JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Robert Mugabe's motorcade has killed one person and injured 15 others, in the third deadly accident involving the Zimbabwean president's official convoy in just two weeks.
The latest crash happened Sunday afternoon on the Robert Mugabe Highway, near the president's rural home town of Zvimba, the state-run Herald newspaper reported today.
National police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena blamed the accident on a commuter bus, known locally as a "kombi," that failed to make way fast enough for the passing motorcade.
One of the cars leading the motorcade rammed into the bus, Bvudzijena told Agence France-Presse.
“The cause of the accident is that the kombi driver failed to take heed of the siren and the beacon lights of the escort vehicle,” Bvudzijena told the Herald.
The website NewZimbabwe said Mugabe's motorcade was traveling to Harare from Zvimba ahead of the president's flight to Brazil to attend the UN Conference on Sustainable Development.
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Police VIP protection spokesman Martin Mbokochena blamed "some unruly elements in society who want to disturb."
Mbokochena told the Herald that the police protection unit will be carrying out awareness campaigns to educate motorists to respect official motorcades.
“Creating a traffic jungle affects movement of our leadership. It is very important as a nation to respect our leadership when passing,” he said.
Mugabe's presidential limousine is typically escorted by a convoy including motorcycles and army vehicles.
Two weeks ago a motorbike in the presidential convoy hit and killed a mentally disabled man in Harare. In another incident, a member of the presidential guard died and seven others were injured when an army truck in the motorcade burst a tire and overturned.
Bvudzijena urged motorists to “go off the road whenever they see a police vehicle or motorcycle with sirens and beacon lights."
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