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Mugabe: Saddened By Susan Tsvagirai's Death

By VOA News
10 March 2009

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe joined hundreds of people at a Harare church Tuesday to mourn the wife of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who was killed last week in a car crash.

Mr. Mugabe told the mourners he is saddened by the death of Susan Tsvangirai, and that he hoped her husband, a longtime political foe of the president, would remain strong.

The Tsvangirais' eldest son, Edwin, later thanked Mr. Mugabe for his words, saying they changed his understanding of the president.

Edwin Tsvangirai made the comment while addressing thousands of mourners who paid their respects to his mother Tuesday at a Harare stadium.

Susan Tsvangirai is scheduled to be buried Wednesday. She was killed last Friday, when the vehicle she and Mr. Tsvangirai were riding in collided with an aid truck.

Mr. Tsvangirai has played down suspicions of foul play, saying the chances of that are slim.

The truck was used by a development group contracted by the U.S. and British international development agencies to supply medical projects in Zimbabwe.

The truck driver was granted bail Monday and ordered to return to court on March 23.

The Tsvangirais had been married for 31 years.

Mr. Tsvangirai and Mr. Mugabe joined forces in a unity government last month, following last year's disputed and violence-marred elections.

The longtime rivals had come under intense pressure from regional leaders, eager to see an end to Zimbabwe's general state of crisis.

The country is suffering from food shortages, hyperinflation, a breakdown of government services and a cholera epidemic that has killed more than 4,000 people.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.



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