Zimbabwe Prime Minister Flies to Botswana

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Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been flown to Botswana where he will recuperate and rest after leaving the hospital following a car accident that killed his wife. Sources close to Mr. Tsvangirai told reporters Saturday the prime minister is exhausted and needs time to rest.

Mr. Tsvangirai was seen leaving the hospital earlier Saturday with other officials of the Movement for Democratic Change.

Regional and world leaders have sent condolences to the prime minister. South African President Kgalema Motlanthe issued a statement Saturday expressing his shock and wishing Mr. Tsvangirai a speedy recovery.

The South African Press Association (SAPA) reports ruling African National Congress party President Jacob Zuma issued a similar statement. The United States and Britain also sent messages of sympathy.

Earlier Saturday, Zimbabwean finance minister and MDC leader Tendai Biti said a police escort could have prevented the car accident.

The MDC secretary-general said that while police are investigating the crash, his party will conduct its own probe.

Initial reports say the truck that hit the prime minister’s car was carrying AIDS medicine donated by the United States.

MDC officials have said they want an inquiry into the collision late Friday on the poorly maintained road where the crash happened on the outskirts of the capital, Harare.

Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, visited the the prime minister, a long-time bitter political rival, while he was in the hospital.  

Tsvangirai’s wife, Susan, was 50 years old. They have six children.

Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai joined forces in a power-sharing government last month under intense pressure from regional leaders to end the nation’s political and economic crisis following violence-marred elections last year.
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