Zimbabwe opposition leader dies in US helicopter crash
Roy Bennett. Photo: AP File
London, Jan. 18, 2018 (AltAfrika)– Authorities in the US state of New Mexico say a key Zimbabwe opposition leader Roy Bennett has been killed in a helicopter crash along with his wife in North America.
The couple died along with three others when the aircraft crashed on Wednesday in a mountainous area in the US state of New Mexico. One person survived.
Mr Bennett, 60, was a former white farmer who became a stalwart of the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
State Police Lieutenant Elizabeth Armijo confirmed Bennett’s death on Thursday.
Obert Gutu, spokesman for the MDC-T opposition party, said the loss of Bennett, a white man who spoke fluent Shona and drew the wrath of former President Robert Mugabe, was tragic. Gutu says Bennett’s wife, Heather, also died.
The crash killed five and injured a sixth person aboard. The helicopter went down about 6 p.m. Wednesday near the Colorado state line.
“Roy was a resolute and committed fighter for democratic change in Zimbabwe,” Mr Gutu said.
The private helicopter crashed in north-eastern New Mexico at about 18:00 local time on Wednesday (01:00 GMT Thursday) but the deaths were confirmed by authorities on Thursday.
It is not yet clear what caused the accident.