Chindori-Chininga death: The unanswered questions

HARARE - Edward Chindori-Chininga’s family is vexed with lingering questions about circumstances surrounding the outspoken Zanu PF Guruve South legislator’s freak crash, demanding answers from responsible authorities.

Amid conflicting statements coming from different quarters regarding who was with the ex-Mines minister in the car on the fateful night, family members who spoke to the Daily News yesterday at the family homestead in Christon Bank had questions about the identity of the two alleged survivors.

Linda Chininga, wife of the late “frank and honest politician” openly asked the Daily News crew — which had earlier visited the accident scene on Thursday — whether they could have heard anything from the survivors of the horror crash which claimed the life of her beloved husband.

“Tell me something, from your interaction with villagers and local people, who are the two people who were in the car?” she asked the Daily News in front of Vice President Joice Mujuru, who had gone to pay her condolences to the family.

When the Daily News crew returned to the family homestead on Friday afternoon, the question remained unanswered, with more family members posing the same question. “Who was in Chindori’s vehicle when the accident occurred?”

Charity Charamba, the chief police spokesperson said the outspoken legislator was alone in the vehicle contrary to what was stated by her junior from Bindura, who told the State-run media on Wednesday night immediately after the crash, that there were two people in Chininga’s Jeep Cherokee who survived with minor injuries.

Ephraim Nyakata, Mashonaland police traffic coordinator,  said Chininga, who was coming from a political meeting in his constituency, was in company of two unidentified people.

He said the two received minor injuries.

The whereabouts of the mysterious two has raised questions among family members so that they could provide an explanation regarding the accident.

One of the late’s nephew who resides in South Africa but declined to be named for fear of victimisation, told the Daily News that although the late ex-minister was known as a person who sped often and loved to use his cellphone while driving, the fact that his Jeep Cherokee’s airbag did not explode, makes the whole accident mysterious.

“Why is it that the airbag did not explode when the car hit that tree?” he asked. “Could it be that he was speeding at a corner while he was coming from an uphill side, to me this is not making sense. I know my uncle would speed often, but it is not his norm to drive a faulty vehicle which would not engage brakes because of his love for speed.”

The mystery surrounding Chindori-Chininga’s death is not only being queried by family members, even villagers who arrived at the scene 10 minutes after the accident.

They said it was a puzzle how he  did not engage brakes as they were no sign of skid marks on the surface.

A shop attendant who resides at the place where the vehicle rammed onto a tree said she never saw anyone in the vehicle except the legislator.

“I saw him lying in the front seat and he was bleeding profusely from the forehead,” she said.

“We tried to ask a motorist to help by taking him to hospital, but he refused. The second one agreed to help, but when he was reversing into the yard Chindori-Chininga just gasped three times and died,” she told the Daily News. - Xolisani Ncube

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