Zimbabwe President Uninjured in Blast at Rally

Minnie Murray
June 25, 2018

Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa suggests he was the target of party rally blast.

Zimbabwe's President Emerson Mnangagwa was evacuated from the stage minutes after an explosion at a rally in White City Stadium.

He was not hurt, his spokesman said.

Mnangagwa took power in November after his former ally, longtime leader Robert Mugabe, stepped down under military pressure.

He added that it was "impossible" for Zimbabwe to hold credible and peaceful polls, expressing concern over security institutions were likely to played a key role in shaping Zimbabwe's political environment ahead of presidential and parliamentary polls on 30 July.

The President escaped injuries, but others were injured and hospitalized.

Late last night, the Officer Commanding the Zimbabwe Republic Police in Bulawayo, Senior Assistant Commissioner Learn Ncube, said investigations were proceeding full throttle. "There have been multiple attempts on the President's life over the past five years".

One of Zimbabwe's vice presidents is calling Saturday's explosion at a presidential campaign rally "terrorism" and says any candidate who feels "afraid and scared" will receive security. "So we urge the government to take appropriate action and also we want to encourage Zanu PF to deal with their issues peacefully without the issue of violence", Mlalazi said.

Without mentioning names, Mnangagwa said there were some people who did not accept his presidency and his "usual enemies" were behind the blast.

Chiwenga's wife was also hospitalized, but she has been treated and released, Charamba said.

State media called the attack an assassination attempt.

While Bulawayo has always been a bastion of opposition to the ZANU-PF and it was Mnangagwa's first rally in the city, commentators suggest the attack could have been sparked by internal party ructions.

The US Embassy in Harare tweeted "thoughts & prayers". "Violence must have no place in our politics".

The United States has meanwhile condemned the Zimbabwean attack, saying political violence in any form is "unacceptable" and contrary to the progress needed to move the country forward.

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