Published: Thu, June 28, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Two die after blast at Zimbabwe presidential rally - state newspaper

Two die after blast at Zimbabwe presidential rally - state newspaper

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

A blast that rocked a rally in which Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa narrowly escaped unscathed injured at least 41 people, including his two deputies, the health minister told a state Sunday paper.

Mnangagwa - who took power after Mugabe's ouster in November - said he was the target of the attack, which the state media is describing as an assassination attempt.

The MSU hub is one of the six innovation centres to be launched at other State universities soon.

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.

It was not clear who was responsible for the explosion, which Mnangagwa called a cowardly act, or how the security around the president was breached.

The blast came as Zimbabwe prepared to hold its first post-Mugabe presidential election on July 30, with 75-year-old Mnangagwa and 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, the main contenders.

Medics attend to people injured in an explosion during a rally by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe June 23, 2018.

The President further warned against the use premeditated violence as a tool for political canvasing.

Previous elections in Zimbabwe had been marred by electoral fraud, intimidation and violence, including the killing of scores of opposition supporters in 2008.

He has pledged to hold free and fair elections as he seeks to mend global relations and have sanctions against Zimbabwe dropped. "We must not speculate ahead of investigations", Charamba said. The blast occurred at White City Stadium in Bulawayo.

"This is going to make everyone a little bit tense. this is the first time we have seen such a blatant attack", she said blaming divisions inside the ruling ZANU-PF for the attack.

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