ANALYSTS have cast doubt over the genuineness of recent car accidents involving Vice-Presidents Phelekezela Mphoko and Emmerson Mnangagwa, arguing that they looked stage managed to court public sympathy after their ascendancy to their positions.
Mphoko escaped unhurt after he was involved in an accident while using his official vehicle a day after being sworn in, two months after Mnangagwa also survived a car crash.
According to the police, a truck carrying wedding material suddenly stopped in front of Mphoko’s motorcade, resulting in the accident.
In October, a vehicle belonging to the Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals reportedly just turned and smashed into Mnangagwa’s official Mercedes-Benz.
“There is a nexus between information and political power in Zimbabwe,” China-based Zimbabwean researcher and scholar of African politics, Obert Hodzi said.
“The government, or let me say Zanu PF, dispenses information for political advantage.
“For that reason people are often suspicious of any claims made by state institutions as well as government officials.”
Hodzi said there was a lack of trust between the public and the State, saying such cases were reported in the media and never followed up.
Political analyst Dewa Mavhinga said President Robert Mugabe could have mistakenly let it slip that these “mishaps” were planned when he concluded that Mnangagwa escaped an assassination attempt after suspected killers sprayed cyanide in his office to suffocate him.
“General public suspicion is that these so-called accidents maybe stage-managed are justified because everything is politicised,” he said.
“President Mugabe jumped to allege an assassination attempt on Mnangagwa by poison in the absence of thorough investigations, which raises suspicion that these things are being cooked up.
“It is highly unlikely that there are people out to murder these politicians who are in the twilight of the years.”
University of Kent law professor, Alex Magaisa writing in his blog expressed worry that history has shown that such incidents have brought dangerous consequences in Zimbabwe and left many dead or nursing wounds.
“Naturally a debate has ensued over these incidents,” he said.
“What is worrying, of course, is that these events are not without precedence in our political landscape and when they have happened before, they have brought dangerous consequences, the wounds of which, to date, have not healed.”