Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa Unharmed After Explosion At Campaign Rally

Elias Hubbard
June 24, 2018

The blast occurred seconds after President Emmerson Mnangagwa left the stage after addressing a Zanu PF election campaign rally.

Mnangagwa shortly after the attack told the state broadcaster, without elaborating, that those responsible must have come from "outside Bulawayo". "This is now a police issue, but the president is safe at Bulawayo State House", spokesperson George Charamba told Reuters news agency. "There have been multiple attempts on the President's life over the past five years".

In a tweet, Mnangagwa called on the country to remain unified despite all political differences after "this senseless act of violence".

Mr Mnangagwa, who was sacked as Mugabe's deputy in a ruling party feud shortly before the transition, took over with pledges to deliver free and fair elections.

Bulawayo is Zimbabwe's second-largest city and is traditionally an opposition stronghold.

The elections are the first in Zimbabwe since Mugabe was ousted after 37 years in power.

He is favourite to win the poll, but analysts say he also has enemies - both for overthrowing his former mentor, Robert Mugabe, and for being a previous enforcer of the Mugabe regime.

Mnangagwa had started his address at the rally by referring to an alleged plot to kill him by former president Robert Mugabe's allies at the height of the Zanu PF succession wars a year ago.

Zimbabwe's state-run media is calling the blast at President Emmerson Mnangagwa's campaign rally an assassination attempt.

Images taken by photographers who were at the rally showed several injured people lying on the ground.

Although Mnangagwa's leadership has seen a relatively freer environment in Zimbabwe, Masunungure warned acts targeting the Zanu-PF government could see a closing up of a relatively more liberalised society.

The July 30 vote is the first without Mugabe since independence in 1980.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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