Image: Tsvangirai and his wife
Alexander Joe  /  AFP-Getty Images
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his wife, Susan, in Harare last month, have six children.
updated 3/7/2009 12:20:53 PM ET 2009-03-07T17:20:53

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai left the hospital Saturday where he was treated after a car crash that killed his wife.

Associated Press reporters saw the former opposition leader leaving with a baseball cap pulled over his bandaged head.

Dr. Douglas Gwatidzo, head of casualty at the hospital , said the prime minister had head injuries and chest pains. State television showed pictures of Tsvangirai in a neck brace, which Gwatidzo said was being used to keep him comfortable.

Tsvangirai was traveling Friday to a weekend rally in his home region, south of Harare, when his car and a truck collided.

The U.S. Embassy said that the truck involved in the crash was transporting AIDS medicine donated by the U.S. government. It was driven by a Zimbabwean contractor.

Tsvangirai's wife, Susan Tsvangirai, was killed in the crash, two sources within his party said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, saying the official statement would come later from the Tsvangirai family. Earlier Friday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown sent his condolences to Tsvangirai.

Susan Tsvangirai was 50. The couple married in 1978 and have six children.

Mugabe visits hospital
Tsvangirai was sworn in Feb. 11 as Zimbabwe’s prime minister in a power-sharing deal meant to end almost a year of deadly stalemate with Robert Mugabe, who remains president.

Mugabe visited Tsvangirai at the hospital Friday.

The unity government has been rocky after years of rivalry between Tsvangirai, a former trade union leader, and Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980.

He formed his Movement for Democratic Change a decade ago. As it emerged as a serious political challenger, Tsvangirai repeatedly faced the wrath of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF, Tsvangirai has been beaten and was once nearly thrown from a 10th floor window by suspected government thugs.

Scores of Tsvangirai supporters were in prison even as he joined the government. Several have since been released, but not prominent party member Roy Bennett.

Bennett, Tsvangirai’s nominee for deputy agriculture minister, has been jailed since Feb. 13. He faces weapons charges linked to long-discredited claims Tsvangirai’s party was plotting to use force to overthrow Mugabe.

Bennett’s lawyers had hoped he would be freed Wednesday, after the High Court ruled the state had no right to oppose bail. Prosecutors have appealed the bail ruling and state TV reported Friday that a magistrate had been taken into custody for “alleged abuse of office” for signing a release order for Bennett based on the High Court ruling. State TV quoted police as saying the release order should not have been signed while the Supreme Court was considering the bail ruling.

Zimbabwe has the world’s highest official inflation rate, a hunger crisis that has left most of its people dependent on foreign handouts and a cholera epidemic blamed on the collapse of a once-enviable health and sanitation system. Cholera has sickened more than 80,000 and killed more than 3,800 people since August.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments