Zimbabwe: Motorist Runs Over Ex-Ethiopian Diplomat

Professor Asrat Wolde
By Hearld

Former Ethiopian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Asrat Wolde was run over by a motorist who reportedly was admiring prostitutes while driving, a court heard on Wednesday.

The motorist, Gilbert Mutandagari (50), pleaded not guilty to a culpable homicide charge when he appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Nomsa Sabarauta.

He is on U.S.$100 bail.

The tragedy occurred along Third Street on March 1 this year.

In his defence, Mutandagari said he did not cause the death of Wolde.

He insisted he did not drive negligently.

"The deceased, who appeared lost, suddenly crossed the road in front of my vehicle and was hit by the front headlamp and fell," he said.

But the first State witness Douglas Chipiringu blamed Mutandagari telling the court he was admiring prostitutes and lost control of his vehicle which veered off the road and killed the former envoy.

"I wanted to cross Third Street going West; so I crossed the first lane and waited for the other lane to clear since cars were travelling at high speed," narrated Chipiringu.

"I saw a pedestrian walking on the left edge of the road going North. He was alone with a leather backpack.

"There were a number of girls, about six to seven, on the left side of the road some seated and some standing.

"I saw a motorist looking at these girls at the same time his vehicle moving diagonally to where the pedestrian was. The next thing I heard was a bang of his car hitting the pedestrian."

Mutandagari is a holder of a class two driver's licence.