Three MDC-T officials died on Saturday afternoon while 12 others were injured after two vehicles travelling on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s convoy were involved in an accident on their way from the party’s 11th anniversary celebration in Gokwe.
Evelyn Masaiti, a former Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, was among the injured.
Those who died are Alex Magunda, the party’s district chairman for St Mary’s, Loveless Sango, vice-chairperson of the district, and Innocent Muzuva, secretary for Ward 1 in St Mary’s.
They died upon arrival at Zhombe District Hospital, along the Kwekwe–Gokwe Road.
Police yesterday confirmed the accident that occured near the Empress Mine turnoff along the Gokwe- Kwekwe Road.
The accident happened around 3pm. Tsvangirai and senior MDC-T officials Sunday visited the families of the three deceased party activists in Chitungwiza to express their condolonces.
National Traffic police spokesperson Tigere Chigome said the accident happened after Masaiti, who was driving the other car involved in the accident, attempted to overtake.
But on suddenly seeing an oncoming vehicle, the former deputy minister hastily returned to her lane, resulting in her vehicle smashing the back of a Toyota Vigo that was being driven by a councillor from Chitungwiza.
“The accident happened at around 1500hours on Saturday at the 79km peg along the Gokwe-Kwekwe Road,” he said.
“The accident involved a vehicle driven by MP for Dzivarasekwa Evelyn Masaiti which was heading towards Kwekwe with four passengers and followed by a Toyota Hilux that had 13 people on board,” Chigome said.
Chigome said Masaiti tried to overtake but realised there was a vehicle in front which she tried to avoid.
Tsvangirai, who was party of the long convoy, is said to have arrived, 10 minutes after the accident and was part of the people who followed up the injured at Kwekwe General Hospital.
Yesterday, Masaiti was struggling to walk and was being aided by Labour and Social Welfare minister Paurina Mpariwa.
She joined Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe, Nelson Chamisa and other senior MDC-T officials in consoling families of the three accident victims.
Lloyd Damba, the MDC-T spokesperson in Chitungwiza, said Masaiti’s vehicle hit the Toyota Vigo and it rammed into a tree uprooting it in the process. MDC-T senior officials consoled families of the deceased party supporters and described them as the “heroes of real change”.
Business almost came to a standstill as Chitungwiza residents joined the MDC-T leaders in consoling the families of the deceased.
Khupe could not hide her grief as she sobbed uncontrollably.
Chamisa, the MDC-T spokesperson, said the three were “real change heroes” and would get party-assisted funerals.
The injured were airlifted from Kwekwe to a Harare hospital with the assistance of the party.
Tsvangirai told mourners that the death of the three party supporters has come at a time when the party was celebrating 11 years of its existence.
“Now the party and the families let us unite to bury our heroes,” he said.