Published: Sun, June 24, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

At least 41 injured in Zimbabwe explosion: health minister

Zimbabwe's election campaign season took a worrying turn when a crude bombing at a speech delivered by President Emmerson Mnangagwa appeared to be an attempt on his life. Another vice-president, Constantino Chiwenga, received bruises to his face.

The president's spokesman, George Charamba, released a statement saying Mnangagwa was unhurt and an investigation was underway.

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday survived an explosion that left at least nine people, including senior government officials, injured at a rally at Bulawayo's White City Stadium.

State television ZBC said 42 people were injured in the explosion, six of them seriously.

He said the violence was senseless and appealed for unity.

"The president was evacuated successfully".

"Terrible events at White City stadium".

In an interview conducted after Saturday's explosion, Mnangagwa however insisted that he does not believe the people of Bulawayo are behind the attack, "they love him as much as he loves them".

The country's environment minister, deputy speaker of parliament and several security personnel were also among the injured. He added: "I can assure you these are my normal enemies".

The polls in five weeks will be the first since Zimbabwe's veteran leader Robert Mugabe resigned following a brief military takeover in November last year after 37 years in power.

The July 30 election will be the first without Mr Mugabe in the southern African nation since independence in 1980.

Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa condemned the attack.

"Political violence of any nature from any quarter is totally unacceptable", he said.

European Union deputy chief observer Mark Stevens says the European Union will have 140 observers by election day.

The US Embassy in Harare tweeted "thoughts & prayers".

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