A TRAFFIC police officer from Chinhoyi, who was on VIP traffic clearance duties, died from injuries sustained when his police motorbike collided head-on with a Toyota Altezza vehicle, police reported yesterday.
The accident happened on Friday at the 131km peg along the Harare-Chinhoyi road near Lion’s Den at about 4.30pm.
Some media reports had indicated that the First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa’s convoy was also involved in the accident but police clarified that her convoy was not directly involved in the crash. In a statement, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the traffic cop, Sergeant Freddy Chipato, was on VIP Traffic clearance duties for the First Lady’s convoy which was on its way from Mhangura.
“Suddenly, a motorist, Tinotenda Esau Mutandiro, who was later identified to be a police officer stationed in Harare, came driving a Toyota Altezza on his way to Karoi with one passenger on board,” he said.
“He tried to pull off the road to the left in a bid to give way to the clearing party but failed and swerved to the right. The Toyota Altezza then encroached on to the lane of the motor bike which was proceeding in the opposite direction.”
Asst Comm Nyathi said the vehicle then collided with the clearing motor bike resulting in the death of Sergeant Chipato, who sustained serious body injuries. “The First Lady’s convoy was not involved at all in the road traffic accident. The ZRP is treating this unfortunate fatal road traffic accident like all other accidents and reiterates that it has nothing to do with the First Lady’s convoy. The Commissioner General of Police extends his condolences to the family of Sergeant Freddy Chipato. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi said the law will take its course against Tinotenda Esau Mutandiro who is now facing culpable homicide charges.