLive that the first lady’s staff “work under too much pressure”. She has been crisscrossing the country – even at the height of Covid-19 – meeting communities under the guise of charity work.
The opposition says the meetings are, instead, state-funded political campaigns for her husband. They typically end with her donating food.
On April 17, 2020, Tadiwa Katambarare, 8, collapsed and died at Chinake Village in Mudzi North after he was harassed by a soldier who was providing security during the first lady’s visit.
A few days later on April 24, one of Auxillia Mnangagwa’s aides died and three were injured after a vehicle in her convoy overturned on a rocky embankment near Muzarabani in Mashonaland Central.
A month later, the government denied reports that she had been involved in another road accident in Kwekwe. Instead, a government spokesman said she only stopped to render assistance after Zvishavane-Ngezi MP Dumizweni Mahwite ran over a seven-year-old child who was seriously injured.
Then, in July 2020, the first lady was unhurt after her Toyota Land Cruiser overturned on the Harare-Bindura Road.
Other motorists said just before the crash, her convoy was driving aggressively and forcing vehicles off the road while speeding towards Mazowe.
In April last year, a police outrider in her convoy died after crashing into a vehicle driven by an off-duty police officer on the road between Chinhoyi and Lion’s Den.
Sergeant Freddy Chipato of Chinhoyi Traffic was clearing traffic for the first lady’s convoy at around 4.30PM when he ploughed into a Toyota Altezza heading in the opposite direction.
The first lady now moves in a blue light convoy, the government’s response to her multiple accidents.