First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa was unhurt after her Toyota Land Cruiser overturned on the Harare-Bindura Road at about 10AM on Tuesday morning.
Motorists described the motorcade driving aggressively and forcing vehicles off the road while speeding towards Mazowe.
In the motorcade was a Toyota Fortuner, the first lady’s Land Cruiser and four Toyota Raider vehicles.
George Charamba, the spokesman for the presidency, told ZimLive: “I can confirm the first lady was involved in an accident on the road to Mazowe. It would appear a motorist driving towards Harare panicked on meeting the convoy and rammed into the first lady’s vehicle on the driver’s side. Her vehicle overturned but she’s fine, and so is her driver.”
In Zimbabwe, only the president drives with a police escort which can close roads and signal motorists to give way. Ministerial and other VIP convoys have been known to drive aggressively, surprising drivers who would have no indication they are VIP transport.
A motorist who arrived moments after the accident told ZimLive that vehicles were blocked either side at least 500 meters from the accident scene.
“The convoy overtook me just before the toll gate and the guy who was driving a cream Toyota Fortuner in the front shouted to me to park on the side of the road, and they went ahead of us.
“About 10 minutes or so later we arrived at the scene and the Land Cruiser had overturned. One of the Raiders had also rammed into a Toyota Prado that was coming from Bindura.
“Moments later, we saw people at the accident scene in something of a rush changing cars. We then heard something that sounded like gun shots, and four vehicles made a U-turn and went back to Harare, leaving behind those that were involved in the accident.”
Charamba said he had no information about where the first lady was going.
Police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he was out of office and would only have details of the accident after 4PM.
On April 24, one of Auxillia Mnangagwa’s aides died and three were injured after a vehicle in her convoy overturned on a rocky embankment near Muzarabani in Mashonaland Central.
In May, the government denied reports that she had been involved in another road accident in Kwekwe. Instead, a government spokesman said she only stopped to render assistance after Zvishavane-Ngezi MP Dumizweni Mahwite ran over a seven-year-old child who was seriously injured.
The latest accident involving the first lady will shine a new focus on her numerous road trips across the country in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wife has been gathering villagers in remote parts of the country and dolling out food handouts – even as health authorities and the government discourage gatherings of any kind.
The government has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew which it says is aimed at slowing down Covid-19 transmissions, and inter-city travel remains restricted except for essential services, funerals and work.