Biti out of hospital, cops plan to charge him

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Finance Minister Tendai Biti who survived a horrific accident Tuesday night could be charged with negligent driving if the findings from preliminary police investigations find him liable.

Sources close to the investigations said on Thursday that their initial probe suggested the minister may have been on the wrong when his car side swiped a passing haulage truck.

Police national spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said police would not disclose their investigation to the media “just yet”.

Pressed to say how the public would get to know circumstances surrounding the accident given that it involved a public figure, Bvudzijena said that would depend on the outcome of the investigation.

“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 into a ditch. The vehicle is a complete write-off.

The truck belonged to Miclak Transport of Chegutu and was being driven by Knowledge Gavaza.

The driver who escaped unscathed, was arrested and spent Tuesday night in police cells before being released Wednesday.

Police Traffic Evaluators were yesterday still frantically 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,” our 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 complained of chest pains according to his party spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa.

The party website also confirmed Biti was well enough to lead the party in the crucial Global Political Agreements (GPA) talks that resumed in the resort town of Nyanga Thursday.

“He has been discharged today and he is already at the talks in Nyanga or is on his way there,” said a senior MDC official.

The MDC security department said they would not rely on police investigations into the accidents, but would carry out their own investigations.

Meanwhile speculation was rife about the causes of the crash, especially considering that Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri was quoted in The Herald the police was ready to tackle those who were responsible to denying them resources.

Chihuri was quoted as saying: “Don’t feed only one child while others are dying, but I am glad that Government wants to (give funds to police), but there are some individuals who are against the idea.”

“I am, however, not in a position to reveal names, but let it be known that we are watching,” said Chihuri.

The comments appear to have been leveled at the finance minister who is in charge of the country’s purse.