Kombi driver who smashed into Chiwenga’s car blames brake failure

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By Mary Taruvinga

A Harare kombi driver who crashed into Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s motorcade August this year has denied claims of negligent driving arguing that the accident was due to a mechanical fault.

Silent Hungwe told a Harare magistrate Ruramai Chitumbura that it was beyond his control to avoid the accident.

“The accident was as a result of mechanical fault. My vehicle had no functional brakes and I ended up hitting the Vice President’s car,” he said in defence.

But Edmore Madzura, a presidential guard soldier who was in the lead motorcade vehicle, tried to nail the kombi driver saying the latter had been too impatient to stop when the convoy was passing through.

Madzura told court that Hungwe used the dust road while overtaking stationery vehicles and ended up losing control and hitting Chiwenga’s car.

Another witness, Simbarashe Rawayo who was also in the convoy echoed Madzura’s sentiments saying the kombi driver was did not pay heed on what was happening in the road.

The accident evaluator, James Thomas concluded that the accident was caused by a mechanical fault.

“It was not possible for the accused to act reasonably when the accident seemed imminent and to keep the said motor vehicle under proper control because of the failure of the brakes,” he said.

However the magistrate ruled that Hungwe has a case to answer before the case proceeded to defence case on Monday.

Hungwe was hauled before the courts recently facing charges of contravening the Road Traffic Act and driving without a driver’s license.

According to the state, allegations against Hungwe arose on August 24 at corner Borrowdale Road and Kingsmead.

Hungwe was driving a commuter omnibus, full of passengers when he avoided a vehicle that had blocked the road while giving way to Chiwenga’s motorcade.

Upon his arrest it was established that he was driving without a driver’s licence.

His case continues this Tuesday.

Isheunesu Mhiti appeared for the state.