A commuter omnibus driver who crashed into Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s motorcade pleaded not guilty to negligent driving before a Harare magistrate on Monday.
Silent Hungwe, who is also charged with driving without a valid driver’s licence, blamed poor brakes for causing the crash on August 24 at the corner of Borrowdale Road and Kingsmead in Harare.
“The accident was as a result of mechanical fault. My vehicle had no functional brakes and I ended up crashing into one of the vehicles in the Vice President’s convoy,” Hungwe told Harare magistrate Ruramai Chitumbura.
The vehicle in Chiwenga’s motorcade was hit on the rear right side, said prosecutor Isheunesu Mhiti.
Two state witnesses who testified against Hungwe said he was too impatient to wait for the motorcade to pass, resulting in him losing control of his vehicle.
Edmore Madzura, a presidential guard soldier who was in the lead motorcade vehicle said Hungwe went off-road while overtaking vehicles that had stopped to allow Chiwenga’s motorcade passage and ended up losing control of his vehicle and smashed into one of their vehicles.
The Vice President was not in the affected vehicle.
Another witness, Simbarashe Rawayo, who was also in the convoy echoed Madzura’s sentiments saying the kombi driver was ignorant of road traffic regulations.
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.
The magistrate however ruled that Hungwe has a case to answer. The defence will respond on October 15.-zimlive