Tsvangirai calls crash that injured him an accident

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Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said today that a car crash that injured him and killed his wife was an accident.

"In such incidents there is always speculation but in this case I want to assure you that if there was any foul play it would probably be one in 1,000," he told mourners outside his home after returning home from medical treatment in Botswana.

"It was an accident which unfortunately took a life. I am sure that life has to go on and I'm sure she (his wife Susan) would have liked for life to go on."

The tragedy comes at a difficult time for Tsvangirai, who is under mounting pressure to rescue the shattered economy under a new unity government with President Robert Mugabe, his old rival.

Many Zimbabweans are suspicious about Friday's crash on a dangerous potholed highway, neglected like many others during the southern African country's economic decline.

The driver of a truck that slammed into Tsvangirai's vehicle and forced it to roll appeared at a court in Chivhu, 90 miles south of Harare, today, accompanied by three plain-clothed policemen.

Chinoona Mwanda's application for bail was granted and he was remanded to appear back in court on March 23, said his lawyer Chris Mhike.

Tsvangirai's wife of 31 years described as a pillar of strength during his 10, often trying, years of opposition to Mugabe, is expected to be buried on Wednesday.

Questions may arise over how quickly Tsvangirai can recover from the loss and get down to the urgent task of easing an economic crisis squeezing millions of Zimbabweans.