Farayi Machamire 17 May 2017
HARARE – Not for the first time, one of President Robert Mugabe’s
motorcade outriders was left badly injured in Harare on Monday during the
evening rush hour, after he crashed into a motorist while trying to clear
traffic for the nonagenarian who was on his way to State House where he
was hosting the visiting Lesotho king.
The hapless law enforcement officer was quickly removed from the scene by
other security details, to allow the president’s motorcade to pass
Stunned eyewitnesses told the Daily News yesterday that the spectacular
accident had happened when the BMW bike outrider rammed into a Toyota
Corolla which had apparently reacted slowly to the presidential motorcade
– causing significant panic among motorists, who were given a torrid time
by Mugabe’s aides.
According to the law, it is an offence not to pull from the road when
Mugabe’s speeding motorcade approaches.
One of the eyewitnesses who spoke to the Daily News said the unlucky
outrider who was involved in the accident had moved into the lane of
oncoming traffic, in his desperate bid to pave way for Mugabe’s lengthy
convoy, which was fast approaching.
This unfortunately saw him ending up ramming into the Toyota Corrolla.
And as is the usual practice under those circumstances, Mugabe’s motorcade
zoomed past the accident scene, as security measures dictate that the
president’s convoy does not stop until it reaches its destination.
Afterwards, eyewitnesses said, agitated police and members of Mugabe’s
security team questioned the terrified driver of the Toyota Corrolla –
whose vehicle sustained huge dents on both the driver’s and back
passenger’s doors due to the impact of the crash with the outrider.
The name and condition of the biker, who was said to have been taken to
hospital, was not known at the time of going to press.
The accident occurred after Mugabe had just welcomed King Letsie III of
Lesotho at the Harare International, who is in Zimbabwe on an official
four day State visit.
Police spokesperson Charity Charamba said yesterday that she was not aware
of the incident.
This is not the first time that Mugabe’s motorcade has been involved in
crashes with motorists, some of them fatal – and despite the government
tightening the laws that allow the president’s smooth travel on local
In May last year, his motorcade was involved in a similar accident when
another of the nonagenarian’s outriders crashed into a commuter omnibus
whose driver was later charged with negligent driving.
And in one of the most horrific crashes to involve the presidential
motorcade in 2012, one of Mugabe’s outrider met a horrific death when his
bike caught fire near Sam Levy village in Borrowdale, Harare.
Traumatised eyewitnesses watched helplessly then as the outrider writhed
on the side of the road in agony, battling for dear life as his motorbike
– which was lying by his side – was consumed by a raging fire which also
killed him moments later.
This was after some passing motorists had desperately tried to put out the
fire using their fire extinguishers.
Also in 2012, a police lead vehicle sent to clear traffic ahead of the
president’s oncoming convoy, rammed into a commuter minibus carrying 22
A male passenger in the minibus died on impact with a police Mercedes,
while 15 other people – including two police officers – were seriously
On another trip to Zvimba in the same year, the presidential convoy was
also involved in two accidents.
In the first crash, a homeless man was knocked down by a police motorbike
in Harare – with the police outrider and the victim both being
hospitalised, and the homeless man dying later.
And as the president’s convoy left Kutama on the return journey, an
open-top army Land Cruiser carrying members of the presidential guard
burst a tyre and overturned – killing Jeoffrey Mukotekwa and wounding
On almost all of these occasions, authorities have blamed negligent
motorists – accusing the public of ignoring police signals.