Police offer reward for information on bomb blast in Zimbabwe

Charlene Craig
June 28, 2018

The explosion took place during a campaign rally of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party at a stadium. For a person who has survived several alleged attempts on his life over the past few years and who is presumed to be the target of the Saturday attack, Mnangagwa could have easily thrown caution to the wind and declared war against his rivals, causing unnecessary bloodbath.

The country's two vice presidents were among the injured, the state-run newspaper The Herald reported. The broadcaster also showed footage of a jovial Mnangagwa walking around the state house gardens in Bulawayo.

Injured ZANU-PF supporters were pictured in a nearby hospital where one man wearing a blood-stained party T-shirt waited for treatment.

Mnangagwa had been in the city to campaign for votes ahead of nationwide elections due on July 30. "Suddenly soldiers and other security details were all over the place", said an AFP correspondent at the scene.

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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 vote will be a key test for Mnangagwa, 75, who succeeded the 94-year-old autocrat and remains untested at the ballot box.

"My fellow Zimbabweans, in November we all came together motivated by a dream of a democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe, a peaceful Zimbabwe though it has not been easy over the past seven months we have marched together step by step towards this dream", he said.

Elections in Zimbabwe have been marred in the past by violence and charges of electoral fraud.

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He has pledged to hold free and fair elections as he seeks to mend global relations and have sanctions against Zimbabwe dropped.

In neighbouring South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned the "barbaric and cowardly" attack.

The Foreign Ministry stressed that Egypt stands by the brotherly people and government of Zimbabwe and their efforts to achieve stability and safety in their country.

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

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